Today I have a confession. I am selfish here, because I wrote this post basically for me than it is for you. According to everything I have read about in content creation, ‘write for your readers they say’…
Well, this is for me, myself! Being as vulnerable as I can be!
A friend buzzed me yesterday and mentioned that she had seen me in a video beside my business coach (I like the sound of that, I have a coach). My coach is all about having your business online, so this friend of mine, she figured I was either starting a business or I had one and she wanted to know what it was…
I knew what I was about. Of course I do, it’s what has been on my mind in the past couple of months. I had written a couple of things down highlighting who I really was and how I wanted to help people achieve success in being visible. I knew it all but I fluttered.
And this was an old friend, a friend oh! I think its hardest proving who you are and can be to the people closest to you as these are the people that know you, or better still knew you, because you developed a very different mindset when you decided to become a thought leader in a particular niche, even Jesus, was not respected among his very own people.
I however gathered my thoughts and leaving behind my rehearsed answers I told her how exactly my services work and what I help professionals achieve: visibility! Especially because I strongly believe that a combination of the answers to our “who you are”, “what you do” and “where you have been” questions are uniquely different and hence we should see it as that – to stand uniquely different and well positioned to share our truth in order to get a new job, attract investors into your small business or standout as a respected thought leader in the area of your niche.
People google you before they even meet you. So what are we doing about this?
First impressions have gone digital.
– William Arruda
How are we taking charge?
Did you use the free workbook I shared in my last post? A couple of people complained about the link so I have re-shared the link.
Armed with the answers in the free worksheet, this week, I will like us to start with the platform where every professional should be found: LINKEDIN.
According to the infographics even from 2013, Nigeria is the second largest African country with users on LinkedIn, imagine what it is now with the penetration rate of Nigerians on the internet.
Let’s do a little exercise I believe would go a long way in your profile visibility and how you can be found.
So let’s work this LinkedIn thing …
The Profile Headline
Instead of the nomenclature used in your office for the job title you currently have, best practices says that you should list out the skills that majorly describes what you do.
My position at work is IT Project officer but a better breakdown of what I do are as follows
- IT Sourcing, IT Infrastructure Management,
- Project Manager,
- Help Desk
All these keywords derived from my role without the nomenclature possibly only recognized within my organization and not across the industry. The use of this keywords makes me easily visible when someone searches for IT infrastructure management in Nigeria, I definitely would come up. For your current position title, example here is IT Project officer, can then be put inside the body of your profile.
The headshot must be clean, crisp and professional looking. Clean background, something recent where you can be easily recognized. Your headshot online can be consistent with the image you use on other platforms; this is often referred to as your online asset.
Also name your image appropriately before you upload them, as tiny as this detail may seem, google brings up your image if it’s well labelled online each time someone googles you.
This is the toughest, however achievable most important part of your LinkedIn profile. phew that was a mouth full.
I have seen a lot of generic stuff that has no heart or character. Just plain boring. Wonder how we come up with these sentences describing our most important assets: Ourselves!
This is what mine currently reads:
A hardworking, pro-active professional with an upbeat and positive attitude, who is looking for an opportunity to make a big difference in a business that is moving forward.
Possessing a track record of achievements and a proven ability to manage projects and provide industry standard IT infrastructure solutions whilst having an active and dynamic approach to work and getting things done efficiently.
A Strategic problem solver who envisions smart solutions and executes with urgency across all levels of the organization
Geez, see grammar! Lol!!!
Ok so let’s think through… assume the character of a recruiting officer, who has the task of filling a position for a client urgently and has to scan through a zillion resumes and LinkedIn profiles that keywords have helped sieve in the first place.
It’s almost lunch time and you are hungry, your eyes are tired, then you try to be as religious as possible to read through all possible candidates, then you see this….
Does this summary sound like you want to meet the person or even go further reading through her profile?
An effective LinkedIn summary makes people want to know more about you and ultimately connect with you one-on-one, so congruence is critical. You need to make sure the bio you present online matches your real-world self.
So like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, this is for me, so I am currently working on my LinkedIn summary and I can assure you it won’t be this plain and ordinary because I am not plain and ordinary and so are you!
A summary of tips on creating a very intriguing LinkedIn summary by Williams Arruda:
1.Set the Scene
We have done this already by answering the questions in my last post. See here if you are yet to fill yours. Gather your thoughts and intentions, be deliberate in answering these questions. Its only until you are very aware of who you are that you are ready to sell you to the next person.
2.Do the list
- What are your accomplishments?
Examples: As team lead of the Data Centre Implementation project, I helped my company save redundant cost of maintenance of #12M per annum.
I built our first world-class customer service team from the ground up and this team saves the company an estimated #5M by ensuring customer satisfaction.
- What are your values and Passion?
Example: Integrity, Creativity etc.
- Your superpowers: What you do better than anyone else ? Example: I have the gift of persuasion and would convert the even the hardest critic into a customer. I create awesome strategy sessions that allow team members bring out the best of ideas
- Facts and figures: Interesting quantifiable things.
Examples: I ran and completed the first Lagos Marathon, yes, that can be put in there. I speak 3 languages.
Ps: this facts just have to be you, i know i struggled with listing these because i felt what is that necessary, what has that got to do with my work. If i hear you ran the Lagos marathon, i can infer from that simple statement the following:
- I see a risk taker
- I see someone who is fun loving and excited about new ideas
- I see someone who endures to the end, persistence, perseverance
External Validation : Include testimonials from others while showcasing all the awards and accolades bestowed upon you (for example, graduated with a second class upper at the university of Lagos and I have an MSc in management science).
3. Put it all together
Before writing your summary decide if you would like to write in the first or third person. Either is acceptable – it’s a personal choice. Put yourself in a creative place – literally and figuratively so you can produce your best work. Then:
- Start with a bang. You want the reader to want to know more, so you need to start with something enticing. It could be a question, statement or even a few words with punctuation, like: High-Energy. Results-Driven. Focused.
- Next, fill in the details, weaving elements from the various Step 2 buckets into a compelling narrative about the brand called you. Mix up content from the different categories to enhance the storytelling style.
- Then close with a call to action: tell your audience what you want them to do or where they can go to get more information.
Those are the tips from a top Branding Expert. I would be writing my LinkedIn Summary and I promise by next post to show you!
Let’s do this thing with a bang!
Let’s get visible together so we can shine!
Author: Abisoye “Faari” Akinola
Abisoye is an IT Professional and a Corporate Trainer by day, Mom & Wife on weekends and LinkedIn enthusiasts every other time.
She believes LinkedIn is the real deal to find and meet awesome professionals and thanks, Reid Hoffman for the Idea!
Your go-to girl when you need to brainstorm great ideas.
She helps bored mid-career professionals who need get to switch gear to the next level using personal branding and confidence as tools!
You can find sharing her daily wisdom on Instagram