How to look your best on LinkedIn

Linked In

Hello!

After my previous blog (how to be freelance), I thought I would just run through a few hints and tips that I have picked up along the way regarding LinkedIn. People who aren’t looking for a job should still put time and effort into their profile because you never know who is looking at it.

In my line of work, a lot of clients come through on a personal recommendation and although I have a business website, the majority of my new business comes from looking at my LinkedIn profile. I’m the first one to say that my profile isn’t perfect and does need a bit of work BUT it does have the following things that somehow enables me to get me client referrals:

  1. Complete the whole profile: Make sure that you have answered every single prompt – no need to waffle but add concise notes when required. Make sure to list any prestigious events, awards or voluntary work that you do/have done in the past. It all matters.
  2. Profile photo possibility
    Here is a profile photo that I could use but I feel it is too informal for LinkedIn

    A decent profile photo: This shouldn’t be the one that you use on Facebook or Instagram (unless both are business related accounts) but should show you looking professional and approachable. There are photographers that specialise in profile headshot – personally I like a colour image but I know a lot of people use black and white.

    Profile head shot alternative
    This is a more formal profile headshot

    You can use ‘action shots’ of yourself as well – such as giving a presentation or accepting an award. Personally I like to keep it simple and just show who I am.

  3. Background image: I like to use something that reflects my work and also my personality. Currently I have a beautiful vivid painting by one of the artists that I promote.

    Cutaway of a painting by Lucy Ash
    This is one of my preferred backgrounds
  4. A concise headline: That bit of text under your photo should be used to explain what you do. For me, I’m: Publicity and Marketing specialising in Arts and Publishing.  You can add in details – award winning sales director etc… instead. This is what future clients will be looking at.
  5. Examples of your work: I like to feature coverage of books or artists on my profile (although I’ve just noticed that these need refreshing!) or a project that you are particularly proud of that you think others may find interesting.
  6. LinkedIn recommendations
    Always ask for a Recommendation

    Recommendations: So important. Ask your clients or people that you have worked with in the past to endorse you in skills but also give a testimonial. You can give one back to them. This does help to solidify your profile.

  7. Add in the occasional update: I know people who use LinkedIn every day and add in a status update. This isn’t really my thing but I do comment on other people’s news or published articles. That way your name is seen by others and you are being supportive to your contacts.
  8. Contacts:  I believe in quality not quantity when it comes to contacts. I do know that in jobs such as Sales then being connected with as many people as possible is important but to me, I like to know my contacts or at least have someone/thing in common. I tend to have industry contacts only – not friends or neighbours unless it is really warranted. I do LinkIn with colleagues from the past a lot – they are my best referrals. They know how I work and my results. You never know when one of them might need a publicist…
  9. Get your personal LinkedIn URL
    Get your personal LinkedIn URL

    Get a custom URL: Really easy to do – just go through the prompts on your edit page. You can click here for help. That way you can use the link to direct clients straight away, on your emails and also it helps with Google. Everyone “googles” everyone before they meet or sometimes even talk so showing up on the first page is vital.

  10. Treat LinkedIn as your CV : Focus mostly on the work stuff. People are able to discover if you love running or cycling through their internet search of you. I would just use this platform to highlight your career.

Extra reading?

There are LOTS of articles out there that can help you with your LinkedIn profile. Videos and Instagram accounts that will show you how to add attachments, check the language you use and all sorts of things. I have found this article useful and this one has even more tips on getting your profile just right!

Where do I start?

I’m a publicist. That means that I promote things – normally books and exhibitions. It also means that I ghostwrite blog posts for authors, artists and businesses. So really, writing my own blog should be a walk in the park. And I have tons of post ideas that I want to write about. I just need to get past this first initial blog. Which is harder than I thought! I guess its like an author writing the first page of their new book, or in my case the first sentence. So this blog post is about getting started on a new project.

I started this blog because I want to share my experiences and also learn from others and nowadays, it seems that blogging and social media is a great way to do both. Perhaps I’ll even make a few friends along the way.

Just a Girl and her blog
I have used Abby Lawson’s Just a Girl and Her Blog to help me kickstart this blog

To kick start this blog, I first started reading the brilliant Abby Lawson’s Just a Girl and her Blog where she covers hints and tips on a few of my favourite things – organising (I know, please don’t hate me, we’ve only just started to get to know each other) and writing. She fell into her blogging world almost by accident and has since gone on to make it her career and now has her husband Donnie helping her as well. Go and see – they’re really great.

Abby created an eBook awhile ago that I bought and downloaded, initially to help a neighbour kickstart her blogging idea, but I’ve recently gone back to it and applied all her prompts to planning this blog. I’ve learnt that even with a blog, it helps to be organised. Building A Framework has been massively helpful and I’d fully recommend it.

I used 123 Reg to register the domain name and host the blog.

To get the nuts and bolts of this blog started, I simply Googled” “How do you start a blog uk” and this article came up! I went with another company that I use for my professional website to register and host this blog (hello 123-Reg) and

I used the Canva app on my phone to create the logo.
I used the Canva app on my phone to create the logo.

I used Canva to create the logo. Lastly, I created an Instagram account for the blog – I’m such a fan of the ‘gram and have found lots of accounts really helpful. (that’s another blog post waiting to happen) You can find me on Instagram here. (@Laura_the-9_to_3)

And Voila! Here we are!

Phew! That first post wasn’t as bad I thought…