How to Create the Perfect LinkedIn Profile in 10 Easy Steps
Social media platforms have become central in building brands, for both businesses and individuals. Millions of users, and in some cases billions, use social media to communicate, share opinions and experiences, seek recommendations and expert advice, impart information and generally interact. Never before has it been so easy to reach such a wide audience without recourse to expensive forms of conventional advertising, PR and promotion. The top four platforms are each regularly used by more than 2 billion people. While Facebook, YouTube and others place an emphasis on consumer communication and advertising, LinkedIn has a clearly defined professional focus. This makes it unique in social media terms in its concentration on the worldwide business community. If you run a business of any size in any industry, belong to a profession or are simply looking to advance your career, then LinkedIn is an essential tool to build, maintain and promote your brand. The life sciences and biotech industries in 2021 were valued at over $1 trillion and employed more than three million people. These numbers are set to grow rapidly. In an expanding industry like this, online visibility is crucial. However, you won’t be alone on LinkedIn. You’re sharing it with more than 800 million users in over 200 countries. That’s why it’s vital that you create a profile that will stand out from the rest and get you noticed by the people and companies in biotechnology and the life sciences whose attention you’re trying to attract. To help you get the most from the platform we’ve prepared this step-by-step guide.
1. Choose the Right Photo
If you’re a business, you need an image that communicates something of your style and values. A shot of your headquarters building isn’t the most inspiring choice. Think about the instant impression you want to make. If you’re an individual, choose a recent headshot that makes you look professional, smart, confident and approachable.
2. Write a Strong Headline
This is your first chance to articulate your message. You don’t have much space, so choose wording that cuts to the heart of your vision for innovation in the life sciences or biotech sectors. Individuals should write something that sells themselves in a confident but not arrogant way and should include references to their qualifications and experience. Avoid jargon and buzzwords because employers, recruiters and candidates have heard them all before. Keep it short, direct and clear.
3. Tell your Story
In the ‘About’ section, you can expand on your headline. A life sciences business should mention its achievements, its plans and, if space permits, the briefest history. The same applies to professionals seeking to connect with other professionals or prospective employers. It’s not a CV, just selected highlights.
4. Share Relevant Content
LinkedIn has a reputation as a centre for extensive industry knowledge and opinion. Users from the life sciences and biotech sectors turn to it for information on new developments, as well as debate and dissent. It can also be a great place to consult expert ideas on fundamental business challenges such as securing venture capital funding. For early stage European biotech companies, LinkedIn is a valuable source of advice on how to manage the startup or scaleup phases of business growth. Whether you’re a business or an individual, it’s well worth sharing content posted by people and companies which you’ve found particularly informative. Simply by reposting these, you’ll help to enhance your authority and visibility.
5. Create Your Own Content
As with all social media platforms, LinkedIn responds favourably to original content, and so do the search engines. By writing posts about the latest trends and challenges in life sciences and biotechnology, you identify yourself or your business as a commentator with something worth saying. Apart from anything else, regular users will quickly notice if content hasn’t been updated for weeks or even months. Neglecting your content creates a bad impression.
6. Use a Custom URL
When you set up a LinkedIn account, you’ll be automatically assigned a unique URL, which is usually bits of your own or your company’s name plus a string of numbers. This might not seem important, but you will come across as far more professional if you take the trouble to personalise your profile address.
7. Go Public
The default setting for LinkedIn profiles is public, but you can change this to private if you want to restrict access to your followers. However, while this might be useful in some circumstances, you should go to the ‘Public profile settings page’ where you can view and adjust those sections of your profile that you want everyone to be able to find.
8. Keep Information Up to Date
Like content, out-of-date details including contacts, addresses, recent activity and even dates should be regularly reviewed. If you don’t do this, then visitors will assume you don’t value or maintain your presence on the platform and that won’t encourage them to engage with you.
9. Collect Followers and Recommendations
In some ways, your LinkedIn profile is a passive tool. If it is created and maintained properly, it will do a good job of representing you in the LinkedIn community. However, you can significantly improve the visibility of your profile by gathering endorsements from colleagues, partner organisations and leading figures in the life sciences and biotech industries. The price of an endorsement is usually just to provide a reciprocal one. Like backlinks on websites, they enhance the authority of all parties.
10. Manage Your Network
Bigger might seem better. The more followers you have must surely increase your impact? This isn’t necessarily the case. For both companies and individuals, it isn’t the number of connections that matters but the quality. Don’t dilute the main purpose of your profile. Make sure your network is populated with only relevant individuals and organisations, those who will advance your ambitions and improve your status in the industry.
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If you found this insight interesting, we recommend reading Life Sciences Biotech Candidate Recruiter Relationship (scalexconsulting.com)