I had my friend and colleague, Chuck Hester, on the show January 30th to talk about making your LinkedIn profile useful, more visual, and more human! After all, you and your company are stories.

Why Most Profiles Fail

Many people take their 2D resume and simply cut and paste into LinkedIn. They are missing so much richness in terms of video, slides, content, ebooks, etc. Today, there are so many ways to connect your content and curate it in order to tell a larger human story about who you are and how you help people.  To illustrate your ideas and thought leadership, you want to connect all the interactive pieces together. With all the ways to make your story lively, you are missing the boat if you don’t jump in!

LinkedIn Storytelling: How to Rock Your Profile

Here are a few ways we chatted about to kick out the ‘bo’ in your ring!

1. Tell your story visually – whether it’s slideshare, video, ebooks, graphics, whatever – show and tell. There are a lot of tools. use at least a few of them.

2. If you don’t have anything, consider creating something so that you demonstrate how you can create value for customers, employers, etc. Three great examples we discussed: Kelly Crowley, motivational speaker (check out her personal page – you’re welcome Kelly for all the LinkedIn views you are about to get!) for using video, Allstate (for company page – same to you, Allstate, because you’re insurance!) for using graphics, slideshows, and visual elements that still allow you to stay on the LinkedIn page, and finally, check out UC Berkeley for University pages for the way the school incorporates alumni stories. You are a content creator and LinkedIn is a great way to show what you know that helps people. Think: content and how to use it – create it and share it.

3. Stop with the jargon in the headline and in the body! “Seasoned executive,” “experienced,”  “hands-on..” I don’t know any recruiters or customers looking for inexperienced executives! Get specific: ‘Solving customer service challenges for enterprise clients’ or example. You want to show how you can help your customer, and you need to be memorable, and more human. So leave the jargon out; bring the human personality in. However – remember you still have to consider how your customers search for someone like you. What matters are words that are meaningful to them. So a balance of keywords your customers care about plus a little humanizing can go a long way.

4. Think about your overall story – what are the three things I want someone to take away from my profile, and ask yourself, how can I add elements that *support* those takeaways? If you’re a speaker, add video; if you’re an HR person, add a Slideshare post on how HR could be improved. If you’re a writer, add publications, ebooks, etc.

5. Finally, use great photos and personalize your invites. Really. Yes, there <em>is</em> a place for 20-year old, outdated photos – they’re called dating sites! Stop using them in your marketing. ABC – always be customizing. If you don’t know someone, customize your invite. It is so easy to do, and you’ll stand out with people. As we talked about, contacts now need between 13 and 17 touches or interactions on average before they decide to do business with you. So don’t be average. Be a LinkedIn rock star.

PS – Chuck knows I am really the best podcaster. By comparison, he’s a podcrastinator!

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How do you create a more human profile? What innovative ways are you using to cultivate and connect with contacts? Leave a message in the comments.

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