Over the last 6 weeks, LinkedIn has been rolling out a new feature which can make a massive difference to our Personal profile pages because of the opportunities it offers to highlight key aspects of our content or news that might otherwise remain buried among the myriad of information we have on it. Ideal whatever our reason for being on LinkedIn is.
I’ve long talked about the benefits of certain key aspects of our profile – the headline to deliver a first “statement of benefits”, the banner to convey visually the message you wish to get across and the About section which gives you the scope to speak effectively about what you can bring to any conversation / relationship on LinkedIn.
Joining the party is the Featured section which sits again in the top part of the profile and allows you to highlight your work, articles, posts or other resources that you feel best represent you and show off your offerings.
What is it?
The Featured section appears at the top of your profile and as you can see, at the time of writing, it does live up to its name. What you put in there is definitely going to be featured as LinkedIn hasn’t skimped on the size of the section!
What can you do with it
In a rare moment of customisation from LinkedIn on the Profile page, this is a chance for you to decide what you wish to highlight to your readers from the work that you produce – and it is massively visible at the moment dwarfing the important ‘About’ area, so it is really vital that we need to be on top of it.
From a purely functional perspective, you can add here posts on LinkedIn, articles from LinkedIn, videos, pictures. documents, brochures, presentations, links to your website – in fact a full array of information and detail about what you do.
If we look at practical applications, then some key ones would be:
- You can highlight important posts that you have published on LinkedIn – essentially you are ‘pinning’ them to the top of your profile
- Give a download of brochures or datasheets with key information about your products or services
- Add videos that you have to deliver a message about what you do or are a “How To” or perhaps your video log if you are creating one
- Images which could represent a graphic depiction of where your service fits into the bigger scheme of things
- Your Portfolio can be shown using images or presentations to show off your work to best effect
- Highlight special offers or invites to upcoming events
- Links to relevant pages on your website or to other resources that you have created elsewhere on the web such as a YouTube channel, personal blog, Instagram account of even Facebook group page
- Create an image featuring logos of some of your clients (with permission of course) and post that in that area – a nice visual representation of some of your best advocates (hopefully!)
- Articles you have published – these used to have their own highlighted section on your profile in Activity but this is no more, so it is doubly important if you want to highlight them
As an aside: I personally believe they will reduce the size of this section – currently the depth means you only see the first 2 and a half items that you put in, the rest being on a scroll. This seems impractical so I expect this to change making the area slightly smaller but allowing more pieces to be see.
How to go about this
The Featured area makes it nice and easy both to add content to this area and also to customise it to your requirements by moving the content around.
If you go to the area itself then you can add elements directly by clicking on the ‘+’ option:
As the options show, you can add 4 main types of information from the LinkedIn world as well as elsewhere:
we can spend a lot of time creating information to disseminate on LinkedIn and so here we are given the opportunity to highlight ones of particular relevance or importance to the audience we are looking to speak to on LinkedIn. This is essentially like ‘pinning’ a post to the top of your profile and getting it maximum exposure and visibility – as you an imagine, it is very powerful in that respect! As with all of the blocks, the image is very prominent, so make sure that you choose one which both has an image and is relevant.
If you wish to, you can also add a post directly into the “Featured” area from the post itself. You can do this via the ubiquitous ‘three dots’ in the top right hand corner of your own posts using the ‘Feature’ option there.
The articles aspect of LinkedIn got a little bit of a raw deal in this shake up. These are the long form pieces that you post on LinkedIn and previously had their own space at the top of the profile in the “Activity” area. No longer – that space is now reserved solely for posts and comments, so if you still wish to highlight articles then this is your only recourse.
So have a think about putting an article as one of the early Featured elements which will take visitors to the range of articles that you have written and which are visible at them to
Linking to other resources you have on the web is always important, you control areas such as your website much more than you do your LinkedIn property so these links can act very nicely as calls to action as well as making sure that you are using all of the resources and information that you have been putting together online.
In addition to links to individual website pages for specific topics or information, you should also consider linking to your other Social Media hubs, podcast pages and video resources on YouTube or Vimeo which are all excellent elements to include to show off your services, products and skills. They also provide really important gateways to other key resources that you have to support or attract your prospects or introducers.
The final element opens up a whole range of opportunities for you as we are talking about the various types of media that you can upload such as images, photos, documents and presentations in particular all of which can act as a great resource for visitors to your profile but also a great way to communicate skills and value as well.
Some elements here that might be particularly important are:
- Case Studies
- Event Invitations
- Before and After shots
- Product Displays
Keep Featured content fresh and current
Given its prominence on your page, it also makes sense to make sure that the content you display here is kept fresh so there is certainly a case for constantly updating to the elements in here, either by:
- Removing old pieces of news or information
- Replacing or updating elements with a new version or the latest iteration
- Simply reordering them so that a different 2 (and a half) are prominently displayed
Luckily, LinkedIn has again made this easy to do – just click on the blue ‘edit’ pen icon and you have the following:
You can now add, remove or reorder the items as you wish.
While LinkedIn is constantly changing things around the site, this is really quite an important one on, arguably, your most important page on LinkedIn – YOU!
The Profile page is where you try to grab people’s attention, show them why you are someone who they would like to get to know and highlight your skills and expertise (as an individual) or your products and services (as the representative of a company). Having an area where you can choose what to highlight and what to show people is massively important and a key area that you want to milk to best effect while it is in place!