[PART 1] Crafting Your Online Brand: Setting Up a LinkedIn Profile

Posted: January 6, 2012 in LinkedIn, Social Media
Tags: , ,

 

Have you ever google’d yourself?

What shows up about you on the first page? Something? Everything? Nothing? The people we work with are more and more dependent on technology for pretty much everything in their lives.

Often the internal voice asks, “Why do I need to retain information when I can just google it?”

Even if you don’t see yourself as a tech savvy person, there are still a few things you should do to make sure you don’t become irrelevant to the tech zombies.

Most important against the infectious irrelevant curse is to make sure you’ve staked claim to YOUR LAND online. To the question that has popped up more and more frequently over the past seven years, “Why should I be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, etc.?” the answer is simple:

You should be on those networks so you’re not invisible (and thus, irrelevant) to those who want to learn more about you before they decide to work with you.

Not everyone will search you before they decide to work with you. But for the people that do, rest assured that how you show up in their search matters. And their decision to work with you could potentially be negatively affected.

For starters, let’s get set up with an optimized LinkedIn profile. Click here to start the process.

Why LinkedIn?

When I search for myself (and if I add “Vector Marketing” to the search for my name) my LinkedIn profile shows up as one of the top results. — and no, I do not have a band.

SIDE NOTE: We will talk about setting up Google+ and Twitter profiles at a later time.

And if I add “Vector Marketing” to my search….

Once you’ve gotten started on LinkedIn, this will be one of the first screens you see when setting up your profile. It’s important to fill out job title and company exactly as they appear below. No extra points for creativity, and it actually will hurt you as you’ll later see.

It will ask you to log into the email you chose on your account to see who you’re connected with.

Confirm you email address.

Once you’ve confirmed your email, sign back in.

This is the screen you’ll see, and feel free to share on Facebook or Twitter so others can join your network.

Stick with the basic account for now.

Select the time you started in your current position.

This would be a good place to list your work as a Sales Rep, Field Sales Manager or Cutco Sales Professional. You will have opportunities to add more past work at a later point. For now, just add one.

Add where you went to school.

List your degree and major.

List when you went to college.

Initially, you can only select three skills. The three seen below are three that relate well to a management position. More skills can be added later.

The description is meant to be kept short. The one below would be good for a Branch or District Manager.

Your summary is a great way to stand out to summarize what it is you do on a daily basis, and what you’re looking for. What’s written below bodes well for anyone in management. This can be adjusted to fit your own style and personality.

When you’re done with your summary, this is what you will see. When you’re selecting a picture, use the most professional picture, as this is your professional network. At this time, you can add past employment (or more positions within Vector), get more connections, ask for recommendations, and other options which we’ll cover next.

Next, click on the ‘edit’ link right next to your name and profile picture. The industry should change from “Consumer Goods” to the appropriate industry that reflects what YOU do in your role. Select “Marketing and Advertising” and save your changes.

It’s also important to add websites to your profile. Here, add the company website (www.vectormarketing.com), your office’s fan page, and the national fan page (www.facebook.com/vector.marketing.corp). You also include personal interests you have in this area.

You’ll definitely want to set your personal URL so it’s simple and not a bunch of numbers. From your profile, click the ‘edit’ link next to your ‘Public Profile’ and you will see this screen below. Off to the right, select “Customize your public profile URL” and type in your name as it will appear on your advertising collateral (or your business cards).

Once you’re done setting your personal profile, go back and edit your education to include any clubs in which you were involved.

Under “Additional Information” at the bottom of your profile, you can include any honors or awards you’ve won, and this would be a great place to list any trophies, milestones or awards you’ve received while at Vector. In this section, you can also link your personal twitter account to your LinkedIn profile so your updates show up in LinkedIn as well.

You can add more sections if they apply to you. If you know other languages, you would want to add a section designating that.

Applications is a way for you to personalize your profile as well. You can include your “Twitter Feed” and an “Amazon Reading List” as an example.

There are other things you can do with your LinkedIn profile, but this will get you up and running and give you a professional online presence for those searching for you.

OTHER THOUGHTS: There are reasons why the above wording has been chosen, and caution should be employed before directly changing anything. Personalization is encouraged by you adding your interests, twitter feed, amazon reading list and to some extent, your summary.

Are you already an avid LinkedIn user? Share thoughts and tips below!

Comments
  1. Sarah says:

    There has been a very public. and quite unfortunate example of what happens when you DON’T manage your Google search illustrated by Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum. He (and/or his people) failed to take seriously the actions taken by political activist Dan Savage in 2003 when he launched a google “bomb” site against him. Google Santorum. and the site will pop up as #1 or #2. Google has refused his campaign’s requests to “fix” the problem. Regardless of what you think of Santorum’s politics, it indicates a woeful lack of nternet savvy to let someone else hijack your name and reputation for 8 years!

  2. jecofield says:

    That’s really crazy. I hadn’t heard about that!

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