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I recently spoke at the DxMA Global Marketing Summit in Philadelphia on the subject ofLinkedin profile optimization. The plain and simple truth about Linkedin: if your profile isn’t optimized, you’re losing visibility for yourself or for your brand.

Should you care? With more than 200 million users in over 200 countries, you absolutely should care.

Let’s face it – your goal, whether personal or professional, is not only finding key decision makers, but also having them know who you are and what you or your company has to offer them. Someone with an optimized profile will be ranked higher in the search results than you – they will show up, and you won’t. What happens? You could damage your credibility, or – more likely – the Linkedin search engine will ignore you.

Of all the tips that I shared at the Summit, these are the three key sections you need to improve to make the biggest impact on engaging potential customers.

1. The Headline
This section of a LinkedIn profile is often under- or wrongly utilized. The headline is one of the most important spots in your LinkedIn profile. It’s your branding – your value proposition. Many times, this is all people will see of you in a search result.

Your headline is all about keywords (or key phrases) – the skills or expertise you want to be known for. After all, no one is looking for a president or founder. They are however, looking for experts to help them solve problems!

You’re going to need to use those keywords not only in your headline, but in your summary, and in your job descriptions as well.  Keywords are important because they give Linkedin (and potential customers) more opportunities to find and rank you. The best way to choose your keywords is to think about the words a client or employer would use to search for someone with your skill set.

To create your headline you can use skills keywords, or you can craft sentence using keywords or key phrases. For example, I help people do X (or solve X problem) with Y. Or, I help businesses improve visibility with social media and targeted marketing.  Make it engaging – be sure that this information is what your ideal clients want to know.

2. The Background Summary
This is the meat-and-potatoes of not only who you are, but also what value you offer to someone as a business or as a connection. In this section, you are allowed 2000 characters – use them.

Tell people why they should engage with you or do business with you. Use your keywords and key phrases in the description. Speak about your accomplishments and experience. Tell the story of who you are as a professional – and help your potential connections by allowing them to easily conclude why you’d make a good business partner. But whatever you do, DON’T put a job objective in your summary section.

Your background section also allows you to add video, PowerPoint presentations and other documents that show your expertise or convey your capabilities. Do it!

3. The Experience Section

Linkedin isn’t supposed to be an online resume, so be sure to use your chosen keywords or key phrases wherever they make sense, and especially in your position titles, where possible. You are allowed 2000 characters for the experience sections also, so use them to talk about what you were responsible for, and any great results you achieved and how you helped your customers achieve great things. Keep these sections updated as you move forward with your accomplishments.

And A Quick Fix:LinkedIn-ActivityFeed
The Activity section is sandwiched between the Name, Photo & Contact info and the Background/ Summary section on your profile. Unfortunately, the Activity section isn’t something over which you have control – Linkedin chooses what is posted here. Since things may be posted here whether you want them to or not, you may want to deactivate it.

Once you’re logged in, go to your account settings. Under Privacy Controls, click Turn On/Off Your Activity Broadcasts, and make sure it’s unchecked. You’ll still see it when you’re logged in to your account (see picture – mine’s deactivated but it shows up for me), but no one else will when viewing your profile.


Have you taken any steps to improve your Linkedin profile? Tell us what happened when you optimized your profile!