Last week was the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) annual conference. Being an over-achiever (or possibly a sadist), I moderated the session on LinkedIn Friday morning and spoke on a panel called secrets of successful freelancers that afternoon. My strategy as moderator has always been to choose really stellar speakers and get out of their way so they can impart their wisdom to attendees.
My speakers did not disappoint in that regard. In fact, they probably could have held the audience’s attention and continued giving awesome tips for the rest of the day. LinkedIn spokesperson Lindsey Pollak, author of Getting from College to Career, started the panel with her 15 LinkedIn tips in 15 minutes, then Allison Hemming, founder of NYC-based digital talent agency The Hired Guns, offered the client and recruiter perspective on LinkedIn.
I’m already familiar with the platform (after all, I wrote the ebook LinkedIn and Lovin’ It for Rockable Press last year), but I picked up several gems watching Lindsey and Allison’s presentations. Here are a few highlights:
- Use keywords throughout your profile. Improve your likelihood of showing up in searches by including relevant keywords in your headline, skills section, and the body of your profile. Your headline should be descriptive, but prospective clients probably aren’t searching for terms like “witty wordstress” or “SEO-savvy scribe,” so avoid getting too creative or cutesy with your headline.
- Update your profile with travel plans (even if they’re not business-related). This is an easy way to keep your profile current and potentially connect with users in other cities. Lindsey related a story about flying to Los Angeles for a baby shower and instead appearing on NBC Nightly News. She’d used the TripIt app to announce that she was flying to Los Angeles for “meetings” and a producer looking for a workplace expert asked if she was available that evening for an on-camera interview. Score!
- Include the formal name and domain name for online pubs. Allison explained that recruiters looking for digital talent with specific big-name credits might try a few different search terms starting with the name of the website. For instance, if her staff needed to locate a freelancer who’s contributed to the Wall Street Journal online, they’d like start by typing WSJ.com, then try terms like WSJ and Wall Street Journal. Including all of these terms in your profile ensures that you’re easy to find!