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January 16, 2017

10 Tips to Perfect Your LinkedIn Profile This Year

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10 Tips to Perfect Your LinkedIn Profile

By Ilise Benun, Founder of Marketing-Mentor

One of the best things you can do to make 2017 a success is build and nurture your network, and implement the LinkedIn tips below. Your profile has to be strong and it must emphasize your strengths and aspirations to attract the people you want to work with as you grow professionally.

So if you haven't updated it lately, now is the perfect time to do so. Here are 8 best practices to make sure your profile is ready to connect.

1. Use your LinkedIn profile to reinforce your targeted positioning and your niche so when your best prospects land there, they say, "This is exactly who we need."

2. Make sure your title (or headline) - the #1 most important element of your profile - conveys clearly what you do and for whom. Feel free to use slashes and hyphens to make the most of that small space.

3. Use a photo or headshot that is professional and friendly. Illustrators, use that space to show off your work.

4. In your summary section, speak directly to your best prospects, using "you" as much as possible, so they know that you understand their market and their needs.

5. Use "calls to action" to tell visitors what to do, like visit your web site or sign up for a free chat. Don't assume they will know the best next step without being prompted.

6. Litter your profile with keywords (a.k.a. your specialties) to take advantage of the fact that LinkedIn is essentially a professional search engine.

7. Give recommendations and endorsements to people you've worked with, especially your clients. You'll be surprised how much easier it will be to get them when you give first.

8. Repost material from your blog to expand your content marketing, show what you know and position yourself as an expert in your field.

Time to Connect

Once your profile is spiffed up, you're ready to reach out to your network. Did you know you can export and download the email addresses of your LinkedIn contacts?

This simple tool is available with any free LinkedIn account.

All you have to do is go to your "connections," click on the gear in the upper right corner. Then, under "advanced settings" you'll see an option to "export LinkedIn connections." In a .csv file, you get the names and email address of everyone you're connected to. It takes 2 seconds - literally!

Think about it. This is probably your best networking tool: a list of everyone you know and who knows you; people you've worked with, as well as prospects who have accepted your invitation to connect, even if nothing has come of it - yet!

So start 2017 on the right foot by taking these 3 simple steps right now:

  • Export your LinkedIn contacts.
  • Choose the 10 (or 25 or 50) people on that contact list who you would like to work with in 2017.
  • Reach out (via email and/or phone, if you dare) to say, "Happy New Year, I'm here to help if you need it."
And happy new year!

Ilise Benun is the founder of, an online store for creative professionals who want better projects with bigger budgets. She is also a national speaker and business coach, author of 7 books and the Marketing Mix Blog, and host of the #HOWLive podcast and the Marketing Mentor Podcast. In addition to being the Program Partner for HOW Design Live's Creative Entrepreneur program, her online courses can be found through HOW Design University and CreativeLive.

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