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10 Step Checklist for Your Linkedin Profile

New to Linkedin? Here's a quick 10 step checklist to get started! 

1. Professional Name

The name you display should be the one that appears on your business card, as well as other social media networks (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google+). Consistency is key towards strengthening your brand and enabling searchers to find your profile   cross-platforms more easily.   

2. Professional Profile Photo

Did you know that adding a profile picture makes it 7x more likely to be viewed by others? However, a photo of you at the beach on Sunday will not cut it. Instead, aim for a professional photo where you display a clear headshot. 

A good rule of thumb is to be dressed for the photo similarly to how you would for an important meeting. Hence if you do not normally wear a tie, take it off during the photoshoot! 

3. Brand Professional Headline

Did you know that you are able to alter your professional headline, not necessary displaying your current position? This is advantageous as you can better tailor it towards viewers, who may not know what your position and expertise entails. 

Here's an example - Instead of informing viewers that I am the founder of Offensive Digital, I list that I am a 'Marketing Expert experienced in Social Media focussing on Digital Personal Branding at Social Star Agency'. This way, I able to effectively demonstrate how my expertise benefits them. 

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4. Customize Your Profile URL 

While it is a subtle element, customizing your profile URL shows that you pay attention to small details when it comes to personal branding. Simply head to 'Edit' and type in your desired URL. In my case, I have tailored my URL to au.linkedin.com/in/sirford

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5. Optimize Your Location 

While Linkedin is a global network, people tend to search for professions in specific locations such as within their immediate proximity. Optimizing your location allows you to be found by contacts closed to you. 

6. Align Your Industry 

Similar to optimizing your location, displaying your industry allows you to be found by people who may be searching for particular industries and skill set.

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7. Contact Details

One of the popular goals of Linkedin is to allow viewers to contact you regarding opportunities. By including contact details such as email and phone number, you make their task much easier in contacting you. 

8. Get Endorsements  

Endorsements is a great way to 'social proof' skill sets and expertise that you claim to have. 

As the average number of endorsements per user is 5, this presents a great opportunity for you to stand out! One way to start is to highlight to connections about particular skill-sets they had witnessed while working with you. Also, do not forget the power of reciprocity by endorsing them in return! 

9. Gather Recommendations

Long gone are the days where you printed out personal recommendations for job interviews. In its place are recommendations displayed digitally on your Linkedin profile. 

My advice is to be pro-active, rather than passive in gathering recommendations. Take the initiative to contact ex and current colleagues to write you a recommendation. Also, do offer to pass them more information about your role and expertise in order to make their write-up task easier.

10. Embrace Visuals

A picture speaks a thousand words. Linkedin certainly understands this by allowing you to add video, image, document and presentation to each position that you havelisted. 

Therefore, spice up your profile byadding visuals to make your professional experience come to life! It could range from screenshots of your achievements to video explaining your vision. The use of visuals is limited only by your creativity, really. 

Andrew Ford

Social Star, Level 4, Suite 402, 517 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, Australia

Marketing expert Andrew Ford, the founder of Social Star, has discovered the secret of ‘Powerful Branding’. With a fire for unleashing people’s inner brand and developing business models to generate profit from an individual’s passions, Andrew leverages ground-breaking digital and social media marketing techniques to create digital strategies for clients to attract maximum opportunities. Having established a strong name for himself in the field, Andrew blends traditional business techniques with now-necessary tools for entrepreneurs to achieve scale, quality, and influence in their niche. Andrew’s comprehensive business background and qualifications consist of a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) (RMIT 2003), a Graduate Certificate in Management (MBA Executive Program, University of Sydney 2005), and a Masters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Swinburne University 2011). Continually on the cutting edge of his own education, Andrew has tested his marketing theories in forums such as the BCG Business Strategy Competition, which he won in 2005 against all Victorian MBA schools, and the Venture Cup Business Plan Competition (Swinburne University 2003), which he won in the Masters category. With experience working at Hewlett-Packard, Sensis (Telstra) and IBM, Andrew also has mentored dozens of junior staffs to help them achieve their professional goals. Meeting and influencing high-profile public figures helped Andrew to realise just how many professionals require more understanding and control of their public brands or appearance, and need help with the skills to use the many amazing free tools at their disposal to generate success. At Social Star, Andrew consults with clients to uncover their personal brand – both where it is today and where it can be tomorrow – and refine and define how that should be displayed in social media in order to attract their perfect target audience. Andrew mentors his clients to rapidly grow their business’ audiences, resulting in larger potential client bases and higher revenue. Applying formulas that integrate over twenty years of Andrew’s business experience and fifteen years of formal business education, Social Star specialises in building clarity and velocity for clients’ brands using the ‘Understand, Build and Leverage’ methodology. ‘Having a Personal Business enables people to have an authentic, congruent connection with their valued clients and partners, using their brand as the bridge,’ says Andrew. ‘I’m highly driven to work with the new breed of entrepreneurs and small business owners – people who have a passion for making the world a better place. Traditional business models are stepping aside as people follow their innermost dreams and my role is to see them operate within their values while creating wealth. Some people think you have to sacrifice what you love to be successful in your business, yet it is actually the opposite. Follow your passion and success will come.’ Lecturing at Swinburne University from 2009 to 2011 on brand dynamics and digital marketing, presenting at numerous conferences, and consulting to hundreds of clients, Andrew has seen his philosophy work that if you follow your unique path, based on your skills, experience, values and goals, you will automatically attract the opportunities you desire and achieve the success you deserve. Living his mantra, Andrew has created a successful business and attracts high-profile clients including musicians, athletes, authors, models, entrepreneurs, professionals and small business owners, helping them find their ‘why’ in their business and fulfilment in their lives. Business for Andrew is more than work, it’s personal. Running a personal business means that he is able to fulfil all of his values rather than separating his life from work. It supports his two boys while providing social opportunities, educational development, fitness opportunities, spiritual fulfilment and many valuable friendships. Social Star has now become the vehicle for Andrew to crystallise his mission in the world, to help people love what they do, supporting his ‘why’, that if more people loved what they did, the world would be a better place.

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