by Aja Frost
What should your LinkedIn headline be?
1. Tailor it to your audience.
2. Include your value proposition.
3. Use your prospect's language.
4. Avoid hyperbole.
by Aja Frost
Everyone knows that the most famous of blunders is getting into a land war in Asia, the second is to go up against a Sicilian when death is on the line, but blunders aren’t just limited to the world of the Princess Bride.
LinkedIn, with its 660 million users, is filled with numerous opportunities for mistakes, mess-ups, and yes, even blunders. Some of these are easy fixes and some might take a bit more work, but all in all, if you can make these changes, you will become more successful on the platform.
4. Don’t Be Todd the Sales Guy
Let me tell you a quick story. There’s a salesman named Todd. When Todd first started, he was doing great, making calls, landing meetings. All-around having a grand ol’ time. But as time went on, he was landing less and less calls and more often than not, having a bad time.
So he sat in his office for hours upon hours, thinking of a solution to his dismay. How could he ever bring in more business and have that commission save the day? But then the light bulb clicked, the epiphany crashed, and Todd knew what he must do.
“I must connect with everyone I see on LinkedIn and let them know about this wonderful thing I am selling!”
Look, we all know a Todd. We’ve all connected with someone that we don’t know and immediately gotten a sales message from them. And let’s be real, when has that ever worked out?
I don’t want to be that guy who quotes Field of Dreams (which is definitely a Todd move), but I’m going to do it anyway: “If you build it, they will come.”
Instead of sending out desperate messages to randos on LinkedIn, try building an audience. Post relevant articles about your expertise, get involved in the conversation, and put forward your thoughts.
If you do this, I promise you that you will have more success than Todd, and you’ll get to avoid lurking around in messages.
Nobody wants that.
5. Personalize Your LinkedIn Invitations
Getting the message “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” is one of the most disappointing messages a human can get, right behind “you have lice” and “the Patriots won the Super Bowl again.” This LinkedIn default is the written equivalent of a Nutella jar filled with butter. Not real butter, that I-can’t-believe-it’s not-butter fake butter.
Luckily, this is pretty easy to avoid. When you want to connect with someone, instead of going straight for the Connect button, tap ‘menu’ (the three little dots).
Go for ‘Personalized Invite,’ and voila, you’re set. Throw in a nicer little message, maybe why you’re wanting to connect with them (remember, don’t be a Todd), and boom, you’re off to the races.
All in all, these blunders are all pretty easy to avoid, and with a little extra work, you will be able to stand out from the crowd of 660 million that fills the LinkedIn world.
If you want to learn more about enhancing your LinkedIn profile, check out my FREE webinar, 10 Strategies of an Epic LinkedIn Profile, today, October 22nd at 12 pm EST. I’m going to be diving deep on advanced techniques to improve your profile. Hope to see you there!
See all 5 blunders and the complete Forbes article
BY AMY GEORGE
Does the thought of your employees being active on LinkedIn scare you? It shouldn't.
Rather than fearing they are on there looking for new jobs, you should hope they're there representing your company well. Your employees are an extension of your brand -- on LinkedIn and everywhere else. Here are five ideas for helping your people shine on LinkedIn in ways that cast a positive light on your company, too.
Hire a photographer to spend a couple hours, half day or whole day at the office taking everyone's headshot. This will save your employees time and money and say to them that you care about them and they are valued. Individual headshots might cost $100 or $200 each but by hiring a photographer or a longer period of time, you can work that price down and give your people a really nice treat.
If you have team members who write blogs on your company website, encourage them to share those blogs to LinkedIn or maybe even write original content for the platform. If you don't have a company blog, consider using LinkedIn as the means for your company's subject matters experts and leadership to write articles to share their industry knowledge, market trends and exciting ideas.
LinkedIn has introduced a new feature called LinkedIn Stories wherein people can upload videos and images which will be present on the platform for 24 hours. The feature works like Instagram Stories. However, since LinkedIn is a platform dedicated to professional conversations, LinkedIn Stories can be a powerful tool for personal branding.
Many working professionals are trying to build their personal brand on LinkedIn to increase their credibility in the workspace. Here are seven ideas for personal branding using LinkedIn stories.
1) Give tips about your area of expertise to build your niche
Sharing your expertise with your followers can help to grow your niche. Moreover, it can also help you to network with people who have the same interests as you, thereby increasing chances of future collaborations. Since personal branding involves portraying yourself as a leader in the industry, your stories need to have qualities of a leader. You need to give more advice to people which can help them in the long run. This will not only help you to earn more respect from your peers, but will also help you to gain a decent number of followers who share your interest.
Shreyasi Singh, co-Founder of Harappa Education, has harnessed this power often. Singh posts content about personal growth in the workspace which resonates with the philosophy of Harappa Education. Since, her content follows a theme and is narrowed down, it helps her to associate connect with her audience. According to student Sanjna Mishra, who has been following Singh since a long time, “I can relate with her content because it’s always niche. I know that it will be about personal growth in some way every time.”
The same formula applies to LinkedIn Lives where posting content around a theme can help you build a niche.
2) Go the extra mile and attach a personal branding logo to each story
LinkedIn stories can be pre-recorded using a camera before being posted to LinkedIn. If you want to establish your follower base, you can add a personal logo to the stories. This ensures that when people see the stories, they connect with your brand name faster. Moreover, since the page is all about professional connections, adding a logo to your story can make it more professional. Just like we connect better with brands which have logos we easily remember, it is a good idea to have a personal logo which can be used in numerous places to add recall value. Ankur Warikoo, LinkedIn personal branding expert, uses his signature as his logo. It is present on every slide show and video he has posted on LinkedIn. Adding a logo has a psychological effect on the audience because they see you as a well-known personality.
3) Talk about your work and don’t shy away from highlighting its impact
LinkedIn stories have added a more personal touch to virtual conversations. It is much more interactive than reading what someone has typed. In the pandemic era, where people are not meeting each other, LinkedIn personal stories can play a role in increasing trust between two professionals who have never met before. To build your personal brand on LinkedIn, you need to highlight more about the work you are doing and how it is impacting businesses and stakeholders involved. When people realize that you are impacting a lot of people, they want to associate with you. Everyone wants to be a part of a larger story.
Tannisha Avarrsekar, founder of Lokatantra, highlights, “It is important to talk about the impact you are creating. On LinkedIn, I often talk about the impact of my work and I think it plays an important role in drawing people towards me. With LinkedIn Live, I will be sharing the impact of my work with people because I know that everyone wants to be a part of an impactful story.”
Does everyone want to be a rock star on LinkedIn? No, but there are variations of rock star that can enhance your personal brand to achieve whatever goals you wish to in a professional context.
How much of a rock star depends on you, your time, your expertise and how much you do on LinkedIn. But' let's start at the basics of what you need to do to enhance your personal brand and start your journey to become a LinkedIn rock star. Here are five tips to get you started:
3. Create a content marketing strategy and become a thought leader. Start sharing. Only 1% of people on LinkedIn post on a weekly basis. Yes, it's that low. So by sharing any content, you immediately become a thought leader setting an agenda. How brave and controversial you wish to be is entirely up to you and your personal brand values. Start slowly by sharing content from trusted news sources that you admire. Write an introduction to why you like that article and pick out a key phrase or fact that you think your followers would find interesting. Then get braver and start writing your own posts. Only 200 words, or 1,300 characters, are allowed on LinkedIn, so anyone can do it. Pick a topical subject or work subject that you're passionate about, start writing and then post and see what happens.
4. Create a connection strategy. Yes, have a plan. Who do you want to connect with? Why? First, personalize all your connection requests. Make sure that they are active and are a second connection, so that they know that you have shared connections they can reference. Make sure that they're in the same industry as you, or that you're both Forbes Business Council members, or founders or alumni from the same business school or same city, and personalize the introduction. If they have commented or liked your posts or viewed your profile, there's an introduction that you can use. Always personalize it. Never automate it.
LinkedIn is the hottest career development tool out there right now. It is where Recruiters and HR personnel are looking for candidates. Whether you are passively looking, or actively engaged in a job hunt, making sure you have an enticing LinkedIn Profile that effectively advertises you is essential.
Here is a brief guide to improve your profile and help you stand out to employers.
By default, LinkedIn lists your current job title as your headline. Crucial mistake. This section is the most searched section on LinkedIn’s platform especially by recruiters and HR. This headline is your big advertisement to market yourself to the world. It needs to be well thought out, concise, and strategically written. It uses words that will attract someone to check you out in the search. But first, they must find you. In your headline, use the appropriate job titles you want to hold. Use a straight slash - l - between each job title. You can also add the industry you want to work in.
For example, Mary, 57, was a career counseling client who was stuck at the Director level and kept getting passed over. At 57, she needed to make a move and needed help with LinkedIn. She said, “I never realized you could optimize your headline. Certainly, I never thought of using it to target where I want to go.” So we developed this headline:
Healthcare Consultant l Vice President Pharmacy l Vice President Healthcare l VP Pharmacy
Caution: when you add a new job to your work experience, there is a checked box that automatically changes your headline to this new job title. Be sure to uncheck it, so the new headline you have created does not get erased.
The Summary or ABOUT section
Use a background photo
Choosing your personal photo
Recruiters read recommendations
I got another email from a Baby Boomer who asked me for a list of good headhunters he could approach to find him a job. I had to shake my head because this is not how recruiting works. I spoke to Biron Clark, a former Recruiter and the Founder of CareerSidekick.com, a popular job search advice website. He worked for two agencies and recruited for small tech organizations, midsize, and Fortune 500 companies looking to hire new employees.
"Many job hunters make fatal mistakes when they approach recruiters on LinkedIn," Clark stated. "Job seekers, especially Baby Boomers, have no clear understanding of the real role a recruiter does." Biron shared his personal experience and insight. He said, "Before you ever send a recruiter one word, you need to realize how recruiters work and how they get paid. A recruiter is compensated by the hiring company to find appropriate people to fill the specific job openings. They are not paid to find jobs for people." That means a headhunter or recruiter is NOT going to shop your resume around and find a job for you.
"Recruiters get a job opening assignment. Then, the Recruiter looks for individuals with certain types of skills to fill that specific job," Clark continued. "Research the recruiter before you email them. Find the appropriate recruiters who do searches in your field," he recommended. "You will be more successful if you target five appropriate recruiters than if you randomly blast 50 recruiters that don't have any job openings for people in your industry or with your skills." For example, if you are in healthcare sales, seek out 4-5 healthcare sales recruiters, and research them. Look at their LinkedIn profile and google the company they work for. Recruiters do not want you to waste their time. "Be targeted now when we have so many people job hunting," he cautioned.
Clark has received hundreds of messages from job hunters on LinkedIn trying to get his attention. Most got ignored. He talked to colleagues, including fellow recruiters, coaches, and other experts. He found that they follow a similar pattern when deciding which messages to respond to. Here are his guidelines on what LinkedIn messages are effective and which ones won’t work.
Making Initial Contact
Any time you are messaging an HR person or recruiter for the first time, follow these rules, and you will get more responses.