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From Good to Great on LinkedIn: Transform Your Profile in 5 Easy Steps

Whether it’s a lack of time or resources, many professionals neglect to build out their professional LinkedIn profile pages. However, as the saying goes, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression.” That’s why it’s crucial to ensure your profile is up-to-date, accurately reflects your professional experience, and positions you as a thought leader in your industry. This is especially important if you’re using LinkedIn to generate new sales leads.

Crafting a polished LinkedIn profile is an opportunity for successful professionals to showcase their knowledge and accomplishments. While it may be challenging to strike a balance between professionalism and approachability, the process of creating a standout profile is not as hard as you may think, but often one that many put off.

While writing about yourself and picking the perfect headshot can take some time, your LinkedIn profile is an opportunity to show the world your best version of yourself. With some quick and easy tips, you can transform your LinkedIn profile into a powerful tool for networking, lead generation, and career advancement. Read on for some practical advice to help you elevate your profile and stand out in the crowded world of LinkedIn.

#1 Start With Your Headshot

Your profile picture is a crucial component of your professional image, and it should reflect the confidence and professionalism you bring to your work. Avoid using a hastily cropped group photo from a vacation years ago. Instead, choose a simple background without distracting objects or people in it and take advantage of natural light to capture your best self. Consider using a gray wall, brick pattern, or a background of green foliage.

If you’re on a budget, try out the portrait mode on your cell phone. Wired magazine published a great blog with simple tips on how to do this.

If you can afford it, hiring a professional photographer who specializes in social media headshots is a smart investment. They know how to capture the perfect shot and what looks good on camera. You may be surprised to find that many local photographers offer reasonable pricing for social media headshots. Check Facebook for photographers in your area, or ask one of your LinkedIn connections with a great headshot for a referral.

Working with a professional photographer will give you many options to choose from. Subtle changes in your face angle, hairstyle, or smile can result in completely different portraits of the same person. Everyone has a “good side,” and a professional can help you find yours. Invest in your image and showcase your professional best with a quality headshot.

Here’s an example of how subtle changes to my hair, smile, chin angle, and shoulder positioning resulted in three very different portraits:

#2 Choose a Professional Profile Banner Image

In addition to your headshot, LinkedIn gives you the option to customize your profile page with a banner image. For best results, use an image that is 1584 pixels wide × 396 pixels high, and always check LinkedIn for the most recent recommendations for image size as the rules are always changing. Ideally, this image should be something related to your profession – such as a branded background for your company, or an abstract image related to your industry.

Aim for something that will resonate with your potential customers or employers. Keep in mind that this image should be professional and high-quality. If necessary, invest in a high quality stock image or outsource it to a graphic designer or photographer.

Here’s a great example from our founder, Thomas Young, who has a custom image that highlights the pillars of his professional offering – Vistage Speaker, Author and Strategist, and CEO of Intuitive Websites:

#3 Elevate Your Headline Beyond the Obvious

Your LinkedIn profile headline is your chance to make a memorable first impression on potential connections. Often overlooked, this section is an opportunity to showcase your creativity and craft an elevator pitch. With just a few words, your headline should capture your identity, expertise, and the value you bring. Keywords related to your industry are also good to sprinkle in here if you’re looking to connect with people in your industry.

Consider the example of Mickey Mouse. Instead of the obvious and uninteresting headline of “Cartoon Character,” a more engaging and attention-grabbing headline could be “Jack-of-All-Trades – Steamboat Deckhand, Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Joy Maker, and Visionary.” This approach immediately gives people an idea of who you are and what you can offer, without requiring them to read through your entire profile page.

By taking the time to craft a creative and compelling headline, you can increase the chances of attracting the right connections and opportunities on LinkedIn.

#4 Connect To Your Company’s LinkedIn Page

If you work for a company or organization, make sure their information appears prominently on your page by connecting your professional experience with their company page on LinkedIn. This will help build brand recognition while also giving people access to all the content posted by your company. If your company’s profile is lacking, make sure to polish that up too just in case people dig deeper when checking you out.

For Company pages on LinkedIn, the same rules apply – quality and relative banner image, high resolution company logo, engaging content, and a clear call to action and way for them to engage with you.

#5 Post Content That Positions You As a Thought Leader

Many professionals miss the opportunity to position themselves as a thought leader. Thought leadership content is like a superhero cape for a business person! It’s the stuff that makes you stand out from the crowd and get noticed by your peers, clients, and industry insiders.

Creating thought leadership content is all about sharing your unique perspective and expertise in a way that challenges conventional thinking and inspires innovation. It’s like being a rebel with a cause – you’re shaking things up and providing fresh insights that others haven’t considered before.

The best thought leaders are the ones who are authentic, passionate, and unafraid to take risks. They’re the ones who share their personal experiences and values, injecting a bit of their own personal experience into their content.

Publishing and sharing thought leadership content establishes you as a trusted advisor and a go-to source of information and insights in your industry. Consider sharing and publishing content such as:

  • Trending news articles
  • Your company’s latest blog post
  • White papers or eBooks
  • Videos testimonials or sales demonstrations
  • Sales presentations or webinars
  • Your own long-form content focused on your industry and expertise
  • Just about anything that showcases your expertise and knowledge in your industry!

What Are You Waiting For?

Neglect your LinkedIn profile at your own risk! Prioritize it and spruce up your presence so you can be on your way to building a community of like-minded individuals who are inspired by your ideas and want to work with you.

These five profile upgrades are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to leveraging LinkedIn for business. LinkedIn is a powerful tool that you can use to reach potential customers, build your brand, and grow your business with things like advanced publishing tools, Sales Navigator, targeted groups, paid advertising, and more!

Are you ready to elevate your LinkedIn game and distinguish yourself from the rest?

The team at Intuitive Websites can assist you in optimizing your profile, developing your personal brand, and unifying your message from your website to your presence on social media. Get in touch with us today.

Shelly Holdaway

Shelly leads IW’s content team and has over two decades of experience in print and digital marketing across a variety of industries. From higher education to professional sports to technology, she’s gained priceless insights into each sector’s distinct challenges and opportunities.
Based on the East Coast, Shelly finds comfort in diving into the stories of various authors, especially autobiographies and tales about overcoming life’s hurdles. This love for storytelling drives her work as she helps clients navigate the content generation process, focusing on genuine connection and trust-building. Her approach emphasizes long-term commitment, ongoing refinement, and a deep understanding of customer needs. With her wealth of experience and passion for storytelling, Shelly is the ideal collaborator for businesses seeking to thrive in today’s digital world.