Be present in people’s minds: How to sculpt your LinkedIn profile from ground up
LinkedIn is considered a practical platform for new graduates, marketers and professionals in all industries. It’s one of the first things they told us during my Marketing degree a few years back – join LinkedIn, create a complete profile and start networking. Despite the fact that we were only starting year 1 at Uni, all our teachers have encouraged us to start making meaningful connections. They were right. It’s a wonderful place to build your online professional presence, engage with other translators and potential clients, and get assignments or opportunities. So, don’t be shy!
The LinkedIn community also represents 500 million members and 9+ million companies.
Wouldn’t it be a shame to miss out on that huuuge audience?
In this article, let’s focus on building a great LinkedIn profile from scratch. For me, LinkedIn has been hugely beneficial at generating enquiries and when implemented, these tips could make that happen for you too.
You’ve signed up. Now what?
- Upload your profile picture
A professional profile picture can get you up to 21x more profile views and 9x more requests. Remember, this is your professional presence. While it’s good to show who you are, avoid uploading that holiday pic of you clutching a Pina Colada. I don’t think I have to explain why.
- Add a compelling tagline
Don’t just say you’re a “translator” or “manager” or “student”. Your tagline is considered the second most important element of your profile. Make it creative and keyword-rich. Something like “English to Russian Translation Services | A Friendly Face in the Translating World” is far more enticing and likely to attract attention from targeted clients.
- Show clients what you’re made of
Next comes your description. Clients want to know why they should hire you. So, show them! Whether you’re leaving an agency or just leaving Uni, display your specialisations, any experience, accomplishments – anything relevant to the job. Even mentioning hobbies can make us more approachable to clients. Inject your personality into your writing, be friendly and open. You could even check what language your target audience is using and try to mirror it and make people want to work with you.
- Don’t skip your location
Mentioning your location makes you 23 x more likely to be discovered in LinkedIn searches. Especially if you’re an interpreter, people need to know where you’re located.
- Explain your education
Include degrees, CPD events, skills gained and basically anything relevant. I would suggest not just putting it out there – some clients might not know what certain degrees mean, especially in different languages, so explain it for them in a way that they know you’re equipped to solve their problems. You’ll likely to receive 17x more messages, just by adding your educational background.
- Clarify spoken languages and accomplishments
Visitors should know your languages and specialisations as soon as they arrive on your profile (that also applies to websites!). I recommend making it very clear which languages you speak and work to and from and list accomplishments to support your statements.
LinkedIn users need a good reason to contact you and usually don’t have much time to browse endlessly in search of their potential provider. If you can hook them in with relevant information, they will be relieved they found the person they are looking for.
Make every word count on your LinkedIn profile! You can also include links to your website and other professional profiles.
Putting your spruced-up profile in action
So, you’ve taken the first steps in building your online professional profile.
Think of your LinkedIn profile as your virtual business card. Take your time, ensure your profile is accurate and watch out for those niggly little spelling mistakes! Then you can start getting on with the fun stuff: catching clients.
To get the most out of LinkedIn, try to keep things fresh, make some friends in the community and don’t be afraid to connect with clients. You’ve got half a billion networking opportunities right in front of your eyes! That’s my motivation anyway.
Sometimes we put our profiles and out websites out there and wait passively for them to generate clients. Unfortunately, static LinkedIn profiles don’t work as a strategy anymore as competition is fierce. Those online elements should be a part of your overall proactive strategy to start working with the people you want. Research, connect, write to people – be dynamic as this will yield most results.
The scenario in which clients come to you takes some active work first to build up your reputation, search rankings, portfolio, but if you’re just starting out, taking charge of how you want to be seen is the key.
Here are some strategies for optimising your LinkedIn presence:
- Get your voice out there
Write articles targeted at clients. Write about your profession, major trends in your industry, case studies and posts that can help your clients to show off your expertise. And do it often!
Roughly 66 percent of LinkedIn’s Top Voice authors publish at least one post a month.
- Get social
Clients aren’t going to come to you. Not at first anyway! Reach out to them and interact with other translators too. In business, the more meaningful connections you have, the better. The great thing about LinkedIn is, you can get noticed very quickly by people from all over the world. It’s a great platform for business promotion and professional interaction, especially for remote workers.
- Ask for recommendations (Give them too!)
Not everyone you’ve worked with is going to respond, but some will. Ask everyone you’ve worked with for recommendations. Word of mouth is always a smart business strategy. Offer to give recommendations too. I’ve found that when I give, I receive (although that’s not just a LinkedIn thing, that’s a life thing!)
- Start contacting potential clients directly
Finally, you can start reaching out directly to clients you’d like to work with (the ones you researched previously) and actually start pitching for business and convert connections into clients.
Do remember one thing: Research your potential clients beforehand. Sometimes, I receive an email starting with “Hi NAME” or “Dear NAME” or an email that doesn’t have anything to do with my industry or applications from translators despite not running a translation agency. You can probably guess these are not too convincing as it shows they didn’t take time to a) personalise their emails, b) look at my profile or website and figure out what services they can actually offer.
Over to you.
Are you in the process of building your online professional presence?
Do you have any tips on standing out from the crowd on LinkedIn?
Keep me posted on your progress and let me know if you have any questions I can help with!