LinkedIn just doesn’t get enough love. As a social media tool, it’s so different from the web’s prom queens, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, that people tend to ignore it.
But that’s a mistake. Google your own name and see what shows up. I predict that your LinkedIn profile is one of the top five (usually top three) items on the search results page.
So let’s put that high-priced real estate to work for you and get more speaking opportunities flowing your way!
(By the way, much of this advice that I’m about to share works for other expertise areas other than speaking, too. If you’re a trainer. A consultant. Coach. CPA. Photographer.)
1. Make sure your LinkedIn headline and profile show that you’re a speaker.
In LinkedIn, you have 120 characters to wow people with what you do. It’s like a virtual name badge, that travels with you throughout LinkedIn (and it’s the “preview” that appears in the results listing when someone Googles your name.)
Don’t get clever here! This is not the time to tout yourself as the “High Empress who Unlocks Your Inner Essence.”
You want a headline that:
A. Contains words and phrases that people are actually typing into Google or LinkedIn to find people like you.
Because I’m talking about getting speaking engagements using LinkedIn, your headlines would include words or phrases like:
B. Lets people know what the heck you do. (Thanks, but I’ll keep my Inner Essence under wraps for now!)
You might include your speaking specialty, like Derek Mehraban or Christopher S. Penn:
2. Use a great header image (ahem, maybe of you speaking at an event?)
LinkedIn has been furiously adding features to make the site more visual, including a header image for your profile page, a la Facebook and Twitter. Recommended image dimensions are 1400 x 425.
Why not add an image that grabs attention *and* reminds visitors that you’re a stone cold speaker?
Marketing expert Christopher Penn gives loads of presentations about data and analytics. His LinkedIn background image backs up his data chops.
(Careful here…this really is a “background photo.” Elements of your profile will overlap the image. Pro tip: fade it or have it designed to line up with your headshot, so that it doesn’t clash too much with your profile content.)
Check out how LinkedIn expert and professional speaker, William Arruda, uses several photos of him speaking. Even though the pictures are partially covered by his profile, his friendly face is front and center.
3. Add speaking or presentations to your profile.
You can upload presentations, PDF files, and video to your profile. Use them to prove that you rock rooms on the reg!
Share video clips, photos and content from your speaking gigs. LinkedIn has a feature called Professional Portfolio – use it to include video, presentation slides, photos and PDFs. These will appear in your Experience section.
I’ve also seen two creative variations on this idea:
- List your previous talks or presentations in a special Publications section, like Hope Wilson, CPSM does.
- Or add them to your main Experience section, like Christopher Penn. His approach is particularly effective, because he’s keynoted at prestigious industry conferences.
4. Get killer testimonials from meeting planners, event organizers and audience members.
The best proof that you can own the room and deliver the goods doesn’t come from you, but from someone who’s hired you, hosted you or seen you speak.
Once you’ve performed brilliantly, ask the organizers and attendees to recommend you on LinkedIn. It’s social proof and we all love that.
5. Wow people with your knowledge in LinkedIn groups.
LinkedIn has groups for errrrything. And while some of them – sorry, LinkedIn – just plain suck, there are plenty that are gold mines. The rules for making friends and influencing people in LinkedIn groups are exactly the same as real life networking:
Be cool and Be helpful.
The most valuable groups don’t allow any self-promotions in the discussion threads.
Don’t just participate in groups for speakers, though. Find groups that your target audience belongs to.
And don’t forget geography-based groups! Whether you live in Ann Arbor or Austin, meeting people in your own backyard can help you get even more speaking opportunities.
Your Fame Boosting Assignment
This week, wander over to your LinkedIn profile and pick two of these tips to put into action. (Remember, you can promote your speaking or any other area of expertise.)
Then you’ll have it – a LinkedIn profile that commands the spotlight!