Are You Making the Most of YOUR LinkedIn Profile?

I joined LinkedIn in October 2007, and basically did NOTHING for years. I had no idea how or what to do … and didn’t know anyone to even ask. I had been told I needed to be on it … so I was. Big whoop.

But in 2014, for whatever reason(s), John White, MBA, invited me into an LI group he was forming. And thanks to his continuous guidance, I have been successful here.

Recently I led my first 90-minute workshop titled “Making the Most of Your LinkedIn Profile,” a feat that cracks me up. ME? Telling others about using LI? Well, yes. At least for the basic stuff — there are experts here like Shelley ElsligerJohn Espirian, and Jeff Young who go much deeper than I can or will.

But to me, this is paying it forward. We have lots of folks who are here — sort of — but aren’t achieving much because they’re not doing much. And even worse, their profile is so sucky and bare that we look and move on, quickly. And no one perhaps has ever mentioned how they could make that all-important first impression a great one!

So, in the spirit of helping others as John and so many others have helped me, I created the first half of my LI workshop that I’m leading in local Chambers of Commerce — the first one had double the number of participants we were expecting!!! — and I’ve found hundreds of profiles that I do like that I want to share.

Today’s focus is on the banners — that blue space at the top — and how it can be used. It’s PRIME real estate for marketing ourselves!

But many LIers do leave it bare, and what a shame. There’s no need to copy the ones I’m showing; these five simply show different ways to succeed, and you may not even like one or more of them. But I hope they open your eyes to what’s possible for YOU.

Now, all the guidelines say to use a certain number of pixels (1584 x 396 to be exact), but I’m not that geeky. I found out, through trial and error, that the space is basically 6″ wide x 1.5″ tall, at least when I’m using the MS Publisher program. You might have to start with that and see if it fits the program you’re using, too.

Of course, if you know how to figure it in pixels, go for it! And remember to leave the appropriate space for your picture … you do have one there, right?

For me, the banner represents a space where we can show who we are or what we’ve done, without necessarily having to put it into words, words that might come across as bragging. And using the banner to maximum advantage gives our readers a great incentive to at least check out the rest of our profile. Of course, we can always change it as the mood strikes us!

So, here are — in no particular order — five banners that I recently saw that caught my eye. They show either the person or the person’s world, both of which make sense in their context.

And here’s an article from I just saw that can also help.

Now there’s always someone who wonders — well, what about me????? Isn’t my banner/profile worth seeing too? If your banner is one you’d like to share, feel free to do so in the comments. Let’s see what yours looks like!

I value your thoughts here. What has your experience been like on LI? Do you have a profile that shows you off to best advantage? Who helped you along the way?