Quick! What is the first impression you want to leave?
What do you want to be known for? This is your personal brand.
Are you sure your social media profile highlights what you want to be known for? Hmmm… How can you tell?
Most people struggle with this. Even people who should know better. I coach people on how to use social media to advance their careers. I use social media every day to advance my business. But I strive to stay on top of my personal and professional brand in the ever-changing social media environment.
I was having this conversation with my business colleague, Dan Toussant, recently. He said he thought it was odd that people kept approaching him on LinkedIn with coaching needs when he really wants to focus on recruiting and leave the coaching to me.
Was there something about his LinkedIn profile contributing to this confusion? Was there a way to maximize his profile to attract candidates and potential corporate clients to his profile?
It was time to look at Dan’s profile with new eyes. Follow along to see if these steps can help you maximize your profile too!
- What words will people use to describe the service you offer if they are looking for someone like you? These are “keywords” – the knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviors and perhaps the outcomes people will use to describe their need.
Dan wants two kinds of people to find him – people who could be candidates for positions Dan wants to fill in areas Dan specializes in like finance, operations and sales. He also wants to be attractive to executives who might hire him to fill positions in their companies.
Dan’s profile needs to highlight words those ideal people will use when they are looking for someone like Dan. He wants his brand to demonstrate that he specializes in: recruiter, search, finance, manufacturing, operations, and sales.
- How often do those words appear in your current profile? The words you use naturally represent who you are and become your brand. Plus, LinkedIn gives a big boost in search results to folks whose profiles mention their keywords more than 20 times. Those profiles more closely match the search criteria so they rise to the top.
You want your profile to rise to the top, don’t you?
Dan’s profile had only one word that appeared over 20 times. You guessed it. The word “coach”. The only word that came close was “recruiter” at 18 times. No wonder people thought Dan was good at coaching!
- Find profiles for some folks who are successful doing what you do. What words do they use frequently? What impression do you get from their profile? What can you learn from their profiles that you can use in your profile?
We found four of Dan’s recruiter colleagues, some who were successful and some he thought were not successful. Monica is a successful medical sales recruiter. Her profile mentions sales 34 times, medical 22 times and recruiter at least 16 times. Her LinkedIn profile represents her professional brand very well.
Joan is not a very active recruiter, probably not terribly successful. Her profile has one keyword at 11 (supply chain) and no other words that appear more than 5 times. Her profile does not support her professional brand very much.
This gives Dan an idea of how to restructure his profile to be found with the brand he wants to portray.
- Now that you know your keywords, how can you rework your LinkedIn profile to add those words? The likely places to insert these keywords are in your headline, your profile summary, the descriptions for each job and the skills section. I even tucked a word into the description of my education. Dan has homework to make these changes!
Anyone can do this. Today I reworked a client’s profile summary. Jim’s keywords are respiratory, medical, devices, and sales. These are the words someone looking to hire Jim will use so these are the keywords we must put in his LinkedIn profile.
We measured how many times those keywords appeared in Jim’s profile then started reworking to increase his numbers. Simply by reworking the profile summary I added the word “respiratory” seven more times bringing the number up to 20! Now when people look at Jim’s LinkedIn profile they will think he is very good at respiratory device sales, supporting his personal and professional brand. That is what Jim wants!
Take another look at the ways you describe yourself in LinkedIn to see whether your social media profile supports your brand. Then start editing!