The Definitive Guide to Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

Quick Navigations

Do you want to build a professional network and grow your career?

How about showcasing your expertise and landing your dream job?

Are you looking to find high-quality prospects and ideal clients for your business?

LinkedIn is the perfect place to build a professional network, find work that suits your expertise, and generate leads for your business.

But with so many things going on in the platform, it can be confusing to find out where to start.

However, there’s one powerful asset you can work on right now that will reward you over and over – your LinkedIn profile.

In this full-blown guide, you’ll discover how to turn your profile into a network-building and lead-generating tool by optimizing it according to your business needs.

Interested? Keep reading to learn how to make it happen.

How An Optimized Profile Can Help You Effectively Use LinkedIn

Why should you bother optimizing your LinkedIn profile? How useful can an optimized profile be when done right?

If you’re still doubtful with spending your time and effort on tweaking your profile, here are the major benefits of doing it:

Benefit #1: Your Profile Serves as a “Business Card” for Networking

LinkedIn is commonly endorsed as a place for networking and building relationships with professionals and entrepreneurs. By having an optimized profile, you can attract like-minded people to your network and mutually grow your career.

Likewise, as you check other people’s optimized profiles, you can easily search for the people whom you’d want to connect and collaborate with in the future.

Especially if you have assets other than your LinkedIn presence – such as a blog, YouTube channel, Facebook page, portfolio website, online store, or local business – your optimized profile will serve as a great business card to further boost your credibility.

Benefit #2: Your Profile Can Bring You Work Opportunities

LinkedIn is also a place where job seekers and recruiters match. Without lifting a finger, it’s possible for you to get job offers and invitations if your profile clearly describes the type of work you do.

You can receive messages from interested employers just like in the following screenshots (Note: the person receiving the messages is a content writer & copywriter):

Your Profile Can Bring You Work Opportunities | Skilz

Your Profile Can Bring You Work Opportunities | Skilz

Your Profile Can Bring You Work Opportunities | Skilz

In fact, a fully optimized profile can help you get seen in the search more often, giving you job invitations for opportunities you’d otherwise not get with an incomplete profile.

Especially if you’re a freelancer looking for work, you should make profile optimization a priority. LinkedIn is about to launch its own freelancing platform called Marketplaces in order to let its 740 million users hire freelancers.

All the more reason why you should update your profile as soon as possible.

Benefit #3: Your Profile Attracts Your Ideal Prospects and Clients

Who says only job seekers can benefit from LinkedIn? You can also find prospects and clients for your business by optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

In fact, LinkedIn is a less tapped goldmine of prospects and clients. It’s easier to do business on the website because LinkedIn users already expect more serious conversations compared to Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Whether you’re a freelancer, business coach, or founder of an online/local business, you can tap into LinkedIn’s massive audience to grow your business. And there’s no better way to get started than to drive inbound leads as a result of an optimized profile.

Take Cons for example. A prospect was looking for a Facebook Ads expert on LinkedIn and discovered her profile. Thanks to profile optimization, she was able to attract an inbound lead to her FB Ads business:

Your Profile Attracts Your Ideal Prospects and Clients | Skilz

Or Carlo, who hasn’t touched his profile for years. After optimizing his LinkedIn profile, he received an inquiry from a prospect and scheduled a discovery call.

Your Profile Attracts Your Ideal Prospects and Clients | Skilz

Seeing the three benefits above, it’s easy to justify the time and effort you exert on optimizing your LinkedIn profile even before you start prospecting. Thanks to passive lead generation brought about by an optimized profile.

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile In 4 Simple Steps

Ready to optimize your profile?

You may be thinking that profile optimization is a daunting task. But wouldn’t it be worth the effort if it means:

  • Attracting like-minded people into your network?
  • Receiving job offers even without applying?
  • Getting messages from interested prospects?
  • Closing deals with clients you’d love to work with?

Imagine all the benefits you’ll reap from this one-time setup. Wouldn’t it be a wise investment of your time and effort in the long run?

The good news is, the process of optimizing your LinkedIn profile can be simplified in just four steps. Do them in this order and you’ll find it easier to complete your profile and show it to the world in no time.

Step 1: Fill Out The Essential Fields

Setting up your profile is an important step to make in any social media platform, and LinkedIn is no different. So if your profile still has incomplete items that can be filled out easily, now’s the time to finish them.

There are several fields on your profile that require nothing but your straightforward answers, including the following:

  • Full Name
  • Profile Picture
  • LinkedIn URL
  • Contact Info
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Certifications

Completing these first doesn’t require you to think a lot, therefore you can easily finish them in one sitting.

Full Name

Wherever you go or whoever you interact with on LinkedIn, your name is the first thing people will see to identify and remember you. All you need to do is write your full name and you’re good to go.

Some people are creative with their names – some put their profession after the name (i.e. Email Copywriter, Mindset Coach), some include their ‘special alias’ or nickname, while some insert emojis to grab attention. This is not necessary and you can succeed using nothing but your name.

Another thing you can do, especially if your name is hard to pronounce, is to record an audio of you saying your name.

Dominic Isidro | Skilz

You can edit your name’s pronunciation by clicking the pencil icon to the right of your profile picture – the same place where you change your name.

Profile Picture

Just as important as your name is your profile picture, which should display a genuine image of yourself. This means not using any other picture, such as someone else’s picture or an abstract picture.

Remember that if you want to optimize your profile, you should pull readers close to you. That’s why the ideal pic to place is something that looks casual and natural, not too formal or informal. It also helps if you can smile in the picture (but not a requirement).

LinkedIn Profile Picture | Skilz

Ultimately, you’re free to choose the picture you want to show the world. There’s nothing wrong with a coat-and-tie look or a graduation pic. What’s important is you’re authentic with the way you project yourself in your profile.

LinkedIn URL

Another basic detail to optimize is your unique profile URL. By default, LinkedIn combines your name with a string of random numbers and letters, which makes your URL hard to remember.

You can change that by heading over to the right of your profile and clicking ‘Edit public profile & URL’.

LinkedIn URL Customization | Skilz

To customize your URL, again look to the right of the editing page to see the section on ‘Edit your custom URL’ and click on the pencil icon next to the link.

LinkedIn Custom URL | Skilz

Ideally, the best URL is simply your full name (like the one in the screenshot above) and there’s no need to get creative with it. It’s up to you on how you want your URL to look like.

Contact Info

LinkedIn Contact Info | Skilz

Your contact info is also an important item to optimize especially if you have assets other than your LinkedIn profile.

You might have a company website, marketing website for your services, or your own personal website or blog. You might be offering your services locally and have a phone number. Or you might want readers to contact you through email.

Let your prospects know where you can be contacted by providing the information they need to reach you.


LinkedIn Skills and Endorsement | Skilz

Optimizing your skills lets people know where you excel at. It also gives you the opportunity to receive endorsements from your network and get more recognized at your work.

To add or update skills, simply click the pencil icon at the top right corner of the Skills section, next to ‘Add a new skill’. You want to optimize for the top 3 skills that best describe your expertise so that others can acknowledge and endorse them.


LinkedIn Profile Experience | Skilz

Just like your resume, the Experience section is where you indicate your work experiences, both past and present. You can highlight here the experiences that are relevant to your expertise, including the name of your business (if you have one).

However, if you’re just starting out in business, you can indicate that you’re the CEO of your own company then describe what the company is about.

If you’re a new freelancer (see the screenshot), you can indicate your freelancing expertise and set your company to Freelance. Then describe what your service is about.

Later on, you can always update your profile to reflect your new experiences.


LinkedIn Licenses & Certification | Skilz

While totally optional, your certifications (especially if coming from a highly-reputable institution) will tell profile viewers that you’ve invested in professional training to improve yourself.

So make sure to flaunt the best certifications related to your work by filling out this field. It will make you look more valuable.

Step 2: Craft Your LinkedIn Headline

LinkedIn Profile Headline | Skilz

Once you’re done with the easy fields, it’s time to craft the next most important section of your profile: your LinkedIn headline. This is the description that can be found right below your name.

Your headline is prime real estate. This is because it can be seen by other people (along with your name and picture) whenever you engage in comments and publish posts.

LinkedIn Profile Headline | Skilz

If you’re regularly communicating with your connections, then every single activity you do on LinkedIn helps prospects identify you through your headline, whether they’re part of your network or not.

Therefore, your headline can contribute to getting more views to your profile when you optimize it correctly.

Common Mistakes People Make With Their Headline

Your headline is such an important piece of information that can make a difference to your LinkedIn profile. Sadly, a lot of people don’t fully utilize this precious space in their LinkedIn profile.

They either:

  • Mention only their position and nothing else
  • Write words that are totally irrelevant to their work
  • Spam promotional links to make money

By avoiding these mistakes, you can produce a decent headline to work with and leave a good first impression to profile viewers.

However, if you truly want to attract your preferred prospects, there’s a powerful method you can use to improve your headline.

Use The “Headline Formula” to Stand Out

Outstanding Headline = WHO You Serve + RESULTS You Can Give

The key to creating an amazing LinkedIn headline that magnetizes your target prospects is to include two important ingredients: WHO you want to serve and the RESULTS you can give them.

Indicating who you want to serve pulls the right people to your business. You’re calling out to them, letting them know that you can help their business or solve their problems.

You also want to state the specific results you can give them. Do you want to help them:

  • Get more leads?
  • Book more clients?
  • Generate more sales?
  • Retain more customers?
  • Launch their new product?
  • Save more money?
  • Save more time?
  • Gain more clarity?
  • Transform their mindset?
  • Relieve their stress?

The more specific you can get, the more attractive it will be for prospects who want your offer.

[Optional] Include Your Position/Service to Become Searchable

What service do you offer? What is your expertise? Let readers know by putting it in the headline.

Note this is optional since you’d already be attracting prospects using the two elements above.

Adding your title or service will allow searchers to find your profile through LinkedIn’s search engine when they look for your specific profession.

Some Examples of Outstanding Headlines

Take a look at Fervil, an SEO specialist, who optimized his headline by using the formula above:

Fervil Von LinkedIn Profile | Skilz

Another great headline comes from Mark Darwin, who also implemented the formula and even included his profession in the headline to make him more searchable:

Mark Darwin LinkedIn Profile | Skilz

Step 3: Write a Compelling Description In the About Section

LinkedIn About Section | Skilz

The About section of your profile is where you expound on what you’ve written in your headline, plus further details you’d like your prospects to know.

Writing this section can be overwhelming because you might not know what to write at first. But when done right, it can further strengthen your readers’ first impression of you.

Common Mistakes People Make With Their Description

Like with writing headlines, it’s possible to also mess up your description if you’re not careful. People might not continue to read on because it gets too dull and boring.

Some of the mistakes people make in the description include:

  • Talking about yourself by using the word ‘I’ too often
  • Filling your description with jargon and fluff
  • Not placing a call to action in your description
  • Placing promotional links to earn money

What to Include In Your Description

So how do you write a description that gives clarity to your ideal prospects? Here are the vital elements that make up a truly compelling description:

  1. Tell prospects WHO you serve – Similar to the headline formula, you want to clearly indicate who you want to help. Use the wider space in the description to describe your target market and qualify your prospects.
  2. Tell them WHAT you do – Can you explain your business or service in detail? Do you offer copywriting services? Do you offer coaching or consulting? Let people know what your business exactly provides.
  3. Explain HOW you can help them – Show your prospects how your expertise can help with their particular problems. By giving them a glimpse of your process, they can easily picture working with you and would want to learn more.
  4. Insert a Call to Action – Do you want prospects to message you on LinkedIn? Do you want them to book a call with you? Do you want them to visit your website and grab your free ebook? Make sure not to forget this key element in your description in order to generate inbound leads.

Some Examples of Descriptions That Nailed It

Check out Gladys’s description, where she clearly specified what she does, who she works with, and how her process works. She also provides a way for prospects to contact her and check out her online assets:

Gladys LinkedIn Profile | Skilz

Check out Shirley’s optimized description, where you’ll also learn what she does, who she works with, how her process works, and the ways to contact her:

Shirley LinkedIn Profile | Skilz

Step 4: Craft a LinkedIn Banner That Describes Your Business

Lastly, you want to optimize your LinkedIn profile’s cover photo to capture your profile viewers’ attention.

Your profile banner is one of the first elements that viewers will notice when they land on your profile. You shouldn’t waste this precious space by defaulting to LinkedIn’s blue banner since there are limitless ways to use it to your advantage.

But what exactly can you put in your banner?

Method #1: Showcase your Lead Magnet & Call to Action

Yuri Aquino LinkedIn Banner | Skilz

Displaying your lead magnet at the top is one powerful way to grab your prospects’ attention easily. Don’t forget to include your call to action in order to grab inbound leads.

If you’ve optimized your About section well, then you can simply convert your offer into graphics for it to look more enticing to readers.

Method #2: Get Clear On The Results You Can Provide

Bo Moldez LinkedIn Banner | Skilz

Another idea for your LinkedIn banner is by simply restating your headline and converting it into a visual format.

You can do this by taking what you’ve written in your headline (or description) and adding interesting elements to it in order to create a nice-looking banner that stands out above the fold.

Method #3: Describe Your Process In 3 to 5 Words

Research, Write, Convert LinkedIn Banner | Skilz

If you want to use your banner to attract freelancing clients, make it easier for them to understand your service by summarizing your freelancing process in 3 to 5 words just like in the example above.

When done right, it will trigger curiosity among prospects who need your services.

How to Create Your Own LinkedIn Banner

There are two main ways to craft your banner: either you do it by yourself or let others do it for you.

Do It Yourself: Creating a banner by yourself is not that hard to do anymore, thanks to online tools like Canva. Canva is perfect even if you’re not good at design since it provides templates to use so you won’t start from scratch.

LinkedIn Banner Template | Skilz

Linkedin Banner Templates

Hiring a Designer: The second way to create a banner is by hiring a designer who can create beautiful visuals for you. Just let them know how you want it designed and they’ll take care of it.

You can find freelance designers for hire by going to outsourcing sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, and 99designs.

Done Optimizing? Here’s How to Make the Most Out of LinkedIn

At this point, your optimized profile is ready to attract prospects and like-minded people into your network. However, inbound leads are usually unpredictable and take a long time to come.

Given that you’ve filled out the essentials, crafted a compelling headline, written a targeted description, and designed your eye-catching banner, what else can you do to maximize your use of LinkedIn?

Tip #1: Become Active In The Platform

LinkedIn is a social media site for businesses and professionals, which is why it’s beneficial for you to be active on the platform.

Engage By Reacting or Commenting

As you build more connections with your target prospects, it helps to be seen by participating in the discussions they’re already having.

Leave a comment or simply react to people’s posts (i.e. Like, Love, Celebrate) because doing so gets you more exposure and better chances of having someone visit your profile. In fact, some might actually reciprocate by reacting or commenting on your post.

You’ll also make new connections and friends when you consistently show interest in them, which could lead to lasting relationships and potential business.

Do Cross Endorsements With Your Network

Endorsements validate that you truly excel in the skills you say you’re an expert in. That’s why optimizing your skills is important because as you connect with more people, some of them would be willing to cross endorse with you.

You can invite your connections for cross endorsements by reaching out to them with a message. You can also try paying it forward by endorsing their top skills to see if they’ll return the favor (but don’t expect it in return).

Write and Publish Posts

When you publish posts, you provide value not just for your current network, but also to people outside your network. This is because LinkedIn has many ways of distributing your content (i.e. shares, hashtags, trending post).

If you can publish various forms of content such as images and videos, then you can better invite engagement to your posts.

Either way, you’ll build your online presence on LinkedIn, which sets you up for success in the long run.

Publish Articles

Another powerful way to build credibility is by publishing helpful content in the form of articles. They’re usually longer than posts and contain in-depth information on the topic you’re presenting. That’s why producing them will help establish your reputation.

Similar to profile optimization, publishing posts and articles are inbound marketing tactics that can bring prospects to you. Doing all of them opens up more gateways for inbound leads and opportunities to your business.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

New things come to your personal and professional life. That’s why updating your LinkedIn profile can help inform people of these changes.

Want to narrow down your audience? Clearly mention who you’re targeting by updating your headline. Testing out a new description? Edit your About section and give it a try. Got a new banner? Upload and change your current cover photo to display a new one.

After all, profile optimization is all about OPTIMIZING your profile, which means constantly tweaking it to better attract the right audience.

Tip #2: Reach Out to Other People

Your optimized profile alone can already attract the right people and opportunities toward you. But what if you also take the initiative to go after them?

That’s what outreach can do for you. It allows you to take control of your results by approaching people instead of simply waiting for opportunities to come.

So what are some ways you can reach out on LinkedIn?

Connect & Build a Huge Network

Connecting with people on LinkedIn allows you to grow your professional network. The more connections you add (1st degree), the more people you can reach out to. Plus, you’ll be able to connect with their network through mutual connections (2nd degree) and expand your network faster.

They’d be notified of your latest content (i.e. posts, articles, stories, videos) and the activities you do on a regular basis. If you’re active enough, you can also be seen in their feed which boosts your online presence.

Message Your Current Connections

One powerful tool to reach out is by sending messages to your 1st degree connections. Upon adding your connections, you can say a simple thank you to acknowledge and welcome them into your network.

There are many ways to start a good conversation depending on who you’re talking to and your objective for reaching out. However, there are certain things you must avoid if you don’t want to repel people.

For instance, spamming your connections with promotions and offers without giving value upfront is a big no-no. Asking for a small favor is okay, but if you ask too much, it can annoy people right off the bat.

Treat others the way you want to be treated. What would you feel when new connections message you just to promote their own agenda? Let the answer to this question guide you.

Follow-Up By Adding Value

When doing outreach, chances are good that your messages will only get “seen-zoned” by most of your connections. That doesn’t mean you should stop messaging them from now on.

Following up is a great way to regain communication whether you’re messaging new or existing connections. Sometimes, it’s this simple move that can push prospects over the edge to work with you.

To follow-up, make sure you provide something of value to leave a great impression, such as offering your help, sharing an article you or someone else created, or even as simple as greeting them on their birthdays.

Tip #3: Learn How to Effectively Generate Leads (and Clients) on LinkedIn

You’ve optimized your profile. You’re active inside LinkedIn. You’re reaching out to people regularly.

So what else can you do to maximize the platform?

How about upgrading your knowledge and skills of using LinkedIn to the fullest? By learning from the best?

If you’re a marketer or freelancer looking to use LinkedIn to grow your business, you’re in for a treat. There’s a simple yet effective process for using LinkedIn to get more prospects and clients in your preferred market.

Skilz has a course called Get Up to 24 Appointments a Month with Your Preferred Clients Using LinkedIn, where you’ll discover an easy way to find leads and book clients on LinkedIn.

Want to unlock the power of LinkedIn for your career or business?

Gain access to “Get Up to 24 Appointments a Month with Your Preferred Clients Using LinkedIn” when you get a Skilz plan today

Help me get clients on LinkedIn

If you want to learn the skill of closing clients, you can take Effective Business Communication: Land Jobs and Close Deals Using the ALA Approach, which can also be found inside the Skilz platform.

Whatever your profession or business may be – whether you’re in freelancing, digital marketing, coaching, or e-commerce – Skilz can help take your business skills to the next level, thanks to its highly-vetted instructors who are successful in their respective fields.

You’ll have access to an entire library of digital marketing and business-related courses that contain no fluff, actionable, and results-oriented.

The best part? Learning a new skill only takes 14 days!

If you’d like to check out Skilz and its courses…