There is no argument that the standard LinkedIn profile is pretty boring. If completely filled out, the profile consists almost entirely of text. This might be fine if you are using LinkedIn to find a job but doesn’t work if you are using the site for marketing purposes. Fortunately, LinkedIn has partnered with a dozen application providers to help enhance the LinkedIn experience. I have identified eight that I recommend you consider adding to help turn your profile from a resume to a marketing tool.
SlideShare allows you to embed PowerPoint presentations, PDFs, documents and spreadsheets into your profile. This is a valuable application because it enables you to incorporate your marketing materials directly into your profile, allowing visitors to find out more about you and your business than the standard profile would normally allow. Since SlideShare shows a thumbnail of the document, you’ll want to use the application for documents that are graphically interesting. I recommend uploading your brochure, firm summary or other marketing piece to this application. You can include multiple files, but only up to three are visible on your profile. You may want to consider only adding one document and choosing the “Show complete presentation in player” option for even more impact.
Google Presentations is similar to SlideShare in that it allows you to embed PowerPoint presentations into your profile. However, unlike SlideShare, it only allows you to upload presentations. You may want to use this application if you have a PowerPoint presentation you would like to share on your profile and are already using SlideShare to highlight your marketing material. You may also want to consider creating an overview presentation about your firm and include it in Google Presentations.
Box.net is a file sharing application. You can add any type of file and allow visitors to your profile to download these files. Since all files are displayed with standard PDF, Word or Excel icons, this application is not aesthetically appealing. You should limit the use of this application to share basic text documents such as forms. You won’t want to put your eye catching marketing pieces in the Box.net application.
BlogLink allows you to import your blog or other RSS feed directly into your LinkedIn profile. You can also use BlogLink to showcase your Twitter feed. This application enables you to add valuable content to your profile providing your visitors with further insight into your services.
The WordPress application is very similar to BlogLink except that it only works for WordPress blogs. If you have a WordPress blog, I recommend this application over BlogLink since it is more aesthetically pleasing. However, you cannot use the WordPress application to showcase your latest tweets so you may still want to consider BlogLink if this is an important feature for you.
Travel by TripIt
TripIt allows you to post your travel schedule to your LinkedIn profile. In addition to allowing visitors to your profile to see your schedule, the application notifies your network when you will be in their area. The application also tells you who will be in the cities you are visiting at the same time you will be there. If you travel on a regular basis, you should definitely add this application to your profile.
Reading List by Amazon
The Amazon application breaks up the monotony of the LinkedIn profile by showing thumbnails of books you have read, are reading or would like to read. If you have published a book that is selling on Amazon, this application is a must! However, if you are like most advisors, you will just use the application to share your favorite books with your network. It may not add a lot of value but at the very least it opens the door for a conversation with your contacts.
With the Twitter application you can display your most recent tweets on your LinkedIn profile status bar. Your status bar allows you to quickly and easily stay top-of-mind with your network. If you have a Twitter account, you should add this application so that you can update your LinkedIn status from Twitter. However, while tweeting several times a day is acceptable, updating your LinkedIn status that often is not. For this reason, choose the “Share only tweets that contain #in” option so that you can choose which tweets are posted to LinkedIn.
Not every application is going to be appropriate for you and some applications serve the same purpose. Choose the ones that are most appropriate for you and your business. By adding a couple of these applications, you will soon see your profile transform from an online resume to a full-fledged marketing tool.
About Kristen Luke
Kristen Luke is the Principal of Wealth Management Marketing, a firm dedicated to providing marketing strategies and support for financial advisors. Kristen works with independent advisors to develop effective marketing plans and provides the back office support required to implement the strategies. For more information, visit www.wealthmanagementmarketing.net.