What Every Business Professional Needs To Know About LinkedIn

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If you're a business professional, LinkedIn is a social media platform you can't ignore. But, you can't just upload your profile picture, type in a description and call it a day, either. 

LinkedIn is the only business-focused social networking site. Although its main purpose is networking, which in itself brings plenty of benefits, LinkedIn is also instrumental when it comes to building your personal brand and online reputation. 

If you've neglected your LinkedIn profile or haven't looked at it in a long time, it's time to take charge. Follow these three tips to optimize your profile and build your personal brand. 

1. Your LinkedIn Profile Is You 

Your LinkedIn profile is the professional face you show the world. LinkedIn provides a variety of powerful tools within the profile to put your best face forward. 

Follow these guidelines to create a killer LinkedIn profile: 

• Choose The Right Profile Picture:  Use a recent photo that fits your profession. Choose a picture of yourself that includes your head from the shoulders up and where you have an open, friendly expression. If possible, have a professional picture taken. A square picture of 400 x 400 pixels under 10MB in size is recommended. 

• Create A Unique And Descriptive Headline:  Come up with a short phrase that defines what you do best. For example, use a phrase that describes what you do and why you're good at it, such as "Skilled software developer who never misses a deadline." 

• Make The Most Of The Background Photo:  Don't settle for the default background photo on your profile page. Use the space to highlight what you do. You could use a graphic highlighting some of your products or services. You could draw attention to a current promotion. You could include pictures of you working behind-the-scenes. Whatever you choose, make it relevant and memorable. 

• Customize Your LinkedIn URL:  Take advantage of the customize link option within your profile. Share the link on your other social media accounts. Complete the summary and experience sections. The summary section lets you expand on your visions and allows personal anecdotes. It gives your profile a human feel. 

2. Make Connections 

Connect with co-workers, colleagues industry leaders, vendors and professionals you know. If your connections have connections you'd like to include in your network, ask your contacts to introduce you. Include a personal note when you send your connection request and explain why you'd like to connect. The more connections in your network, the greater your reach. 

3. Publish Your Own LinkedIn Content 

Publishing content on LinkedIn is a powerful way to gain recognition. 

Informative long-form content builds your professional brand and strengthens your online reputation. Informative content provides long-term advantages as well. As your connections share your content, their contacts share it as well. 

Final Tips

The wonderful thing about social media is that nothing is permanent. If you don't see LinkedIn profile spikes with the background picture you start with, try another. If your headline lacks spark, try different phrases. Test and try something new. 

Engage with others. Follow influencers, colleagues and industry experts. Make comments. Share content. 

Last but not least, as your professional career changes, make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects those changes. Nothing kills momentum like an outdated profile.

I hope you enjoyed this article about what every business professional needs to know about LinkedIn for networking.

Interested in more articles about leveraging LinkedIn?

Read My Related Posts:

- 11 Ways To Leverage LinkedIn

- Should You Be A LinkedIn LION?

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