LinkedIn Tips

Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile With These 5 Tips

With close to 600 million users, LinkedIn is a social media platform business professionals and owners cannot afford to ignore. It’s atypical for a social network in that LinkedIn is not geared towards purely social connections but rather strives to give people a means to connect with other professionals. In addition to the large and growing user base, some 260 million LinkedIn users are actively logging in monthly, and recruiters and companies looking to hire also search LinkedIn.

Like so many platforms in the digital space, there is much more to a LinkedIn profile than meets the eye. If you’re simply filling in the fields in the hopes that you’ll get noticed, you are missing an opportunity to leverage LinkedIn, connect with your peers, and grow your personal brand.

Take the time to professionalize and leverage your LinkedIn profile with these 5 tips:

LinkedIn Tip #1: Start strong

The first three sentences of your Summary Section are the most important because when people view your profile, it’s the only part of the summary they see at first glance. To see the rest of your profile demands a click of the Show more tab.

  • DO state your professional passion right upfront in these three lines.
  • DON’T repeat your title and company name in the summary opening lines. Put your title and company name in your Headline section.

LinkedIn Tip #2: Add keywords

LinkedIn is a digital platform, and it is keyword-driven. As noted in LinkedIn Tip #1, the first three lines of your Summary Section are critical, so populating these lines with your essential keywords is not easy logistically, nor necessary. At the end of the Summary Section and out of view, add a section called Areas of Expertise and list your areas of expertise using your essential keywords.

By adding a paragraph that includes your keyword-driven areas of expertise towards the bottom of your LinkedIn Summary Section, you achieve the goal of infusing keywords in your summary without cluttering up the precious first few lines.

LinkedIn Pro Tip: When people are searching LinkedIn, LinkedIn tracks what keywords they have used to land on your profile. On the bottom of the Weekly search stats page is a section called Keywords your searchers used. If the terms listed don’t align with your skill set, your keywords are off, and you should review them in your Summary Section.

LinkedIn Tip #3: Differentiate yourself with imagery

Behind your profile photo is a banner space that will accommodate a 1584 x 396 pixel-sized image. This landscape-oriented banner is the perfect opportunity to tell people visually something interesting about you. What’s your favorite city or personal passion? What makes you unique–maybe a hobby or interesting volunteer experience.

  • DO use the banner to personalize your profile and make it about you.
  • DON’T use the banner to promote your business.

Add keywords to LinkedIn

LinkedIn Tip #4: Use Your Technology

What if you start to build out your LinkedIn profile, and you don’t know what keywords to use? Or maybe you can think of a few keywords, but you would like a few more to flesh out your Summary Section.  To build a strong keyword list, here’s a:

LinkedIn Pro Tip: Identify an influencer or colleague on LinkedIn that is in your industry, and mirror his or her keywords. Here’s a quick way to find out what those keywords are:   

  • Select and copy the text in a person’s LinkedIn profile.
  • Paste the copy into a word cloud application. Word clouds are visual representations of words from the text used to create the cloud. The more often the word is in the text, the bigger and bolder it is in the word cloud. There are many different word cloud generators too. Read this Poll Everywhere article for inspiration.
  • Choose keywords from the word cloud that are relevant to you, and use them to update your LinkedIn profile.  

LinkedIn Tip #5: Highlight your skills

Because LinkedIn is data and keyword driven, make sure to fill in the Skills & Endorsements section of your profile. You can Add a new skill yourself by clicking the pencil icon for the section. You don’t need someone else to endorse you for a skill to add it to your list.

  • DO make sure all of your key areas of expertise from LinkedIn Tip #2 are listed in the Skills & Endorsements section, so people looking at your profile know your proficiencies. Order them by using the pencil icon to edit.
  • DON’T forget to remove skills that are no longer relevant from time to time which you can do via the edit feature.

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is a strategic and essential part of managing your personal online brand. Be mindful of how you update your profile and remember–LinkedIn is a social network driven by data. More broadly, when Linkedin is used with consistency across an organization, the impact of leveraging properly constructed LinkedIn profiles can have a ripple effect and strengthen a company’s brand.

If sorting out LinkedIn is on your management team’s bucket list, contact us to learn more about our LinkedIn training sessions for corporate executive teams.


Thanks to Oliver Schinkten, staff instructor for LinkedIn, who inspired this post. I recently had the privilege of attending one of his training sessions.

online reviews have ripple effect

Online Reviews – Manage Or Be Managed

With some 115 million reviews on Yelp alone, there is no doubt that online reviews and the pursuit of “social proof” are here to stay. Yelp’s stated purpose, “To connect people with great local businesses,” is the foundation for its online portal which allows people to review and assign a star rating to a business to represent their user experience.

For bricks and mortar companies, the era of user-generated reviews means that owners are seeing their business reviews pop up all over the web. Yelp, Google, Facebook, YP (Yellow Pages) and Foursquare are just a few examples of sites that offer reviews. Online reviews are even being pushed to mapping applications such as MapQuest and Google Maps.

The reality is that if customers are trying to find you on the Internet, chances are they will stumble upon a review of your business. Negative reviews have a ripple effect dissuading new customers from visiting your store, buying your products or using your services. If you’re like many business owners, you don’t know where many of these reviews are, how to manage them, or if you should respond.

The growing role of online reputation management

Not surprisingly, online reputation management is a growing vertical in digital marketing. To safeguard your company’s reputation, it’s essential to proactively find, track and manage your company’s online reviews. Reputation management services typically:

  • Utilize software to locate your online reviews on 3rd party sites
  • Offer a review option on your website to actively collect your own reviews
  • Funnel 3rd party reviews into a portal for easier management and faster response times
  • Filter and then render positive 3rd party reviews on your company’s website
  • Redirect negative reviews collected on your website to your management team via email

Establishing a reputation management process takes time and organization. It’s a marathon, not a race. Here are three reasons it’s worth the effort:

1. Online reviews do not require your approval

Whether it’s an unofficial Facebook page or unclaimed Yelp listing, review sites are collecting reviews on your business whether you choose to monitor them or not. Unofficial or unclaimed pages are “unmanaged” as they were not set up by the business in the first place and come about because someone checks-in or reviews the business. These portals don’t require your approval to generate review pages about your business, and they are visible to your customers. As important, negative reviews need to be answered, and you can’t respond to a review if you don’t know it’s out there.

I will share an example. Our agency has a client with 9 bricks and mortar locations. When we undertook a recent reputation management audit for them, we found:

  • 9 unofficial Facebook pages with reviews
  • 9 unclaimed Yelp pages, 5 with reviews
  • 9 Google My Business pages with reviews
  • 9 listings on YP, no reviews
  • 6 listings on Judy’s Book, no reviews
  • 1 listing on Citysearch, no reviews
  • 1 listing on Foursquare, no reviews

In total, we found almost 120 online reviews on the Internet that corresponded to the 9 locations. In essence, there was a growing body of reviews on the web for this company, and they were unaware of many of them. Listings on Yellow Pages and online directories count too, because they are available for future reviews, and therefore, need to be monitored.


Establishing a reputation management process takes time

and organization. It’s a marathon, not a race.


2. Positive online reviews boost the credibility of your business

When you do a search in Google, sometimes you will see gold stars, or rich snippet reviews, under a website address. Here is a snapshot of some rich snippet reviews for the Fairmont San Francisco hotel associated with their listings on, Yelp, and Under each of the website names, you will see gold stars that represent the average star rating for the reviews on that particular site.  

rich snippet stars

The rich snippet stars validate that Google is crediting Fairmont San Francisco with reviews collected on these 3rd party websites. Knowing that any business can essentially write and post reviews on their own website, rich snippet reviews continue to grow in importance. Positive reviews in the form of 4 and 5 stars increase click-through rates and boost business credibility and foot traffic. Think about it. When’s the last time you clicked on a search result for a business with a one or two star rating?

digital footprint from online reviews

3. Online reviews are an integral part of your brand reputation

No longer just word of mouth or direct referrals, online reviews now play a prominent role in your brand reputation. In BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey 2016, two facts, in particular, confirm the importance of online reviews:

  • 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
  • 74% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more

These statistics attest to both the power of online reviews as well as their increasing role in an organization’s reputation. They are an integral part of a company’s digital footprint and directly influence how people perceive the brand.

No doubt the continuing growth of the Internet means that online reputation management is here to stay. Much like the ripples from a raindrop that hits the surface of a pond, reviews continuously widen your audience reach and spread important information that potential customers seek. When it comes to your online reputation, it’s a case of manage or be managed.


Do you know what people are saying about your business online? Use our free review scan and get an instant reputation report, and if you would like to explore a reputation management program for your business, contact us.