Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

1.  Make a list of keywords that a potential client would use to find you. 

As a general rule, these will be the same keywords that you use on your website for SEO purposes.   LinkedIn has a “search” function similar to Google so people will “search” for professionals using similar terms.

2.  Add these keywords to your profile in the following 5 areas:

  • The headline (use 2 or 3 keywords)

  • Your Current work experience.

  • Your Past Work Experience

  • The Summary

  • Your Skills Section

Important:  Use the SAME keywords in ALL FIVE of the above places. 

For example, if you are a life coach and your keyword is "coach."  Put it in your past work history on EACH AND EVERY JOB that it could be relevant.  "In college, I was a tutor/math coach to high school algebra students" instead of “tutored high school algebra students.”  Using this approach you can help your LinkedIn search results while STILL BEING HONEST AND AUTHENTIC.  Anyone who has tried to help a teen with math knows you are both a tutor AND a coach!  Never, ever, ever should you make something up! But you absolutely should start thinking outside of the box.  PAST work experience is relevant to LinkedIn b/c they take into consideration that you have done this job before.  

3.  Is your LinkedIn profile “click-worthy”?

Once a person LANDS on your LinkedIn profile, your summary is the most important part.  Before that it's your headline and photo.  Make them stand out from the crowd.

4.  Choose the words you use in your headline wisely…make sure they give people a reason to want to click!

  • Do not use the term owner/founder in your title. It doesn’t help you. People want to know what you can do for THEM. Their initial interest will be sparked by what you can offer them not that you are the “founder” of the company

  • People scan headlines. For example, mine doesn't say "Owner of Heidi Hapanowicz Photography" it says "Headshot Photographer for Entrepreneurs” That way it is immediately obvious to someone (who hasn't even clicked on my profile) what I do in clear terms, that also includes my keywords.

  • It’s worth repeating, be sure your keywords are in your headline!

5.  Have a professional profile photo taken.

  • Your profile is 11 times more likely to be clicked on with a photo. You’re a professional. Make sure your LinkedIn photo is as well.

  • Please, whatever you do, do NOT use a photo of yourself at a party with someone or something (especially a cocktail) cropped out of it. Make sure it is a clear, well lit and from the shoulders up only. You think this is obvious? Take a scan through LinkedIn photos one day and you’ll see just how many times this rule is broken.

6.  Write in 1st Person

It's still a social network, so speak to directly to the person.  Who is your audience? What are their problems? How you can help? A paragraph or two about who you are, what makes you unique and how you can help them? Don’t just add a resume; write as if you are talking to someone.

 7.  Include a "call-to-action" at the bottom of your summary. 

Tell them what to do!  For example:  Visit my website to download my FREE guide “My Top 10 Tips for Looking Better in Photos….Instantly.”  Your goal is to get potential clients to your website and ON YOUR EMAIL LIST and the best way to do that is to have a compelling reason (something FREE and of VALUE) that you can offer them once they get there.  People are more likely to visit your site, call or even share a post when it’s a clearly written call-to-action.

 8.   Connect, connect, connect. 

  • Your LinkedIn is not your Facebook so don't "guard" your connections. It's not personal. It's business. Accept people that want to connect.

  • LinkedIn’s search algorithm favors people who are already in your network so the more connections you have, the higher you’ll get in their search results. However, 500 is the LinkedIn “magic number” Once you reach 500 you’ll be looked at more favorably in their algorithm. See how fast you can get there! Allow LinkedIn to do the work for you by letting it pull up your email contacts and offer to connect with other members.

9.  Write relevant articles and deliver valuable content.  

Build relationships and make connections by creating valuable content and writing articles of interest. And always, always include a call-to-action at the bottom of your article!  Let people know what you want them to do! 

10.  Add a visual component (like video) if you can.

Within the next 2 years video will account for almost 70 percent of consumer online traffic. If you don’t have it yet, it’s time to start thinking about it.

11.  Ask your clients to give you testimonials on LinkedIn.

If you do this by email be sure to send them a clickable link to your profile so you they don’t have to search for you.  Endorsements are great, but written straight from the heart testimonials by real people are king in the online world.

12.   If you have a profile PLEASE be sure it’s complete and up-to-date.

LinkedIn has amazing SEO capabilities. Which means when someone does a search for your name in Google most likely your LinkedIn account will be shown on the first page of Google’s search results.  This is an easy way of establishing credibility & influencing what people read about you online. 

13.  Claim your unique LinkedIn URL

Make sure it is super simple for people to find you on all social media by using the SAME unique URL on all platforms.  Example: http://linkedIn/in/YOURNAME.  This makes it easier for you to include it on your business cards and on all social media platforms.

14.  Add a widget that links to your LinkedIn site on your website and in the signature line of your email.

  • Again, your goal is to have a consistent, professional brand all over the Internet.

  • Whatever you do, do NOT have a LinkedIn widget that links to an empty account. It sends the wrong message to people searching for you.

15.  Social Proof.

Even if potential clients don’t find you ON LinkedIn it’s more than likely that they will research you there.  Often one of the first things prospective customers do is search for your LinkedIn profile to confirm your credibility.
Remember; use LinkedIn to help you build your online brand.


16.  Build your connections by joining Groups.

Join groups with people that have similar interests and engage with them by asking and answering questions.

17.  Start a LinkedIn Group to get more followers.

Be sure to base the name of your group on one of the keywords you are looking to be found for.

18.  Complete your profile

LinkedIn will also help you to grow your network by suggesting people for you to connect with based on your profile answers.  Your college, former employers, etc.

19.  Track your movement.

Unlike Google you can move to the top of LinkedIn almost immediately.  If you make these changes you'll see yourself move to the top of the search results in just a few days!  

20.   Connect with ME!

I’d love for you to connect with me on Linkedin.  You can find my profile by clicking here:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidihap.

I hope you found this helpful!

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