Follow these 10 easy — and effective — steps to reach all-star LinkedIn profile status and remember to keep your content fresh and consistent with your website and other client-facing materials.
1. Use professional photographs
Utilize a recent, professional photo of yourself (no group shots), and a personalized background image that best represents your brand. According to LinkedIn, adding a profile photograph garners up to 9x more connection requests.
2. Write a compelling headline
This is at the top of your profile under your name, so make a good first impression by writing a headline that differentiates you from your peers, and includes keywords that prospective clients would use in a search. LinkedIn has a 120-character limit.
3. Create a vanity URL
Your LinkedIn profile is essentially a web page, with a distinctive, customizable address. The best “vanity URL” contains your first and last name, so it’s searchable, and shareable on a business card or email signature.
4. Change your privacy settings
Ensure you’re the boss of your own account. Click on the “Me” tab in the top navigation panel to reveal “Settings & Privacy,” where you can control how much information you share — and who you share it with. For example: turn on/off activity broadcasts, determine who can see your connections, and select whether or not you’re viewing in private mode.
5. Complete your summary
Use this bio section as an elevator pitch; an opportunity to showcase your value, services, wealth management style, and key differentiators. This should be written in first person and the tone should reflect you — ensuring it’s both friendly and professional. Consider adding your contact information as a call to action for prospective clients and centers of influence.
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6. Add work history and volunteer experience
List your current role under “Experience,” and at least two past positions to convey your expertise. This isn’t simply about job titles, so have your resume handy to communicate your achievements, specialties, and key contributions, making sure to incorporate keywords to improve search engine rankings. (Consider using LinkedIn’s media function that allows you to upload pictures, documents, videos and links.)
7. Include skills + education + certifications
Don’t miss the opportunity to call attention to credentials and proficiencies that will boost your appeal. Check your peers’ skill section, and leverage endorsements, to maximize the offering. Adding your educational background info also allows fellow alumni (prospective clients or referral sources) to connect.
8. Get connected
You’ll need at least 50 connections to achieve ALL-STAR status, and LinkedIn has made it as simple as possible: through “Grow Your Network”, you can import your email contacts with just a few clicks. (But be selective!) You can also expand your network by requesting personal introductions; and searching Groups/Alumni/Companies/Associations in your area. Don’t forget to check out the “People You May Know” feature, which identifies prospective contacts on LinkedIn you already know.
9. Secure recommendations
By asking for — and publishing — recommendations, you will bolster your credibility, demonstrating the full breadth of your knowledge, expertise and achievements. Remember to seek out those who are able to speak to your skill set with a personalized request.
10. Reflect your personal interests
For more exposure, follow firms/people of interest, and participate in groups/discussions in your area (e.g., professional associations, alumni, volunteer groups and charities). If nothing else, it shows you’re a well-rounded individual, and gives readers an insight into your personality.