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Taking Your LinkedIn Profile to the Next Level

Without doubt, LinkedIn is the most popular social networking tool for businesspeople, but is your profile working as hard as it could be?

We all know that getting a great profile in place is crucial, but there are a range of tools you can use to really enhance your presence.

Making Your Profile Work for You

By claiming your vanity URL you can instantly add a more professional feel to your LinkedIn profile. This can also be optimized to drive more traffic to your profile. You can also add a profile badge to your personal websites and blogs so visitors can click straight through to your LinkedIn profile and it’s well worth making your anchor text more appealing so you get more clicks through to your websites.

Ensure your profile is sprinkled liberally with keywords. By making the copy in your profile keyword rich, you can make sure you come up in the search results whenever someone’s looking for a new employee or an expert. You can also create a company profile too, if it’s appropriate. By creating a business profile you have the opportunity to create not one, but two networks and you can cross-pollenate – gathering opportunities from both networks and really leverage your personal brand.

Recommendations and endorsements are all part of the LinkedIn package and gathering these is also crucial to your success. However, it’s the quality of these that will attract people to you, not the quantity. By giving and obtaining endorsements you can rank and be ranked on your skill set, and those that have endorsed you will be clearly visible to anyone viewing your profile.

For the More Advanced User

For those who prefer something a little more advanced LinkedIn also gives you the option to use a host of apps to make your profile really stand out. If you’re a public speaker or deliver lots of presentations, the SlideShare App can help you showcase your latest reports and speeches from your LinkedIn profile. Since its 2006 inception, the content-sharing tool has seen more than nine million presentations shared using its services. It was acquired earlier this year by LinkedIn in a deal rumoured to be worth almost $120 million.

The WordPress app will help you import your WP blog posts into your profile. You can even import only those posts tagged as ‘LinkedIn’. The ‘Tweets’ app will give you access to Twitter from the comfort of your LinkedIn profile.

If you’re using the Answers feature to increase your knowledge of industry developments you will undoubtedly have noticed that after a while the ability to answer questions is closed. Did you know that by using the ‘My Q&A’ tab within Answers you can extend the life of a question so other users have more time to answer?

You can reach out to people that you’re not connected to by using OpenLink. This is a great way of connecting to someone when there’s no other way, however be mindful that LinkedIn users are wary of those who appear too intrusive. They are a reserved bunch and will not appreciate the ‘in your face’ communication tactics that are used regularly on Facebook for example.

Perhaps the biggest way to improve your profile on LinkedIn is to join groups. A free membership package allows users to join up to 50 groups and by being an active member, joining in discussions and posting meaningful content you can improve your standing with the people in your sector who hold positions of influence. You can bypass the need to be a connection in order to message another member and you can view their profiles too. By joining more groups, your opportunities to connect and communicate increase.

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