In the world of advertising, the right advertisement makes a tremendous difference. It’s not enough to display just your logo. Successful ads attract attention, highlight product benefits, and communicate brand attributes.

The same is true for your LinkedIn profile, the perfect vehicle for catching the attention of your chosen audience, communicating your uniqueness, and highlighting why your solutions are the best for solving your readers’ problems.

Given that there are millions of LinkedIn members, how can you compete with those who hold the same job title, work at similar companies, or job search in the same industries? The secret is using the right keywords in the right places. Keywords make it easier for people to find you and connect with you, opening the door to greater opportunities. Your LinkedIn profile is a keyword-searchable gem that can put you in front of key decision makers, without so much as a phone call. Try that with a paper resume!

If you made a half-hearted attempt at creating a great profile, then gave up when you didn’t see immediate results, you’re not alone. This is the #1 complaint we hear.

So let’s look at the steps to creating a killer LinkedIn profile, so you can enjoy the benefits.

Within the profile, you’ll find these important segments:

  • Headline
  • Status Updates
  • Summary
  • Recommendations
  • Experience
  • Specialties
  • Contact Information

When optimizing your LinkedIn profile, no segment is more important than the Headline. I’m going to use a previous headline of my own as an example.

 Some time ago, my headline read “Results-Oriented Copywriter.”

Not terribly exciting, and it did nothing to promote my skills in social media marketing and customer relationship management. But I did what I thought I was supposed to do: describe my job.

This is incorrect thinking. More people will find you through the 'people search' feature on LinkedIn… and connect with you…when your headline uses the right keywords. Unless the searcher knows you by name, your job title is all he or she has to go on. A recruiter might search for all members in her locale with a certain job title. A company may search for an industry expert using common keywords. Just as with Google, keywords often form the basis of an initial search.

There are several recommended formulas for creating an effective headline. The one I like and use the most is:

 Value or Solution | Value or Solution |Trust/Credibility | Who I Am

This format allows you to describe what you do and how you solve problems for others, rather than simply regurgitating your job description.

Following this format, my new headline became:

Corporate Social Strategist | Social Media Help | Social Media Copywriter | CEO Modello Media

To get there, I thought about what I do, the value I offer, and how I wanted to be perceived. The task is to develop creative terms that are at once searchable, accurately descriptive, and not overly competitive.  And by the way, the headline is limited to 120 characters.

Next, I did a keyword check to see how much competition I had for my chosen phrases. You can do it too, like this:

  1. Go the search box on the top right of your LI screen
  2. Make sure the search box is set to “People”
  3. Type your term into the box, put quotes around it, and hit enter.
  4. A list of members will appear. At the top right of this list are the “results” (for example, “7,019 results”). This tells you how many members are using the exact same search term in their profiles…in other words, your potential competition.
  5. Play around with the filters to the left to find only those who are 1st connections, only those in your own town or country, etc.

Your aim is to get on page 1 of these results. It’s not easy, but it’s doable. Don’t forget that LinkedIn claims they are growing by one new member every second, so this process requires diligence.

If you do nothing else to improve your profile but craft a more compelling headline, I guarantee you’ll connect with greater impact.

Victoria Ipri, CEO of Modello Media, Inc.,helps business owners and executives break away from outdated marketing wisdom, social peer pressure, and follow-the-crowd mentalities that can block outrageous success. Programs focus on LinkedIn, Google Places, and superior copywriting. Please contact [email protected]

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