Better Branding: Make Sure Your LinkedIn Profile Includes These 7 Features

Time was when a “just good enough” LinkedIn presence really was enough. When LinkedIn was a glorified CV repository, an also-ran jobs board. On its good days, maybe a second-string venue for asynchronous digital networking.

That time is past. These days, LinkedIn is the premier personal and corporate branding site for professionals and organizations. It’s the place to see and be seen.

Which means “just good enough” is no longer enough. Your LinkedIn presence needs a refresh.

Time’s ticking and yesterday would be best, but it’s not too late to get it done. Here’s what you can do to ensure your personal LinkedIn profile and any corporate LinkedIn assets you’re responsible for actually get the job done.

1. Original Content Created by Your Team

“Original content” can be whatever you want it to be, provided it’s relevant to your business and industry and appropriate for your audience.

Original content posted to or shared on LinkedIn can take the form of videos, short updates, longer-form posts, even memes or GIFs. This healthcare provider’s LinkedIn profile is a good example of the mix you want to strive for: motivational videos, topical text updates, longer posts about industry trends.

For better engagement, you should post original LinkedIn content to LinkedIn first. But there’s no rule against reposting it on other social media channels or your company website or blog later.

2. A Succinct Description That Tells Your Audience What You Do But Leaves Them Wanting More

Your LinkedIn profile’s personal or company description is not the place for wordiness. This is your opportunity to deliver an unsolicited elevator pitch to anyone stopping by, and you need to make sure it grabs their attention.

Limit your description to 250 words or fewer, if possible, and write in simple sentences for better readability. This isn’t meant to disrespect your audience — it’s just the best way to get your description to pop in a limited medium.

3. News and Views Related to Your Industry

Use your LinkedIn profile to regularly share news and opinion related to your industry. This can be a mix of content reposted from elsewhere with attribution to the original creator or original content you’ve created yourself (see above). But it needs to be fresh, interesting, and tailored to attract engagement.

4. A Compelling Background Photo and Profile Pic

Choose LinkedIn imagery that’s consistent with your personal or corporate brand and that compels visitors to look twice. This sounds like a difficult balance to strike, but here’s a helpful hint: If said imagery involves a corporate logo, invest in a really high-quality, high-resolution image and superimpose it on a high-contrast background that really makes it pop.

And your headshot? Make it recent and high-res. Don’t worry about those gray hairs; they’re implied in the job description. 

5. Open Job Listings (If You’re Hiring)

If your organization is hiring or you’re in a position as an individual to recruit prospective employees, make it as obvious as you can. Job listings, even mentions of job listings, boost LinkedIn engagement like few other profile elements. 

6. An Up-to-Date Locations Map

If your company has more than one business location, help page visitors visualize its geographic footprint with an up-to-date location map. This is helpful even for non-retail businesses. Closed-to-the-public business locations are still business locations that attach an air of legitimacy and success.

7. Detailed Data on Your Team and Key Business Stats

An up-to-date locations map for your team might be pushing the limits of personal privacy, but detailed data on your company’s human resources and financial metrics certainly isn’t out of place on LinkedIn. To create the fullest possible snapshot of your company, you may need to upgrade to LinkedIn Premium.

Make Your LinkedIn Presence Work for You

You expect a lot from your team. You should expect even more from a LinkedIn presence over which you have total control.

And you’ll get it if you’re able to execute on this road map to a better LinkedIn presence. 

You know what you need. You need a LinkedIn profile that centers original content created by your team (or yourself, if you have time for that sort of thing). That clearly communicates what you and your organization do. That shares news and views related to your industry. That relentlessly advances your brand’s message. And that keeps your audience engaged week after week.

You’re more than capable of getting the job done. But get it done you must, because your competition certainly is.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.