Looking back at 2012, I see that Linkedin was a great tool to grow my business. Thanks to my Linkedin profile I got several excellent clients, and got in touch with some great people. For me, Linkedin works great!

A few days ago I got an email from Linkedin saying You’re in the Top 5% most popular people on Linkedin. This email resulted in plenty of negative buzz on the net like “yeah I’m in the top 5%… me and 10 million other people”. But I’d like to use all this buzz and drip some positive thoughts on the matter and answer a friend’s question an associate sent me:

Hello Igor. Congratulations on your wonderful achievements in LinkedIn, and can you please guide me how to do the same and make the most of profile in it? Thank you.

But before we get going with the 3 points, let’s start with the end in mind. The goal with your Linkedin profile optimization is not to outrank everybody else. The goal is to get noticed by PEOPLE, not search engines. So your metric should not be ranking, but how many connections and relationships you build from now on. Nobody cares about Ranking. Focus on building relationships.

Try avoiding the attitude this guy has:

linkedin ranking is not the key. focus on building relationships.

 

1. Optimize your profile for specific keywords

When you create your profile, you want it to be about you, but also about the people who will be reading it. For example, if you run a business and you want more people to find your car repair shop, make sure you have keyphrases like Car Repair Professional, or Certified Auto Body Technician and so on. Help people find you by adding some content to your profile and use the industry keyphrases wisely.

A great way to start your keyword research is by checking out your competitors profiles. The Jobs section is also helpful to find industry leaders and how they optimized their profile.

Over-optimization sucks, keep your profile readable

Social media is like a conversation… only it’s online. If you repeat the same phrase over and over, you won’t be taken seriously, and you’ll be very unpopular… and people will avoid you cause you’d look weird online. Optimization with moderation is the key.

If you over-optimize your profile by stuffing it with the same phrase over and over again, you may rank high for that phrase, but nobody will take you seriously. Here’s a screenshot of an over-optimized profile for “Social Media Marketing”

how not to optimize your profile

 The owner of this profile ranks high as a social media marketing consultant, but would you ever take him seriously? I don’t think so.

 

2. Showcase your expertise

When you build your profile, you will need to say something about your past and present activities, but avoid focusing on what tasks you did and focus on pointing out success metrics.

Instead of:
“I was responsible for the technical maintenance of the computers and network in my organization” try
“Worked as Network Administrator and cut maintenance expenses by 21% by creating a FAQ ebook for internal use.”
This will set you apart from all the other network administrators who only do what they’re told and don’t show initiative.

Bragging sucks, keep it down-to-earth

While you do want to showcase your professional and proactive involvement, you don’t want to sound too smug. There’s nothing worse than one-man-show folks who are excellent at what they do…but despise everybody else who arent as good.

Helping people see that you’re a team player will go a lot farther than bragging about being the best at what you do. Make sure you don’t spend too much time taking all the glory and blaming your team for the failures.

 

3. Show the world who you are as a person

Now that your Activities and Skills sections are all in place, take another sweep at what you wrote and make sure it sounds honest and real. You don’t want your profile to be one big bullets list. Let your character shine through.

Extroverts may find this very easy, but for us introverts it may be a challenge. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend to read your Profile and give an honest opinion. Also, try to make your text honestly communicate that your introversion is a sign of reliability and sound character. That way, you’ll be more valuable than any other chatter-box competing for the same client or for the same position.

Nobody cares about your dog, keep it business-centered

Extroverts usually fall in this trap of going too far with personal stuff. On Linkedin nobody cares about the new hat you bought for your dog. That’s Facebook stuff. Have in mind that your Linkedin Profile is closer to your CV rather than your diary.

 

There, I hope these three points will help you get started on the right path. This is my recipe, it worked for me so I’m sharing it. I’d love to hear other recipes for Linkedin profile optimization, so feel free to share yours. We can all learn from each other. If you find my recipe helpful, don’t forget to share it too.