Optimize LinkedIn for Career Growth: Part III
A guide for professionals to write an effective LinkedIn summary.
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I do not consider LinkedIn as a social media platform. It is an invaluable marketing and branding tool that has helped me acquire clients, expand my business and establish myself as a brand.
Your profile summary is the first step towards starting a conversation. It is how you choose to introduce yourself to your audience. Often marketing content is advised to be short but personally I find nothing wrong with a lengthy summary as long as it is engaging. When done right, the summary can be the most impactful in building professional relationships.
Janine Hogan, a LinkedIn expert in her podcast says that the summary should be an outline of your story. It should have a beginning, middle, and end. I agree. Instead of talking about accomplishments and accolades, tell your story. It is like meeting someone for the first time and beginning the conversation with; I am the best employee of the month. I am sure you do not do that. Nobody does.
So, what are the key ingredients to writing an engaging summary on LinkedIn? Read on.
The Begining - Who are you?
Start by establishing yourself. Give information on what you are doing at present and then add some background information. Telling people the years of work experience is of little value unless they know your field of work. Achievements and certification are secondary information that should come after you have introduced yourself. Make the beginning about you.
Consider the example below of Sam Baisla. The introduction is direct to the point with no flab and he has backed his accomplishments with data, making his summary credible.
Middle - Who are your customers?
As a professional, you have a target audience whom you want to particularly reach on LinkedIn. So, address them directly.
If you are a business owner then one way of finding your audience is by comparing yourself with the competition. Of course, I mean a healthy comparison. This could lead to finding your USP and specifying the right audience you want to approach.
Previously mentioned LinkedIn expert, Janine has quite a long summary written but I find it very engaging and appealing. She does not describe the audience instead she has focused on the end result of her service. This is another way of reaching out when you have a wide range of audiences.
End - Call to Action
The circle of communication is not complete without feedback. Call to action is the feedback that completes your story. Engagement rate with the right audience or need to make improvements on your summary will be visible only when you receive some sort of response. Create a channel to receive a response or get in touch. LinkedIn Inmail and messaging are ways of direct communication but having a call to action statement incites people to proactively leave a response.
So, what could be your story if you are a student? For the answer, check out tomorrow’s newsletter.
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