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How soloists can fire up LinkedIn for their businesses

Wednesday, 21 November 2012 | By Linnet Hunter

In conversation with a fellow consultant last week, my work as a reviewer of young adult books for The Australian newspaper came up.

 

“I didn’t know that! Why isn’t that on your LinkedIn profile?” he demanded.

 

“Because it’s got nothing to do with my current work /life/profile/brand”, I answered, or words to that effect. Although more likely it sounded like, “Huh?”

 

“Nonsense”, he replied. “I would be interested, even impressed, to know that your critical remarks had been paid for and published by a national newspaper.”

 

Seen in that light, it certainly sounded impressive, even to me.

 

I am always encouraging others not to hide their light under a bushel but now it appears I have been doing it myself. I look anew at my LinkedIn profile and realise it is a bit bare because I have made a judgement about what fits and what doesn’t.

 

And yet all the disparate and apparently disconnected things I have done over my chequered past are part of what makes me an excellent resource for people. So why not let them know?

 

So here is a short checklist of things I am going to do to revamp my profile this week. Use it to see if too can develop your online persona so it is more than a silhouette.

 

1. Check the length

 

Your summary needs to be just that – a summary not an essay. Read over a few others and notice at which point your eyes glaze over. Readers will only scan over what you do. They are possibly more interested to know what you can do for them.

 

Choose your words carefully and create a statement that positions you in the centre of the area you wish to influence.

 

Be precise, cogent and concrete. And remember that the words you write under your name will appear in every post and connection you make – so craft them for impact.

 

2. Check your CV

 

What have you achieved or done that you are not talking about? As you can see from the example at the beginning of this article, there are aspects to your past work that may not immediately spring to mind as relevant, but you can extract some of the key skills from them.

 

My current work involves writing non-fiction and the publications I have worked on previously have elements of that within them, so I can now see how to emphasise that facet in my profile.

 

3. Check your keywords

 

Use a wordle to check your key words are in there. Okay, so I am assuming you have all used a wordle, or if you haven’t you’ve seen one. Copy a slab of your job descriptions, or other blurb from your profile. Go to wordle.net and paste the copied text into it and press go.

 

You should end up with a visual representation of your information. Here’s an example taken from my summary:

 

Hunter

 

If the key words that describe your offering don’t come out in bigger font than the rest then your message is not effective and you need to go back and rewrite it.

There are a few other ways you can use this free tool; this is just one of them.

 

Happy profiling!