by Jenna Kutcher
Confession time: There’s one major platform on the internet I’m not using to its max potential. I’ve got Instagram down to a science, a healthy and effective strategy on Facebook… But there’s still one big one that eludes me and that platform is LINKEDIN. Like my profile is there, I have a really old picture, a few notes about me… But that’s it. It’s certainly not the lead magnet or connection-maker I know it could be. So like I always do when I want to learn and grow new skills and knowledge, I’m turning to an expert.
Jena Viviano is an ex-Wall Streeter turned career coach and entrepreneur who helps go-getter professionals articulate their personal branded career story to land their dream jobs. I am so excited to talk to my fellow Enneagram 3 about personal branding and what that even looks like on a platform like LinkedIn.
If you want to leverage LinkedIn to attract new career opportunities, make professional connections, and potentially grow your business, this is your episode. By the way, Jena offered to rebrand my LinkedIn profile for me, so I’m totally stepping back and letting her take the wheel on things. This is a master class in personal branding for LinkedIn.
Why LinkedIn is Different
“LinkedIn is your professional best friend!” It’s no secret that Jena Viviano is a big fan of LinkedIn and can speak to how it’s best used to grow your career or business. But what makes LinkedIn different than the social media we find ourselves scrolling just for fun?
“LinkedIn is the best place to get connected to real people and it’s a much more active platform. When people go to LinkedIn, they are actively on the site,” Jena explained. Think of how you use Instagram — Scrolling, tapping, maybe a comment here and there, but you’re most likely mindlessly consuming the content while also doing something else, like letting Netflix run in the background. LinkedIn users are actively scrolling content, reading the posts, and searching for opportunities.
Jena also gave a quick peek at the power of content on LinkedIn. The algorithm is such that if someone likes or comments on your post on LinkedIn, your piece of content is served to the people who are connected to that person. Your content (say, a repurposed blog post) has a greater potential to go viral faster than other social media.
My LinkedIn Overhaul
I had two LinkedIn profiles, from two different seasons of life, and both were pretty barren. Jena helped me overhaul my LinkedIn profile and she shared in this episode exactly what she did to polish it up. Press play for the full rundown with the player above.
First, Jena clearly identified who I am, what I do, and what I’m about in the header line of my profile. The header is the best place to make a clear first impression.
The next place that needed some work was the summary/about section. My old profile maybe had a line or two of what Jena calls “professional robot writing”, which is not my brand at all! To overhaul this piece, Jena looked at the copy on my website and used it to tell the story about who I am and what I have to offer people.
Jena recommends treating that section like a sales page for YOU. “I highly recommend that the about section reads like a sales page,” and this is especially true if you are an entrepreneur who wants to connect with the B2B or professional client market.
Jena also added media and created a separate business page… This step was important for making my work experience/history look complete. Press play right now to hear how and why she took this extra step when cleaning up my LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn for Entrepreneurs
“Think about LinkedIn as another sales tool. Now, it might not be your megaphone,” i.e. where people find you and connect with you the most, “But for those people who Instagram or Facebook isn’t working, try LinkedIn.”
There’s no need to recreate the wheel. Repurpose your content for the LinkedIn platform and see if that’s a better place for the type of people you’re trying to get in contact with.
Are you a health coach? Try using LinkedIn to connect with a busy professional. If you’re a speaker and want to land an opportunity at a big company, LinkedIn is a great place to start building out your personal brand and get in contact with the people who are actually “living” in those industries.
The First 3 Changes
If you’re reading this (or listening with the player above) and thinking, “Okay, time to self-audit my LinkedIn profile!” Jena offered up the first three things you should do to clean it up.
First things first, look at what’s not complete. Make sure you have a professional-looking headshot so people can put a face to a name. Avoid that cropped photo from your Facebook profile! And at the very minimum, make sure your current and recent experience is also listed on your page.
Then, peek at who you are already connected to on LinkedIn and think of ways to recultivate those connections.
Finally, make a list of your dream contacts. Who would you love to be friends with in real life? This is where your networking begins. And hit connect. Now, they might not accept you. But if they do, be ready to share content that would target and speak to these dream connections.
When you start producing this content and it’s appearing in their LinkedIn feed, reconnect with those people. Pitch them your idea in the same way you might pitch someone via email. “It’s not hard! It’s just the fear,” Jena reassured me.
More from this Episode
One of my favorite quotes from this interview is this: “You can’t be networking when you need something.” Press play on the episode above to hear Jena’s advice for networking on LinkedIn, including the exact script you can use to reach out to hiring managers or potential business connections.
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Photo credit: The Siegers Photo + Video