Did you know that 75% of people who changed jobs recently say that LinkedIn informed their decision? Or that prospective clients and new hires are not just looking at your company’s LinkedIn profile, but the profiles of your employees and team members as well? LinkedIn is an incredibly useful social media channel for professional networking, and the way your employees represent themselves in their LinkedIn profiles can have a huge impact on your brand’s public image, reputation, and visibility. Ensuring that everyone associated with your company has a well-developed, professional LinkedIn profile is an important tool that you cannot afford to ignore. So if you’re looking to give your employees a push to update or refresh their profile, make sure to follow these 10 steps to looking polished and professional as a business on LinkedIn.
Step 1: Update the Profile Photo
A profile photo is likely to be someone’s first impression when coming across an account–so your employees should make sure to use a good one! After all, they are a representation of your brand. Use a photo that is polished, well lit, and centered on the face (no selfies or dark shadows!). Make sure to avoid any distracting backgrounds or patterns, and remember that solid-colored, non-busy clothing is best.
If your employees don’t have their own professional headshots, consider hiring a photographer onsite to take photos of all your employees. Not only will this look more consistent, but it will ensure that your desired level of professionalism is represented by everyone associated with your brand. Remember–even if the rest of a profile is great, it can be hard to look past a sloppy-looking or poor-quality photo. It is also sharp for all employees in a company to have the exact same background and branded headshots on their LinkedIn profiles.
See below for an example of a professional profile image:
Looking for an on-site professional photographer to take headshots of your staff? SN:D has you covered. Contact us to schedule your company photoshoot today.
Step 2: Personalize the Background Photo
Does your company have a banner image that you use for your other social media accounts, such as your Facebook page? Consider offering your brand’s banner image to your employees to use for their profile banner photo. This is one more element to provide a consistent, unified brand presentation and also shows great company morale. When people visit your employee’s profile, they are able to create an instant connection between your employee and your brand. Additionally, they can recognize right away where your employee works without the need to scroll down. This is a great way to increase your brand’s reach and market your business at the same time.
See our example below:
Step 3: Get Creative with the Headline
The headline of a LinkedIn profile is another critical part of making a positive impression and showcasing what an employee brings to the table. It’s also one of the most important parts of LinkedIn’s algorithm. The headline is typically the place that displays a person’s current position, but it isn’t limited to that! By incorporating keywords, your employee can portray themselves as credible members of their industry while also appearing higher in searches. Encourage your employees to use their headlines to say a bit about their position, why they do what they do, and what they contribute to your company.
LinkedIn will automatically create a default headline based on a user’s current job title and company, but encourage your employees to not rely on a default headline. LinkedIn gives users 220 characters to work with, so not taking full advantage of this is a mistake! Use the character count available to showcase specialized skill sets and details.
Below is an example of what we might put for a headline on a professional profile:
Step 4: Add an About Section
The About section of LinkedIn is an excellent place for your employees to share their professional stories and lead viewers to want to learn more. It’s important this section is not left blank as it is a chance for your employees to introduce themselves to others and showcase their first-rate talent. Remember, this space does not need to be just about the employees’ skills; it can also include examples of their work, the importance of their skills in their career, and anything else they want to mention.
Employees should include things about why their skills are important, specific examples of their work leveraging the skills, how the employee contributes in their current position, and the positive effects the employee has on the company culture. It’s also great if they mention your company by name. This is the most detailed personal section in a LinkedIn profile, so it’s worth going through a few drafts to make sure it’s detailed, descriptive, and refined. See the example below:
Step 5: Complete the Intro
Encourage your employees to make sure their entire profile is complete with no areas that appear spare or blank. Make sure your employee is taking full advantage of spaces to showcase their skills, education, languages, awards, publications, volunteer experience, certifications, etc. The more fleshed out a profile is, the more qualified and competent your employee appears, which in turn reflects well on your business.
You should also encourage your employees to include their entire work history. Every part of their work experience is valuable in the narrative of their career. This space is also important for networking–don’t underestimate what will catch someone’s attention. We have found it is often the smallest and most seemingly uninteresting details that catch others’ attention.
See below for an example of a profile with additional sections:
Step 6: Keep Experience Up to Date
Even while staying with the same company, people’s positions, titles, and experiences change, so make sure your employees’ current status with your company is reflected in their work experience section. You want their full history and relationship with your company displayed and accurate. This is also relevant if your company has undergone any rebranding or changes during the course of someone’s employment. Everything should be up to date.
See the image below–you can add experience by clicking the + symbol, or edit your existing experience by clicking the pencil symbol.
Step 7: Connect with An Employer
It’s essential that your employees are connected with you on LinkedIn–this will make your connection and relationship public to everyone on the site. This effectively turns your employees into a public team of brand ambassadors, and this makes you stand out from the competition. Younger generations especially value work environments with a social media presence, so seeing existing employees connected with a company on LinkedIn is a big bonus.
Employees can connect their profile to their employers by editing under “Experience,” and then searching and selecting the company name for which they work. They should be able to tell which account is your company’s by whether the logo is correct.
You can ensure that your employees are connected by seeing whether the company’s name and logo appear in their intro like in the example below:
Step 8: Grow Your Network
Once your employees are connected with your brand, encourage them to dedicate time to their own network. By following and connecting with other professionals in the industry, or synching their address book to their account, you’ll constantly be getting your company name out there and boosting your circle of influence. LinkedIn is, after all, a social networking site, and most of a brand’s engagement on LinkedIn comes through its employees.
Networking on LinkedIn is a terrific way for your employees to gain fresh ideas, new perspectives, and stay up to date on trends in the industry. They can do this by joining relevant groups or keeping an eye out for professional forums where they can connect with others and share professional insights.
Your employees should also make sure they’re checking the “People You May Know” feed of their profile to keep growing and increasing their connections!
Step 9: Ask for and Give Recommendations
Recommendations on LinkedIn are personal testimonials of someone’s work or skills, and they are a great way to boost credibility on a profile. They can also give others a more genuine idea of what your employee is like to work with, what their best skills are, what they’re passionate about, and what they bring to the table of their work environment. An effective recommendation should show and not tell. You want to give specific examples, whether it’s highlighting examples of when your employee showed leadership, when they excelled under pressure, or when they served as a collaborative team member.
You can really showcase your employees’ abilities by writing their recommendations, and they can also request them in the recommendations section of their profile. Ultimately, these endorsements can be the difference between someone contacting your company or someone else’s. It could tip the scales for a future potential employee taking the job on your team or another’s.
See the image below to see where your employee can request a recommendation:
Step 10: Share Relevant Content
Finally, make sure your employees are staying up to date in the industry by sharing relevant content such as articles, posts, resources, etc. Showing that they are active in industry news communicates professionalism, capability, and expertise. You can also direct employees to publications or accounts that post regularly so they don’t have a shortage of content to share.
Successful organizations know that by encouraging employees to share content, they are then effectively extending their content reach and engagement. This is also a great way for companies to connect more authentically with their audiences. On average, employees have much larger networks and ten times more connections than a company has followers. So if you really want to create a reputation of expertise and get content out there, share it through your employees.
Below is an example of a company blog post that SN:D Agency (and our employees) would share through LinkedIn:
LinkedIn is one of the top places to make professional connections. In fact, there are 61 million senior-level decision makers on LinkedIn right now. People want to know who they are working with–essentially, they want the faces behind a brand–and LinkedIn is a great way for potential clients to decide whether your team seems competent enough to be trusted with their business. Being active on LinkedIn and engaging with connections also offers a more personalized inside look. When your employees are active on LinkedIn and keep their profile up to date and professional, it not only makes your company feel more trustworthy but more human.
It’s also important for the future of your company’s work environment. Employees who come to a company through another employee are far more likely to stay with that company than employees who were recruited in other ways, and employees who are responsible for that recruitment also show more loyalty to that place of work. So use this guide to make sure you and your employees are all on the same page and leaving positive impressions.
What Are You Waiting for? Get Your Team Setup with Branded LinkedIn Profiles Today
Looking for help wrangling your staff’s branded LinkedIn profiles or need help with other digital marketing and branding for your business? Did you know SN Digital Agency is a full-scale digital and social media marketing agency? We have experience in marketing our clients’ brands and channels, and growing their businesses, leveraging many tried and true strategies, and we have over a decade of expertise. Don’t hesitate to contact us today!