Since its formation LinkedIn* has been the leading business social media platform, and with increasing numbers of brands and users having turned away from Twitter since its 2022 ownership change and subsequent policy shifts, in 2023 LinkedIn has grown to over 900 million members.
With interest in LinkedIn at a new high-point, how can B2B marketers ensure that their place within the LinkedIn universe is accurately represented — both professionally and personally?
The many features of LinkedIn member profiles have evolved and greatly expanded over the years, and more B2B marketers than you would expect are missing out on exposure opportunities that are only a click away.
Let’s take a look at 15+ optimizations that will take your LinkedIn profile to the next level, with a focus on the human elements that will help you sparkle on the platform.
1 — Examine & Reevaluate Your Public Profile
To begin the process of optimizing and humanizing your LinkedIn profile, take a step back and examine and reevaluate your profile as it appears to others.
You can either log out of LinkedIn or choose the “Edit public profile & URL” option that is available on the top right of the desktop version of your profile, and either will allow you to take a few moments to see how your information appears to other logged-in LinkedIn users as well as to the public and to search engines.
As you take a top-to-bottom run-through of your profile, perform a quick audit by making a note of any information you spot that needs to be updated, as going through our list will be a prime opportunity to take care of all of the LinkedIn profile changes you may have been postponing.
This is also the perfect time to reassess which portions of your profile are public and which are visible only to your first-degree connections, your network of connections including up to three levels removed — the friends of your friends’ friends — or to all LinkedIn members.
It’s wise to periodically check these settings as your professional and personal life changes over time, to make certain that your information is as public or private as you wish.
2 — Feature The Services You Provide
LinkedIn now offers the ability to feature the services you or your organization provide in a prominent section near the top of your profile, where you can let others know the key areas in which you can provide help professionally.
As with the majority of the LinkedIn profile changes we’ll be looking at, adding your services starts by clicking your “Me” drop-down before your smaller upper-right profile image and selecting the “View Profile” option.
You’ll then be able to select the “Open To” button and can choose “Providing Services,” which takes you through the straightforward process of creating a service page to highlight your particular services.
The service page can be as detailed or as basic as you wish, and once published your fellow LinkedIn users will be able to see the services you or your organization offer, and be able to click that section to learn more, including such options as requesting work proposals.
3 — Augment With Articles
When I joined LinkedIn in 2007 it didn’t yet have the ability to write articles beyond the length of a standard social media post, however that’s changed over the years with several methods on tap for sharing longer articles — most notably the namesake “articles” feature.
One of the first things I look for when connecting with a new associate on LinkedIn — right after checking to see that they have recent activity — is whether they have written any articles on the platform itself. Oftentimes this can be a quick method to differentiate between casual LinkedIn users and those who take full advantage of its opportunities, and who in turn may offer you a more robust two-way connection.
Writing an article on LinkedIn is as easy as choosing the “Write article” option below the standard “Start a post” box at the top of your content feed, and additional help is available for using the article feature.
You can add a cover image, links to both on-site and off-site content, indented snippets, slide presentations, videos, and inline images, all allowing you to put together a robust article on LinkedIn.
Articles are a great way to stand out on LinkedIn, and to expand the type of stories you wish to share with your audience.
4 — Turn On Creator Mode
Certain LinkedIn features — such as the newsletter feature and the “Talks About” hashtags we’ll explore later — can only be used when you activate the platform’s creator mode, which places an emphasis on helping build greater reach through encouraging users to follow your activity.
Since creator mode can be turned on and off, you may want to try it out and see if its array of features — including the ability to become a suggested creator to follow — suit the particular way that you use LinkedIn.
5 — Grow Your Network With A Newsletter
LinkedIn’s newsletter feature has become a greater focus for the platform over the past year, allowing users who have activated creator mode and who meet minimal audience base requirements to create and share regular newsletters within LinkedIn.
Newsletters can be published at regular intervals, and allow the inclusion of media similar to the articles format we looked at previously, all automatically shared with those who have subscribed to your newsletter.
Even if you have an existing newsletter in email or other formats, it can be a relatively straightforward task to also build and share it using LinkedIn’s streamlined newsletter feature.
6 — Highlight Your Offsite Writing, Digital Assets & Press Mentions
LinkedIn makes it easy to highlight digital content you’ve created elsewhere on the web, with the featured content section that allows you to share links including a thumbnail image, web-page headline, and a description of the content.
This LinkedIn profile section is well worth activating to highlight work that you’re proud of, whether it’s a press mention, an article you’ve written, or other content that your LinkedIn audience would benefit from.
A second spot for featuring your digital assets comes in the form of a featured media section that’s available for each of your current or past work positions, which also allows you to link to external presentations, websites, videos, and documents.
This can be an excellent way to showcase both your ongoing work and that which you’ve created over the years, and is available simply by adding media to each of the work experiences you have added to your LinkedIn profile.
7 — Utilize Your “Talks About” Hashtags
You may have noticed that some LinkedIn user profiles now feature a prominent listing of hashtags below their name and job title.
This “Talks about” section is available to users who turn on creator mode, and allows you to showcase the topics you explore the most in the form of hashtags.
Showing your relevant hashtags can be a great way to let anyone visiting your page know the areas of expertise they can expect you to post about, and is a relatively new feature that’s both easy to activate and helpful in making your profile stand out.
8 — Revisit Your Recommendations
Giving and receiving recommendations on LinkedIn have always been valuable methods to let people learn more about you, both in how you write about others and how your associates describe their work with you.
LinkedIn’s written recommendation system has been a tried and true method for showcasing your work, yet oftentimes users let years pass without asking for new recommendations or taking a moment to share a recommendation about a trusted teammate or associate.
Taking the time to regularly update your recommendations on LinkedIn is an especially powerful way to emphasize the personal elements or your work history, and to help your profile stand out.
9 — Add A Link To Your Website
Another relatively new LinkedIn profile addition is the ability to feature a link to either a website or content published on LinkedIn, all prominently displayed within the top introduction section of your profile.
Available to those who have turned on creator mode, adding a link to your profile’s introduction section is a straightforward way to highlight your primary website or piece of content on LinkedIn.
You even have the ability to choose the text — presently up to around 30 characters — that will feature the link, offering B2B marketers an enticing way to periodically highlight new initiatives.
10 — Review & Expand Your About Section
Your LinkedIn profile’s about section allows a generous about of space to share the story of your professional life, and it’s worth a look to see if you are fully utilizing the space you have available to add both nuance and detail your profile’s general information section.
Even if you have a fairly robust about section, consider how it looks and whether it could benefit from being divided up in a more organized fashion, perhaps with the inclusion of visual emoji to designate specific portions of your professional story.
11 — Spotlight Your Passion Projects
Does your LinkedIn profile include a projects section?
Even if you already take advantage of this profile option, it’s worth having another look at what you may not yet have listed as a project in this often-overlooked section.
Available when editing your profile under the “Additional” drop-down list as “Add projects,” this category is one that can be applied to many types of past accomplishments, in-progress work, or forthcoming projects.
You can create a project name, note whether it’s one you’re currently working on or give specific start and end dates, and provide a detailed description.
You can also add co-creators from any of your current or past positions to allow shared team projects to be listed, and you can even include a link to the project.
While you’re adding or updating your projects, it can be a good time to also look over the other accomplishments that LinkedIn allows you to feature on your profile.
12 — Stand Out With Custom Profile Imagery
Social media common sense dictates that the ideal LinkedIn profiles will feature a custom background photo header image using the latest recommended pixel size specifications — at the time of writing 1,588 pixels wide by 396 pixels tall.
Your profile’s header image represents a unique way to visually tell your story, and the best ones can swiftly convey a great deal of information to a potential connection or client before a single word from your profile is taken in.
Some prefer a collage of images for a background photo, while others opt for a single image. Whichever you choose, taking the time to make it pixel perfect can pay off, as can keeping the image updated over time.
Additionally, if you’re broadcasting a LinkedIn Live video stream, your background photo will automatically switch to becoming a live-stream video during your broadcast.
13 — Humanize By Highlighting Your Causes
As B2B marketers look to differentiate from the rise in artificial intelligence (AI) and generative chatbot content — as we explored recently in “What Recent Data Shows About The Rising Importance of Human Touch-Points in B2B Marketing,” LinkedIn’s profile element for highlighting the causes you support takes on even greater importance.
Whether it’s animal welfare, arts and culture, children, education, health, or any of the other causes available, displaying those important to you can add a human touch to your LinkedIn profile should you choose to activate and use this element.
14 — Record and Display Your Name Pronunciation on Your Profile
Another easy addition to spruce up your LinkedIn profile comes when you record a short audio file that allows users to learn how to pronounce your name.
Especially helpful for B2B marketers who speak at conferences or travel and network extensively for work, taking a few moments to record how to pronounce your name is a courteous touch that will also help show that you are mindful of your LinkedIn profile.
15 — Stand Out With A LinkedIn Profile Video
While rolled out some time ago, another under-utilized LinkedIn profile element is the ability to create and feature and profile video, which allows you to record or upload an introductory video up to 30 seconds in length.
Presently available only from within LinkedIn’s mobile application, the profile video feature offers a goldmine of opportunity when it comes to helping others learn about you and your story.
Flip Your LinkedIn Profile To Well-Done Perfection
These 15+ areas represent only some of the many overall options that B2B marketers have to optimize their LinkedIn profile, yet they represent some of the areas that will provide the best reward for a relatively small time investment, and we hope that you’ll implement at least a few of the opportunities we’ve highlighted here.
More than ever before, creating award-winning B2B marketing that elevates, gives voice to talent, and humanizes with authenticity takes considerable time and effort, which is why more brands are choosing to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Reach out to learn how we can help, as we’ve done for over 20 years for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and many others.
*LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client.