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Don’t Worry about Keywords on Your LinkedIn Profile

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Sep 9 • LinkedIn, Social Media • 7505 Views • 1 Comment

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I’m always looking for a few good tips on improving the LinkedIn profile (and I want to keep tabs on what everyone else is talking about), so I read a lot of articles that are some variation of “X number of ways to make your LinkedIn profile work for you”. Most give solid foundational tips for the profile; but I see one idea over and over again that I have to say something about. It seems like basic advice but I think it’s actually counter-productive. I cringe every time I see it because it’s horrible advice to give someone who is reading an article on the basics of writing a LinkedIn profile:

Create a keyword-rich summary and experience section in your profile to bolster your SEO efforts.

On the face of it, is this bad advice? No, it’s actually a great idea… if you know how to write keyword-rich online material.

Here’s the thing: most people who are writing their LinkedIn profiles aren’t brand marketers and ad agency copywriters. Most professionals barely have time to get the basics down, let alone craft a carefully-worded LinkedIn profile! In fact, at Ajax, we found that we had to develop a specific process for embedding keywords into profiles that people could use in order to keep things manageable for our clients!

So telling a LinkedIn newbie to write keyword-rich text is like putting a novice skier on a double black diamond slope. They take one look at it and say “Screw this, I’m going to get some hot chocolate”. It’s doing them a huge disservice, because instead of sharing their professional story in a meaningful way, they avoid it all together.

What can you do then if you are first diving into your social media profiles? How should you write your summary if you aren’t a copy-writing master?

  • Don’t worry about the keywords.
  • Just tell your story.
  • Use your own voice.
  • Be genuine.
  • Tell me about yourself and what you do like you were telling a new friend.

And here’s the kicker. If you tell your story with confidence and passion, those keywords are likely going to show up anyway!

David J.P. Fisher

David J.P. Fisher (D. Fish) is a speaker, coach, and best-selling author of Networking in the 21st Century: Why Your Network Sucks and What to Do About It. Building on 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and sales professional, he combines nuanced strategy and real-world tactics to help professionals become more effective, efficient, and happy.

As the President of RockStar Consulting, David focuses on supporting professionals with their social media, networking, and business development skills. While the Director of Training for Ajax Workforce Marketing, the only approved training partner of LinkedIn, he helped develop a coaching program that thousands of professionals and companies have used to share their stories more effectively on LinkedIn.

You can find more of his unique take on networking, sales, and marketing skills at www.iamdfish.com. He lives next to a beautiful cemetery in Evanston, IL that reminds him to appreciate each day.

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One Response to Don’t Worry about Keywords on Your LinkedIn Profile

  1. The best keywords someone can come up with are the features and benefits of their services and of themselves. Easy to do if you create a spreadsheet.

    That’s the first keywords list I recommend that my clients create, although I don’t call it that. I call it the Features and Benefits list. It comes in handy when crafting social networking profiles, but also words for your website, bio, and so much more.

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