Monday, March 12, 2018

7 Essential LinkedIn Profile Tips for Success in 2018

By  Dann Albright  

LinkedIn is a valuable resource for anyone looking for a job or to expand their professional connections. But if you don’t know how to write a good LinkedIn profile, you won’t be taking full advantage of it.
How do you show up in more searches? How do you show up in the right searches? And how do you get more people to take action?
These LinkedIn profile tips will help you increase your LinkedIn profile views in 2018.
Note that we’re going to skip the basics, like including a professional photo and making sure your information is always up-to-date, and go right to the things that make a great LinkedIn profile.

1. Niche Down to Stand Out

There are millions of people on LinkedIn. How are you going to stand out?
The answer is simple: niche down. Instead of pitching yourself as a manager, focus on presenting your profile as that of an IT manager. Or, even better, an IT manager with expertise in higher education systems.
The more specific you are with what you do and what you’re looking for, the more likely you are to be found.
For example, I recently looked at a niche I was using on my own LinkedIn profile. I ran a search for “b2b copywriter.” It came back with over 800 results. Then I ran a search for “b2b saas copywriter.”
Nine results:
LinkedIn search results number
It’s true that there will be fewer people looking at specific niches. But those people are also much more likely to want to hire (or at least get in touch with) you.
This is one of the more nerve-wracking LinkedIn profile tips. But it’s recommended by countless experts who say that it will improve your search views as well as the quality of people who find you.

2. Treat Your LinkedIn Profile as a Sales Page

If you want to know how to improve your LinkedIn profile in 2018, this is possibly the most important tip.
A potential client, employer, or business partner isn’t interested in your skills and experience—they interested in what your skills and experience can do for them.
And you need to sell that.
While your LinkedIn profile does serve as a sort of online résumé, it needs to be more than that if you want to appeal to valuable contacts. It needs to use the core principles of good sales to attract views and get people interested.5 Top Resume Builder Sites to Create Your Resume Online 5 Top Resume Builder Sites to Create Your Resume OnlineThanks to online resume builders, you can create a professional resume, CV, or bio-data in minutes. With the help of these tips, select the best one that fits your job-hunting needs.READ MORE
Possibly the most important thing to keep in mind is your customer persona. Who are you trying to attract with your LinkedIn profile? Are you looking for a job at a Fortune 500 company? Or a local startup? Do you want to be a teacher, or an airplane mechanic?
And, crucially, what do they want? If you can convince them that you can provide it better than anyone else, you’ve won.
The better you understand who you’re selling to with your LinkedIn profile, the more effective it will be. Keep in mind who you’re writing for and what they want, especially as you go through the next step.

3. Use Your Profile to Tell a Story

Once you’ve figured out who you want to see and be convinced by your LinkedIn profile, it’s time to start crafting a story. This is one of the most crucial parts of creating a great LinkedIn profile, and it’s also one of the hardest.
But the science is clear: effective storytelling engages people in a way that a simple recitation of your qualifications won’t. If you can create an emotional response in your viewer, the effectiveness of your LinkedIn profile will skyrocket.
Here are three questions to ask:
  • What causes your potential customer or employer pain?
  • How can you help ease that pain?
  • What will your reader feel like once you have?
If you can incorporate those three things into your summary, you’ll have a profile that stands out from the rest. Use these copywriting formulas to help create demand with your story, and your profile will become irresistible.
Here’s a great example of an opening line from an effectively emotional LinkedIn profile:
“I’ve been told I’m ‘like a one-woman TED conference without any breaks.’ If you want an intelligent writer and editor who never stops connecting the dots, step away from the search box—you’ve found me.”
Sophie Lizard’s LinkedIn profile is a lead-generating machine because it evokes emotion in its readers.
Learning to effectively tell stories in the business world is difficult. But it can be done. I suggest reading “Storytelling That Moves People,” a great Harvard Business Review interview with Robert McKee, to get some ideas.
And remember that while your summary is the main place to tell a story, you can also continue and support that story with your experience entries.

4. Include Calls to Action

This is one of the most significant omissions that people make with their LinkedIn profiles. They put out a bunch of information, and then leave it up to the reader to do something about it.
That’s not going to cut it.
You need to tell the reader what you want them to do. Here’s an example from my own LinkedIn profile:
“If you want stellar copy that moves leads through your funnel, get in touch. Send me an InMail or email me at I’m always open to chat about potential contracts, interesting projects, writing in general, and—when at all possible—mountain biking.”
It tells the people looking at my profile what they can get from me, and how they can start the process. It makes it very clear what I’m looking for.
GrammarChic lists four qualities that make a great call to action: brevity, strong action words, a value proposition, and contact information. You can see some great combinations of those factors in their examples of great CTAs.
You can also include these calls to action in your experience entries. Don’t overwhelm your reader with demands to connect or email you. But make sure that they never have to look very far to figure out how to get in touch.

5. Spice Up Your Profile With Media

Your LinkedIn profile is largely about sharing information—which is why it’s so text-heavy. But science has repeatedly shown that people are attracted to images. Take advantage of that fact by including media throughout your profile.
You can even publish your own content through LinkedIn.11 LinkedIn Features You Aren't Using (But Should Be) 11 LinkedIn Features You Aren't Using (But Should Be)LinkedIn has a number useful features and tricks, some of which were very well hidden. Taken together, they can help make the network a tool for far more than just job-hunting.READ MORE
For example, you can include media in your summary and experience entries that show the kind of projects that you worked on. It could be a link to an article that you published. Or a local news story covering the work your company does. It could even be a photo of you speaking at an event.
Media included in a LinkedIn job experience entry
Whatever it is, it will catch people’s attention, and that’s crucial when you’re trying to boost views of your LinkedIn profile.
You can upload videos too, which is a great way to start establishing a personal connection with your readers before they even get in touch. Introduction videos, clips of your presenting or giving speeches, and anything else that shows off your expertise can be useful.
SlideShare has become a very popular content-sharing tool, and you can add slideshows to your profile, too. If you have a good slideshow, this is a great use for it.How to Gain a Huge Traffic Boost on Your Blog with Slideshare How to Gain a Huge Traffic Boost on Your Blog with SlideshareNever heard of Slideshare? You're not alone. But don't ignore it - Slideshare may be the perfect tool to give you that boost in traffic that you need right now.READ MORE

6. Use the Right Keywords

People obsess about keywords on LinkedIn. And one hand, it makes sense. Those keywords are how you get found. On the other, choosing the right keywords is a pretty simple exercise. If you spent some time thinking about your ideal client/employer/connection, you should have a pretty good idea of what they’re searching for.
LinkedIn's keywords your searchers used view
For example, if you’re looking for a management position with a non-profit organization, the people you want to connect with might be searching for “non-profit management,” “non-profit leadership,” and “fundraising,” to name a few.
Want to get a job as an app developer? “Java developer,” “Java programming,” “app creation,” “app building,” “Swift development,” and similar keywords are likely to be valuable.
Keep in mind that LinkedIn treats similar searches differently (“Java development” and “Java developer” return very different results).
So you’ll want to include variations as well.
The primary keywords you want to target should be in your headline, your position titles, summary, experience descriptions, projects, certifications, publications, and anywhere else you can put them.
Make it very obvious to LinkedIn’s search algorithm that you qualify for the search term you’re targeting.
Your headline is especially important. Laura Smith-Proulx gives a perfect example of how to better include keywords in your headline. Instead of simply saying “Operations Associate,” she says, you could use “Operations Associate – Operations Manager for Thermo-printing Division.”
That not only includes two more keywords, but it also gives people a better idea of what you do.

But Don’t Go Overboard With Keywords

This is crucial. Above all else, it’s important to use well-crafted copy that tells a story and makes an emotional connection with your reader. Stuffing a ton of keywords into your profile is going to be obvious, and doesn’t speak well for your communication skills.
It’s easy to spot a profile that was written solely for LinkedIn search engine optimization. And it really turns people off.

7. Be Active on LinkedIn

This might not fall directly under LinkedIn profile tips, but it will lead to more profile views and better search rankings. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the more you’ll improve your profile visibility, and the more likely people are to find you.
LinkedIn's profile articles and activity view
Whether it’s because you’re connected to their connections, they see a comment in a group that you’re in, or you sent them a message a while back, your activity makes you stand out.Find A Job Quickly With These 5 LinkedIn Groups Find A Job Quickly With These 5 LinkedIn GroupsOne of the most powerful tools for finding a job using LinkedIn is groups. Here are five that will significantly increase your job-hunting power.READ MORE
You don’t need to start spending tons of time on LinkedIn. Just make a point to share useful articles related to your field, update your network on what you’re doing (professionally), comment on other people’s posts, and things like that.
A great way to find awesome articles to read and share is by following great LinkedIn influencers.

To Succeed on LinkedIn, Focus on Being Helpful

LinkedIn is about making connections. Sometimes those connections lead to jobs, and sometimes they don’t. But knowing more people in your field (and outside of it) is always a good thing.
And the best way to connect with people is always to be helpful. Other them your expertise or to help them out with a project. That’s what really creates bonds between people, and that’s what will significantly improve the visibility of your LinkedIn profile.The Dos and Don'ts of Professional Networking on Social Media The Dos and Don'ts of Professional Networking on Social MediaProfessional networking on social media can feel like a lost cause. But stick to these dos and don'ts, and you can make the valuable connections you're looking for.READ MORE


7 Simple Tips for Instagram and Snapchat Success

By Christine Chan  

Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying it: celebrities, especially those like the Kardashians, have millions of followers because they’re famous for something (or not).
But what about the rest of us, the average Joes and Janes of the world, who just want more followers on Instagram and Snapchat? While we may not attain celebrity status, there are a few ways to obtain some success with your Instagram and Snapchat pics.

1. Have a Hook

One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is to be unique and have a hook. Not everyone cares about what you’re having for dinner or those shots where you’re attempting to be artsy.
Instead, you should have an angle to get people to care. Some ideas include a dedicated pet account, take photos of your favorite collectible figurine in various locales or meme-worthy pics.
The benefit of having an angle includes reaching out beyond your usual circle of friends who like your photos. You’ll develop a style, and if you keep it up regularly, others should soon recognize your flair.

2. Embrace the #hashtag

instagram and snapchat pics - use hashtags
Hashtags have taken over the world, so now everything should include a hashtag for maximum reachability. After all, Instagram even allows users to follow hashtags, making it easier than ever to keep up with trends or just their likes.How to Follow Instagram Hashtags and Why You Should How to Follow Instagram Hashtags and Why You ShouldInstagram recently introduced the ability to follow hashtags. This new feature adds more content into your feed, and can be fine-tuned as you engage with that content on Instagram.READ MORE
Good starting points are #photooftheday, #catsofinstagram, or #dogsofinstagram (for cat or dog photos), or whatever else you can think of that fits your image. Or, you can come up with your own hashtags that don’t already exist.

3. Write Fun Captions

instagram and snapchat pics - write captions
Even though Instagram and Snapchat are all about the photos and videos, you shouldn’t forget about captions. When your media has a caption attached, it injects your personality into it.
When you add a funny caption to a sad or even serious selfie, it shows off your humorous side and can make someone laugh. It’s memorable, personable, and having captions means you don’t just have a photo with a mess of hashtags attached—no one needs that.
Every photo has a story behind it. However, it’s not always obvious, and captions are great at conveying narratives to your audience.

4. Lighting Is Everything

instagram and snapchat pics - good lighting
Good lighting is the biggest key factor in a good selfie or portrait. The lighting should hit all the right places, and provide a flawless glow on the subject. While our devices all have flash to help with night shots, it definitely isn’t as flattering as natural light.How to Take Great Photos in the Dark (Even If You're a Newbie) How to Take Great Photos in the Dark (Even If You're a Newbie)What can you do when you're shooting photos in the dark? A combination of knowing your basics and a few tips from pros can make any picture pop, regardless of lighting conditions.READ MORE
A good recommendation for getting “studio” lighting for your selfies is the official Kardashian-approved Lumee case. These cases feature LED light strips on the front and back of the case (depending on the model you get) that illuminate the subject with natural light, so no more shadows on your face.
It’s also great for ambient lighting in darker settings, like that fancy steak dinner in a romantic steakhouse with dim lights.
tips for instagram and snapchat success
The Lumee has several versions and is available for multiple devices. However, I’d recommend the Duo model, as I have it for the iPhone 8 Plus and it works well. Lumee cases can be purchased directly from their website or for cheaper on Amazon.

5. Positioning and Angles

instagram and snapchat pics - positioning
For a good selfie, you should angle the phone above your head and angle it downwards. It’s supposed to be flattering, and it certainly looks better than from below your face. You should also learn what other angles work for your figure, because everyone isn’t built the same.
For portraits, there are a few posing tricks that give the best results. First, you’ll want a two-thirds turn away from the camera gives an illusion of a slimmer profile. Second, chins should be down, similar to selfies, since this helps open up the eyes more.
tips for instagram and snapchat success
Diagonal lines break up the verticality of daily life, and you achieve this effect by having hands on the hip or pocket. Portrait subjects won’t appear stiff with this pose and it adds a bit of sass into the photo itself.

6. Post Regularly and Often

instagram and snapchat pics - post often
For others to remember you on social media, you must make your presence known to others. The best way to do this is to be active and post on a regular basis. However, watch how often you post—no one likes spam, especially since people can turn on notifications when new content gets posted.
With Instagram, most users quickly scroll through their feeds, so you want to post high-quality content (we have some great Instagram tips) to get people’s attention. This means great visuals, and captions and hashtags help extend your reach.10 Instagram Tricks You Didn't Know Existed 10 Instagram Tricks You Didn't Know ExistedInstagram is constantly evolving and updating, and things change quickly. Let's find a few more cool hacks to rock the photo-based social network!READ MORE
Since Instagram no longer shows photos chronologically in the feed, high-quality content is key to getting seen. The better quality the content, the longer lifespan it has as well.

7. Make Those Snaps Count

For Snapchat, it’s all about short shelf life. Usually, snaps only exist for about one to 10 seconds before they’re gone forever. But there are also the newer Stories, where they last for up to 24 hours. That’s still short, but the limitation forces you to think more creatively to stand out.Snapchat Introduces Stories To Narrate The Last 24 Hours Of Your Life In Pictures Snapchat Introduces Stories To Narrate The Last 24 Hours Of Your Life In PicturesSnapChat's designed to send self-destructing photos or videos. But now it wants to change that with the launch of SnapChat Stories, allowing the images to stay for 24 hours.READ MORE
Regardless of platform, it’s good to set up a schedule of when to post. This way, people know when to expect a new update from you, and it gets you used to post often enough to be relevant to other Snappers.

It’s Just the Beginning of Your Stardom

While you won’t be the next Kardashian and making millions from your posts, these helpful tips could give you a taste of success on social media.

Why You Should Stop Using Facebook in 2018

By  Dan Price  

At the end of 2017, Facebook boasted a barely-believable 2.2 billion active monthly users. Zuckerberg’s creation now reaches people of all ages in every corner of the global.
Indeed, Facebook is so pervasive that people expect you to have an account. If you don’t, you’re seen as an oddball. How dare you fly in the face of the digital world?
But if you’re one of the few people in North America or Europe who don’t have a Facebook profile, you’re ahead of the curve. People in the United States are deleting their accounts in record numbers.
If you still have an account, it’s time to take a long look in the mirror. It might be time for you to stop using Facebook.
Here are five reasons why you should delete your Facebook profile.

1. Facebook Tracks You Around the Web

Yes, there are lots of problems with Facebook’s usability; we’ll come to them shortly. However, perhaps the most worrisome of all Facebook’s issues is the way it tracks you around the web.
Let’s try and be fair for a moment. Facebook provides its services for free, and in return, we accept we’re handing over data to one of the largest advertising firms in the world.
But Facebook also tracks you when you’re not using the site. Worse still, you don’t even need a Facebook account—the company will still track you.How to Stop Facebook From Selling Your Browsing Data How to Stop Facebook From Selling Your Browsing DataDid you plan on sharing your browser history with advertisers? Because if you have been sharing your browsing history with Facebook then that's exactly what's going to happen.READ MORE
The issue recently made global headlines after Belgian authorities ruled that Facebook had to delete all the data it held on Belgian citizens. Prosecutors said Facebook collected it unlawfully.
The only way to show your displeasure at the gross invasion of privacy is to vote with your feet—or your mouse, in this case.

2. Human Experimentation

Cast your mind back to 2012. You may recall that Facebook conducted an experiment on 689,000 of its unwitting users.
Over a period of several months, half of the “participants” were subjected to consistently positive content. The other half were shown negative content.
It was negligent in the extreme. Aside from the ethical issues, one can only speculate about the negative effect the move could have had on users suffering from emotional issues.
And that’s not the only time Facebook has pulled this trick. There are at least seven other high-profile examples since the turn of the decade.
Bottom line: Facebook sees you as a lab rat.

3. Fake News

Donald Trump may have laid claim to the “fake news” catchphrase, but the concept of deliberately feeding people misinformation is as old as human civilization itself.What Is Fake News and How Does It Spread So Quickly? What Is Fake News and How Does It Spread So Quickly?Fake news is plaguing the internet and the worst part is that most people can't recognize it when they see it.READ MORE
We’re not here to discuss the philosophical standpoints around fake news. You can decide where you stand in the freedom-of-speech debate.
However, one thing is clear: over the last six years, Facebook has increasingly tried to position itself as a news portal. In doing so, it has an obligation to deliver on basic principles like trustworthiness and reliability.
But the company has failed. Facebook has allowed fake news to prosper, giving it both a platform and a veneer of authenticity. Given Facebook has also been accused deliberately influencing elections, it’s a troublesome situation.
If Facebook is your primary source of news, it’s time to move on. You should use these trustworthy news sites instead.13 Most Trusted News Sites You Should Bookmark 13 Most Trusted News Sites You Should BookmarkWe are in an age where we don't trust the people reporting the news. But there are some trustworthy news sources out there. Look at the ones on this list for unbiased reporting.READ MORE

4. Questionable Privacy Practices

Facebook has obfuscated and complicated its privacy settings for as long as anyone can remember.
Don’t believe us? Here’s a Zuckerberg quote from The Guardian in 2010:
“Simply put, many of you thought our [privacy] controls were too complex. Our intention was to give you lots of granular controls; but that may not have been what many of you wanted. We just missed the mark.”
Can you honestly say the situation is any better today, eight years later? Yes, Facebook does offer a privacy setting for almost everything—but you need an entire manual to find every hidden option. It’s deliberately not user-friendly.The Complete Facebook Privacy Guide The Complete Facebook Privacy GuidePrivacy on Facebook is a complex beast. Many important settings are hidden out of sight. Here's a complete look at every Facebook privacy setting you need to know about.READ MORE
So, why are the privacy settings so confusing? Well, here’s a quote from Facebook’s privacy policy in 2005:
“No personal information that you submit to Facebook will be available to any user of the website who does not belong to at least one of the groups specified by you in your privacy settings.”
And here’s a quote from the current policy:
“When you use third-party apps, websites or other services that use, or are integrated with [Facebook], they may receive information about what you post or share. […] We use all the information that we have about you to show you relevant ads. […] And we transfer information to vendors, service providers, and other partners.”
We barely need to say any more; the quotes tell their own story. Facebook wants you to overlook settings so it can use your data.

5. Facebook Has Forgotten Its Roots

When Facebook first burst onto the scene, it was revolutionary. Sure, sites like MySpace had enjoyed some previous success, but Facebook was the first network that was truly fit for widespread use.
And we loved it. Our newsfeeds were full of photos and updates from your close friends.
But as time has passed, the newsfeed has become diluted. Excessively large friend networks and a deluge of posts from advertisers, pages you Liked years ago, and “news” organizations meant the network lost its original charm.5 Reasons Why You Should Start Deleting Facebook Friends 5 Reasons Why You Should Start Deleting Facebook FriendsOnce upon a time, Facebook was all about adding; more social used to equal more fun. Not anymore. Now it's all about deleting.READ MORE
Facebook’s leadership seems to recognize the problem. In January 2018, Zuckerberg announced you could “expect to see more from your friends, family, and groups” on your newsfeed in the coming 12 months.
It sounds promising, but we all know Facebook will never again be the trendy place to hang out that it was pre-2010. You should try a different network with a tightly knit group instead.6 Niche Social Networks to Use Instead of Facebook 6 Niche Social Networks to Use Instead of FacebookThese six networks are places where you can meet more like-minded people and post about topics you don't want to post on Facebook.READ MORE

Isn’t It Time to Stop Using Facebook?

We’ve looked at five reasons why you should stop using Facebook today, and we’ve not even touched on the more obvious issues like lost productivity and the toxic “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality that the network helps to propagate.
Image Credit: belchonock/DepositphotosSource:

7 Essential LinkedIn Profile Tips for Success in 2018

By  Dann Albright   LinkedIn is a valuable resource for anyone looking for a job or to expand their professional connections. But if yo...