Client questions are a great source of post ideas and I frequently get asked about the essential elements of an engaging profile.  Since I have looked at well over 40,000 profiles over the past five years, these keys should represent some value to you, a LinkedIn user!

1st Key:  Your picture is the very first part of your profile that viewers will see.  It seems obvious but at nearly 10% of those on LinkedIn don’t have one!  This is like stepping up to the plate to hit a baseball or softball and not swinging.

Studies show that engagement is increased by at least 7 times if a picture is posted.  Interaction increases even more if a smiling face is seen.  Viewers want to see you!

TIP…Post a picture where you are either looking into your profile or looking straight ahead.  If your body or face are directed away from the content of your profile, then you are non verbally suggesting hat your profile merits little attention.

2nd Key:  The space directly under your name is called the headline.  This is perhaps the most important line of your profile since it follows your every action.  When you post, like or comment your headline and photo appear (as mine appears at the top of this post).  Those that seek you out on Google will also see your headline as a primary entry.

TIP…Use the 120 characters allotted to the headline to market your services.  Don’t limit yourself to a title or position.  Be creative.  Remember that this area is prime real estate for you to state how you are unique in the marketplace.

3rd Key:  Assuming that you have “nailed” the first two keys, viewers will seek more information about you in the Summary.  Use the 2,000 characters available there to speak directly to your ideal client.  (See my July, 2015 post entitled, “Do You Really Know Your Ideal Client?” for more info on this topic.)

Your objectives in the Summary are to:

a) Inform the viewer in greater detail about how you can help them solve their problem or provide the service that they are seeking.  Your mindset should be, “Why should my potential client spend their time reading about me?”

b) Include a Call to Action (CTA) in your Summary.  Guide that potential client to the action that you want them to take next.  (See my October, 2015 post entitled “Leaving Potential Clients Hanging in Space?” for more info on this topic.)   This element is often missing in many profiles yet it essential for “cashing in” on their interest.

TIP…Avoid verbiage about your qualifications in the Summary.  There is plenty of opportunity to provide that info in other sections of the profile.  I can’t overstate it, direct your conversation about your customers’ needs in the Summary!

By Gary Kissel | LinkedIn Strategist | Speaker | Author