By now you’re probably aware of the critical role LinkedIn can play in any company’s push to boost its profile, expand its customer base, discover new talent, or simply explore networking opportunities. We can learn from a multitude of online resources how to build a personal profile or company page for a brand marketing strategy, and can likely highlight appropriate professional history and tackle SEO terms without much difficulty. What’s often more challenging is knowing just how to “humanize” a company or reveal personal details to give a profile a feel of intimacy that really connects with an audience.
LinkedIn is not a place to cut and paste a résumé or regurgitate messaging from your company website. It’s a social media platform that allows you to say what your résumé and website don’t. It’s a chance to inspire, showcase a style, inject a bit of humor, and reveal a personality. You are not a “consultant,” but a “strategist who scouts unforeseen risks and saves people from their own bad judgment.” Your brief stint in the circus may not fit on your résumé, but it could have a place on LinkedIn. There are abundant articles on writing killer profiles and company pages with detailed guidelines to review, but here are a few tips to highlight in the meantime:
Get personal. Your profile is a place to reveal personal details that intrigue, entertain or even surprise an audience. Maybe you’re an avid reader of mystery novels or an expert balloon twister, or maybe you spent a year ice fishing in Alaska as a young adult. These details showcase your personality, but also your versatility. And they serve to set you apart from the pack. Your skill set, education and experience may not vary significantly from your competitors, but your experience caring for your baby as a new mother, for example, might be the one thing another new mother remembers.
Capture the intangible part of what you do. Think about what you do or what your company does in terms of an emotion or a state of mind. It’s not just who your customers are, but how your company builds relationships with customers. It’s not just about selling a service or a product, but about what dreams you hope to help others achieve. You want to convey a sense of a higher purpose to give people a reason to believe in you or your company.
Consider drafting questionnaires for your key players. If you, as a company, have an opportunity to play a role in developing the personal profiles of your key players, you might consider a short questionnaire to help extract information that highlights different personalities. You could inquire about a big professional accomplishment, a defining career moment, or life outside the office. Craft questions that trigger thoughts on a memorable moment with a customer or on the biggest hurdle they overcame at the company. Ideally, the personal profiles will exhibit a variety of personalities and strengths. For a company profile, you might collect thoughts on whether those key players can recall a time when the company pulled together to overcome adversity, or how they would characterize their workplace culture. Collectively, those details, along with the personal profiles, they can help “humanize” the company for its LinkedIn page.