Five simple ways to spruce up your LinkedIn profile

What do I know?

I’d never thought of myself as any kind of LinkedIn expert, and still don’t!  So why am I writing this blog about it?  Well, today I got 30 connection requests.  I’m sure there are people who get a lot more than that.  And there are those who don’t want to connect with strangers (why???) or who value a small number of intimate connections.  But I love connecting with lots of people from varied backgrounds and finding out about them. Or at least some of them, not everyone wants to share. I never wanted to be a ‘connections collector’. Still, I wanted to raise my profile, so I started to request connections.  And, as my connections grew, so did the number of requests coming back to me.  Some (quite a few actually) said that they had connected with me because of my profile.  It’s not perfect, and I do tweak it sometimes. And I started out by copying other people’s and changing bits.  So I don’t think it’s that remarkable, but I must be doing something right because people seem to like it. I check out every request I get and I have seen some truly awful profiles, yet it’s not hard to get it right (or right-ish), so here are a few tips:

Your photo

Take a good look at it – what kind of image does it project? Does it look like you, positive, professional, friendly, relaxed? Or is it a logo, a product or sloppy selfie? It doesn’t have to be a professional headshot, although that’s good if you can manage it.  But it should encourage people to connect with you, so aim for good quality, smiling, recent too, not from twenty years ago.  Ideally keep it consistent across all social media.  Your picture should be you as you’d like business connections to see you now, not as a new graduate from five years ago, nor as a bride or out with your mates on a Saturday night!  And, to make it more interesting, add a complementary background image rather than leaving the boring LinkedIn blue background.

Your headline

Does your headline draw people in, tell them what you offer and intrigue them? Or is it a dull phrase just like a dozen others? Or, worse still, just a vague one-word description – photographer, retail, HR Professional etc?  It’s your chance to grab people’s attention and make them curious enough to look further.  It doesn’t have to be quirky, unless you’re aiming for quirky as part of your brand or story.  But it should be about you and what you do.  Are you dull? If not, why have a dull headline – check out the competition.   Don’t copy them but see what you like in other people’s headlines and use it for inspiration.

Your summary/story

Describe what you do, what you’d like to do,  but mostly about what you have to offer a client or employer.  This is your story, make it work for you.  Avoid initials and abbreviations, especially industry-related jargon, so no ‘FIO at a leading OBD’. And please, no business speak – acres of words like ‘global matrix organisation’ that no one will even read.  Tell your story, you can even add some personal details if they’ll help paint the right picture of you.  But mostly, think about your ideal client and what solutions you can offer them.

Boring details!

Make sure that your employment and contact details are up-to-date. When was the last time you checked them?  Have you tested your website or video links lately? Do they still work? And then check for typos and spelling mistakes, or get someone else to do it for you.  And do a sense check too – does it say what you think it says.  If your LinkedIn profile is sloppy, what does that say about your work?

Extras

Have you got good testimonials and endorsements?  Recent posts and articles?  All these add up to a full, well-rounded profile.  They give you credibility and spark interest.

So use your profile and review it from time to time, it’s a great tool. Here’s a great profile for Hallowe’en!

For more info, please check out:

http://www.4livinggroup.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/4Livingroup/

http://www.aloeisbest.co.uk

 

 

Why do we believe any old nonsense on social media? And share it?

Hoaxes, warnings, memes, we share them all

There has just been another outbreak of ‘All Facebook accounts have been hacked’ messages and posts (well there has been among my friends anyway).  Why do so many people believe and share them?  And other hoaxes, scams and clickbait? Some may seem plausible, like the legal mumbo-jumbo in the infamous Facebook privacy message (where people posted a statement claiming ownership of all their own posts and photos), but others are clearly fake aren’t they?  Are you really going to win a luxury car for sharing a FB post? Well, it doesn’t do any harm, does it, just in case …….

But why do we believe them in the first place?

Most of these messages and posts come from friends and acquaintances, which is why we are programmed to believe them.  Yet common sense tells us they can’t possibly be true.  So what makes us accept them? Several reasons:

  1. We simply cannot question everything that happens to us every day.  Our brains would be on overload.  We can’t start the day by checking if our breakfast milk is poisonous or if the brakes on our car are still working.  We don’t assume that the receptionist at work is a homicidal maniac.  We just have to trust things in our daily life.
  2. There’s safety in numbers.  Still today, humans are tribal and generally feel safer as part of a group.  Even a group that accepts hoaxes and scams!
  3. No one likes a clever clogs.  Being right is no consolation if the tribe boots you out because you pointed out that their story was nonsense. Much safer to keep quiet and not get eaten by a predator or killed by another tribe.
  4. We like to trust people, it gives us a warm fuzzy feeling.  Being sceptical all the time doesn’t make us feel good or happy.
  5. People like to be helpful.  Sharing warnings, even ludicrous ones, makes us feel useful and gives that warm fuzzy feeling again.

So what’s the problem?

When we share these posts, we’re often sharing links to scammers or viruses.  That’s not so helpful, is it?  We are promoting lies or half-truths, which may make people think less of us and adds to a general sense of danger in the world. If the post has already been around for a while and we have come late to the party, others who have seen it several times already and know that it’s fake, will just get irritated.  And we’ll look silly.  None of this helps our image if we have business  contacts online.

So if a post looks suspect, check it out – Google, Snopes, Hoaxslayer are all good resources, and may help you keep  your reputation intact.  Just don’t correct people – nobody likes a clever clogs!

For more info, please check out:

http://www.4livinggroup.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/4Livingroup/

http://www.aloeisbest.co.uk