Recently I got an email from LinkedIn that I have one of the top 1% most viewed profiles on LinkedIn in 2012! See image below. My first reaction was to check and make sure that it was not a spam or virus. It was legit and signed by the LinkedIn SVP of products and UX, Deep Nishar. Frankly the email was a surprise to me. I am not famous and I don’t have big words such as CxO, founder, investor, or VC in my titles. But considering that LinkedIn is the most important business and professional networking site for me, I shouldn’t be taking this lightly. Well, at the outset it is a good thing, but why and how?
The email turned out to be part of a campaign that LinkedIn launched for hitting 200 million members. Within a week I heard from others who had received similar emails for having a top 5% and even a top 10% most viewed profiles. Now you can see that this is quite an effective email campaign. Recognize 20 million of your members and ask them to share the news with their networks on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. That is certainly a great crowd-sourced ad campaign.
How did I get there?
Looking at the last 90-day views-per-week chart that LinkedIn provides, you can see that I have had anywhere from 11 to 60 views per week during Dec. 2012 and Jan. 2013. For one it is curious that such low numbers was enough to get me to the top 1%. You can also see that after I shared the news during the week of Feb. 3, 2013, my profile views went up to 75.
When I shared the news with others on my social networks, a couple of friends asked me how I got there. Below are a few things that I can think of that have probably contributed to this.
The size of my network
I have a fairly large network on LinkedIn, about 1,500. In addition to colleagues and business associates, I am connected to quite a few recruiters. I also have many others in my network from several social and community circles that I am involved with. I admit that since many of such contacts are not in my industry they probably do not add professional value to my network. But I don’t want to be snob about it. If someone sends me a connection request (and I get many) about 90% of the time I usually accept it.
Having a complete, active and public profile
Back in 2009 in Leveraging LinkedIn for business networking and career development I detailed 10 things that one should do on LinkedIn, the first of which was having a complete profile. That list is more or less still valid. Please refer to the post on the rest of the list.
Publicizing my profile
I have my customized (no numbers) profile link in the header of my resume and in my cover letters. My LinkedIn profile is really like a living resume. So if I apply for a job, I invite the employer or the recruiter to look at my LinkedIn profile. I also have the link in a couple of my email signatures. The link goes out with many of the emails I send out daily. It’s likely that some of the recipients click on the link.
Being an avid blogger
In addition to my primary full-time job, I run and write a couple of blogs and brands on the side. One of them, TekMarketing (this blog), is very much relevant to my professional work. I run pages for it on Facebook and Google+ and I also tweet as TekMarketing. I must admit that I don’t get to blog often enough here but I am fairly active on my TekMarketing pages and Twitter. Whenever appropriate I cross-post TekMarketing updates to my LinkedIn profile.
Networking, online and offline
I am quite active on Facebook and Twitter as myself, farshidk, with 2,200+ “friends” on Facebook and about 2,100 followers on Twitter as of this writing. Whenever appropriate I also connect with these people on LinkedIn. I also selectively (though sparingly) cross-post my updates on those channels to LinkedIn. Keep in mind that a status update on LinkedIn may not translate to a profile view. If I see an interesting article that someone shared on LinkedIn, I usually go directly to the article and may not even notice who shared it.
In addition to my online activities, I usually attend several networking and professional events every month. There are always interesting and relevant meetups, mixers, seminars, conferences, talks, etc. that I like to cover. They can be great educational and networking opportunities. In fact there are way too many such events especially here in the SF Bay Area. So one has to be quite selective. When meeting someone of interest, often there is no need for a card exchange. It is easy to connect with her or him right on the spot using a smart phone on the appropriate network, be it LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Appearing in more search results
There are two basic ways that others on LinkedIn will view your profile. One is they know you and look you up or come across your name and click on it. The other is they search for something else and you come up in search results. Having key or trending words and phrases in one’s profile, will naturally help in coming up in more search results.
Looking at the LinkedIn search appearance chart for the last 90 days, you can see that I come up anywhere from 165 (excluding the holiday week of end of Dec. 2012) to 277 times in search results per week. But also the number one search term is my first name, Farshid, at 18% of the time. Other search terms used such as integration, ECM and “product marketing” are all 3% or less.
What do you consider important for visibility on LinkedIn? Feel free to leave comments here or contact me.