LinkedIn Profile Optimization for Networking
Most people could be utilizing LinkedIn SO MUCH MORE! If you have only just made sure your LinkedIn profile looks good and that is all, there are many career and business opportunities just waiting for you! We’ll cover everything you need to optimize your LinkedIn profile for networking in today’s episode.
You can get started accessing them today. In this episode, you are going to learn how to go above and beyond what most people are doing on LinkedIn and start working your network on LinkedIn instead.
In this episode:
- How to use LinkedIn to network and find career and business opportunities
- How to go above and beyond what most people are doing on LinkedIn, and start working on your network
- A step-by-step guide on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile
Resources and Links
- Anna has been teaching and clarifying her systems and frameworks for over 10 years. She has a system that works in any economy and any market. Make sure you add your name to the CLASS Waitlist to be notified when you can join her coaching membership.
Transcript – How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Networking:
Welcome, everyone to the Classy Career Girl podcast. I am excited because today we’re talking all about LinkedIn. It’s like LinkedIn month inside of my membership site CLASS. So we’re talking all about LinkedIn networking, we’re talking all about creating your LinkedIn profiles and really optimizing it. Because so many people are utilizing LinkedIn right now, so many more than ever before. And if you’ve only just kind of like checked in and kind of made sure your LinkedIn is kind of okay, you are missing career opportunities, you are missing business opportunities. If you are an entrepreneur, they’re just waiting for you on LinkedIn right now, like if you’re struggling with sales, your clients are waiting for you, more sales are waiting for you on LinkedIn.
If you’re job searching and trying to find your dream job, the people are waiting to hire you on LinkedIn, they just are and you can start accessing them today. So in this episode, you will learn how to go above and beyond what most people are doing on LinkedIn and start working on your network and building your network on LinkedIn instead. And I love talking about this topic because LinkedIn is really one of the first social media platforms that I used way back in 2011, 2012. It’s been around for a long, long time. And it’s one of the platforms I use to really grow my business. And what I did back in the early days of growing Classy Career Girl, I had a coach who told me that in order to get my brand out there, and to kind of launch this business out into the world, I needed to start hosting events, I needed to start putting myself out there, which I’m an introvert so this was completely scary. But she said I needed to get out there, I needed to start sharing with the world telling people what I did, telling people how I help and start, you know, sharing my offers and my services as a career coach.
And so I was completely scared. And she asked, like, what’s stopping you from, you know, putting yourself out there and hosting these events and meeting these people in your local area. At that time, I was in San Diego, and I said, I don’t think anyone’s going to come to this show like this event. Like I don’t think anyone’s going to come. And how am I going to find all these people? And then she asked me, Well, where can you find these people? Where there are professional women that are, you know, want maybe want a career change, or help with their leadership or help with their productivity? Like, where are they right now? And I’m like LinkedIn.
And so we put a plan together for me to every single day be spending time on LinkedIn, private messaging people on LinkedIn, meeting new people on LinkedIn, and it was actually really simple to fill those events. I did three events, I filled them solely through LinkedIn, solely reaching out to people who were local to me in San Diego, and who are in professional women’s groups on LinkedIn. And I would just direct message them, I would say, Hey, I, you know, we’re both part of this group on LinkedIn, and we’re both in San Diego. And I see that you work at this company, and I’m having an event for professional women. It’s a networking event. You know, it’s free, I’d love for you to attend. And people would show up, and then they would tell their friends, and like, there was one company where I reached out to one person, and she brought like five of her friends to my event. Because I guess, I mean, at that time, you know, professional women, they just to network, we wanted to meet other people, we wanted not to go home after work. And we just were like in that connection phase in our careers where we just wanted to like meet other people who are doing great things and learn.
And so I filled those events through LinkedIn, I filled a lot of webinars with LinkedIn, I found a lot of people for my sales conversations who were struggling with their career through LinkedIn, just by private messaging people, especially because my business was in the transition of going from in person. And then I was having my first child, so I had to kind of transition into a virtual business at that time. Since I was doing a lot of in-person speaking, a lot of in-person events. And then LinkedIn helped me really then be able to contact anyone everywhere and really be able to see, like with LinkedIn, you can see what people’s job titles are, you can see where they’re located, which at that time, it didn’t matter because I was transitioning into a virtual business, online business as a career coach, but I could see people’s titles, and so I could tell by looking at their profiles, I could see this is an ideal client.
This is someone that I can help, this is someone who would be interested in my content at Classy Career Girl, and this is someone who maybe they’re looking for a job, and sometimes you can even tell by your connections, they’re posting they’re looking for a job, you know, oh, okay, you might need a career coach. Let me like reach out and like see if I can help right because that’s as a business owner. It’s just, can I help? Can I help all day long? How much value can I provide?
Also when I was job searching as well, because there was a period of time where I didn’t know what I should do with my career in my life. And so I was starting Classy Career Girl. And I was also job searching at the same time because I knew I needed a career change. I just wasn’t quite sure what that should be. And so I was using LinkedIn a lot for informational interviews and for reaching out to people and connecting with people. And that turned into a lot of 15 minute coffee chats, I don’t think zoom was around back then. But I was going all around San Diego having these like, it turned into like an hour coffee chats just meaning people connecting with them wherever they were in San Diego, I was like coming to them, to meet them, and then asking them if they knew anyone else that I could connect with. And I used LinkedIn a lot for that, too. I called it the four by four networking challenge, where each month I would meet with four people I didn’t know and four people I did not know.
And so I really had to use LinkedIn to find people I did not know. But then LinkedIn was also a great place to find connections that I did know. And so LinkedIn really is just kind of like, a little bit more of like a professional platform, where, you know, it’s not as much like images. And it’s not as much like how many followers and engagement do you have on your posts, kind of like I feel like Facebook and Instagram is. But it really through the years has just been like a really great professional platform, and a great place to connect with people and to be able to see their profiles and their bios. And even if you don’t want your boss, knowing that your job searching, you can have a LinkedIn profile and be connecting with people and joining groups and messaging people back and forth. And doing informational interviews, and your boss will never find out like it’s totally fine for you to have a LinkedIn profile. Even if you’re job searching. I know in the early days, people were scared about that. But everyone really should have a LinkedIn profile. Connect with me if you’re not already. Come find me Anna Ryan on LinkedIn. And I will connect with you as well. And let me know you listen to this podcast. So that’s my backstory story.
That’s why I love LinkedIn so much. And I know over the years like since that time of having kids, I’ve had to learn how to kind of like leverage my social media, there’s so many different social media platforms. So obviously, I’ve gotten into Facebook groups and Pinterest and Instagram and so many other places since those early days of starting. But this year in 2023, LinkedIn is a huge part of my networking strategy. Especially because in our business, we have decreased our ad prices, we have decreased the expenses that we want to spend on ads, and we’re increasing our expenses and our work on organic traffic. And so for us, we’re prioritizing SEO. On our website, we’re prioritizing a lot of organic traffic that comes from Pinterest and Instagram, because those are kind of like our two main sites. And then I’m also prioritizing a lot more like in person DMs or emails or messages like connecting one on one with people personalizing building a relationship rather than just like throwing out an ad. And let’s see who finds that and who comes my way. Like that’s not how I want to do business anymore. And I feel like you used to be able to do that, but ad prices increased. And Facebook and Instagram have kind of just been going through a lot of changes.
And so the personal outreach, building that personal connection, leading that you know, into a phone call, a zoom call, a you know, a coffee chat is so important now to build your relationship, whether you’re job searching, or you’re growing your business. And so I’m using all these strategies, I’m going to actually going to be teaching all of my LinkedIn strategies that I’m using right now to get organic traffic and to build my business organically inside of my CLASS membership in the masterclass this month, so make sure you join us inside of CLASS this month. Or if you’re already a CLASS member, make sure you attend our masterclass this month, because the topic is going to be the LinkedIn networking how to guide. And I’m going to give you a step by step guide of how you can use LinkedIn networking to find your next dream career or to make more sales and to grow your business.
So today, I want to talk about your LinkedIn profile because we can’t really talk about networking, if your LinkedIn profile is not optimized. So it’s extremely important that you spend some time here going through this checklist that I’m going to share with you today. So one of the things you want to make sure that you do in the very beginning we want to have about 100 connections. That’s kind of like a good barometer. If you have less than that we want to spend some time connecting with people, most likely, you know 100 people from you know where you went to school, college, former work arrangements, maybe you did some volunteer work, maybe you know people from church or school or like you know around town, anyone that you know you can connect with, so go through your email list. If you’re just getting started, go through, like if you’re on other social media platforms like Facebook, like go through everyone that you are friends with on Facebook and make sure that you have them on your LinkedIn profile.
You should also have a professional photo, you don’t have to, like pay for this and go to like a professional photographer. But you should have a photo that shows your face that you know, you’re smiling, you’re happy, someone that someone would want to work with, right? And it’s done professionally. Um, you can just have my first photos were done by my husband and my best friend. And we just like she took her camera, and we just she just shot some photos on me one day. And those are my first photos. Um, your profile also has to have a keyword strategy in place. So this is really important. We want to figure out what those keywords are that describe either if you’re job searching, like what is the job that you’re looking for, if you look at job descriptions of your dream career, we want to pull out some of those keywords that are in that job description and put them in your LinkedIn profile.
Or if you are growing your business, we want to make sure that whatever you help people with is very clear on your profile, and what people are searching for as well. So for me, I want to make sure like career coach is somewhere in there. If someone’s searching for a career coach, I’m going to pop up. And you also want to make sure you have a unique LinkedIn URL in place. So it’s not like a bunch of letters and numbers right after like, because you want to be sharing this LinkedIn URL after you start networking as well. So you want to create a unique LinkedIn URL. Your headline is really important. So this is kind of like your resume headline where it grabs attention, it’s like the most important part of your LinkedIn profile is that headline, that’s what people are going to read. If they want to know more about you, yes, they’re going to keep scrolling down and read all of your profile. But most likely, they’re just going to read that very beginning. So you want to make sure it’s really benefit oriented, and it grabs attention.
Also then your summary. The summary is like the second place, then that I would focus on. And that’s really where it’s going to include an overview of your skills, your talents, and how you can add value to a company if you’re job searching. What I love putting in here, if you’re a business owner are testimonials and social proof. And so right here, this is like another place where you really want to just spend a lot of time with like, you want to pretend your LinkedIn profile is like your website. When I was creating my new website, I spent so much time on my about page like it was, if you look at the about page on Classy Career Girl, you can tell I spent a lot of time there. And so this is your summary, you want to make sure that it gives a really good overview of the benefits that you can provide to a company or you can provide to a future client, it’s going to make it go wow, I need to get in touch with this person.
You also want to make sure that this summary includes previous quantified results at other companies and numbers whenever possible. So if you can show people you get results, this is where you want to put it. So if you’re job searching, you know, these are the results I got at this other company, I saved this much money for this company, I, you know, reduce the time spent by this percent, I helped this client, I helped my clients find jobs this percent much times faster. You know, try and quantify, use numbers when you can, that is like wow factor. Also make sure you include how you can be reached, how people can contact you. And then I also like having some sort of like media or showcase like if you have like a video that you’ve done or a portfolio or you know something that you can attach there to give people a little bit more of an idea of who you are. When it comes to your experience, then you want to make sure that your experience includes results, numbers and those accomplishments.
So I always like thinking about like when it comes to your experience, really focusing on like challenges that you have had in the past, the actions that you took to get over that challenge and the result that happened after you did those actions. If you do that challenge action result in your experience section on LinkedIn, it’s really going to make you stand out. Also if you have any sort of media, if you have relevant videos, images, presentations or articles quoting you, add that to the experience section as well. Like this is also I should say a time where it is perfectly fine to brag about yourself. I know it’s hard when I was doing my about page. It was really hard for me to brag about myself, but you have to remember, it’s almost like, I want you to think that someone else is introducing you. If someone else is introducing you, it’s perfectly acceptable for them to brag on you and say how awesome you are, when they read your bio. When we say it ourselves, like, if I went to read my bio, it would kind of look like, it wouldn’t feel comfortable, it would look like I’m bragging, you would look like I’m like, you know, I do this. And I do this. And I do this I’ve had some people even say on some of my webinars are like, stop talking about yourself so much. Like, we don’t want to hear any more about yourself.
I’ve had people like tell me that they’re like, just get to the training, I don’t want to hear about all your, you know, the things that you’ve done. And so you have that in your head, right of like, oh, gosh, I don’t want to brag, I don’t want to seem like I’m just like saying all this great stuff about us. So get in the mindset, then of someone else’s introducing you. So sometimes I’ve even done this at the beginning of my webinars, I have, like someone on my team come in and read my bio before I start. And that way, I pop in with the great content. And I don’t have to like say all the things myself. So pretend you have someone on your team, they’re coming in to write your experience section in your summary section to you know, to spotlight you in like the best way possible.
And so get out of your head that you feel like you’re bragging. And instead it’s like, it’s someone just introducing you and saying all this amazing stuff and why you should be hired. You also want to have at least three recommendations here. So if you don’t already have that, think about who you worked with in the past and who would be willing to recommend you. And then you also want to be endorsed at least 15 times, those are just kind of like the beginning. Obviously, I want you to be endorsed even more than that. I want you to have even more recommendations, I want them to be relevant and recent as well. I know if you’re like me, I got recommendations in like 2011 and 2012. And so you know, they’re great recommendations, but they were from a long time ago. And so I probably need some updated recent ones, right?
That talk about my work today. They’re on LinkedIn. So this is a good reminder to me, right? Like everything, everything I teach you guys, I am doing myself and learning myself as well. As far as networking goes, then you want to have a goal of becoming a member of at least 25 groups, because those groups are going to be the place where you’re going to be doing all of your networking in and you’re posting in and you’re reaching out. And then when you’re in groups with other people, that gives you a lot easier way to connect with other people and message other people. And so you want to kind of search out groups and figure out, you know, where are your ideal clients? Or where are your ideal hiring managers? Where are the people that if you’re job searching, like where do you want to work? Where are those people? What groups are they in, and a lot of times you can see on on their LinkedIn profiles, what groups they’re a part of.
And so do some research on the people that you want to connect with, and figure out where they’re part what groups they’re part of. Also, I highly recommend posting relevant articles and tips on your profile. My goal is to do it three times per week. But at least once per week, you want to be popping in there with some sort of relevant articles, some sort of update, tips on your profile, something that you’ve done kind of just an update on what’s going on with you so that you can kind of stay top of mind with those people that you’re connecting with. I want you to follow at least five companies that you are interested in. So if you are job searching five of your top five companies you’re interested in, I want you to follow them on LinkedIn and interact with their posts.
And then also if you’re a business owner, there’s so many opportunities for partnerships and sponsorships. And this is definitely something that speaking opportunities. This is definitely a route that I’ve been focusing on as well. And so for even if you’re a business owner, I want you to follow at least five companies that you could potentially partner with in the future. I want you to message at least one person you know, and at least one person you don’t know on LinkedIn every single week. And so this is going to start to get you in the habit of reaching out to people.
Now if you can do more than one, that’s great. I think yesterday I was reaching out to people to connect and let them know I’m relaunching my certification program. I reached out to 15 people yesterday in one day because once you have the script, it’s really easy to copy and paste. You just have to make sure you change out the email address, change out the name, just personalize it a little bit. But then once you get in the zone and once you are like boom, boom, boom, you just keep doing it over and over again and it’s really easy to do like 15 in a day.
And then every month, I also want you to introduce two new people in your network. So this is something that’s going to really make you stand out is if you start to become the network networking organizer, and you start connecting people, I have someone like this in my network, and she is like, constantly sending people my way. And, I asked her, like, I’m looking for podcast interviews, and she’s like, Oh, let me introduce you to this person and this person. And then she’s like, this person wants to become a career coach. And so she sent her my way. And then I want to write a book. And so she sent me this book, you know, publisher, my way. So it’s like, this is the benefit of introducing people and connecting with people. And it just really puts you in a really great position.
Because if now if she needed anything, I would do it right, because she’s now connect, she’s now put me in touch. And by the way, this is Natalie at her see sweet, she’s amazing, you should connect with her, she, you’ll love her too. But if she needed anything, I would happily help her out. Because she’s now sent so many people my way, I would happily go into my network and send someone her way, if she needed something as well, too, right. So become that person introducing people in your network. And it’s usually mutually beneficial for all parties.
And then the last thing as far as networking goes, I want you to comment on a post in at least one group once per week. So those 25 groups that you’re in, I want you to be active in them, I want you to be commenting and engaging. Because people see that when you are engaging on their posts, and you stand out.
And not only that, it shows like, you know, so and so commented on this post, and then your followers see that too. So you just never know, by commenting how that will stand out in the algorithm. So it’ll pop up on someone else’s radar on their LinkedIn, and they’ll see it and then they’ll click your profile. And they’ll be like, Oh, she’s a career coach, I want to connect with her. And then all of a sudden, you have a new connection and a new sales call and a new client, right?
And then the last thing as far as networking goes, I want you to comment on a post in at least one group once per week. So those 25 groups that you’re in, I want you to be active in them, I want you to be commenting and engaging. Because people see that when you are engaging on their posts, and you stand out. And not only that, it shows like, you know, so and so commented on this post, and then your followers see that too. So you just never know, by commenting how that will stand out in the algorithm. So it’ll pop up on someone else’s radar on their LinkedIn, and they’ll see it and then they’ll click your profile. And they’ll be like, Oh, she’s a career coach, I want to connect with her. And then all of a sudden, you have a new connection and a new sales call and a new client, right?
Like it literally can go that fast by just commenting on one post in a group that you’re in. So I hope that you see today how beneficial LinkedIn can be to your career or your business. I hope you follow these tips. I hope that this has been helpful. Make sure that you connect with me on LinkedIn. And if you are in our CLASS membership, be on the lookout save the date for our masterclass in April because we’re going to be talking even more. Now that you have great profiles. You’ve done all this foundational work today. Now we’re going to take it up the next level, we’re going to tell you the scripts that you should use, how to structure your time how to batch your time, and how networking on LinkedIn really can dramatically affect your career or business. So I’ll see you next time.