By Josh Steimle
Love it or hate it, there is no denying that LinkedIn is a big part of building your online platform — especially as an entrepreneur. In fact, the social media network now boasts over 744 million members, with over 57 million companies listed on the site.
Depending on your needs, a quality LinkedIn profile can help you grow your business connections and personal brand, find new potential customers for your B2B services or connect with new talent to grow your team.
Unfortunately, your LinkedIn profile can keep you from maximizing these opportunities. By making a few simple fixes, you can ensure your profile helps your growth efforts, rather than hinders them.
4. Start providing value to your network
Your business produces a lot of content — and most likely, much of that content will have value for people in your network. Sharing case studies and other brand content gets you to show up in the news feeds of those in your network.
Don’t be afraid to share content from others that you find interesting or insightful. When you consistently share content that provides value and starts a discussion, you can also help strengthen your personal brand.
Of course, this sharing can be even more valuable when you are writing original content. While this will obviously take more than five minutes to complete, this is a great opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche and start conversations. The more you publish, the more top-of-mind you’ll be among others in your network.
5. Write a jargon-free summary
Your summary — or the “About” section, as LinkedIn likes to call it these days — shouldn’t read like a boring list of past jobs and achievements. Rewriting your LinkedIn summary so that it flows more like a story helps bring your skills to life. It shows why your experiences have made you into the person you are today. It gives connections a better opportunity to understand who you are, what motivates you, and what you hope to accomplish.
When making this update, avoid the temptation to litter your LinkedIn summary with meaningless jargon and buzzwords. You’ve seen these words and phrases countless times — passionate, innovative, leadership, results-driven — the list goes on and on.
Part of the reason why we’re so sick of seeing these terms is because they don’t really tell us anything. Avoiding overused buzzwords will help your summary be more engaging and unique by encouraging you to provide more specific details.
Unleash your LinkedIn profile’s potential
As with any other social network, LinkedIn requires ongoing attention, especially if you want to use it to grow your personal brand. Polishing your profile ensures that you’ll make a better first impression with those you connect with, regardless of why you’re trying to connect with them in the first place. Taking a few extra minutes to spruce up your profile now will pay big dividends later on.