12 Steps to Optimize Your LinkedIn Presence

LinkedIn is a search engine. Whether you’re in a networking group, just handing out business cards, or referring people from your site, people will look you up on LinkedIn. It’s not only an incredible source for recruitment and job seeking in the employment world, it’s also a networking tool for the self-employed. Getting your profile and company page fleshed out are great first steps to augment your digital marketing. Here are the basic first steps for LinkedIn profile optimization:

Maximize Your LinkedIn Personal Profile

1. Use your own name. Don’t put it under your business name. Social media marketing *starts* with *you* as the thought leader for your business.

2. Add key words to your title. Don’t just put in a job title, also put in what you actually *do* for clients. A job title is you-centered. These key words are client centered. See this example.

3. Write a killer summary. Flesh out what you do for clients and how it impacts them (B2C) or their business (B2B). Use about 300 words. Don’t commoditize and don’t be boring. If you’re start out with “I provide”, consider that place holder text, and then get a copy consultation on how to feature your core differentiators.

4. Add a high contrast, high-resolution photo. If you’re handy with Photoshop, you can do a cut-out photo. If not, use a headshot with sufficient contrast between your head and the background (good lighting, not too much shadow, the background lighter than your hair). It doesn’t have to be a professional photo, to start off. You can often get a passport photo at your local drug store, and scan it with your phone, or just have someone take a nice photo against a light background (take several to experiment with and, again, use good lighting).

5. Add videos. If you’re not currently doing video marketing, again, get some consulting. Videos should feature what is transformative, inspiring, and unique about what you bring to the table.

6. Add work experience. Your first/current job description is the one to focus on. Again, say exactly what you do for clients. The past jobs can be one-liners.

7. Add skills. Other Linkedin users you connect to will have an opportunity to endorse you for your key skill sets with a click. These aren’t just services, they’re areas of expertise and talent.

8. Connect and ask for recommendations. A recommendation differs from an endorsement. It’s longer, and more like a testimonial or a review. Get at least two awesome ones to feature.

9. Be human. Add interests, personal details, and organizations you support. Social media marketing isn’t being invisible or impersonal – it’s standing out and standing up for something.

Optimize Your LinkedIn Company Page

If you don’t have one, add a company page. You can usually create one by making it your current place of ’employment’. A personal profile is needed (do not create a separate account).

10. Write the summary. Be compelling and creative. Don’t be boring. Like your profile summary, focus on what you do for clients.

11. Add services or products. Your services can have a photo, a video, features, and a description. Make use of this to highlight the array of services your company delivers. Put your most significant one first.

12. Create a cover image. Just as with Google Plus, Youtube, and your Facebook business page, you need an interesting cover image. If nothing else, a big version of your logo will do.

There are other options for your page, and for LinkedIn optimization, but most involve becoming a paid member. That can certainly be useful, depending on your digital marketing strategy, but here we’re only covering the basics.

Once you have your company page set up: post to it regularly. Ask questions and use calls to action, then participate in followup Q&A. Announce new services and coverage areas. Keep it brief but frequent. According to LinkedIn: “LinkedIn’s busiest hours are morning and midday, Monday through Friday. Companies that post 20 times a month, on average, reach 60% of their followers with 1 or more updates. 20% of followers are typically reached with one status update.” If you’d like help reaching a larger audience contact MadPipe today.

Daniel DiGriz

Daniel DiGriz is a corporate storyteller and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe, which provides creative direction, marketing leadership, and campaign direction for firms that want a stronger connection with their audience. A Digital Ecologist® applies strategic principles from both natural and digital ecologies to help organizations thrive across multiple ecosystems. Daniel hosts podcasts, speaks at conferences, and his ideas have appeared in Inc, SmartBlog, MediaPost, Forbes, and Success Magazine.

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