LinkedIn is replete with valuable features; it’s hard to know which ones will give the biggest boost to your personal brand. What’s more, LinkedIn is adding, enhancing, and refining features all the time – making it even harder to keep your profile up-to-date while creating the most impact. In light of this complex, ever-growing suite of options, I have culled a list of the most compelling yet most commonly overlooked features, along with some recent changes to LinkedIn functionality that can help you stand out, build relationships and bolster your personal brand.
Put the cream at the top.
Because most LinkedIn profiles follow the exact same order – Summary, Experience, Endorsements – you are tricked into believing that you have no control over the way content is displayed. But LinkedIn lets you reorder the content sections – enabling you to move those that will convey your brand value to the top. In addition, you can reorder content within sections. Your endorsements need not appear in chronological order. You can, and should, arrange the skills in order of importance, or at least prioritize your top ten (they take up the most real estate in your profile). Your recommendations can also be re-ordered to so that the most important ones appear first. Only the top two recommendations are immediately visible when someone is viewing your profile. Put the spotlight on the ones that most strongly reinforce what you say about yourself.
You probably know that you can customize your LinkedIn connection requests when you are working online, and from a personal branding perspective, you should make them personal. What you may not know is that you can customize those requests you send through the LinkedIn mobile app. It’s not straightforward, so you likely haven’t been able to take advantage of this. Here’s what you need to do to personalize a connection request.
1. While at your invitee’s profile, ignore the connect button and instead click on the three dots in the upper right.
2. Choose “Personalize Invite”
3. Craft your custom message and click send.
Expand your brand.
Make your profile sing.
Perhaps the most exciting features in LinkedIn are those that help your personal branding so you can truly stand out from the myriad others who seemingly do what you do. The most powerful features incorporate multi-media. You can say a lot more about yourself and how you deliver value to others when you think beyond the 26 letters of the alphabet. LinkedIn enhancements give you many opportunities to augment your words with images and videos to bring your work to life and supply proof that you live up to your brand message. The many options include YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, and Flickr. You can see the complete list here, but my two favorites are SlideShare and YouTube.
SlideShare. LinkedIn purchased SlideShare in 2012, and recent integrations offer two ways to use SlideShare to showcase your thought-leadership. You can upload a PDF of a SlideShare presentation into your SlideShare account and share it immediately with your connections and groups. And you can also embed your SlideShare in the Summary or Experience sections of your profile. We all deliver a lot of presentations. This is an opportunity to expand the audience to thousands or even hundreds of thousands.
YouTube. Video is the most powerful tool for expressing your brand and building emotional connections with your target audience. It allows you to deliver a complete communication and be there virtually when you aren’t there in person. It makes your profile more personal. By allowing people to watch your videos right from your profile, LinkedIn is giving you an opportunity to truly influence decision makers by letting your unique characteristics shine through.
In the work that I do with companies to get all their people using LinkedIn to support their careers and their employer, I review a lot of LinkedIn profiles. The features and functions described above are the ones I rarely see used, which makes it even easier for pioneers to stand out. Identify the ones that are right for you. Then make a commitment to update your profile and bolster your personal brand.
This article was written by William Arruda from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.