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How To Stand Out On LinkedIn

Written by: Rolande S. Sumner, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


The average person spends 5-7 seconds deciding if you are worth learning more about based on your LinkedIn profile. That means their eye will naturally stop taking in information before moving on to someone else between the "About" section and the 3rd company of the "Experience" section of your profile.

LinkedIn logo.

LinkedIn has been my most successful marketing tool to date. I have earned lots of money on LinkedIn by making occasional updates and sharing content. Clients and job opportunities have shown up in my direct messages due to my LinkedIn profile. For many, LinkedIn can be scary. It's an extensive network of experts looking to make their mark on the world. However, I'm here to tell you that optimizing is much easier than you think.

Below are 15 tips to optimize the first seven seconds of your LinkedIn profile and get closer to generating revenue.

Professional Headshot

A headshot is an investment that keeps on giving. Not only can you take a basic headshot at JC Penny or Walmart for $65, but you can also use the photo repeatedly, which means you can use one image on your bio, in media coverage, on your LinkedIn profile, and more. A professional headshot gives the viewer a clear, clean, and professional look at who you are. It provides a great first impression. My client, Coach Jae Rene (@coachjaerene) of Journey To Aha, LLC, headshot is a great example.

LinkedIn Banner

Your LinkedIn banner is a precious space used for personal branding. This space should feature images of your media coverage, product, service, or any other marketable information you want your audience to know. This space allows you to impress viewers with your accomplishments or why you are worth more of their time. Whatever you choose to feature in the LinkedIn banner should be strategic with a goal in mind. Again, my client, Coach Jae Rene (@coachjaerene) of Journey To Aha, LLC.


Your name is an opportunity to feature the essential acronyms of your credentials. LinkedIn has also stepped up and added a pronunciation and gender identity feature. I found this very helpful, as my name is androgynous and deceptively hard to pronounce at first site.


Your headline should be a quick pitch or a brief list of what you do. Viewers must leave your profile clearly, understanding what you do and who you are after reading this section.


Choose hashtags that make it easier for your target audience to find you. The more targeted your hashtags are, the higher you rise to the top on the LinkedIn search engine.

Education and Business

Your education and business logo should be the next thing to update. Your company logo to the right of your name helps with brand recognition. The education you feature lets people know you have the education necessary to serve them.

Current Position

Update your current position to reflect the job you have within your business. For example, my client Anna Zschuppe (@annazschuppe) of Summer Soulice is a Life, Health & Career Coach and Guest Speaker & Trainer. CEO doesn't tell the reader what you do or how you can help them. Another tip is to feature the title that describes what you are doing now. Say you have several services you provide; choose the title of the service you are focusing on now.


Update your industry to reflect the industry you are representing now. For example, I am a coach and Human Resources Consultant. When I want to convey my work as a Business Strategist, I choose the Professional Development industry. When I want to represent my work as a Veteran Retention Consultant, I choose Human Resources.


Though we are in a Global economy, many companies and leads want to support local businesses, and others want to invest in a national or continental business. Using your current location often gives you a competitive edge over others located outside of your region.

Contact Information

Your contact information should include every means of reaching you. You will receive contact from other small businesses looking to earn your patronage. However, you will also receive communication from leads who want to work with you. Be available. Instead of using your phone number, sign up for Google Voice. Use a professional email with your company name or acronym as the domain and NOT @yahoo, @gmail, etc. Generic domains make you look like a hobbyist, not a serious business owner. My client Angela Hill (@angela-hill-coach) of Journey Changers Scholarship Solutions is a great example, as her email address is


This is the "I love me" section of your profile. Feature your media coverage, content, awards, testimonials, and whatever else makes you look like a rock star. This section is designed for you to show off. No one will know how awesome you are if you don't tell them. Both Anna Zschupper and Angela Hill demonstrate this well.


The Activity portion of your profile needs a good mix of posted content, shared content, comments on others' content, and documents you want to share. People interested in you will visit your activity section to discover what they can learn from you. Posting regular content helps build your expertise and earn the trust of your followers. My client Lisa Lee (@lisa-m-lee-hope), Managing Partner at Transfer of Energy LLP makes regular posts, shares other connections content, and posts articles.


The "About" section needs to tell viewers about whom you help and how you help them and share testimonials and ways they can contact you. This section is more about your target audience and less about you.


All your expertise needs to briefly explain your work and how it contributes to the service you provide now. You also need to link your skills and content to the appropriate position. Check out my (@rolandesumner) About section.


You want everyone to see your profile, so you'll need to ensure your privacy settings below. Via the settings, change your visibility to

  1. "Your name and the headline" under Profile viewing,

  2. "Anyone on LinkedIn" under Email visibility,

  3. your full name under Last name visibility,

  4. "Anyone on LinkedIn" under Discovery by email,

  5. enable "Notify network if mentioned in the news" under In the news, and

  6. "Everyone on LinkedIn" under Who can follow you.

Connect with me @rolandesumner on LinkedIn to learn more about optimizing your LinkedIn profile.

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Rolande S. Sumner, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Rolande S. Sumner is a retired US Army veteran and the CEO & Founder of Life After Service Transitional Coaching LLC®. Rolande served her country in the United States Army National Guard from 1995 to 2015. During her career, she was an Administrative Clerk, Heavy Vehicle Operator, and Human Resources Manager. She served as both a traditional National Guard Soldier and as an Active Guard Reserve Soldier. During her military tenure, Rolande received multiple honours: Afghanistan Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Combat Action Badge, and the Army Accommodation Medal.



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