Stats from World Wide Worx show the number of South African users on LinkedIn at the end of 2016 was an “energetically” growing 5.5 million people. At Prana, we’ve had more clients asking about LinkedIn and I’ve noticed colleagues spending extra time on the platform. So, it’s not really whether you should be on LinkedIn, it’s where to start.
To leverage your personal profile on LinkedIn here are four key things you can do to position yourself as a credible authority in your line of work. Having a great profile will also make it easier for business connections to find you and make you a more worthwhile connection.
Update your vanity URL
LinkedIn automatically assigns you a profile URL which you can customise to make your own, within their parameters of using five to 30 letters or numbers, with no spaces or special characters. It’s simple to do, just follow their online guide. In addition to this, you can also hyperlink your personalised LinkedIn URL to your email signature, encouraging your email network to connect.
Profile photo and background header
You need to have an engaging profile photo, without a picture you don’t seem credible. The profile pic is a square format which should look professional and engaging. The background header size is 1400 pixels by 425 pixels and looks slightly different depending on the device you view it on. With this in mind, keep the image quite generic and if you’re using text, check it doesn’t get cut off.
Formatting and symbols
Share as much relevant information as you can on your profile, but avoid long, unbroken chunks of text. There’s no option for using bold or italics on LinkedIn (as yet) but you can use symbols to break up text as bullet points or to emphasise key points. Brynne Tillman’s Symbols to Spice up Your Profile will have what you need.
Private versus public
If you view someone’s profile, LinkedIn informs them of that. If you’d prefer to change you settings to remain anonymous when looking for connections or leads, here’s how. On the other hand, being public on group forums which are part of your business, industry or interests will allow you to interact with potential connections, learn and share things of interest.
For in-depth info on the business of LinkedIn and sales, here’s their free e-book download on ‘Proven Strategies from the World’s Top Sales Professionals’. I look forward to connecting with you on my LinkedIn profile page and on our Prana Business Consulting page.
Jainita Khatri is managing director, Prana Business Consulting.