8 Valuable LinkedIn Features You Should Start Using Right Away, Part 1

LinkedIn is replete with features that will help you build your personal brand and connect with your target audience. The folks at LinkedIn are continuously adding new valuable features for career-minded professionals. The challenge is staying on top of all these exciting enhancements. Some come out as part of a major upgrade to the platform, and others just appear with little notification or fanfare—leaving us to have to discover them accidentally—or through articles like this.

This article and the one that follows highlight some of the lesser-known LinkedIn features that are personal brand builders, time savers and relationship builders.

This first article focuses on items that will help you tap your creativity to build and expand your personal brand. In Part Two, we’ll unlock features that will help you reach farther with your network and increase your efficiency as you use LinkedIn.

1. Showcase your area of expertise. LinkedIn’s Creator Mode allows you to identify your top five hashtags and display them right at the top of your profile just below your headline. This new feature (and the regular use of the appropriate hashtags) will make it easier for you to find relevant content and make it easier for the people you seek to influence and impact find you. This helps you convey how you want to be known, and it also helps you get your content seen by the people who are interested in your topic. Use the mobile version of LinkedIn to turn on Creator Mode and then post related content and remember to add all relevant hashtags to those posts. This feature is the antidote to the fact that it can be hard to find what you’re looking for on content-laden LinkedIn.

2. Link to your web page. Before this feature became available, it was a challenge to give viewers of your profile easy access to your web page (or your YouTube Channel or wherever you’d like people to go to learn more about you). Now, in that very important top section that contains your headshot and headline, you can add a link to whatever site serves as the showroom for your personal brand.

3. Enhance your posts. No matter how great your content is, no one will see your brilliance if you don’t entice them to click on your posts. There are two primary ways to make your posts more engaging and visually appealing.

  • Carousel posts. LinkedIn lets you share multi-page documents as a carousel, allowing viewers to page through the document right there in their LinkedIn feed using arrows that appear on the post.
  • Animated post images. Every time you share an update, you can add an image or video to attract clickthrough on your post. To capture the attention of LinkedIn members, consider using an animated gif instead of a static picture. The little bit of movement differentiates your message in a sea of text and flat images.

4. Make your profile pop. Use the profile section called Featured to highlight the unique aspects that will reinforce your personal brand and demonstrate your brilliance. This profile section occupies some pretty valuable real estate, helping you brand your profile and make it stand out—but only if you take the time to build some attractions on this real estate. Use it to post infographics, images, videos, whitepapers and other visually interesting content. You can reorder the content in this section to keep it fresh and to customize it for what’s important right now.

Stay tuned for the Part Two of this article, which will amp up your access to the nearly one billion other LinkedIn members.

William Arruda is a keynote speaker, author, co-founder of CareerBlast.TV and creator of the LinkedIn Profile Type Indicator (LPTI) which measures your LinkedIn profile likability and credibility.

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