UPDATED!

If you’re looking for a job or going to do any kind of business on LinkedIn, the first thing you need to do is optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Here are some LinkedIn profile tips that will really help you.

Every new person you request to connect with will judge you based upon how well your profile looks and reads. It could make the difference between lots of new valuable connections or just a few. If you don’t look professional on your LinkedIn profile then you must not be professional…perception is reality.

1. Get Found in LinkedIn and Google Searches
Are you being found for keywords on LinkedIn that could mean new business for you? Have you done your research to see what keywords you should be using on your Profile and in group discussions? All of these keywords and phrases are indexed by LinkedIn and Google. Add the most important keywords to your LinkedIn profile title and your summary. Add those same top keywords to Skills and Expertise and other sections like Interests.
Another reason why you need lots of new first degree connections is that they always appear first in search results. With more first degree connections you will be on the top of more search results.

2. Keep Your Profile Name Clean
If your name is “John Smith” you should use it that way, and not “John Smith – Email (johnsmith@gmail.com) or call/text 654-489-7854.”
Don’t confuse LinkedIn search by putting in additional info in your name section.

3. Your Profile Photo
There is absolutely no debate as to whether to include a photo on your profile. Anyone who uses the default grey avatar is an idiot. LinkedIn relegates people with default grey avatars to the bottom of search results. If there’s no face to look at on your profile you’re at a huge disadvantage. In this heat map, you’ll see that people stare at your photo the most on your LinkedIn profile. This is a top LinkedIn profile tip.
Make sure your picture looks good! I mean, not a photo of you at a black tie event or on vacation. Go to a local mall in a shirt or blouse and jacket and get a good photo taken of yourself.

4. Your Public Profile URL
Clean up your LinkedIn profile’s internet address too, because the default doesn’t look good enough: https://www.linkedin.com/in/firstname-lastname-s3v8413vhd3
Under your profile picture you can find your current profile URL, and next to it there is a little grey cogwheel. Click it and claim your own clean profile URL. It’s free and instant.
You should also include this link in your email signature, presentation decks, business cards and any other material that you hand out.

5. Personalize Your Websites Contact Info
Next to your profile URL on the right, you can actualize your contact info. When you edit your website, the drop down menu gives you the option of “other”. Click on it to open a new field that allows you to type in your business name, website name, call-to-action, or description of your website.
Instead of “Company Website” or “Personal Website” this section can read “Marketing Expert” or “Click here for expert advice on outsourcing” or anything you like.

6. Recommendations: Powerful Third Party Corroboration
LinkedIn tells you your profile is complete with only three recommendations. I suggest between 10 – 15 good recommendations. And when you’re asking for recommendations, provide a list of your skills, so people will write a more accurate recommendation of how well you performed your job and not. I also suggest that you might write a recommendation that the recommender can use or base their recommendation from. Also you can use the free LinkedIn recommendation generator on your website.

7. Join Groups…Strategically
There are three types of groups you want to join of the possible 50 you’re allowed to join. A small percentage should be your competitor’s groups, your industry, and your prospects’ industries. The second type are geo-located groups like local chambers of commerce. The third and biggest should be persona-type groups for CIOs, CTOs, Entrepreneurs etc. You should be starting discussions in these groups by sharing content and asking people’s opinions about the article or content.

8. Message for Free.
You can send a message to any LinkedIn group member. Just search for their name in a group and click “message”. Of course, you should join the same group first.

9. Collect Leads Directly from Your Profile.
Do you have a white paper or ebook to give away? (If not, have one created on a hot topic.) Build a web form with Google Drive. Place the links on your Summary and share them as updates once a day every day.