Over the past years, LinkedIn has gained so much popularity that it has become one of the most powerful channels to not only grow your personal brand but also your business.

Having said that, only when leveraged properly will you be able to open doors to the array of opportunities LinkedIn has to offer rather than simply using it as your digital resume. What’s more, to do just that you need to begin with understanding what LinkedIn isn’t…

Well, to put it simply, LinkedIn isn’t your portfolio or resume. It isn’t even a social network to connect with your friends and family.

In fact, it is a powerful lead generation, content marketing and most importantly, networking tool. Add to that, nearly 89% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn as a lead generation tool whereas 94% of them use it for content marketing.

That said, how is it that you can utilise your LinkedIn profile to help expand your business?

In this article, we’ve highlighted some tips to help you optimise your LinkedIn profile and leverage it as a sales and marketing tool to build brand awareness for your business while also growing it.

Here’s what we’ll be covering:

  • LinkedIn’s Growth in the Past 10 Years
  • Six Steps to Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile
  • How LinkedIn Helps Generate Traffic and Visibility

Let’s dive in!

LinkedIn’s Growth in the Past 10 Years

For the past 10 years, the activities on LinkedIn have only surged with consistent growth in users, engagement and searches. As a matter of fact, the current estimate of LinkedIn users is nearly 675 millions per month and an average of 30 million businesses.

However, when it comes to LinkedIn users, it’s not just the business executives. The diversity among the set of users is expanding across the demographics:

  • 16% users from the age group of 15 to 25 years
  • 27% users from the age group of 26 to 35 years
  • 34% users from the age group of 35 to 45 years
  • 37% users from the age group of 46 to 55 years
  • 29% users from the age group of 56+ years

In totality, the estimated figure is that nearly 27% of the LinkedIn users are from the U.S.

Six Steps to Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile

With a myriad of potential offers available on LinkedIn, it’s extremely crucial to keep optimising your profile. 

Before we go through the steps, let’s take a look at these vital factors:

  • LinkedIn isn’t your portfolio or resume; it’s more of your personal brand. This means that it offers you the opportunity to display not only your skills but also your creativity. It also enables you to develop credibility and an online presence through videos, recommendations, posts and articles.
  • More than a place for building your network, LinkedIn is also a place where you can learn as it offers a lot of chances to meet like minded professionals. Moreover, you get to learn from the top leaders of your industry, meaning you can add to your skill set.
  • Your LinkedIn profile is also the extension of your business’ brand, which without a doubt is the most valuable asset. More often than not, it’s your brand that reaches out the most to your audience, which is why you need to ensure your LinkedIn profile represents you and your business.
  • Along with helping you build your brand, LinkedIn also enables you to help others. This means, when used in the right way, you can provide potential customers with specialised service while building your company.

Now that we’ve taken a look at the crucial factors of LinkedIn, let’s understand how you can optimise your profile to reap the benefits.

1. Add a Photo That Makes Your Profile Look Professional

While you don’t have to empty your pockets on a fancy suit, stand rigid when taking a photograph or force a smile, ensure that your profile image is friendly and approachable. Make sure you let your personality shine!

Additionally, try to be yourself but also think of how you’d like other people to perceive you.

A thumb of rule when it comes to LinkedIn profile image is, using waist high shots. Not only is it visually appealing when compared to close-up images, but also allows you to play a bit with backgrounds and poses.

While you’re at it, ensure that the place is well lit and there’s enough contrast between your background and you; this makes your face stand out!

Follow the same guidelines for your cover photo too.

Perhaps avoid adding images that have you in an unprofessional setting or vacation shots. Rather, come up with ways that help you align your cover photo with your brand or business.

2. Mention Your Skill Set and Story In the “About” Section

The ‘About’ section in your LinkedIn profile is the best place to expand your tagline. Here, you get to highlight more of your value and how you can help others solve issues.

A tip, however, would be to write in the first person POV as it humanises you. In fact, it puts across your story in a unique way.

While you’re at it, do talk about your industry expertise and make sure you’re avoiding the use of board terms. Try to demonstrate your drive; sell yourself and more importantly, exude passion – after all, your LinkedIn profile is the perfect place to let your personality do all the talking!

If you want, you could add your skills at the bottom and finally, wrap it up with a call to action – this could be a link to your company website or portfolio.

3. Leverage the ‘Open for Business’ Option

A feature that was rolled out on LinkedIn recently, the ‘Open for Business’ feature enables you to showcase your products and services at the very top of the profile. To make it as appealing as possible, you could get product images captured from a professional; perhaps you can sign up for ecommerce product photography services to get the job done!

The best part about the feature that makes it a game changer, however, is that it makes your services searchable on the platform. This means, people can easily look for different services and your name would pop up.

While some users already have access to this feature, some might have to request LinkedIn to provide one.

4. Add Links to Your Products and Work Examples

If you’ve got case studies or are a writer, it’s best to add helpful links of your work on your LinkedIn profile.

Not only does it add backlinks to your content and enhances your credibility, but also offers substance and extra visual cues to your profile. These links could range anywhere from photographs, videos, presentations or blogs.

5. Take Advantage of the ‘Featured’ Option

The ‘featured’ option on LinkedIn enables you to add outside links to the profile.

This is considered as an excellent spot to share your company’s page, links to your articles and other notable work that helps drive more traffic to your website.

6. Keep Sharing Posts or Write an Article on LinkedIn

As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is not just a platform to build your network; it’s a great place to engage with others.

The best way to do so is by regularly posting articles on it. Since you have nearly 1,300 characters to pen down your opinions and thoughts, make the most of it. You also have the option for long form content, so that’s covered too!

How LinkedIn Helps Generate Traffic and Visibility

As per a research, nearly 52% of customers have listed LinkedIn as one of the most influential platforms; 55% of decision makers, in fact, leverage thought leadership to vet businesses they can partner with.

That said, if you’re a B2C or B2B business or a nonprofit organisation, there’s a lot of value you can get from LinkedIn, albeit with the right strategy.

Here’s how it can work in your favour:

  • LinkedIn can have a huge impact on your business’ visibility and SEO. As a matter of fact, nearly 46% of the traffic coming to your company website is through LinkedIn. That means, this platform has massive impacts on your brand’s visibility and awareness, which is further passed on to your leads, traffic and eventually the bottom line.
  • It also has an impact on your inbound leads. To put it factually, 93% of digital marketers have accepted that LinkedIn is an effective platform for generating leads. Moreover, as per research conducted by Hubspot, LinkedIn is one of the most successful platforms especially for sales representatives.
  • As we already know, LinkedIn helps you build your business – after all, that’s what every organisation is looking for. But only if you offer help and engage with as many people as possible, will you be able to build a stronger brand presence. This will not only keep you at the top of your customer’s mind but also help drive more traffic and in turn, potential leads.

To Conclude – LinkedIn Can Help Your Business Grow

While optimising your LinkedIn company page, you’re basically optimising your business. This means, by engaging with people and sharing articles you’ll be only increasing your brand awareness; this will help drive value in the long run!

LinkedIn is not like any other social media platform; so don’t wait.

For businesses in the B2B niche, it’s the perfect channel to develop long lasting relationships, activate your sales pipeline and build a strong brand.