You may have set your LinkedIn profile up years ago and then promptly forgotten about it.
If so, you're putting your personal brand at potential risk, given how high up your LinkedIn profile typically ranks on Google searches and other online queries.
(Just for fun, Google your own name right now and see if your LinkedIn profile pulls up on the first page of results!)
More important, LinkedIn is often the top stop for potential employers, clients and other stakeholders wanting to learn more about who you are and what you're up to professionally.
So, what will they find when they come across your page on LinkedIn?
The Secret to a Successful LinkedIn Profile
To start with, let's make sure you're not making the same mistake so many others do on LinkedIn - having a profile page that reads like a virtual résumé.
Most LinkedIn profiles read this way, talking about where you worked, awards you've won and job titles you've had.
Here's the big problem with that: Your ideal clients, your ideal prospects and your ideal customers could care less about you.
Instead, they are far more concerned with themselves - with solving their most pressing professional problems and pain points.
To really make yourself appealing on LinkedIn, you must create what I call a "client-facing" profile.
It's Not About You
Instead of being all about yourself, your LinkedIn profile should be all about your target audience. It should focus on what you do for clients or employers, the problems you solve for your specific target audiences through the services and products you provide and so on.
Although he never lived to see LinkedIn (or even the Internet, for that matter), Dale Carnegie knew what he was talking about when he wrote these words in his 1936 bestseller "How To Win Friends and Influence People":
"Why talk about what we want? That is childish. Absurd. Of course, you are interested in what you want. You are eternally interested in it. But no one else is. The rest of us are just like you: we are interested in what we want. So the only way on earth to influence other people is to talk about what they want and show them how to get it."
When it comes to LinkedIn, you must build a profile that talks about what your potential clients or employers want, and then shows them how working with you helps them get it.
Profile Perfection Made Easy
In fact, I have an entire copy-and-paste LinkedIn profile template you can download right now to build out your profile with some of my favorite phrases and formatting tips.
Either way, you owe it to your personal (and professional) brand online to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to par - especially because potential clients and employers are going to be looking at your page whether you like it or not.