How to get started on LinkedIn

Hello and welcome to the first part of my How to get started on LinkedIn series!

This blueprint will show you how to become a LinkedIn expert in no time!

You’ll learn:

  • My personal best practices on how to set up your LinkedIn account the right way
  • How to select the right profile photo for LinkedIn
  • How to add an amazing cover photo to your LinkedIn profile
  • How to create an awesome LinkedIn Headline
  • How to add current and past positions to your LinkedIn resumé.
  • How to add your education
  • Where to change your industry
  • How to add additional contact information
  • What to put into your LinkedIn summary section
  • How to optimize your newsfeed

Before we get started, make sure to follow me on LinkedIn and my hashtags #timqueen and to join my Inner Circle to get instant notifications when I publish my next article in the series.

Ready? Great! Let’s get started!

Btw. You look amazing today! Full of energy and ready to learn! 😉

If you keep this up, you’re going to be a LinkedIn expert in no time! 🙂

How to create a LinkedIn account

Ok, let’s do this. First, open your favorite web browser and type the following URL into your browser window:

https://www.linkedin.com/ …or just click the link to the left 😉

If you never logged into LinkedIn and aren’t sharing the computer with anyone else, you should land on the signup form right away. If someone else is already logged into LinkedIn, log them out via the following link and then continue.

https://www.linkedin.com/m/logout/

The first thing you want to do is to enter your name into the sign-up form, so people can quickly look you up.

Use your best email address, so you always get important notifications via email and select a secure password.

How to create a secure password

Here is a little tip on how to create a secure password from my favorite webcomic series XKCD.

Once you’re done, click the Join Now button.

Change your Location settings

Next, select your current country of residence and type in your postal code. Don’t worry, the postal code won’t show anywhere on your profile. LinkedIn will only display your city name and use it to show your profile in location searches. For example, if someone is searching for a specific profile in London within a 5-mile radius.

If you are still concerned about your privacy, just type in a different postal code of your city or a larger city nearby.

Pro Tip: If you’re moving, change your location to your new city to get local job offers

Create your LinkedIn Headline

This step is really important. It’s part of your first impression whenever someone is visiting your LinkedIn profile. I highly recommend to check out my article about the best LinkedIn headline formulas where I talk about how to write a killer headline in much more detail.

You can start typing the name of your current company and then select it from the list.

Why do you want to create a LinkedIn account?

It doesn’t really matter what you select here. LinkedIn just wants to learn more about your motivation to improve their platform in the future. Select whichever option sounds right and move on. If nothing else fits, pick the Not Sure button at the bottom.

Confirm your LinkedIn account

Now it’s time to get serious! LinkedIn wants to be sure that you typed in the correct email address and has already sent you a confirmation email. Just head over to your email inbox and find a message from LinkedIn Messages and select and copy the verification code.

 

Now paste the confirmation code into the text field and click on Verify.

Find people you may know on LinkedIn

Awesome, now let’s add a few people you may already know. LinkedIn allows you to upload your address book to find friends and colleagues who already have a LinkedIn account so you can quickly connect to the ones you like! (Sorry Evil-co-worker from my last company, you’re out! 😛 )

If you don’t want to upload your address book, LinkedIn will still give you some recommendations of people you may know.

Huh, how did they do that?! Did LinkedIn hack my computer and downloaded your address book anyway?

Luckily the answer is no. What LinkedIn is doing here is called educated guessing, based on the company name you typed in before and the IP address of your computer (many companies and office departments share the same IP address, so it’s not unlikely that you might know some of the people who are with you in the same space).

It’s up to you if you want to add anyone to your network, or if you want to skip this step as well.

 

How to add a photo to your LinkedIn profile

Here are a few tips on how to upload a professional LinkedIn profile photo. (These are general recommendations that apply for the majority of LinkedIn users. Feel free to make your judgment.

DO

  • Professional headshot photo in color or black and white.

DON’T

  • Cats and other animal photos
  • You and any number of other people such as your best friend/spouse/child/anyone really.
  • You in your kitchen/living room/clubbing/at the beach.
  • You in front of a complicated background.
  • Photos that are too bright or too dark.
  • Anything party or vacation.
  • Anything that isn’t a photo such as a drawing or comic book character.
  • Any photo of someone else. (I know that you love batman, but please don’t… 🙂

Click on the Upload photo button and then chose a file from your hard drive.

LinkedIn will show you a preview of how your photo will look like in different sizes on the website. If you cannot recognize your face in some of the smaller versions, consider uploading a better photo.

When you’re happy, click on Save! 🙂

There you go! Just confirm that you’re happy and click on the Continue button.

What do you want to see in your LinkedIn Newsfeed?

If you want to start with a blank canvas and an almost empty newsfeed, skip this step.

If you select topics and hashtags from the list, you’ll start seeing posts in your newsfeed by people you may or may not know who use certain hashtags.

My recommendation: Skip this step for now. I am currently creating a new content guide with the best LinkedIn topics and hashtags that will be published soon. Just follow me on LinkedIn and my hashtag #timqueen and join my Inner Circle to get a notification when I release it to the public.

In the next step, LinkedIn will ask you for your phone number to send you a download link for their mobile app. If you’re familiar with your phone, just open the app store and search for the official LinkedIn app and install it.

 

How to optimize your LinkedIn profile

Let’s start with some basic optimizations to your LinkedIn profile.

First, you have to open up your profile. Locate the little circle with your photo in the top menu bar and click it.

Then, click the View Profile button.

How to add a professional header photo to your LinkedIn profile

By default, LinkedIn will just add the default header image to your profile which is just a turquoise backdrop with a star constellation pattern on top, so let’s change that.

Locate the edit button at the top right corner of your profile and click it.

At the top right corner of the popup, you’ll notice another edit icon on top of the header image. If you hover your mouse on top of the button, you’ll see the ideal header photo image size of 1,584 x 396 pixels.

Even though this number is still displayed today in 2018, it’s technically incorrect. LinkedIn will crop your image to 1400 x 350 pixels. If you want to create a pixel perfect header image yourself, just start with a canvas of 1400 x 350 pixels. 🙂

If you have an awesome high-authority photo of yourself such as this one, upload it and add it to your profile.

If you don’t have one: Don’t worry, we got this!

Head over to Pexels or Unsplash. They offer an incredible number or free and public domain photos that you can use as your background image.

Here are a few ideas of what to type into the search field:

  • Name of your city
  • Anything nature
  • Epic
  • Name of your profession or role title
  • Office

In my example, I searched for London and got some cool results.

Scroll through the list and when you find a photo that you like click on it and then located the download button to the top right.

This might be different depending on your operating system or web browser, but in most cases, you have to right-click on the photo and save it to your hard disk.

Now let’s get back to LinkedIn and upload it.

If your photo was larger than the ideal image size, LinkedIn will allow you to reposition and crop it. Check the Zoom slider and set it to 1 to ensure that nothing on the outer side of your image is lost.

When you’re happy, click on Apply!

Voila! That’s much better! 🙂

Let’s go back to edit your profile, go back to your popup and add some missing information.

In field number 1, just quickly review your LinkedIn Headline. If you’re unhappy, check out my LinkedIn Headline Cheatsheet for inspiration.

If you want to add a new or past position, click the Add New Position button and key in the details.

Very similar to your position is the education section where you can add any formal or informal education, school, university or training to your profile.

General recommendation: Select the most impressive one or the most recent in that order.

Scroll down a little bit and review your location settings in one, two and three. The third field will allow you to select a more specific or broader location of your current city. For example, if you were living in the suburbs of a larger city, would you want to display the name of your direct neighborhood or the name of the larger city?

General recommendation: Select the name of the larger city, unless your business has a strong local focus.

In the fourth field, you can select your current industry. This has a couple of consequences. You will show up for certain industry-specific searches, and your Social Selling Index will show you how you rank against other people within your industry.

Select something from the list that is a perfect or close-enough match.

In field six add a summary to your LinkedIn profile. Remember: Your summary section will be closed initially. Optimize your text for the first two lines and create curiosity to encourage people to read more.

For section five, scroll down.

In the fifth section, we can add more contact details and your birthday to your profile.

If you have a website or a professional blog, add the address to the website URL field.

If you want people to call you, add your phone number.

If you want to make it as easy as possible for people to visit you or to send you something via postal services, you can add your address.

Be careful; this information is public. If you don’t want to share this information, just leave the field empty.

You can also add your Twitter handle, AIM, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, Google Hangouts, QQ and WeChat account.

Hello, LinkedIn Team! I noticed that some of the instant messengers and social media account are no longer up to date. Maybe you can remove some discontinued services such as AIM (December 15, 2017) and Yahoo Messenger (July 17, 2018) and add some of the more popular social networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, YouTube, Podcast, Snapchat, Musically, etc. 🙂

Last but not least, consider adding your birthday if you want to make sure that people with a very bad memory for dates and times can pretend that they remembered your birthday! 😉

 

Personalize your LinkedIn profile

Last but not least, let’s get yourself a nice profile URL that looks pretty and can actually be remembered by others!

Click the following URL:

https://www.linkedin.com/public-profile/settings

First, let’s edit your LinkedIn profile URL. This is one of the most underrated features of LinkedIn and most LinkedIn beginners can be identified by the ugly and overly long profile URL. Click on the little edit icon next to number one and select a good name.

If you have a very unique name there is a good chance that you might just type in firstnamelastname. If that doesn’t work try to add something to your name such as

  • iamfirstnamelastname
  • …himself
  • …herself
  • thereal…
  • theoneandonly…
  • theamazing…
  • you get it… 😉

Alternatively, you can give yourself a cool title such as

  • ceoof…
  • themostinterestingpersonintheworld

Next, let’s think about privacy for a moment.

Many people are scared to put themselves out there and to share anything about themselves. I follow a different approach that I am recommending to the majority of LinkedIn users:

Make your LinkedIn profile public!

Unless you’re in a witness protection program, or your name is John Wick, there is almost no reason to hide behind a rock.

If you turn your profile to public, you make it possible for search engines such as Google, Bing, Yandex or Baidu to find and index your profile when someone searches for your name. Usually, LinkedIn profiles tend to rank on page one of most search engines.

If you want to be in control of your own narrative, make sure that whoever is searching for your name online is finding the best possible information right there on page one. This includes your website, LinkedIn profile and other social media accounts.

You can switch your profile to public in section 2 and make your photo public in section 3.

If you scroll down a little bit, you’ll see that you can adjust which information is shared publicly and which will remain private.

 

Conclusion and next steps

Congratulations, you have now taken the first step and created a professional looking LinkedIn profile.

Now, this is just the beginning of your LinkedIn journey! There are many more things to be learned, and if you allow me, I am more than happy to share them with you.

To receive a notification about upcoming articles including all future parts of the “How to get started on LinkedIn” series including part 2 on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile even further make sure that you follow me on LinkedIn and my hashtags #timqueen and that you join my Inner Circle for email updates.

You can also connect with me on Facebook, here and here, on Instagram, Twitter, Medium and YouTube (coming soon!).

Here is what you can expect:

  • In-depth step by step guides, blueprints and case studies about marketing and social media strategies.
  • LinkedIn tips and tricks.
  • Hacks and shortcuts that save you time and money.
  • Best practices.
  • Processes and systems.
  • Recommendation on how to develop a success and growth mindset.

If you enjoyed this article, please share it with someone who doesn’t have a LinkedIn account yet or is just getting started and wants to learn more about how to optimize their profile.

Leave me a comment below and let me know which part you found most helpful which questions I haven’t answered yet?

#timqueen #linkedin

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