How to create your LinkedIn personal profile or Company Page

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15

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Think of your personal LinkedIn profile as your very own landing page. It’s your chance to tell people not just who you are and the business you run, but what you’re interested in and what you stand for. In fact, it’s a way to build your own personal brand. Here’s our guide to setting up a great profile that shows both you and your business in the best possible light.

If you’re not on it already, you’ll need to join LinkedIn. It’s easy. At linkedin.com click ‘Join Now’ and follow the simple short steps to set up your account. Once you’ve joined, it’s time to start making your profile yours. There are plenty of fields you can customise, and LinkedIn guides you through them step-by-step. But here are our tips for the absolute must-haves.

1. Add a good profile photo

Choose a clear, uncluttered profile photo. It doesn’t have to look corporate but it should look professional.

Members with profile photos get up to 21x more views than those without a photo, so be sure not to skip this all-important step.

2. Think about your headline

Your ‘headline’ appears under your name. It’s you, summed up in one line. LinkedIn automatically writes this line for you when you add Positions to your profile. But like all fields on your profile, it’s editable. What’s the single most important thing you want the LinkedIn community to know about you? Is it your job title? Is it your business passion? It’s your headline, so make it yours.

3. Stand out with your ‘About’

Your ‘About’ is your chance to sell yourself in more detail. And it may well be the trickiest part of your profile to write. Why? Well, because anything goes. You could write your ‘About’ like a personal statement on a traditional CV. You could capture yourself in bullet-form. You can write directly in the first person (I, me) or about yourself in the third person (s/he, they).

You can keep it purely professional, or make it more personal. Our tip? Be yourself. An authentic ‘About’ that shows off the real you will engage people way more than a profile where even you can’t recognise yourself.

4. Enhance your profile with Relevant Skills

Adding skills doesn’t just let you showcase your abilities and strengths. Your LinkedIn connections can endorse these skills, which also helps you get discovered when someone’s searching for those talents.

5. Ask for recommendations

LinkedIn is a community. It’s completely acceptable to reach out to people you know and ask them to recommend you. If (when!) they say yes, they’ll write a short commendation about your work, talents or the services you provide. This glowing review then gets added to your profile automatically but you can always hide it if you wish.  

By now, your profile should be starting to take pretty good shape. Use the handy ‘Profile Strength Meter’ to see how to improve yours. We're aiming for ‘All-Star Profile’. And we just know you’ll reach that in no time.    

How to set up a LinkedIn Company Page

There’s a big LinkedIn trick that many SMBs miss. And that’s setting up a Company Page. It’s a page completely dedicated to your business. It’s got all the functionality of your Personal Page, but with the added bonus of extra features designed to help grow businesses of all sizes. Like your Personal Page, a Company Page is free to set up, free to use and it couldn’t be easier to get up and running.

1. Where to start

On your LinkedIn home page click the ‘Work’ icon in the top right-hand corner.

From here, choose ‘Create a company page +’.

There are different LinkedIn templates for different sizes of business. Choose the one that’s right for you.

Remember setting up your Personal Page? Your Company page follows very similar steps. You’ll be asked for the basics first, like your company name, your website and what category you’re in. You can also upload your company logo.  

LinkedIn is surprisingly intuitive. You’ll find the instructions are clear with helpful examples of what should go where.  

At the bottom of the page there’s a tick box. You need to check this to confirm you’re authorized to act on behalf of your company. Once this is checked, you can click ‘Create Page’ and your basic Company Page will be done.

2. Write your ‘About’

Just as with your Personal Page, it’s what you do with your Company Page that counts. And you can do a lot. You can post, you can publish job ads, you can show your people, you can promote events, and even showcase your business with video.

Of all these sections, crafting your ‘About’ should definitely be first on your to-do list.

Your ‘About’ section is actually two parts. Visitors to your page will see an ‘Overview’ of your business and then the more factual stuff, like your address, opening hours and your location.  

Take care your ‘About’ isn't just a list of facts about your business. You want this section to make people think ‘Oooh, this is interesting, tell me more.’ So consider telling a story about what makes your business unique. Why did you start it? What problem does your business solve? What excites you most about this industry? What opportunities does your business see – and how are you going to seize them?  

Ever heard of social proof? It’s the technique of using other people’s endorsements to strengthen your own story. Adding testimonials to your ‘About’ section, for example, builds your case. Won any awards? Add them. Been featured in any industry publications? Namecheck them.  

While you’ll want to get your ‘About’ section up as soon as possible, take your time to get it right. It’ll really makes a difference.

3. Add your team

The other tip we always give is to feature your team in the ‘People’ section.

Why? Well, first up it’s a great opportunity to showcase your diverse talent. Even if your people aren’t customer facing, there’s real benefit to spotlighting the people behind the scenes. That’s great for building emotional engagement and trust.  

From a recruitment point of view, it’s a powerful way to give a sneak peek of your potential colleagues.  

And from a networking and new business perspective, it’s a simple way for new customers, contacts and potential new partners to pinpoint the person they need.  

And there we have it. Now you’ve got a both a Company and a Personal page on the world’s biggest professional networking platform! Keep your eyes on your personal marketing plan for specific ways to build on your work so far, and make the most of this powerful business-building tool.