Marketing yourself on social networks isn’t as complicated as LinkedIn consultants make it out to be, and that’s great news for job seekers and recent graduates. You can follow a basic playbook to increase your LinkedIn impressions consistently, reliably, and—best of all—for free.
If you have a few minutes per day to invest in your job search, then I have a strategy you’ll want to use.
Nail your profile photo and headline
I harp on and on about this but it’s incredible how many people just let their accounts waste away with a depressing headline and a weak photo instead of creating an all-star LinkedIn profile. Sometimes they have no photos at all. That’s a problem because profiles with photos get up to 21 times more views than profiles without photos.
This is one of the single biggest things you can do to get more LinkedIn impressions.
Your profile photo and your headline are the two things that hiring managers see before they click on your profile, which makes these two things some of your best tools to entice viewers to click on your profile and not somebody else’s.
Make sure that your headline includes several of these elements:
- The role you hold or the role you want
- An achievement you’re proud of
- Your character—e.g. what drives you
- The industry you want to join
If you want more tips on that headline of yours, then use one of these two guides:
Optimize your profile for keywords
If you want to show up in recruiter searches, then you need to optimize your profile for the role that you want. Look at the photo below: notice how many times my position appears? It’s only the part of the profile you can see above the fold and you can see phrases related to my role in 4 spots
Increase your LinkedIn impressions by massaging the role you want into these places on your profile:
- About section
- Work history
- Skills section
- Recommendations (ask the writers to mention this)
- Licenses and certifications (if possible)
- Volunteer experience
- Projects (if applicable)
You have nearly a dozen opportunities to show the LinkedIn algorithm that you are a strong correlation for a given role or field. Even optimizing just five or six of those sections could still get a similar effect.
Comment 1-2 times per day
After improving your LinkedIn score with an all-star profile and optimizing it for the role you want, commenting and engagement will become your bread and butter tactic to increase your LinkedIn impressions.
Honestly, even commenting just 1-2 times per week can boost your weekly profile views by 250%, as pictured in the screenshot below.
Now imagine how much visibility you’d get by commenting 1-2 times per day. You have nothing to lose here. Professionals who are serious about using LinkedIn comment multiple times per day, and this is why:
- It takes very little time to chime in on a discussion.
- You can comment from pretty much anywhere—even a 5-minute break after a meeting.
- Offering professional opinions makes you appear more qualified.
- You can get into orbit for the industry you want much more easily over time.
All it takes is 2-5 minutes per day, making it a killer best practice to follow on LinkedIn for easy returns. Who wouldn’t take that offer?
Post your own content (but make it good)
On top of commenting, you can gain LinkedIn impressions by posting your own content. There are a few easy formats to follow:
- Tell personal stories
- Start a debate (with a poll)
- Bust industry or business myths (even if it’s anecdotal)
- Give kudos to people you meet and work with
It’s a pretty simple playbook. You can also share blog posts that you’ve written on LinkedIn itself, but that’s a little more advanced (and takes time to articulate meaningful, long-form thoughts).
Also remember to avoid these pitfalls:
- Avoid unprofessional debates: Try not to start debates that seem unprofessional or offensive. Keep it to business, work culture, and whatever is kosher in the industry you’re pursuing.
- Don’t reach outside your experience: people will notice if you try to act like a 50-year-old thought leader when you don’t have the experience or insights to back it up. It will damage your credibility and your personal brand. Stick to your circle of competence while starting out.
- Don’t over-share personal stories: Anyone with a brain can tell the difference between connections who post genuinely insightful stories and those who post exaggerated or fictional “revelations” just to get attention. Don’t be the second type of person.
- Don’t give a kudos randomly: This works best when someone you know has finished a large project or helped you out in some way. Timing counts. Doing this out of the blue will feel forced and awkward.
One last thing: the success of your post will live or die on its early success—that’s how the LinkedIn algorithm works. If you’re serious about testing the waters with your own semi-regular posts, then get a few people you trust to engage with your posts. Better yet, tag relevant people to get their thoughts! This shows the algorithm that the post interests enough people to warrant sharing to a wider audience, in turn giving you more impressions.
Join a LinkedIn pod (strategically)
Post engagement brings us to the most recent, trendy, and abused tactic currently used to increase LinkedIn impressions: pods.
What is a LinkedIn pod and why should you care? Great question.
Pods are groups of people who commit to engaging with each other so that everybody in the pod gets more traction with their posts. It’s a more formal arrangement to manipulate the network into sharing your posts and comments with the networks of everybody involved. Just be sure you don’t get caught up in adding fake connections left and right, like this guy did.
This is why LinkedIn pods work so well:
- LinkedIn tests your post’s quality by serving it to a small number of people in your network.
- If the post gets little or no engagement, then the post’s reach dies on the vine.
- If the post gets solid engagement, then it gets served to a wider audience.
You can see how pods help out here: the more likes and comments on a post, the more people see it. Every new person to see the post comes with a modest chance to engage with that post too, which introduces a snowball effect.
“At the heart of the feed sits a machine learning algorithm that works to identify the best conversations for our members. In a fraction of a second, the algorithm scores tens of thousands of posts and ranks the most relevant at the top of the feed… More than 80% of feed updates are coming from FollowFeed, and those updates contribute to more than 95% of members’ conversations. Through these conversations, active communities are formed and strengthened.”
– Zheng Li, LinkedIn Engineering Blog
Pulling this off effectively can create a self-perpetuating system of exposure, and that is what makes it so effective. Start with a handful of like-minded, ambitious connections and see where it takes you.
Pro tip: Don’t connect randomly with people you don’t know unless you have a very specific reason. Having a network of 3,000 faceless acquaintances from around the globe won’t help you get a foot in the door at the companies where you want to work. Get the exposure with a pod, but don’t use it as a substitute for personable networking. Let people follow you if they wish, and leave the connections for people you meet in real life.
That’s the playbook on getting more LinkedIn impressions! Follow these steps and you’ll see a noticeable jump from 0 profile views to dozens of views per week—maybe even hundreds.
Happy job hunting, folks!