Reasonably Spiffy with Room for Improvement – Part 1 : Above the Fold

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I love the “good enough” discussion. We’re all busy. It doesn’t matter if you are a small business owner, mom, top executive or job seeker. There are not enough hours in the day to do all we need/want to do.

As a LinkedIn Consultant I get asked what is “good enough” all the time. It’s a great question. Who has time to update their profile every few weeks? Post relevant articles? Include updates of what you are doing? There is only so much you can do.

Over the next 5 weeks I am going to publish a series of articles on getting the basics tackled on your LinkedIn account and calling it – good enough.

Getting Started

Maximize your “above the fold” presence

In many cases you get only 5 – 10 seconds for someone to view your profile. If they don’t see what they are looking for right away, or don’t like what they see – that’s it. They don’t look further.

Use the Background  Photo

Many people don’t know this option is available. Using it makes you look savvy. And, it can really make your profile pop off the screen. Use high contrasting color. If you are a writer, drop in a photo of #2 pencils. The association the brain makes is amazing. We are more heavily driven by visuals than we know. The backdrop says, “Of course she’s a writer, there are the pencils.” It boosts credibility.

Write a better Headline 

There are many philosophies about how best to use the huge space you get for your headline. Make a bold claim, use a call to action, add something silly or personal. Add your phone number. Mention the nature of your business, goals as a job seeker, personality and organization of employment will drive some of that choice. The easy way for a solopreneur to use the Headline is to say – exactly what they do, who you do it for and add a tag line.

Look at others in your field. See what they are doing. There are many great articles out there discussing how to build a better headline. I have run across some “Headline Generators”. Find great examples and craft a unique headline for yourself.

Get a professional looking Head Shot 

Seriously. If you aren’t going to take the time and trouble to get a decent Head Shot, you might want to reconsider being on LinkedIn. It is a professional platform. Be professional. Look professional. It takes nothing at all to be in the top 25% of profile photos on LinkedIn.

Does it have to be professionally taken – no. Professional looking. Yes. This is where you might want to upgrade from good enough. You should look like your photo. Make your very best impression.

Have a Network  

If you have less than a 100 people in your network, you don’t have much of a network. Get yourself to 250 – 500 as quickly as you can. Do maintain some level of integrity as you do this, but think outside the box. Add your neighbors, the coach from your kid’s soccer club, people you have taken classes with, former colleagues and old college friends. There is a certain ‘critical mass’ to LinkedIn. Get the numbers to work for you.

You just went to a talk or a conference? Look up the speaker and thank them through a customized invitation. Mention something you really liked about their presentation. I have created some amazing connections this way.

Next networking event you go to, do collect business cards. Follow up on all those conversations on LinkedIn. Add a link to the article you discussed. Create a LI introduction of 2 people you promised to connect.

Customize your URL

Get rid of all the random numbers and letters behind your name on your assigned LinkedIn URL. You are more searchable without them. And use the name people know you by professionally. If you need to; hyphenate. Don’t make people work so hard or guess if it is you. Make it clear and easy.

This may sound like very basic information. As a LinkedIn Consultant you might be surprised what I see everyday. We all think we, “…will get around to it. No one looks at my profile anyway.”

That is no longer a safe assumption. With employers directly recruiting off LinkedIn, and clients checking out your credibility and recommendations, how do you know who has looked at your profile and decided “No”. Do you look at your profile views daily?

Do yourself and your career/business a big favor – up your game on LinkedIn.

Next week – We look at the Summary and discuss how you craft it so people will know, like and trust you. How do you make if easily visually scan-able? Do you really need key words?

Angela Dunz is a Public Speaker, Workshop Facilitator and LinkedIn Consultant and Strategist. Her focus is helping Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses build their businesses using LinkedIn. She can be reached at or call @ 415-419-1781. Would you like a complimentary 30 minute consultation? Let’s talk about how you, specifically, can use LinkedIn better!

Contact Information

Cowgirl Creative Coaching
Cowgirl Creative Coaching