LinkedIn is not a new social network. In fact, it has been part of our professional lives for more than 15 years now. Many do not know the value that this network can bring to their careers or simply do not take advantage of all the benefits that a good profile will give them. This network has a lot to offer for all types of professionals, including creatives and freelancers. In this article we briefly explain what LinkedIn and what it does, and give you tips on how to get the most out of this network. We include common sections that often need optimization, including your LinkedIn profile picture, your headline, as well as a few other features that often fly under the radar.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network. You can use it to connect with colleagues, professors, clients (past, current, and potential) and influencers within your industry. As a creative person, especially if you work as a freelancer, we can’t stress enough the importance of building a network to get jobs and clients. This platform also allows you to learn new skills via LinkedIn Learning, organize events, join groups and communities, share your thoughts and articles, and much more.
One of the very first steps is to create an optimized, professional, and attractive profile. Not only is your profile a professional cover letter, but the social networking nature of the platform will allow you to gain notoriety and authority and attract all kinds of professional opportunities. This includes not only getting a job, but also receiving invitations to speak at in-person and online events and even monetizing your network (for example, using affiliate links to recommend products and services or selling courses and tutorials to your network).
It all starts with a good profile and a constant presence on this network and creating a good LinkedIn profile is just as important as creating a good CV. Matt Gray is a professional entrepreneur who in the last 10 years has founded three companies and created communities with millions of members. He has managed to gain more than 120,000 followers on his LinkedIn and on his Twitter account he has shared a thread with his best tricks to optimize your profile. Take a look (and follow!) him on Twitter – in the meantime, we summarize a few of his key points here.
1. A good LinkedIn profile picture
A professional profile picture is essential. Your image matters, especially on LinkedIn. People subconsciously make judgments based on your appearance. Make sure you look neat, competent and confident.
Note from our team: by “professional” we don’t mean a typical corporate photo with a suit and a boring background. You can totally express your personality and industry in your photo. What is important is that the photo is well taken and that you bring a look that reflects your personality and professionalism. Pro tip: If you are still a student or recent graduate, many universities and colleges offer free professional photo services during career fairs and similar events. Take advantage of this because unless you have a photographer friend who will help you out, professional photos can be expensive.
2. A clear headline
The headline of your page (also known as “tagline”) is essential to gain followers on Linkedin. Anyone viewing your profile should immediately know:
- Who you are
- What you do
- What they will get from following you
Create an exceptional title to convert visits to your profile into followers.
Note from our team: If you don’t know where to edit your title, LinkedIn shows you how in this tutorial.
3. An attractive cover photo
The background image is even more important to your LinkedIn profile than the profile picture. This is because it is the first thing a visitor to your profile will see. Your background image can promote:
- A newsletter
- Your webpage
- The service you offer
- A project in which you are currently working
Note from our team: The recommended dimensions for a LinkedIn background image are 1584 pixels wide, 396 pixels high, JPG or PNG format and less than 8 MB. If you don’t know where to add or change your profile background image, LinkedIn shows you how in this tutorial.
4. A complete “About” section
Social proof is a huge aspect of LinkedIn. Everyone wants to prove their status – and this section allows you to do that. Don’t forget to highlight:
- Your wins
- Awards and recognitions
- Your education
- Your work experience
- Your accomplishments
Note from our team: If you don’t know where to edit your About section, LinkedIn shows you how in this tutorial.
5. An informative “Featured” section
This section shows the reader what you have to offer in terms of additional content. Add content projects such as:
- Digital products
- YouTube channels
Note from our team: For creative people, this is a great section to link to your digital portfolio. Make this link the first one among your featured content. If you don’t know where to edit your “Featured” section, LinkedIn shows you how on this page and gives you answers to frequently asked questions about this section here.
6. Activate the “Creator Mode”
99% of LinkedIn users are consumers. Only 1% are creators. This is the biggest disparity within social networks. Take advantage of this and stand out from the masses.
Note from our team: The Creator mode helps you increase your reach and influence on LinkedIn. It is very useful if you want to be an “influencer” on this platform. It makes your profile reach more users and gives you a dashboard with metrics such as your content impressions, profile performance, audience analytics, among others. We only recommend activating it if you are absolutely determined to grow your reputation as a creator. Otherwise, you risk creating “noise” on LinkedIn and losing credibility. If you are interested and have the time to grow your persona on this platform, find more information here.
7. Share content constantly
Share at least one post per day Monday through Friday. You can recycle Tweets or threads that have proven popular and adapt them to LinkedIn’s format. Also use a tool such as Taplio, which will be particularly useful to automate your posts and have them published on a fixed schedule.
The most important thing is:
- Appearing daily on your followers’ feeds
- Develop a voice and tone
- Experiment until you find what works (then keep experimenting)
Note from our team: This is absolutely true if you want to grow on LinkedIn. Like all social networks, a lot is decided by an algorithm and if it sees you active, it will give you more visibility. Many professional people go to LinkedIn to keep up with news and trends in their industries. Make sure you share content that is informative and prompts your followers to comment and share it. This will cause a snowball effect and help you continue to grow your audience and authority.
8. Network with other creators
Networking and connections are essential on LinkedIn. Connect with more established creators and leverage their audiences to grow.
Note from our team: As you grow your network you will find personalities in your industry (technology, graphic design, film…) worth following and connecting with. To start, you can make a list of the heads and directors of the companies you’ve worked for, as well as influential clients. You’ll soon recognize which of these are creators on LinkedIn. Since you already have a real connection with them, follow them and interact with their posts. You can likewise send them a note to remind them of who you are and invite them to follow you as well. This is another aspect that snowballs and, if you have followed all the above points, you have nothing to fear!
And that’s it! We hope you have found these tips useful, either to create a LinkedIn profile for the first time, or to improve your current profile. We leave you with a few frequently asked questions about LinkedIn in case you want to know more about this platform:
What is LinkedIn most known for?
This social network is used for many aspects linked to your professional life, including searching for jobs, sharing your career path, networking and even becoming an authority figure in your domain. This platform is well known for being the right place to connect with professionals in your industry who will be key to your professional development.
Why is LinkedIn so popular in India?
LinkedIn has more than 50 million professional professionals and over a million company pages. Each week, 5.000 jobs and over 50.000 skills are added to user profiles to show their skills to potential clients or employers and with their potential network. India has a massive skilled workforce in digital professions and is known as a hub for outsourced work, so it is natural that this network has a particular traction in this country.
What are the Benefits of Creating a LinkedIn Account?
- LinkedIn counts with more than 875 million users in over 200 countries.
- Creating a profile and using the platform is free (you can also purchase a Premium membership)
- All sort of professionals from virtually every industry are present
- As a professional network, the content you will find will become very curated to your interests and you wont’t find the noise and irrelevant ads as in other networks.
- LinkedIn has extremely useful tools for all steps of your career, such as their job boards and LinkedIn learning.
What are the negatives of LinkedIn?
- You have to put care and constant effort into your account to be noticed.
- You can receive some spam or even scam offers to your profile – be careful!
- Your profile may be mined and appear on 3rd party listings and engines. Make good use of the privacy settings and connect with people intentionally.
Is LinkedIn still relevant in 2022 and 2023?
Absolutely! It is a powerful network that won’t go away. Our prediction: with the uncertain times that Twitter is facing, more users will migrate to and focus on LinkedIn.
Cover photo: Nathana Rebouças on Unsplash