Bruce Segall is the President of Marketing Sense for Business. He works with both law firms and small to mid-size business firms to help professionals stand out in the crowded business world. He has worked in the marketing industry throughout his entire career – He began with MasterCard and Citibank working in their marketing departments and then became the Director of Marketing for a small professional services firm. Bruce brings up a diverse mix because he understands the discipline that comes from working at big companies as well as the needs and the need for flexibility at a small firm or for solo practitioners. He has focused on being an outsource marketing director for smaller companies and firms by doing branding, communications, and messaging.
4 Most Important Things to Check on Your LinkedIn Profile Page
Professional Headline – The Professional Headline can be found right beside or directly below the profile picture on the LinkedIn profile page. If you are electing to only use your title in the headline space, it is a missed opportunity as you could use an elevator speech in 120 characters or less and really talk about what differentiates your brand. You will stand out from competitors because of the customized message that is there. The Professional Headline is something that can be presented in short phrases or as a straight-forward, clever phrase depending on what you may be comfortable with.
About Section – The About Section of your profile is LinkedIn’s version of a biography. Although this is LinkedIn’s version of a bio, it is not intended for you to copy and paste the bio that can be found on your website. This is an opportunity to craft something professional, but that is also specific to your profile page. LinkedIn only previews about 2 or 3 lines from the about section and the rest is hidden, it is really in your best interest to have something provoking in this section so that readers will click the ‘more’ button and read your entire profile. Bruce would recommend about 1500 characters or about 2 to 3 paragraphs. 60% of the views on LinkedIn are from a mobile phone. People are just skimming around through profiles – they may be reading certain sections and skipping over others. Using short paragraphs, capital letters, a bulleted list, or a checklist are all techniques that can be used to your advantage throughout this section.
Visuals – People are often on their phones and distracted, so it is really important that your profile has a very compelling visual look to it. Your background picture is the image above your profile picture and you have the opportunity to customize it. You could use an image from your website or it could even be a logo image; you want to use something that will get you a lot more attention when someone clicks on your profile page. There is also a new “Featured” Section just below the About Section that allows the opportunity to add a link from your website (LinkedIn will process an image to display), put up a video or a photograph, add a recent LinkedIn post, or photos of yourself presenting at recent presentations. This becomes a gallery and showcase on yourself, but it is all in visual terms.
Please note that profile photos are also a critical area that should be reviewed on your LinkedIn profile page, but many users already have that checked off by using a professional photo from their website or another source.
Current Experience – Some people make the mistake of copying their About Section and repeating that in their Current Experience. Use the Current Experience Section to talk about representative matters, to share some of your clients (if you can), and to showcase specific practices and the services that you can provide. It is important to think through what you want in each of these sections and how it then balances with the other sections displayed on your profile page. LinkedIn and your personal profile is really an extension of your personal brand so you want it to be something that you are comfortable with. Your Current Experience Section is an opportunity to be more personal and to tell a story while including elements that you may not necessarily use in a firm profile.
Using LinkedIn’s Features – Free vs. Premium
To empower other people is not to think about yourself, but to give. William feels that giving is way better than receiving and especially so during this time where there is so much crisis and negativity – you just have to keep gIn general, most users on LinkedIn are not even leveraging some of the free features that the networking site provides, so it is not necessary that everyone jump immediately into a premium program. People first need to become more disciplined in terms of utilizing LinkedIn and then in using those premium features. As a free member on LinkedIn, you can see the last 3 people that viewed your profile, so if you are a free user, you need to be in the discipline of checking your profile views every couple of days. Whether you are a free user or a paid user, you should be in the discipline of not only checking your profile views but also checking the profiles of connections before you meet them. There is a feature on Linkedin that allows you to download an individual’s profile to a PDF document that you can read and refer to at a later time. For attorneys that may be interested in using the recommendation feature on LinkedIn, they need to be cautious around soliciting for them as well as receiving them. You can refer to the Bar Association guidelines as well as your state-issued guidelines around attorney advertising.
On-Going Aspects of LinkedIn Features
While improving your profile page is typically a one-time process and we recommend that you update your profile at least once a year, there are also other activities on LinkedIn that need to occur on a more regular basis such as once a week, once a month, once a quarter, etc. Many of the on-going aspects that need updating on your LinkedIn profile are in relation to posting. There are several options for posting that you can choose from – you can post a picture, a video, a link to a website, or do a plain-text post. All of these things, especially if they have a personal element where your connections can see a picture of you or of your new office space will have a tremendous amount of impact. There is also an opportunity to do longer articles for anywhere from 500 to 2,000 words and these can become a permanent aspect of your profile. You can utilize LinkedIn instead of having a blog and they provide a permanent URL that does not require a LinkedIn account o access. This is a great way to demonstrate leadership in more detail while still remaining visible in shorter posts. Also using LinkedIn messaging as a way to stay in touch with all of your contacts. If you spend just 1 hour a day finding different connections and reconnecting with them, it could have an effect on your page.