20 steps to a better LinkedIn profile in 2021

As marketers, we invest a lot of resources and time in building brands that make a difference and deliver key messages for them through marketing campaigns. A quick question to ponder on is how often do we apply those skills to build our own personal brands?

Building your brand presence on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Medium is a must for a digital marketing professional. One of the most powerful place to network, is LinkedIn as it’s a global community of business professionals.

The other aspect that comes into play is time and do you have enough time to invest in order to network and make a difference out there through LinkedIn?

When we neglect personal branding, we miss a huge opportunity from a marketing perspective. Employees across the business professional network are constantly sharing content on a 3X level and you should benefit from this by creating stealth content for them to read.

Fact be told, your LinkedIn profile page is the foundation for your personal brand. Branding and identity is and has always been part of marketing. Don’t you agree?

If you have not checked your LinkedIn profile page recently, you might find some new ways to actually pose as a brand out there.

I have mentioned below the top 20 profile features you should have a look at and update them on your profile to have a better LinkedIn profile in 2021 with more post views, profile views and searches.

Some of the changes I recommend below take 10 seconds while some will be an on-going process on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Make sure you do not scrape and copy content of others to make yourself look cool on LinkedIn. It will surely backfire over time.

1. Choose the appropriate profile picture for LinkedIn

Your calling card on LinkedIn is your profile picture– it’s how people are introduced to you and it widely governs their first impression.

There are so many posts and guides that explain how to pick the right profile picture on LinkedIn. Nevertheless, make sure your picture is quite recent and looks like you. Lastly, a smile would do wonders.

2. Adding a background photo which is appropriate

The background photo on your LinkedIn profile is the second visual element at the top of your profile page that catches the eye of the viewer. It is another thing that grabs the attention of the viewer and they tend to remember what you are into, basically which industry and what you do professionally.

3. Your headline should explain more than just a job title

There is no specific rule that says the description at the top of your profile page has to have your job title or current designation. What I recommend is having your headline revolve around what you do and where your core experience lies in.

If you have sales representatives at your company, it’s good to have a look at sales people’s profiles in the industry as you will get a better idea of what I am suggesting. Your job title is important but it is not everything.

4. Creatively turn your summary into your story

This is the place where you sell your story and make people know what you do and how you started. The LinkedIn summary section should be revised and updated every 6 months or at least once in a year. Your summary is your chance to tell your own story so don’t just use it to jot down your skills.

I recommend that you invest your time to keep this section updated and trust me – it’s worth the effort.

5. Use a lot of buzzwords

In case you might not know, buzzwords are adjectives that are used in headlines and summaries on LinkedIn that they become almost completely meaningless. Our regular rankings of the most over-used buzzwords on LinkedIn include terms like ‘passionate’, ‘expert’, ‘specialised’, ‘leadership’, ‘experienced’,  ‘focused’, ‘strategic’, ‘creative’, ‘innovative’ and ‘certified’.

Using these kind of words in your LinkedIn profile adds a lot of value. You need to also demonstrate them as well – describing yourself as well as the company you are with.

6. Constantly grow your network and increase your LinkedIn SSI Score

One of the most quick ways to grow your plethora on LinkedIn is to sync your profile with your email address database. This immediately helps LinkedIn to suggest people you could connect with in order to grow your network 3X times.

Do you know what is a LinkedIn SSI score and how to find it ?

Social Selling Index or shortly known as SSI is a score from LinkedIn based on how effectively you portray your professional brand, find the right people, engage with insights, and build relationships on the platform.

This is mind-boggling as to how this feature works with regards to connecting with relevant people. This is a great way to keep your network vibrant and up to date.

7. List out your core and relevant skills

Scroll through the list of skills and identify those that are really relevant to you. By doing so helps to substantiate the description in your profile headline and summary, and provides a base for your connections to endorse you. 

However, the key here is staying relevant. A long list of skills which are not really core to who you are and what you do, can be removed. Take time for a spring clean set of your skills list every now and then.

8. Highlight he services you offer

The Services section is a pretty new LinkedIn feature that helps freelancers, consultants and those working with small to medium businesses to showcase the services offered. Filling out the Services section on LinkedIn can definitely boost your visibility in the internal LinkedIn search results.

9. Go on an endorsements spree across LinkedIn profiles

Endorsements from other members substantiate your skills and increase your credibility. How do you get endorsed on LinkedIn?

I recommend going through your plethora on LinkedIn and identify connections who you feel genuinely deserve an endorsement from you. Give it to them without hesitation!

Feel completely free to reach out with a polite message asking for an endorsement for a few key skills in return as well. Remember though – relevance matters. Make sure to reach out to people whose endorsement you would really value.

10. Endorsements management should be taken care of more proactively

Once endorsements start to come in, you might find that they skew the emphasis of your LinkedIn profile in ways that don’t reflect who you are. It could be that your core area of expertise is content marketing for example, but the people who’ve worked with you on events are more enthusiastic endorsers.

Be completely proactive in managing all your endorsements using the edit functionality in the Skills section of your account – you can choose which to show, and which to hide.

11. Take a skills assessment for core skills

This skills assessment system designed by LinkedIn is a unique online test that enables one to demonstrate the level of your skills you have, and showcase a Verified Skills badge on your profile. As per data sources on the web, there is a 30% higher chance for a candidate to be hired if they have skills badges. 

Displaying the results of your skills is entirely voluntary, and you are free to retake the tests as often as you like up till you can pass with a good score. 

12. Request for genuine recommendations

Endorsements give people viewing your profile a visual sense of what you’re known and valued for. Well, recommendations take things a step further. These are personal testimonials written to explain the experience of working with you.

There is a drop-down menu in the same section of your profile that makes it easy to reach out to connections and request for genuine recommendations. Make sure that you take the time to think about who you would most value a recommendation from. Trust me, it’s worth going the extra mile!

13. Showcase your passion for learning, and growing

Once you complete a course using LinkedIn Learning, you’ll have the opportunity to add  that specific course certificate to your profile. This can be done from within the Learning History section of your LinkedIn Learning account. 

14. Share marketing and media collateral

The marketing collateral that you share for your business can add an extra dimension to your profile. Sharing white papers, case studies, and other brand concepts help to show what kind of brands and businesses you have worked with, or currently working with. 

15. Ask for credit for your thought-leadership with Publications across LinkedIn

In case you have some of your content published by note-worthy publications, reach out to them and ask for a Credit. The Publications section on LinkedIn is where you showcase the places you have contributed, as well as the link to the same. 

Have you ever helped to write a book, white-paper or case study ? Or written a post on your company’s blog? The Publications section makes it easy to link your LinkedIn profile to these assets.

16. Regularly share relevant content from your LinkedIn feed with your connections

It is one thing to have a good and strong network of connections– it’s far better to be an active member in that network by regularly appearing in your connections’ LinkedIn feeds, which in turn adds a lot of value. 

Once you begin sharing relevant content with your network, the profile and post views begin increasing over time. I recommend keeping a close eye on your LinkedIn feed, and sharing content that would be interesting to your connections and extended network. 

17. Add comments to where you feel that it could cause an engagement and point

Sharing is great but also knowing when to start a conversation about that topic is key when it comes to engagement online through LinkedIn. When you make sure that you add comments to your shares, you directly give yourself greater prominence within the feed. Your LinkedIn connections and other viewers will notice that you are industry stalwart who is open to hearing different opinions and views. 

18. Follow relevant influencers for your industry niche

Another important aspect in order to grow your LinkedIn network, is to follow relevant influencers. This move will help in putting a good range of interesting content in your feed. The amplification effect of this is when you like that piece of content, you end up engaging with it (liking, commenting and sharing). 

19.Turn into an employee advocate

LinkedIn Elevate is a neat which aims to helping businesses launch and manage employee advocacy programmes. It is designed to showcase and recommend content that will be adored, read and shared by employees across different companies on the global LinkedIn network. 

If your business is using Elevate, it is a great way to start inculcating the habit with your employees as they are the best sales agents for your company, anytime. 

20. Publish long-form content – use it as conversation starters

Publishing articles that are lengthy and provide step-by-step value the the right move to make. I recommend that you share content that is at least 2,000 words or even more. 

A quick way to start is by monitoring the comments and feedback you get. Thereafter, you curate and share content on those lines as it will be more valuable for your readers. Your content shared should resonate with your network.

In order to make your LinkedIn profile work for you, I highly recommend that you follow the 20 tips shared by me. You will see a huge amount of growth in a short span of time. Make 2021 the year it happens!  

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