In my last blog, I promised to post a really cool tip I learned to keep you motivated as a LinkedIn user. So here it is: Benchmark your activity and positive results by opening up a browser and typing in: LinkedIn.com/sales/ssi. This shows your “Social Selling Index,” which measures how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships. Over the past 3 weeks I’ve somehow managed to raise mine from 46 to 72! Woo hoo! And, not that I’m competitive or anything, but you’ll also see how you compare against your network of contacts. So much fun!
As I worked and reworked my LinkedIn profile, using the expert advice from Judy Schramm’s Executive Guide to Social Media: How to Create a Strong Personal Brand & Use Social Media Towards Your Business Goals, I decided that my story should begin with my philosophy on marketing, and I followed the important tip of writing in the first person, as if speaking directly to the reader. I also decided that my authentic self should get a nod, and Judy says that it’s good to include something different about yourself, some way to break the ice, something people might talk about with you when connecting.
See what you think and let me know!
Marketing is about outcomes and results – otherwise, why bother? While business is serious, I love to use fun, creativity, content, and an interactive engagement with people, to create meaningful and relevant value for them. And, I’m passionate about painting – acrylics, watercolor and oils!
I then added just a few standout points about my career experience, using a summary format.
When it comes to ending with a call to action – I must admit, I’m not sure what to do there. “Call me?” I don’t really want to include my phone number. However, you can definitely EASILY personalize your URL in your profile (go to your profile – click on “Me” in the navigation bar, and you’ll see “Edit public profile & URL” on the right hand side, which will allow you to “Personalize the URL for your profile”). Mine is now www.linkedin.com/in/talywalsh. And I feel, people can always message you via LinkedIn. Note that you’ll want to make yourself easy to contact if you’re looking for a job, or using LinkedIn to generate leads or publicize a book.
The all-important Experience section is next. This seems fairly straightforward, but you’ll find tips I hadn’t thought of in Judy’s book. “Link to Company pages” and “Upload work samples”.
The instructions for updating your education and volunteer experience are very straightforward. But on skills and endorsements, I agonized a bit.
You can list up to 50 skills and sort them in order of importance, with only the top three being visible on your profile unless you click to view more. Top 3! This is a challenge. I started with the three I thought were most important, then realized that you can see how many endorsements there are for each, so I backtracked and balanced it out with those where I had a greater number of endorsements. In the end I settled on:
1. Marketing Strategy – 41 endorsements
2. Trade Shows – 14 endorsements
3. Strategic Partnerships – 29 endorsements
Finally, I worked on securing recommendations from past employers, colleagues and partners. This takes a bit of doing. For one thing, you have to actually go to their LinkedIn page and click on the button that says “More” under their name and title – not all that intuitive! There’s a “Request a Recommendation” link that will launch a message to the person. Sometimes people ask you to give them a draft or ideas on what to say – which doesn’t come easy if you are naturally modest! But nevertheless, bite the bullet and follow through – it will be helpful for your future endeavors.
Now that I’ve updated my profile to appear in the best possible light, I’m ready to make LinkedIn do the work of effective and meaningful relationship building – maybe not quite as good as going to an event and meeting people in person, but in this age of social media, the power of LinkedIn is fast-tracking the connections beyond “Hi, my name is so-and-so” and “What do you do for a living?”. Blogging is my new toy – get over the fear and give it a go!
What’s next? I’m working on exploring video. Let me know if you have any insights!