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Networking in the new year: How LinkedIn can make 2021 work for you

What you can do to create a profile that grabs the right kind of attention from the people you need


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Karen Tisdell

2 years ago | 4 min read

We’re all looking forward to 2021 – there won’t be many people who will miss 2020! After this strange year, we all want to make the most of a new start. But if you really want to enjoy all the opportunities 2021 could bring, you need to think about how you present yourself online.

Here’s why your LinkedIn profile can make all the difference to your business moving forward and what you can do to create a profile that truly grabs the right kind of attention from the people you need.

Online networking is here to stay

2020 has unsurprisingly seen a huge rise in online networking as all face-to-face meetings had to stop. For business owners and leaders, LinkedIn is now the place to network – use of the platform grew by 27 per cent in the second quarter of 2020.

Of course, we’re all looking forward to 2021 with a spirit of optimism, and we can’t wait to start meeting in person again. But many aspects of the working world have changed. People have become more used to interacting and transacting, online over the last year. LinkedIn as a major business hub is here to stay, so having a great profile is key to the success of your business.

LinkedIn makes you look more professional and trustworthy

If you Google yourself, your LinkedIn profile is always one of the top results. This means anyone looking you up online will see your profile. It needs to grab attention for all the right reasons.

You need to think of your LinkedIn profile like a magnet – it should repel the wrong people and attract the right ones. Whether you’re trying to engage new customers, business partners or staff, a professional-looking profile will improve your online image and reflect well on your business.

The importance of being a visible leader

You might wonder why you need a personal profile rather than simply using your business page to interact on LinkedIn. Put simply, people trust other people much more than they trust brands. In a society where we are bombarded with advertising, we want to connect with real people in order to feel reassured.

Humans are a social species, and your customers want to know the face behind the business. This is what will increase the credibility of your company and promote brand loyalty. Even Richard Branson has a personal LinkedIn profile, and it has a lot more followers than any of his business pages. This is because being a real person works when it comes to customer trust and retention.

By being visible and real online, as a leader, you also give your employees permission to do the same. Your staff are your greatest assets and can be wonderful ambassadors for your business – pulling customers and attracting talent to your organisation.

What makes a great LinkedIn profile?

Here are some top tips for creating a standout LinkedIn profile:

1. Professional headline

Apart from your name and photo, this is the only part of your profile that is visible in search results. It has to sum up who you are and what you do in just 220 characters, so you need to make them count.

Think about the keywords you want to rank for when people type in a search, and include as many of these as you can. You can also make your headline more eye-catching by including icons or emojis expressing who you are in a more visual way.

2. Photo

Your profile picture needs to look empathetic and approachable. Use a close-up of your face so people can see your expression. Tilt your head as if you are listening to someone speaking. And keep your chin down to avoid looking snooty or aggressive! People want to see a friendly face that they feel they can trust.

3. Background banner

Your background image should sum up what your business is all about. You can use your company logo or an image that reflects your product or service offering. Ideally, it should also include contact details as these are not easy to see on your LinkedIn profile.

If you can make the same background banner available to your employees, this is an extremely positive way of increasing your brand footprint.

4. About section

You have 2,600 characters here, so use them to explain exactly how your skills and experience enable you to offer a level of value that your competitors can’t. In addition, talk about your values and explain why you do what you do. Write in the first person – people want to know that you’re real and authentic.

You also need to remember that only the first 270 characters are initially visible. You need to encourage the reader to click “see more” by starting strong. A question or intriguing statement at the beginning often works very well.

5. Experience section

Your Experience section shouldn’t be a cut-and-paste of your resume. Instead, it should be made up of short, action-oriented statements that explain how you solve people’s problems. If you want to use bullet points, you can – or use icons instead of bullets to give your profile more visual appeal.

Let’s look forward to a better 2021

As we look to the new year with a renewed sense of hope, let’s make the most of the new opportunities it brings. In an invigorated world, LinkedIn is the ideal way to give your image a reset and carve a more successful future for your business.


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Karen Tisdell

Karen Tisdell is a LinkedIn Profile Writer based in Sydney, Australia. You can find her here linkedin.com/in/karentisdell/


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