Nowadays, building an online personal brand is as important as a brick-and-mortar presence. For instance, while attending a conference, you can get a few new connections by networking, giving out business cards, and showcasing projects. But putting your full profile and portfolio on a platform for professionals can make you visible to millions of people.
Having over 722+ million users, LinkedIn is the best online platform for showcasing your professionalism. Even if 0.1% of those people reach your profile, that’s over 700 thousand visits. And if 0.1% of them get interested, you will have 722 potential clients or partners.
To make sure your profile gets the desired exposure, it’s essential to work on its perfection. By investing time in the creation of the personal brand, you invest in your career. We’ve prepared a set of crucial steps that will make your LinkedIn profile as close to ideal as possible.
A 5-Step Ladder to Professional Success on LinkedIn
First, realise that there’s no single standard for a perfect profile. There are only specific recommendations that should be followed. Start by trying to bring something new and valuable to the table.
Step 1: Determine Your Target Audience
Think about your profile’s purpose. Here are some examples:
- Finding new clients;
- Finding business partners;
- Promoting your persona within a law firm, you’re working for;
- Becoming a thought leader in the field.
Based on the goal of your profile, think about the people who can help you reach it. They are your target audience. Cater to them when writing the bio.
Step 2: Choose Pictures Wisely
Important: LinkedIn is not Instagram or Facebook. It’s a different SNS (social networking service) focused on the professional achievements of users. So, the choice of a profile photo, header, and other info should be appropriate.
The profile will work great in combination with your personal pages. If a visitor wants to find out more about you as a person, they can visit your Instagram profile and see how you live.
The first thing people will look at is your photo. Besides, according to LinkedIn, there’s a likelihood that a profile is 14 times more viewable if it has a professional photograph. So, it’s wise to:
- Take a professional headshot;
- Dress formally for the picture;
- Remember that a soft smile will make you look friendlier;
- Update the photo regularly;
- Avoid posting pictures in sunglasses or inappropriate clothing;
- Check for changes in your page’s layout and image sizes (social media platforms go through updates regularly, and it’s easy to have your images stretch, which doesn’t look right);
- Make it simple.
For a background or heading picture, there’s more freedom. However, make sure it’s still connected to your image as a professional instead of showcasing your hobbies or your latest trip to some sunny beach.
Step 3: Work on a Catchy Headline
The second thing people pay attention to after your profile photograph is the headline. LinkedIn puts your occupation and employment details there by default, but the field is customisable.
Your goal for this line is to make sure users choose you from the list of lawyers they find. Here are several recommendations:
- Include industry-specific keywords connected to your practice (e.g., “family lawyer”). This will ensure the right people see you on the first search results pages;
- The limit is 120 characters. Use them wisely to capture users’ attention;
- Avoid phrases like “world’s best” unless you have a certification to prove it.
Step 4: Only Valuable Text Content
Don’t forget that this profile is your CV. Fill in the career history field wisely, using the following recommendations:
- Make the content “scannable” with subheadings and lists;
- Don’t use over-complicated terms unless your TA (target audience) requires it;
- Stay focused on a specific type of practice, mentioning additional skills at the end as a list;
- Don’t copy the descriptions of other lawyers;
- Leave proper contacts and links to your firm’s website; make sure they are updated;
- Write the most important facts in the beginning; only around the first 200 characters are visible before a visitor clicks “See more” (especially when using a mobile phone).
- Include your elevator pitch in summary;
- Mention how you are different from other lawyers from the result’s list.
Step 5: Import the Contacts You Already Have
To avoid having an empty profile, import existing contacts and add the right people as connections. Over time, strive to reach 500 connections; this is a golden number that contributes to your profile’s authority.
Use 2nd and 3rd-degree connections (like “friends of friends,” etc., on Facebook) to see what potential contacts you can add later on. Networking opportunities are plenty through LinkedIn.
If possible, ask for testimonials and post them on your profile. Don’t hesitate to ask!
“The Internet has opened new doors to every industry that involves marketing. And let’s be honest, any business or professional who wants more clients needs online promotion. People turn to the Web to seek information and help. And you have to be there to offer your goods or services.
“A smart LinkedIn profile can achieve that.”
Andy Berg, Law Blogger in Chief at Adsy
Don’t Underestimate Your Online Presence
Never forget about the importance of your online presence as a professional. Proper content can communicate your professionalism to new and existing clients. Branding is everything on LinkedIn, so don’t underestimate the importance of your profile’s positive image.
Article submitted by Marie Barnes. Marie Barnes is an enthusiastic blogger interested in writing about technology, social media, work, travel, lifestyle, and current affairs.