As the most popular professional social networking site, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool business professionals can take advantage of to build quality B2B relationships. Every business owner or marketer has a story to tell about his or her backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. LinkedIn has become a great way to find the right people to network with to begin building those relationships that garner business partnerships, new job opportunities, and new employee hires later down the road.

In order to be “found” on this massive social site, there are just a few key features that can be refreshed and optimized to benefit you.

1. Customize Your Profile with a Custom URL

A quick and easy way to make your profile look more professional (while making it more shareable) is by claiming your LinkedIn profile’s custom URL. You can do this by clicking here and going to the “Your Current URL” section to customize a public profile URL. The URL will make it easier for users search for you and you place this URL on business cards, resumes, and email correspondence.

2. Upload a New Profile Picture

Perhaps one of the most important features of your LinkedIn profile is your profile picture. Adding a professional headshot photo makes your profile more effective in acquiring connections and developing relationships. The most professional-looking photos have a high-resolution, good lighting, and are set against natural lighting in a neutral setting. To change your photo, go to “Edit Profile” on your home page and click on the camera icon to upload a new photo from your computer.

3. Update Your Professional Headline

Your LinkedIn profile headline is often the most overlooked part of your profile, yet is the prime marketing real estate that places you in users’ Linkedin search results. Take advantage of the 120 characters provided and write a detailed, direct line that communicates your specialty or your “so what?” to share with the LinkedIn audience. Keep in mind any relevant keywords that you can add in there that would be the same phrases or keywords someone looking for you would search for.

4. Add Anchor Text to Your Blog/Website Links

If you want to increase referral traffic to your business website, personal blog, or portfolio, just change the anchor text in your website links. For example, instead of using LinkedIn’s default anchor text, “Personal Website,” you can customize the title to “SSP Digital and Inbound Marketing Blog”. Under “edit profile,” click on “edit contact info” and click on the pencil icon next to the website icon. Choose “other” in the dropdown box and you will see an extra field show up to enter your custom anchor text.

5. Search Engine Optimize Your Profile

Make sure to add those relevant keywords and phrases not only in your headline, but also in your profile summary and throughout your job descriptions. LinkedIn also allows you to add a variety of media such as images, video, documents, and links to show off special projects or work samples under each description. To add a link or file to your job description, just click the square and plus sign icon next to the pencil icon located next to each job title.

6. Post a Status Update

To maintain an updated LinkedIn profile, just like any other social media site, requires you to update your profile with personal status updates and content in the form of videos, blog articles, and links. This provides you with the biggest opportunities to begin a conversation with your connections and keep the relationship going. Articles to post can show you expertise in a field or be something relevant that your connections might find interesting.

To fully take advantage of the benefits provided by LinkedIn, the most important thing is to make sure your profile is complete. The more complete your profile usually gets the most visibility in LinkedIn search results. Luckily, LinkedIn helps you out by displaying the percentage of profile completeness. Don’t stop until you get to 100%

If you have any questions about setting up your Linkedin Profile or your LinkedIn Company Profile, check out other resources on our blog.

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