LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network. With 225 million+ members it is the perfect platform for managing your professional identity, building your professional network and engaging with connections.
But it's time to give your profile a Makeover. A Visual Social Media Makeover. It's time to add some rich visual content.
In this post, I will discuss 3 reasons why LinkedIn is a Visual Platform and 5 Ways you can start visually enhancing your LinkedIn Profile by using the Professional Portfolio feature.
I know…I can hear you from here, thinking “LinkedIn isn't Pinterest. It's not Instagram. It's a text-heavy platform. Why do I need to include images?”. I hear you. Most people think of LinkedIn as being a professional profile – where words do the talking, not pictures.
But things have changed in the world of LinkedIn with the introduction of what is called “Professional Portfolio” earlier this year…and for this Visual Social Media Fan, it's a very positive change.
Let's start with a quick Slideshare presentation from LinkedIn about the Professional Profile and what it means for you:
You can also read more about Professional Portfolio in this blog post by LinkedIn.
Now let's look at 3 reasons why you need to start thinking about your LinkedIn Profile a little more “visually”.
3 Reasons Why You Should Think about LinkedIn Differently…as a Visual Platform:
#1 LinkedIn IS a very Visual Platform
With the introduction of Professional Portfolio on LinkedIn you can now easily share the following visual content on your LinkedIn Profile:
- links with images
- slideshare presentations
- blog posts
- videos……pretty much any content you can think of as long as it has a link or can be uploaded as a file .
Put simply, if you can show it visually rather than saying it with text, then do so.
Love Professional Portfolio? Tweet out about it!
#2 LinkedIn is one of the best social media platforms for sharing Infographics
Crazy hey? Not Pinterest. Not Facebook. But LinkedIn! Who would have thunk it, right? Consider these stats and then after you have considered them, consider sharing infographics (even better, your own “original” infographics) on LinkedIn:
- Infographics get high click through rates and traffic on LinkedIn – in fact LinkedIn is one of the most successful platforms on which to share infographics.
- Infographic posts are shared more readily than traditional posts on LinkedIn (and also on Twitter and StumbleUpon).
#3 LinkedIn Acquired Slideshare in 2012
The fact that LinkedIn acquired Slideshare should send a very strong message – LinkedIn is committed to showcasing visual content for the long term. So get up to speed now and start integrating visual content in your profile. Things are not going to change – the shift to visual social media is here and any way that we can say what we want to say with imagery, will stand you in good stead across all social media platforms.
So now that you have some reasons for looking at LinkedIn differently, here are some ways in which you can start getting more “visual” on your LinkedIn Profile by using Professional Portfolio.
5 Ways to Get Visual on LinkedIn with Professional Portfolio
As you can see from the information above, Professional Portfolio is flexible and versatile – it allows you to showcase your unique style in a number of different ways. It's fairly straightforward – click on Profile > Edit Profile from the Menu at the top of the page, and under each job description/skill summary, click on the following drop down menu to:
- add a links
- or upload a file.
It really is plug and play and very simple to do, so let's cut to the content and what types of information and imagery you can add to your profile. I want you to be creative, and get your content up on LinkedIn. Basically anything that can be uploaded by a link or an image upload can be displayed on your profile. Here are just a few ways you can start to leverage this:
#1 Add Slideshare Presentations To Your Profile
This should now be a no-brainer. If you have any presentations uploaded to Slideshare, then start to include them in your profile. Jesse Desjardins is a Slideshare Influencer who also happens to be the Head of Social Media at Tourism Australia.
Jesse showcases just one of his Slideshare presentations on his profile. It's called the World's Biggest Social Media Team, and in that one Slideshare presentation, you can see the quality of his work and the innovations that he and the rest of his team are implementing at Tourism Australia. (psst he also created this presentation, one of the most popular on Slideshare, one of my favourites, and well worth checking out).
With Professional Portfolio, it is easy to show your Slideshare presentations from right within LinkedIn.
If you click on Jesse's link, a lightbox shows up and you can watch the Slideshare presentation from right within his profile. No need to leave!
This has great potential for showcasing your content, presentations, portfolios ….anything you feel would help to establish you as an expert or attract connections and clients.
So what are you waiting for? Do you have any presentations on Slideshare that are not currently being displayed on LinkedIn?
#2 Get Inventive with Social Proof
I recently started putting together my speaking profile on LinkedIn, as I am getting asked to do more and more presentations, either live, in online summits, interviews, as well as presenting webinars.
Although I am in the middle of putting together a video reel, I decided to be creative with images that would showcase not only my presentations but how the audience perceives them (something I am passionate about – giving takeaways that are instantly actionable).
Enter Twitter. I realised that I had a whole pile of social proof in the Tweets that come out of my presentations. I was able to take screen shots of the Tweets from a recent presentation and showcase them on LinkedIn under my speaker profile. The view of my profile can click on the Image and instantly see a thread of Tweets from Social Media Tourism Symposium, as well as images, photos and upcoming events that I am speaking at. The sky is the limit with how creative you can be with this!
Here is an expanded view of the screenshots – note how the Professional Portfolio is linked? The viewer of the portfolio can swipe through to see other images from the profile. My LinkedIn Profile just became interactive and engaging.
What can you do that shows social proof about your skills and abilities? It could be a video, or a photo, or some tweets or maybe a screenshot of a testimonial (over and above your LinkedIn Recommendations). Get inventive and use visuals and the power of Professional Portfolio on LinkedIn. Trust me, not many people are doing this, so you will stand out from the crowd when you do.
#3 Display your Portfolio
This is where Professional Portfolio is fabulous. If you have any design work, projects, imagery or photographs – anything to display your work, then showcase it. For me this meant showcasing the Infographics produced by our little creative team at Socially Sorted. We may be small but our infographics get BIG reach for brands and bloggers – and LinkedIn now allows me to showcase these creative projects in a fun way.
There is a difference between me saying that we produce infographics on my profile….to being able to showcase them for you to see. Here is an example of how we are displaying some of our recent infographics on my LinkedIn profile:
We can add and change them around as we create new ones. We also have the abiltity to share them as links or images. In my case, I chose to upload an image (or part thereof) of the the infographic with the link listed in the description. I am also now uploading my infographics to Slideshare after an initial run, so I could also import them as a Slideshare link – there are many ways to get creative!
Personally, I prefer to upload an image OR upload the Slideshare link – uploading a blog post link can still tend to pull in other images that are not relevant. Check it out and see what works for you though.
#4 Include articles, blogposts and features that showcase your achievements and skills
How can you make a post or article or product link more visible and visual? Take screenshots of the cover of an article that you wish to showcase. I do this a lot on my profile. For example, with the following two articles, I took a screenshot and then included the link to the article in the description. It's not clickable, but still easy for the reader to find. You can also mention the same article in the body of your LinkedIn Profile. Think of the images as adding visual proof about what you are saying in your LinkedIn profile.
Remember that we process images much faster than we process text, audio or video. A great image or two can draw people in to your profile and have them engage more with the content there – ultimately helping you to get more opportunities from being on LinkedIn.
#5 Include Video
My friend and LinkedIn Expert Melonie Dodaro does this very well (which is not surprising as she is my go-to-gal for all things LinkedIn). She leverages the power of images on her profile, by including video in her Professional Portfolio as well as images and links to her content. Right underneath her summary are two videos showcasing Melonie's speaking skills as well as the services offered by her business, Top Dog Social Media:
Here is the expanded view – the video plays right within LinkedIn. Note that Melonie's Professional Portfolio is jam packed with imagery – all you need to do is click on the arrow or images at the bottom of her Portfolio to scroll through her body of content, articles, videos, image and infographics.
Speaking of infographics, if you want to find out more about creating a LinkedIn Profile that gets results, check out Melonie's infographic here. Our team were lucky to be able to work on it with her and it's a fabulous reference for creating a LinkedIn Profile that drives traffic. I keep it very handy, trust me!
Excited by what you can do with your LinkedIn Profile now? Click here to Tweet out about it!
Bonus tip :
Don't underestimate the power of a great photo. Is there something you are saying you can do in your profile? Include a photo of you doing it – for me this was the decision to include photos of me speaking (see #2 re Social Proof). For you it might be something different – or perhaps you can get creative with testimonials or some of the things being said about you or your business – can you put them into an image to showcase what you do, why you do it….and why you freakin' rock at it!
It's time – to start illustrating your achievements rather than just talking about them. My mind is literally exploding with ideas for how you can do this, and I hope yours is too now…. Have some fun with it!
Over to You! I have just one question for you and I would love for you to let me know in the comments below – are you now thinking a little differently about your LinkedIn Profile?
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