From a professional standpoint, your LinkedIn profile is your first online impression.
When people Google your name, LinkedIn is often the highest ranked sites. Typically, when people are researching you before a meeting, they will be looking at your profile to see who you are, what you do, and if you can help them.
Forrester Research key findings state “over 90% of customers report they use search at every stage of their customer lifecycle, and over 85% of customers saying they use social channels for discovery and consideration or purchase.”
Despite the fact that people are looking at your profile every day, you probably haven’t got an up-to-date profile.
Here are 5 excuses you’re probably telling yourself as to why you haven’t updated your profile:
Excuse #1: I’ll do it “tomorrow”
I know, you’re busy. You’ve got a pile of things on your desk that cannot wait. LinkedIn will just have to wait another day.
Excuse #2: I don’t know what to write.
You may be struggling with where to start. You spend more time just “doing what you do” instead of assessing the impact of what you’re actually delivering. Telling your own story is challenging, and does take time to develop (which loops back to point #1).
Excuse #3. Isn’t LinkedIn just a resume site? I’m not looking for a job.
LinkedIn is SO much more than a resume site. Whether you’re self-employed, a senior executive or the junior rep, everyone at your organization is a brand ambassador. Consistently telling your brand story is extremely important real estate. (Did you know that employees have 10x the reach of your Company page?!)
Excuse #4: LinkedIn just isn’t sexy. It’s also confusing. I just can’t be bothered to learn it or use it.
You may spend the majority of your online time on Instagram or Facebook. LinkedIn isn’t sexy, I get it. Thing is, that it’s where professionals are INVESTING time, not wasting time.
Excuse #5: No one cares about little ole’ me.
I write and optimize LinkedIn profiles. Surprisingly (or maybe not-so-surprisingly), regardless of country, gender, or title, most people I interview are not comfortable with “tooting their own horn”. We’ve all been raised to be modest, so highlighting our accomplishments brings up a lot of fears that people may think we are “bragging” or “boasting”.
3 Good Reasons Why You Need to Get Started On Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile – RIGHT NOW!
Reason #1: Everyone from your organization is a potential brand ambassador. Using LinkedIn to tell your company story will help you to build awareness, trust and potentially convert more clients. (At 10x the reach, why not empower your team to become powerful brand ambassadors?!!)
Reason #2: Future you will thank you! Think about your professional self in five years’ time. Future you will be so grateful that you started laying the foundation today because you’ll have had five extra years to hone your craft, build your brand and thought leadership.
Reason #3: No one know what YOU know from your perspective. There are a lot of subconscious barriers we have to putting ourselves “out there”:
- “I’m concerned about my privacy”.
- “What happens if someone thinks I’m ‘full of myself’?”
- “It’s not perfect. My story must be perfect.”
Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Self doubt. These are all normal feelings. Did you know the amygdala in your limbic brain is actually hard wired to trigger these fears? As animals, our “emotional brain” is structured to help us survive against predators.
You can reframe these fears by looking at these fears through a different lens. Remind yourself that people are actively looking for your help. If you don’t include your accomplishments, then you are actually doing a disservice to by not standing in your value.
Also, LinkedIn is the channel where you’re SUPPOSED to include your accomplishments. Using phrases such as “I’m passionate about delivering ___ results.” or “I’m honored to have received ___ award and having been recognized by my industry and clients for my commitment to this industry.” certainly help take away the “bragging” and turn it into a way that you’re being “of service”.
Writing your LinkedIn profile will take time. You don’t have to do it all in one day. Start with developing the copy within your Summary and build the rest of your profile as you go.
Just be sure you’re writing the copy for the reader, and you’ve had someone else take a look at the copy before you click “publish”. Ask them to answer:
- Does the copy make sense?
- Does the story showcase me properly?
- Are there any errors?
- Would you hire me based on the information that’s visible.
You know your story better than anyone else will. If you’re still struggling, reach out to hire a LinkedIn Profile Writer; it’s an investment in your brand.
Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Trainer, Principal of PUNCH!media and author of “CREATE. CONNECT. CONVERT”
Leslie was called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio and was featured on CTV’s “The Social” discussing how to manage your digital identity. Leslie has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009.
PUNCH!media clients include The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and TVO.
PUNCH!media’s goal is to empower through education and help executives gain confidence in their online presence so you convert higher-paying clients.