- If you’re one of those set-it-and-forget-it LinkedIn people, you’re missing out.
- LinkedIn has transformed in recent years and is now an engaging, vibrant content and knowledge sharing platform.
- Content marketer Cat Johnson shares 10 tips on how to freshen up your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn has been around since 2003.
And some LinkedIn profiles haven’t been updated since then.
If you’re one of those set-it-and-forget-it LinkedIn people, you’re missing out.
LinkedIn has transformed in the last couple of years. It used to be a business networking tool full of somewhat stuffy profiles that only got dusted off when someone was looking for a job, but no more.
LinkedIn is now an engaging, vibrant content platform, full of inspiring people generously sharing informative content.
Whether you want to stay up on industry news, network with other business-focused professionals, see the more human side of colleagues and connections, or if you want business inspiration and pro tips, LinkedIn delivers.
If it’s been a while since you updated your profile, it’s high time. And bonus, you might be pleasantly surprised at all LinkedIn offers these days.
Here are 10 ways to freshen up your LinkedIn profile.
1. Update your Profile Photo
Make sure your LinkedIn profile photo is not only current(ish) but that it reflects your work and your goals. For instance, if you’re building a virtual community for digital nomads, that suit and tie photo from your corporate gig isn’t going to get the job done.
2. Update Your Background Image
Hot on the heels of updating your photo, use your LinkedIn background image—and use it strategically. That is prime real estate for people to see you in action, to strengthen your brand and vibe, or include a call to action (CTA) that people immediately see, even if they don’t click through to your About section or website.
If you’re a teacher, use a photo of you teaching. If you’re a coworking space, show people working in a COVID-conscious-yet-human environment. For my Cat Johnson Co company page, I have an image of participants of Coworking Convos, including a number of members of our Workspace Marketing Lab. It reflects my brand community and vibe.
3. Craft a Strong Personal Headline
When scrolling through their LinkedIn feed, people see your name and headline. Sometimes that’s all they’ll ever see, so you need to catch their attention. Your headline is an effective way to position yourself and define your market. Stay away from taglines that simply say CEO or CTO. You need to provide more of a hook and callout to potential customers, collaborators and employees.
What is it you do? Who do you help? What’s your unique angle? Make sure your tagline gives an at-a-glance window into you and your work.
Pro tip: LinkedIn allows for 220 characters in your headline, but any characters beyond 60-ish get cut off in feeds. So put your keywords and most important information near the front of your headline.
4. Craft a Strong Tagline for Your Company Page
To echo the importance of your personal headline, the tagline on your LinkedIn company page plays an equally important role. Be strategic, get your keywords near the beginning of your tagline, and make sure it’s clear who, and how, you serve.
5. What’s Your About Section About?
Your About section might feel like a one-and-done thing, but it’s not. It’s a dynamic thing. It’s important to revisit your About regularly to make sure it’s as relevant and compelling as possible. There are a number of ways to handle this section. Some people use it as a CV/resume, listing all their accomplishments; others take an informal approach, leading with a greeting such as, “Hi! I’m Cat. I’m on a mission to …”
People who are interested in your headline and/or LinkedIn content, will click through to your About section to learn more about you. Make sure it’s aligned with your brand, current priorities and goals.
6. Take Advantage of the LinkedIn Featured Section
You don’t have to use the Featured section, but it’s a smart way to bring people into your world and flex a little bit about your projects and accomplishments. If you were a podcast guest, put the link in your featured section. Did you receive a recognition of some sort? Featured is a perfect place to share that. Have you had recent press coverage or a nice guest post? Do you have a big announcement or press release about a new project? Putting those in your Featured section is a way to keep them in front of people without sharing the news repeatedly in your feed.
7. Showcase Your Services
On your LinkedIn personal profile, there’s an option to display the services you offer. Your services are then discoverable in LinkedIn and people not in your network can message you directly about them. This feature is being rolled out gradually and you’ll need to enable Showcase services. If you don’t see an option to do so, request to become a service provider.
8. Publish (and Republish) Articles Directly to LinkedIn
You can publish articles directly to your personal LinkedIn profile. Doing so is a fantastic way to demonstrate your expertise, share insights and tips, and strengthen your brand mission and vision. Users can then see all your articles in one place and, depending on their notification settings, they may be alerted that you published a new post.
You can also republish blog posts you’ve written elsewhere to LinkedIn. But—and this is important: You don’t want to compete with your own website in Google search results. If you’re going to republish a post to LinkedIn, wait a week or two to give Google time to index the post and give priority SEO to your website, where the post was originally published.
9. Ask for (and Give) Endorsement and Recommendations
I’m including this section here for some accountability. I have a handful of endorsements and recommendations, but I haven’t focused on requesting and giving them. But, if someone has strong endorsements and enthusiastic recommendations, it reflects nicely on them and their work. It’s a good social proof strategy. So put this on your to-do list, brainstorm some people you can ask and share thoughtful recommendations for others. I’ll do the same.
10. Learn in Community
LinkedIn for personal branding and to market a coworking space is a hot topic over in the Workspace Marketing Lab right now. If you’re a space operator or community builder, join us in the Lab to level up your marketing across all your channels, including LinkedIn.