Copywriting Tips for Harnessing the Power of LinkedIn

LinkedInBack in 2007, I received an invitation from a friend to join him on his LinkedIn network. At that time, I hadn’t heard about LinkedIn so I ignored the request. However, soon after, I started to receive more invites from numerous colleagues. Intrigued, I decided it was time to say “Sure, let’s LinkIn.”

I didn’t give it much thought. I accepted the invitations, but still wasn’t quite clear on the value of this social network and how it would benefit me.

That’s when I started asking questions. Curious, I contacted a colleague and asked why he liked it.

He said there was value in connecting with others and starting conversations. He’d even gotten new business this way. With that feedback, I took a different approach, reworked my profile and started getting more involved.

Sound familiar? Are you confused about LinkedIn?

When I speak on the topic of LinkedIn today, there are many people in the audience who say “A friend invited me so I said “yes,” but I don’t really know what I’m doing.”

I want to change that. I want to clear up the confusion so you can leverage the lead-generating power of LinkedIn.

As of April 2017, with more than 500 million members (it was 277 million in 2014) in over 200 countries, LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional networking site. By interacting with members, via groups and discussions, you give other like-minded colleagues the opportunity to get to know, like and trust you – 3 vital keys to building successful relationships.

Copywriting Tips to Optimize Your Profile with Keywords

Creating your professional profile is more than just posting your resume. Similar to your Web site, when you’re writing content, it’s important to utilize keyword phrases in your profile. After all, when prospects are searching for someone like you, you’ll show up high on LinkedIn’s results list.

For instance, a few of the phrases I use in my headline are “marketing speaker,” “copywriting services,” and “LinkedIn marketing.” So, I have these keywords placed throughout in at least 6 strategic locations. Here are the 6 places to include your keywords when setting up your profile:

1. Your professional “headline” – this appears right below your name. Be concise. Use those phrases you think someone might search to find a professional like you. Unless you work for a big-name brand, it’s not likely someone will be searching for “President of the ABC Company.”

2. Current work experience – include the keyword phrase(s) in the title and don’t forget to complete the description field as well.

3. Past work experience – as with your current experience, use keyword phrase(s) in the tile and weave the it/them into the description where you can, if it’s appropriate.

4. Skills and endorsements – list the key areas that you specialize in – areas of expertise that you want others to endorse you for. Delete any that don’t apply to you. You can also move these around – place the three that are most important to you at the top as that is what visitors will see before clicking “see more.”

5. Websites – include links for up to 3 different pages on your site (or to 3 different sites, if you have more than one) and use keyword phrases to describe them. Don’t use LinkedIn’s generic defaults (i.e. Personal Website, Company Website, Blog). Here’s how to do it.

6. Summary – the most important section because it communicates who you are. It also conveys what you’re passionate about and how you can help others. Avoid having really long paragraphs. Shorter ones make the content more inviting to the readers’ eyes. And, use sub-headings. Make an impact in the first two lines as that is what visitors will see when they first land on your profile (enticing them to click “see more”).

Whether you’re already a LinkedIn member or thinking about it, take advantage of these 6 strategies when you’re writing your profile. They’ll help you harness the power of the world’s largest professional networking site. It’s a place to access valuable information . . . become part of a conversation . . . connect with other professionals.

If you are on LinkedIn now, how have you liked the network? Please share your comments below because I’d love to hear from you. And, if you’re just getting started, incorporate these easy-to-use copywriting tips and let me know how it goes.

Want to join my LinkedIn network? Visit me at http://linkedin.com/in/debrajason I look forward to connecting with you there! Thanks a million.

Debra Jason

Marketing & writing with heart, not hype at at The Write Direction
A recipient of the “Creative Person of the Year” award, Debra educates and empowers creative solopreneurs and enthusiastic business owners to create a lifestyle business that provides them with the flexibility, fun and freedom to do what they love. She also inspires you to communicate your marketing message in a way that captivates and converts your prospects into loyal, raving fans - even if you have been struggling with how to transform your ideas into words in the past.

Comments

  1. Your post was very informative. Most of us are under-utiziling Linkedin and you brought out some points for me to check over my profile. Thanks.

    • Thanks! I’m so happy to hear that you gathered some new pointers from this post. Simple & easy to implement, I hope you find them helpful when you put them to use in your profile. Let me know how it goes. Have a great day.

  2. Debra,
    Thanks for the good info. I look forward to studying your profile further as a template for updating my own Linked-in profile.

    Robb

    • Thanks Robb. I’ll look forward to seeing you on LinkedIn. Stopped by your Web site and see it’s under construction. Let me know if you need assistance with your content there.
      Have a great weekend.

  3. Thanks for the tips, Debra. I just updated my profile. Will make it a habit of updating it more regularly.

    Harlan

  4. Debra:

    I have used LI to build a professional network I can call on around the world.

    I have used it to source office equipment when I was head of operations of a company in a city other than my hometown.

    I have used it to source spent mussel shells in less than a month when our nine-person procurement department had not be able to identify alternate sources in more than three years.

    LinkedIn is a tremendous asset for networking and building invaluable business connections.

    Tom

  5. I never knew the endorsements used to be called “specialties”, interesting! Nice tips Debra.

    Brad

  6. Great information Debra. I had signed up for LinkedIn sometime ago and have not really utilized it as much as I should. Thank you very much for the great information on how to actually use the different areas. This gives me the incentive to once again utilize this important business connection and to not put it aside like it is too easy to do, especially when you have a tendency to use the ones your are familiar with. I will definitely connect with you on LinkedIn.
    John Logan recently posted…Online Marketing – Part Timer…..My Profile

    • Thanks John. LinkedIn is a valuable tool for resources, referrals and new business. Definitely consider giving it your attention. And here’s another little tip, when you send someone an invite to connect with you on LinkedIn, be sure to personalize it with your own message (vs. using LinkedIn’s generic invite). It’s a good way to start building that relationship.
      Good luck and see you on LinkedIn.
      🙂
      ~Debra

  7. I think LinkedIn may soon start charging me rent- I live there! I liken the place to a professional happy hour that never ends- and one that definitely gives me much less of a hangover. I have learned quite a bit from the other people there. I also hope to soon add even more to the conversation should I be granted Influencer status. Check me out sometime!
    Halina recently posted…Women in Science: New stereotypes, new challengesMy Profile

    • Love your analogy Halina. LinkedIn is like attending a professional networking event – only online! It’s wonderful that you’re learning from others, but as you suggested, you should definitely start joining in on discussions and having conversations. Have fun with it.
      Thanks.
      🙂
      ~Debra

  8. Thanks for sharing Debra. I have definetely been under utilizing Linked In. Always accepted people’s reqeust to connect but not fully engaged on it or set up my profile properly as you have explained here.
    Jenni Ryan recently posted…How to Attract Quality MLM Leads Through BloggingMy Profile

    • You’re welcome Jenni. Like anything, just being on a social network isn’t enough. It’s important to get involved and engaged with others. Hope you’ll put the tips on the blog to use in optimizing your profile and take advantage of the relationships you can nurture with like-minded folks on LinkedIn.
      Thanks.
      🙂
      ~Debra

  9. It’s cool to watch LinkedIn take on more power in the marketplace of non-employment opportunities. As someone who has been in home business programs and affiliate marketing for a long time, it’s nice to see LinkedIn help these two areas becoming more professional. Thanks for the info., Debra. 🙂
    Larry Hochman recently posted…Spring Into Friday Truth BombsMy Profile

  10. Kevin Rouse says:

    HI,

    I am also a sitter on LinkedIn. I do have a question. When someone recommends or says your good at whatever. I feel I am suppose to receipriacate. What is the best way to do this? Thanks

    • Kevin, there are “endorsements” and “recommendations” on LinkedIn. I think you’re asking about endorsements. It’s not required that you endorse someone, but it is nice to reciprocate – especially when you know that person.
      When someone endorses me for a skill, I send them a message thanking them for doing so. Then, I ask them “If I were to endorse you, which skills would you like me to endorse?”
      Hope this helps.
      Thanks.
      🙂
      ~Debra

  11. Hi Debra. I love the LinkedIn Experience and have met many professionals whom I would not have in the offline world thanks to global locations.

    Yet I find that many professionals still do not know how to connect on LinkedIn. The 2 things that get my goat are the generic invitation to connect (enough to make me do a video on YouTube on Invitation to Connect Etiquette 🙂 ) and posts on Group Forums where blog posts are shared without any real discussion. So one has to glean the discussions to find one where knowledge and information can really be shared.
    Vatsala Shukla recently posted…How to combat the Backstabber at Work without losing your dignityMy Profile

    • Hi Vatsala,
      One of the biggest mistakes people make on LinkedIn is sending out the generic LinkedIn invitation. When I speak on the topic of LinkedIn, I always stress the importance of personalizing the invite before you hit “send” – especially when you don’t the know person you’re contacting all that well. It’s the first step to building the relationship.
      Another point I cover is not to necessarily reject or ignore an invitation when you receive one from someone you don’t know. First, take a look at their profile & see if that person might be worth connecting with. Then, go back to the invitation and hit “reply, but don’t accept yet” & and write them a personal message asking how they connected with you (perhaps someone referred them to you or they found you while searching LinkedIn). Again, it’s the first step to developing a relationship.
      Thanks!
      🙂
      ~Debra

  12. I love LinkedIn, not because of the number of people I’m connected to but because of the number of relationships I’ve developed. There is a difference. I have a standard “Thank you for connecting with me..” response that I send out, that asks three questions: (1) why did you connect with me, (2)share with me how/why you started your business or career, and (3) how can we help each other now or in the future.

    I am always amazed at how many people don’t respond, which leads me to believe that they either don’t understand what “virtual” networking is all about, or they are only about building their numbers. I’m pretty sure that I have close to 700 connections but I have developed a relationship with about 150. I reach from time to time to find out how their business or careers are going, or just say hello and let them know I was thinking about them. I can’t tell you how much people appreciate that. And they remember your kindness. Great article Debra!!

    • Nice to see you here Eudine. With all the social networks, I think it’s hard for us to develop close relationships with all our fans, friends, followers. It’s great that you reach out to touch base with them. I agree that people appreciate the kind gesture & it’s another step to nurturing those relationships.
      Thanks.
      🙂
      ~Debra

  13. I am in fact signed up for LinkedIn, but don’t really get it either. I only signed up because my editor was pushing me to do so. Thank you for the great info. 🙂
    Belinda Rose recently posted…Peace, Be StillMy Profile

    • Belinda, like other social networks, if you’re going to be on it, take advantage of it by interacting with others. Read their updates (“Like”, comment or share), join in the group discussions. Where are your “peeps” hanging it out? If they’re on LinkedIn, consider giving the network a “test drive.” However, if you’re not enjoying the ride you might consider getting off the road and focusing your energy elsewhere.
      Thanks.
      🙂
      ~Debra

  14. Hi Debra- I was invited to join LinkedIn many years ago because, like you, I was invited by a colleague. I don’t really “get” it. I get many messages trying to sell me stuff. I’ve noticed I get notices to connect with those who think I may be interested in their services. Sometimes I post:-) lol I actually did one today:-) I’m interested however in leveraging social media so I’ll update my profile with your tips this weekend! Thank you! Have a wonderful weekend! xoDana

    • Dana, LinkedIn is like other social networks – it’s about building relationships. Those people that start selling you before you’ve ever developed a relationship are likely to be ignored (and it sounds like you’re already passing them by). However, just like your interactions on Facebook or via your blog, you can nurture valuable new relationships that may lead to partnerships, great resources and/or referrals.
      Thanks. Have a great weekend as well.
      🙂
      ~Debra

  15. Debra your posts are always so helpful! I have a Linkedin profile but I too never really understood how to leverage my presence there. I’m going to go back in and see what I need to do to update, following your suggestions. Thanks so much for the info. <3
    Kelly Cavanaugh recently posted…Story… What’s Yours?My Profile

    • You’re welcome Kelly. The beauty of LinkedIn (well, of the Internet, in general) – is that you can go back in there and update your profile. You’ll find the tips in this post very helpful in optimizing your information.
      Good luck.
      🙂
      ~Debra

  16. These are very useful tips. I love LinkedIn and treat it as a virtual networking space. Many of my professional relationships started from participating in the group discussion on LinkedIn, some of them grew into friendship.

    Your post reminded me that I need to rewrite my profile which I created few years ago showing my best features as an employee rather than letting potential customers to find me. As I am combining my employment and my own business I left in favour for being a part of the company, though soon it will change. Thanks Debra!
    Inga Deksne recently posted…Have you ditched your Facebook page yet?My Profile

    • Inga, LinkedIn is a great networking space. Of all the social networks, it’s the largest one for business professionals. And, as you suggested, getting involved in group discussions is one of the best ways to connect with like-minded professionals. I look forward to seeing your “new & improved” profile when it’s done.
      Here’s to your sweet success,
      🙂
      ~Debra

  17. LinkedIn is key to finding the right clients and letting people know what you are about.

    Thanks for sharing
    Catherine Storing recently posted…Know Who You ARE and ACT Accordingly!My Profile

  18. Thank you Debra….. I’m heading over to tweak my profile!
    Paula D’Andrea recently posted…Motivation Monday: Be Open & Share Your LightMy Profile

  19. Thanks for the reminders Debra. I look at my profiles at least two times a year and now is the time for me to be doing a review. I’ll be double checking what I have against your tips. I don’t spend a lot of time on LinkedIN, but I’d like to make the time I do spend there worthwhile.
    Stephanie Calahan recently posted…How to Find Content Ideas that Your Ideal Clients are Looking ForMy Profile

    • Always honored when you find my tips worthwhile Stephanie. You might want to revisit spending time on LinkedIn. I know you’re out there in several places in the social media space, but LinkedIn is the largest social network specifically for business.
      Here’s to your sweet success,
      ~Debra

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    Jerusalem’s problems recently posted…Jerusalem’s problemsMy Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] 1. Her Profile is so incomplete that it’s doing her more harm than good. Everyone is a “beginner” on LinkedIn at some point – but before really connecting with people, make sure your Profile is very robust and complete. (Debra offers some great tips for optimizing your Profile here.) […]

  2. […] Advice from LinkedIn regarding keywords: “Only include the keywords, including repeated keywords, in your profile that best reflect your expertise and experience.” Here are copywriting tips for 6 strategic places to use keyword phrases to harness the power of Link… […]

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