How to create the perfect LinkedIn profile

For any executive, having a social media presence isn’t optional any more. Being active on social media is now an essential part of a CEO’s efforts to build a reputation for themselves and their business.

So what makes a great LinkedIn profile? Here’s a quick guide that can help you to get the most of your LinkedIn presence:

1) Start with a brief summary of yourself

Among the first steps to take for your LinkedIn page is to add a short introduction to yourself and your experiences.

This will begin with a short description of your position, which will need to be limited to 120 characters and appears below your name. Here’s a good example:

CEO of XYZ Corporation | Our Vision: To provide exceptional products and services to ASX 200-listed organisations

This description should cover your job title, what you do, why you do it and give an example of the sort of clients your organisation works with – valuable information for anyone viewing your page.

Next, include more information on the subsequent sections of your personal profile. This should be similar to an elevator pitch or how someone might introduce you at a speaking event. The purpose is to be concise and convey all the important information about your personal brand so that people are interested and want to learn more.

As well as including useful information, you should also consider optimising the content with keywords, which are words or phrases that people associate with your business and which people might search for if they were trying to find you. Including these in your description will make it easy to find a person online.

Once you have this basic information, the next step is to personalise it and make it interesting for a reader. This means taking the time to add some personality and make your page unique. Also, consider removing and reorganising the sections on your home page. All of this information is customisable and if it isn’t holding it’s weight, deleting it can help to keep your page concise.

2) Use the right photo and background

LinkedIn users have the opportunity to use both a personal picture and a background photo to make their page more unique.

For both, it pays to use a professional image which also gives some insight into your business. A picture of a recent awards ceremony or similar achievement as a background photo can help to make the connection with your company, while a professional personal photo is also valuable

As a rule of thumb, use a profle photo of around 200 x 200 pixels and a background image of around 1,400 x 425 pixels and under eight megabytes in size.

3) Customise your URL

Rather than having a string of letters and numbers after your page, LinkedIn offers you the opportunity to select your own URL address. This means that when people share your page, it is much easier to recognise the page is yours, based on the text of the link.

To do this, go to the “Edit my Public Profile page”. The option to change your URL should appear on the right.

For example, a person named Gregory Hewitt, might change their custom URL to something like:

au.linkedin.com/in/GregoryHewitt

Or:

au.linkedin.com/in/greghewitt

4) Set your profile to public

If people cannot easily identify you, it becomes a lot harder to be visible on LinkedIn. Make sure that your profile is set so that other people can see your name and title so they can recognise you when you visit their page.

From the Edit my Public Profile page, your privacy settings should be located directly below your personal URL settings. You can then tick the boxes to display as much of your profile as you want to be viewable to the public.

5) Integrate it with your online presence

It’s important to treat your LinkedIn page as a lead generator that can direct people towards other sources of key information that are available about you online.

Linking to your personal site or blog is an easy way to further build your reputation. You can also build a badge for your personal blog or website, making it easy for people to be redirected to other parts of your online presence.

This can be accessed from the bottom of the right-hand panel of the Edit my Public Profile page, directly below your privacy settings. From there, you can choose the badge you like and copy the code into your professional blog.

6) Find new connections

One of the most useful features of LinkedIn is the ability to find new connections or engage with people you may not have had contact with for some time.

This might include fellow alumni from university, contacts from your email accounts or suggested people from LinkedIn. Each of these sources will be essential for building your reach on the network.

Once you know who you want to contact, reach out through LinkedIn’s messaging tool to try and build that connection with another user.

Rather than sending a generic message, make sure to mention how you know the person you are trying to connect with as a way to build that connection early on. That will be especially important for individuals who are receiving a high volume of messages.

Another useful tip is to think about what your goal is when making a new connection. If you are looking to build a useful industry contact, think about how you can structure this message to achieve this result.

7) Join professional groups

Almost every industry has professional groups on LinkedIn that can help to expand your networking efforts and which will allow you to engage with other leaders in your field. Membership in these groups may be restricted so it pays to take the time to understand which are worth investing your time in.

It’s also worth seeing whether the groups you are involved with in a professional capacity, like trade organisations, are active on LinkedIn. Complementing these real-world connections with a digital presence can help to boost your reputation.

If there are no groups that suit your industry, don’t be afraid to start a new one yourself.

To find possible professional groups, you can use the “groups” subcategory from the drop down menu to the left of the LinkedIn search bar. Then you can search for keywords that are relevant for your industry to find groups that are active in your area. You can also see the groups your connections are a part of by visiting their page, making it easy to spot relevant industry groups.

8) Publish your own articles on Pulse

You are now able to write and distribute their own articles on Pulse – the publishing platform that every LinkedIn user has access to. This gives CEOs a sizeable opportunity to show their expertise, while also creating articles that can be shared throughout the network.

It’s important to put the time and effort into writing a unique, thought-provoking piece when approaching this option that what you have written is meaningful and offers a unique perspective on your industry.

Publishing articles is also a great way to align your presence with that of your company, letting you play a part in your organisation’s broader LinkedIn strategy.

By following these steps, you can build a solid LinkedIn profile that is ready to be noticed online. Make sure you are investing the time to ensure that your network is continuing to grow.