Whether you’re creating a business or a personal brand, LinkedIn is a great platform for building credibility and authority - and after its fresh redesign earlier this month, now is an ideal time to revisit your profile. (Plus, the redesign takes care of many of my past complaints.)
To help you build your authority on LinkedIn, let's break down a few special features that you can start taking advantage of today.
LinkedIn is the number one channel that people use when job-hunting. Similarly, if you’ve recently applied for a job, LinkedIn is typically the first place that employers and recruiters go to vet candidates. So, beefing up your profile - be it your company or individual page - is a must.
If you’re just getting started building your company page or personal profile, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Include a Header Image
1536 x 768 is the recommended size. Use a promotional, branded marketing graphic for the header image that calls out a special offering or your company’s tagline.
If you’re a business, you’ll want to use your logo sized at 100 x 100. If you’re an individual, you should use your headshot for your profile photo.
Include Important Info
Put information about yourself in the description and/or summary section of your profile. Include keywords that are relevant to the work you do, the industry you’re in and the services and value you provide to those who will connect with you.
This feature is only available for business pages. Showcase pages are a great way to segment specific types of content, since they allow you to create separate posts and graphics that won’t show up on your main company page. With Showcase Pages, you can use a scheduler to plan content ahead of time, add a page description and choose a custom hero image to represent the page. (It’s recommended that your hero image be 330 x 974.)
Once you’ve created a profile, it’s time to post. It is recommended to share a status update at least four times a week in order to stay top-of-mind for the individuals you’re connected to on the platform. By posting regularly, you create an opportunity for engagement. Keep your posts short, informative, engaging and digestible so your audience has a reason to keep coming back.
Once you’ve covered these basics, the next step is to use LinkedIn to build your authority.
LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform
While you can’t use the publishing platform as a company or showcase page, it’s a powerful tool for individuals to use to build their authority online, create a loyal audience of followers, start conversations and share expertise.
Through use of the Publishing Platform, many individuals are positioning themselves as experts in their industries.
By creating consistent, informative content that is targeted to a specific audience, individuals can successfully build their KLT (Know, Like and Trust) factor online.
Build Your Authority With LinkedIn Groups
You can search for groups on the platform, ask permission to join the group - some will be open, some private - and start contributing to discussions.
Consider introducing yourself to the group, then share your expertise to position yourself as a thought-leader and expert in the specific industry.
Be sure to ask people to comment on your discussions or posts to facilitate a greater connection and meaningful conversation.
Once you're better connected and have an outlet to share valuable content, you can start thinking outside of the box for what types of updates to share.
The best kind of content is one or more of the following: entertaining, solution-based, original, inspirational or educational. Strong networkers and LinkedIn users know which connections value which types of content. You can use messages or the “Keep In Touch” feature (located under the Connections tab) to keep your contacts informed of content you think they would appreciate.
In summary, LinkedIn has a variety of features that allow you to expand your network and successfully build your credibility and authority online.
By utilizing LinkedIn Groups and Publishing, you’ll be on your way to reinforcing relationships, establishing yourself as a thought leader and expanding the visibility of your profile.