[intro]It’s often misunderstood how your LinkedIn profile gets found by other people on LinkedIn. For example, if you’re a financial planner in Kelowna, British Columbia, and someone types into the LinkedIn search box “Financial Planner Kelowna” will your profile show up as one of the top results in LinkedIn or will your profile be buried on the 3rd page of the results?
Said differently, if for example, you’re a financial planner in Kelowna, British Columbia how can you create a profile on LinkedIn that will be found more readily than your competitors’ profiles? How can you make your LinkedIn profile rank higher in the search results?
Here are 4 tips that will help your LinkedIn profile gain more visibility.[/intro]
#1: Put yourself in the mind of your ideal client
When filling in the information in your LinkedIn profile think about how your ideal client describes their problems to you as it relates to your profession. For example, if you’re a financial planner, your ideal client may not say “I need a financial planner”, they are probably saying “I need help managing my money”. So, “money management” should be keywords that you use in the Specialties section of your LinkedIn profile. Make a list of these keywords and then use these keywords naturally in your profile descriptions.
#2: It doesn’t matter what you put in the “Summary” section of your LinkedIn profile. Surprise!
According to the author of the upcoming national release, An Executive’s Guide to LinkedIn, Nathan Kievman’s anecdotal research reveals that the keywords you put in the Summary section of your LinkedIn profile do not positively affect your search results. However, the keywords you put in your Experience and Specialties sections do count and will influence whether you come up in searches related to your profession, expertise or industry.
Having said that, I personally think it can’t hurt to be as descriptive as possible in all sections of your LinkedIn profile. So my advice is to put as much relevant detail into your LinkedIn profile as possible.
#3: Play by the rules
There are some case studies of “LinkedIn Power Users” and “LIONs aka LinkedIn Open Networkers” getting blacklisted and sent to the bottom of the search results. There are a few theories as to why this might happen. LinkedIn encourages users to only add people to their network that they know and trust. Anecdotal evidence reveals LinkedIn frowns upon people from blindly adding people to their LinkedIn network just for the sake of growing their network connection list. LinkedIn may see “LIONs” as trying to manipulate the LinkedIn system and violating the LinkedIn principle of only adding people you “know and trust”. As a result, LinkedIn may flag a LIONs account and bury them at the bottom of search result lists.
The number one way to gain more visibility for your LinkedIn profile is…
(wait for it…)
GENUINE PARTICIPATION… tah dah!
From my research and personal experience, there are no magic bullets to getting your LinkedIn profile top-ranked in the LinkedIn search results. However, the things that have brought me the most visibility in LinkedIn are as follows:
- Posting useful information in my LinkedIn Updates. Every day I strive to post links to information, blogs, websites, and articles that people in my network would find useful and would likely share with others.
- Being helpful by answering questions in LinkedIn Groups and LinkedIn Answers
- Starting a LinkedIn Group (such as Social Media Marketing Canada) and making it a place where people feel comfortable sharing information and discussing pertinent topics.
- Having a full and complete profile with lots of information that aims to help make my ideal client’s decision to do business with our company easier.