LinkedIn is your story: You can make it stand out
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith June 8, 2013 8:30PM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
Updated: June 9, 2013 11:18PM
Within your LinkedIn profile, you have your headline. This is truly more of a headline than a statement of your industry such as Realtor, insurance agent, etc. or your role in work, such as president, vice president, etc.
For example, my headline reads “The Enterprise Heurist for the Next Generation of Talent Management.” What is not in my headline is any of these positions:
• Executive coach
• Business coach
• Sales coach
• Chief Executive Officer
Those designations make me sound like everyone else. If marketing is about attracting attention, then sounding and looking like all those other gray suits prevents me from truly being the Red Jacket.
After the headline and the contact information, is your activity status. This is rolling feed of your posts within the LinkedIn community.
What should follow your LinkedIn activity is a summary within your background section. Here is your personal story where you attract the interests of others. Unfortunately, far too many people on LinkedIn believe this is a regurgitation of their resume. Big mistake! Let me repeat, big mistake!
Returning to my own profile as an example, this is what you will read in the first paragraph:
Once upon a time, small business owners (fewer than 300 and especially under 49 employees) faced costly compliance regulations while only having 25 percent of those employees giving 8 hours of work for 8 hours of pay. Every day, these enterprises lost thousands of dollars in profits. One day, I developed a map for small business owners to C-Suite executives that began with their people first. Because of that more employees became involved in how the enterprises made and kept money. Because of that more employees became actively engaged and sustainable drivers of innovation. Until finally, all employees took personal ownership for each small business; the firms’ voltage (internal energy) created a culture of high performance catapulting profits as never before realized.
The summary section allows for 3,000 characters including spaces. Your goal here is to truly engage the reader. What better way than to tell a story to demonstrate what you do without sounding like you are standing on the soap box shouting at every passerby. Obvious self-promotion turns potential contacts -- including customers -- off instead of turning them on to you as a valuable connection.
Then you can transition from the story into more in-depth information. Now you can share your skills or talents and possibly a client’s testimony. Remember, to be aware of keywords so that your profile will be searchable. By taking these actions, you will have a more emotionally engaging profile that will attract instead of repel visitors.
Next week, this column will explore your skills, endorsements and recommendations.
P.S. Shout Out – To Panera Bread in Merrillville and Valparaiso. Both are great places for business meetings over fresh coffee.