[**UPDATE**! I’ve written a new post comprised of 18 ‘hacks’ that will significantly boost your LinkedIn experience/success:
18 Enormously Useful LinkedIn Hacks (2017)
Whether you are a job-seeker, trying to use LinkedIn to drive sales or just someone who likes to see all the angles, the following techniques will come in very handy and put you ahead of the competition. Anyone can benefit and the only cost involved is the time it takes to read and implement these clever strategies.
(i) LSEO Your Profile With Keywords.
Are you being smart about LSEO (LinkedIn Search Engine Optimization)? SEO sounds techy and complicated and more relevant to people in Sales, right? Wrong. If you can search on Google, you can do SEO. You may not be in Sales but you are in Marketing. If you’re on LinkedIn then you are already marketing yourself, fact. A smart SEO approach to your LinkedIn Profile simply means that you are optimally set up for being found on the web. Being found can lead to more opportunities and in the long term, enhance your career. LSEO is important regardless of whether you are actively looking for a new role or not. When was the last time you were headhunted? If it’s been longer than 3 months, maybe you need to think about how easy/hard it is to find you?
Here are step by step instructions to LSEO your LinkedIn Profile:
(1) Choose your career Keyword, what word sums you up professionally? Mine is “LinkedIn”. Yours could be “Forensic Accountant”, two or three word Keywords are fine, some say better.
(2) Add your chosen Keyword to your Profile where it makes sense. It should be in your Headline and feature prominently in your Summary. Don’t go nuts, it will work against you.
(3) Your chosen Keyword should ideally be one of your Skills. If it isn’t then create a Skill. Get Endorsed for that Skill. Ask to be Endorsed for this Skill in your Summary.
(4) Your chosen Keyword should feature somewhere in your Endorsements. If you solicit Recommendations, ask for them to specifically include your Keyword.
(5) Tune your Profile. Do a search on your Keyword in the People search. Look at the Profiles that rank ahead of you and figure out why they rank higher.
(6) Monitor your Keyword ranking. You can see how well or poorly you are ranking by checking the “Top Search Keywords”.
(7) Rinse & repeat. Continue to do (5) & (6) until your Profile ranks as high as possible in your Keyword search results.
Remember that the LinkedIn Algorithm prefers Profiles that are 100% complete, so you will for example need at least 3 Recommendations (in addition to all other sections completed) to get to 100%. Incomplete Profiles will always lose rank in competition with complete Profiles, so get it done. Also know that LinkedIn weights current Job Title, past Job Title and Headlines more than any other sections in your Profile. If you do a search of your Keyword in ‘People’ and then click on your Profile, you will see your Keyword highlighted in yellow. Ask yourself (a) is this the best position for the Keyword and (b) where else should it go to improve your ranking? One final consideration – you need a decent size network to compete in rankings and benefit from LSEO. The algorithm factors in the ‘distance’ between you and the results. In other words, the more Connections you have, the easier it will be to land on the Front page of the search. My thanks to Cyril Bladier for his contribution to LSEO and to Andy Johns for inspiring me to write about this subject.
Here’s a good example of before & after – can you spot which Profile has been optimized for “LinkedIn”?
I doubled my search rank by using the LSEO technique outlined above. It took me 5 minutes to optimize my Profile.
(ii) Find Anyone’s Full Profile.
LinkedIn makes money by limiting search. One of the most annoying restrictions is being unable to see Last Names on LinkedIn searches. Fortunately Google to the rescue. Here are step by step instructions on getting full name Profiles.
(1) Start the search in People. My example: “hr manager accenture”
(2) “Mary F” is the prospect but I need her Last Name.
(4) Bingo! Click on the Google Search result and you find the full name Profile (of Mary Frank).
(iii) Build An Organizational Map with “People Also Viewed (PAV)”.
This is a powerful yet simple technique that allows anyone to build a organizational map around one person’s Profile. I call it “Colleague Cycling”. The PAV section is perfect for building up an accurate picture of where someone sits in an organization and who their colleagues/competitors are. This is the kind of information that makes job interviews go exceedingly well. Sales pros use it all the time. Step by step:
(1) Find your prospect.
(2) Systematically cycle through their “People Also Viewed” section until you have a complete picture of where he/she sits in the firm and who his/her colleagues and competitors are.
“People Also Viewed” is comprised of the folks who view that Profile and others, possibly related. Kind of like a digital switchboard Top 10. People don’t realize that it’s actually a tool that can be used to map the prospect’s organization and the companies he/she is connected with. There’s deep research potential and no limitations on this kind of search. One I did earlier – an example of “Colleague Cycling” which can also provide full name Profile results.
(iv) Use A Promotional Profile To Advertise.
LinkedIn does not encourage multiple LinkedIn profiles (the LinkedIn User Agreement expressly forbids it). But there are countless ‘orphan’ Profiles out there and it’s nearly impossible to police. All you need to set up a LinkedIn Profile is an email address. It’s possible to extend your marketing reach by setting up a Profile to strategically market your services or products. Step by step:
(1) Choose a relevant Profile Name but don’t add a logo (or non-LinkedIn approved picture). Go ahead and call it “Start-up X” but reduce the risk of being reported by choosing a regular picture.
(2) Go into Settings and ensure that you are broadcasting the full details of your Profile (i.e you are neither Anonymous nor Semi-Anonymous).
(3) Start browsing all of the people you want to get interested in “Start-up X”. They will hopefully be interested and click on your promotional Profile.
(4) Ensure that your promotional Profile links directly to your other Social Media channels (Facebook, twitter, Google+, Youtube etc.).
(v) Identify “Who’s Viewed Your Profile?” Profile Browsers.
Often when people get to your Profile, they come via two routes: (a) your 1st Degree Connections and (b) Groups. Sometimes they have both Connections and Groups in common with you. So next time you look at the list of 10 potential Profile Browsers look towards the top half of that list (LinkedIn tends to hide them there), and if any of those people have Connections or Groups in common with you, it is very likely that they are the actual Browser. What to do with this information? The most obvious action is to reach out and connect. The rationale being that they have already opened the door. But before you do that, look at their Profile to determine ‘fit’ (are they in the same industry, role, town etc?) who do they run with and how many Connections do they have? My rule of thumb is that if they have 500+ Connections then the chances of them connecting with me is high. See an earlier post on more of this technique.
If you liked this article, you’ll love my customized consulting service. I’ve helped many professionals to achieve their full potential on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is not somewhere you paste your resumé, sit back and wait for things to happen. It’s a complicated and nuanced website portal that requires action, insight, branding strategy and marketing know-how. What you don’t know – could hurt you. Whether it’s getting more traffic on your Profile, engaging with a stunningly good Summary or refreshing your LinkedIn presence and brand – share your goals with me and I’ll help you to achieve all of them via LinkedIn.
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That’s all from me for this week. Please take a few moments to share this article with your network. I read and respond to all comments.
By Andy Foote