I recently spoke with a client who had a strong dislike for LinkedIn. He complained that the information he received wasn’t relevant. After a quick search of his profile, I found that his LinkedIn profile had been written about his past, not his future. Writing about his past meant the LinkedIn search algorithm was providing him with information about exactly that. His LinkedIn wasn’t supporting his goal.

Like most of our clients, his LinkedIn profile needed to be effective across 3 areas – search engine optimisation, positioning and validation.

3 things we look at when developing a strategy is how someone is being found, positioned and validated.

Be Found

LinkedIn, first and foremost, is a search engine. In other words, it’s similar to Google in that it’s designed for people to use to search for what they’re looking for.

Jeff Bullas reported that 25 million LinkedIn profiles are viewed every day and that there were 28 billion LinkedIn profile views in Q3, 2014. So, one of the first things you need to have in your profile is search engine optimisation, or SEO. SEO is about having the correct words in your profile so that you turn up in search results and are found.

Be Positioned

Your LinkedIn profile needs to have a clear value proposition with positioning. When you have positioning, it means you stand out from your competition. You have differentiated yourself from others and you are perceived in the market for the work you want to be perceived as being able to do.

Be Validated

What others say about you is more important than what you say about yourself. The importance of validation, testimonials and case studies cannot be over emphasised. The evidence that you can do what you say you can do is invaluable and gives people hope, as well as trust in you. This can also include plugins and links to other work completed.

Remember that LinkedIn is about your future, so write your content to reflect this.  Your profile works for you 24/7, so it needs to align with your goals, support your face-to-face activity and define what you’re trying to achieve.