Optimise your LinkedIn profile for 2024

Mike Nicholson

With every year that passes, we live more and more in the digital world.

Your next boss, next client, or next business partner spends more time online than they do sitting in front of you, so it’s vital that we show up in the digital world as well as we would hope to do in the physical world.

One such place that people show up, often on a daily basis, is the LinkedIn newsfeed. With that in mind, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to optimise your LinkedIn profile:

1 - Profile Picture:

Choose a recent, professional photo and utilise as much of the available space for your head and shoulders. A plain background is ideal, but definitely avoid too much detail in the background, as it can be hard to make out your facial features on a small screen if there is visual noise in the background.

This image should look like you do in the real world. Imagine meeting somebody briefly at a networking event, shaking hands, and the moving on. If that person wanted to connect with you they would search with whatever detail they remember, and then rely on the profile photo to confirm they have found the right person.

If your photo is a 10-year old holiday shot complete with Rayban’s and baseball cap, the chances of a successful connection are reduced as you may not be recognisable.

Key Takeaways:

- Use a recent and professional headshot
- Opt for a plain background to avoid distraction
- High resolution and well-lit
- Looks like you do today

2 - Background Image:

The background image is an often-overlooked aspect. LinkedIn provide you with a generic, bland pattern, but it is best to utilise this space based on your communications needs.

Consider it a mini-brand advert for you. So if you are looking for work, create a banner that allows people to see what you bring to the party at a glance - a summary of your detailed profile if you will.

Key Takeaways:

- Use the background image to enhance your personal or corporate brand.

- Choose a clear and professional image.

- Ensure it complements, not overshadows, your profile picture.

3 - Headline:

Your headline should extend beyond your job title. Choose 5 keywords that best define you as a professional, and use them in your headline - and indeed throughout your entire profile. The headline field is search-friendly, so it is a good idea if you can get your keywords into your headline.

In this example, you can see I have a number of the services we offer at Six Sells, as well as the functions I work with (Sales and Marketing) and the industries (AdTech, Advertising etc)

Key Takeaways:

- Use 5 keywords to define your professional identity
- Make your headline more than just a job title
- Prioritise the first 40 characters for maximum impact

4 - Your 'About' Section:

This segment is your chance to tell your professional story, from what you have done previously to what you are doing today.

Adopt a conversational style, blending your personality with professionalism, and write as if you are talking to a potential new contact about your professional life to date. Double points if you have a narrative that weaves you different experiences all together into one story.

Include your 5 chosen keywords in this account section as well, as it will help your profile to appear in relevant searches.

When reading the best about sections, I can almost hear the person saying the words - so write in the first person, and how you talk, so the reader feels that connection with you.

Key Takeaways:

- Write how you talk
- Write in the first person
- Feel free to allow your personality to shine
- Integrate keywords naturally into copy

5 - Recommendations:

Authentic recommendations can substantially elevate your profile. Seek recommendations from former colleagues, clients, or mentors who can vouch for your abilities and achievements, adding a dimension of trust and authenticity.

Think about the type of person you wish to communicate with, and try and get recommendations from people who are similar in seniority, job role, industry etc

Key Takeaways:

- Seek recommendations to add credibility
- Try to get recommendations from people who are like your audience
- Use these recommendations in your communications

6 - Find your voice:

Engage regularly with your network by posting your own content in the newsfeed, and also commenting on the content of others in your industry.

Share insights, comment on posts, and get involved in conversations. This not only boosts your visibility but also cements your position as a thought leader in your domain, while making you more familiar to your target audience. When you are familiar to people, they are more likely to open your emails, accept your connection requests, take a meeting or read your content, so it pays to be visible with consistent messaging, frequently.

Key Takeaways:

- Regularly share and engage with content
- Show what you know
- Increase visibility and familiarity within your network

Your LinkedIn profile is essentially your digital home from a professional standpoint, so spend a little bit of time getting it to be as good as it can be.

Need help? The team at Six Sells can help you to optimise your profile and create personable content - email hello@sixsells.co.uk for more information.