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February 9, 2024 21 mins

Unlock the untapped potential of your LinkedIn profile with Sonja Crystal Williams as she shares a decade's worth of insider tips and personal success stories to elevate your professional image! 

If you've ever wondered how to turn your LinkedIn presence into a magnet for job offers, connections, and business growth, here is your golden ticket. With a focus on authenticity and strategic engagement, she peels back the curtain on creating a profile that draws the right attention and fosters meaningful relationships within your industry.

This session isn't just about sprucing up your digital resume; it's a deep dive into the art of networking and the power of consistency in the LinkedIn realm. From practical guidance on profile optimization to a six-month blueprint for boosting your online visibility, Sonja discusses the intricate rituals of connecting with peers and influencers that can open new doors to success. 

So, get ready to transform your LinkedIn experience with actionable steps that go beyond the basics, and join the conversation by connecting with Sonja!

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Sonja Crystal Williams (00:11):
Hey friends, I'm Sonja Crystal
Williams with 10 MinuteMarketing, and here to talk to
you today about something that'sbeen on my mind and this has
come up in some of our previouspodcasts because if you are a
career professional, workingprofessional, busy, entrepreneur
and you want to have a veryprofessional presence that

you're displaying online, thensometimes the busyness of
networks like TikTok orInstagram may not be as
appealing to you and yourmessage might get drowned out
So where else do you go?
And in my world, and in myworld, it's worked for me for

gosh well over a decade, maybeeven longer than that.
I might be coming up on a 20year anniversary here, but that
network is LinkedIn, all right.
So I have had a lot of successwith LinkedIn throughout the
years and I want to tell you why.
And I want to tell you why withthe encouragement that if that

is a network where you've wantedto gain more traction, how can
you do it?
What can you do to be effectiveon a network like LinkedIn and
keep yourself visible and infront of people and get business
from it?
For me, linkedin has led to someincredibly amazing
opportunities, from again,literally jobs what it's there

for to finding projects, clients, and it's just been an
excellent place to stay in frontof people even beyond that,
people that I've met at events,conferences, conventions.
It's that place, and I'll tellyou this.
You don't have to look at yourprofile and feel like, oh, I

posted and I need to.
In my feed I saw someone thathad 250 likes on their post.
And how do I get to that status?
And don't get me wrong, that'sawesome and they rock and get
yourself to that status.
But also know that just bybeing consistent and optimizing
your profile on LinkedIn andwhen I say consistent, being on

the network consistently andparticipating in the community
that will get lots of eyes onyour profile and not everyone
hits the like button.
I've had lots of eyes on myprofile throughout the years and
those eyes have led to peoplesending me a message, sliding
into the DMs or picking up thephone to call to say hey, I've

been watching your content andit made me think about X.
Would you be interested indoing X?
There really is a hugeopportunity to me on LinkedIn.
I used to call it one of themost underutilized social media
networks out there because formany years I feel like people
slept on LinkedIn.
Now I do feel to some degreelike there's a lot of spam that

happens in the inbox.
That has shifted a little bit,but there are some huge
opportunities that still existwithin this network that I want
to highlight for you today.
I remember a few years ago Ifirst started training teams on
how to use LinkedIn and leadersof these teams how to optimize
their profile and how teamscould work together to really

boost the performance of theircompany page.
When I first started doing that, the number of active users on
LinkedIn was about 500 to 550million, and I'm talking about
probably four or five years ago.
Today, linkedin has over onebillion active users.

It is a huge platform to haveyourself on.
Many I'd say probably even mostof those users are located
either in the US or Europe.
Many of them are decisionmakers, people who are at
C-suite level, people who canmake decisions, people who can

purchase things, people who havebudgets.
Those are people on LinkedIn.
As we know, it's a highlyprofessional network.
I want to share with you justsome notes I jotted down about.
If I were to look back over my20-year career, my 20-year
highlight of life on LinkedIn, Iwant to share with you some

things that have worked well forme.
Here's what I'm going to say,too.
I'm not giving you outdatedadvice because I keep up with
the trends.
There are some things that Idid a decade ago that don't work
today, and then there's somestuff vice versa.
Let me share with you some goodtips for how to optimize your
LinkedIn profile that arerelevant today that will help

you gain more visibility andultimately, if you remain
consistent, get more business.
Number one it's all about theprofile.
On LinkedIn, you have oneprofile that you can build
personally, and if you are abusiness owner, you may even
have a company profile.

Even if you have a company page, I'm going to tell you that the
personal profile is where it'sat.
If you run a business, focus inon your personal profile.
If you are employed and youwork on someone's team, you need
to still be branding yourselfon LinkedIn, preparing for any
opportunities that lie ahead, aswell as making yourself visible

right now and really brandingyour area of expertise.
So here's how I want you tothink about it.
All right.
Number one right headshot, okay, and with headshots on LinkedIn
This might sound basic, butthink about the basics, right.
You know you want to havesomething from about here or

somewhere in that chest, top ofyour chest up.
You want to make sure your faceis visible and easy for people
to get and smile in your profilepicture.
Look approachable, because youknow that can also have an
impact on how people view you.
So think about that now.
Nowadays there's all these AItools out there that you can
utilize as well that will takeyour picture and Make it amazing

where you're wearing a suit andthey put a background on it.
If you want to take it to thatlevel, go for it.
Just make sure you have areally professional picture.
And, hey, if you've hiredsomeone to take a professional
headshot of you, that's awesome,but you can just do your own
If you got a tripod or someonewho's willing to snap a photo of
you Stand in front of a window,make sure you are facing the

window, so there's natural lightcoming in on you, and take that
photo and use that as yourprofile.
No one's standing next to you.
You look good, you're groomed,all that stuff.
You're in a nice professionalshirt, suit, dress, whatever you
got to wear Then make sure thatyou are set up in that way,
So your profile image next toyour profile image is going to

be your headline on LinkedIn,and what you say on your
headline makes a difference.
Now some people will put, youknow, marketing director at
blank, co-founder at blank, andthat's okay, but it doesn't
really describe what you'reoffering.
So think about it a little bitdifferently.

Okay, think about what is ityou're offering people.
I'm gonna read mine to youreally quick.
Mine says I train marketingteams on modern digital
marketing, social media, paid adstrategies, and then I have a
little line digital marketingconsultant, and then another
line trainer and then anotherline instructor a Vertical bar
to separate those differentthings that I do.

If you've been featured inForbes, or you are an
award-winning podcaster orjournalist or something like
that, put put that stuff inthere, put that stuff in your
headline, right, and so whensomeone lands on my profile,
though, or when it pops up inSearch results, you immediately
know what I can offer, andthat's the value of the headline

Okay, now there's a lot moreyou need to cover in terms of
your work history and thingslike that.
I'm going to bundle that into anutshell and say key words are
still relevant on LinkedIn In mywork history, because I focus
on social media and digitalmarketing and I'm a trainer and
I'm a consultant.

I make sure that I use languagerelated to that as I'm
describing my previous workexperience and my current work
experience without the profile.
Rather than only just puttingthis is where I work from this
time to this time and this timeto this time.
Elaborate on it a little bit.
Use key words, describe whatyou did.
You can get real fancy if youwant to copy and paste bullet

points in or emojis or anythinglike that, but make it stand out
Before you even get to workhistory.
There is right above that, asummary section or an about
section, and that is youropportunity to freestyle.
That is your opportunity totell the world, or really your
particular audience, what you doand who you help, and maybe

even to provide some examples ofthat.
That's huge.
Optimize that part of yourprofile with key words, with a
lot of descriptions about theservice that you provide.
Make sure that that informationis in there and easy to see.
I put some details about who Ihelp there as well.
Make sure you're doing that.
There is a featured sectionthat you can fill in along your

profile and have some calls toaction in that feature section.
Now, if you have calls toaction and when I say calls to
action, I mean you might have afree download, a free
consultation or something alongthose lines.
But for those of you who you'relike, well, I don't have
anything for people to downloadthen why not link to a video,

maybe showing you an action,showing you working, or any demo
reel that you have, orhighlighting a project?
If you're a graphic designer bytrade, use that featured
section to showcase some of yourwork.
Where you can do that byuploading a JPEG or taking
people maybe to a site where youcan show your projects in more

That can work for a number ofdifferent types of jobs.
There's some key areas that youreally want to focus on filling
in from your headshot to alsothat banner that appears behind
your headshot, which is valuablereal estate space, because when
people land on your profile,you want to be able to help them

understand exactly what you do.
If you're listening to thispodcast, I want to encourage you
If you're on the road, don'tstop what you're doing, but come
back later.
If you're at your desk or in aspace, I want you to go to my

profile (11:18):
com/in/ Sonja Crystal.
And I want you to look at mybanner in the background Because
I want you to have a goodvisual of what kind of banner
works, what kind of bannerdescribes what you do and

attracts attention, what kind ofheadline works.
Okay, and then from therethinking about what to put in
that featured section, aboutsection and work history.
The final component that I wannaencourage you to pay a lot of
attention to is therecommendations section.
Okay, because to me this islike the equivalent of going on

a retail website and looking atthe reviews.
Right before we buy stuff, weoften look at the reviews and
hopefully you know those arefrom verified purchasers, and
that's how I think about therecommendations section on
I try to give recommendations,but I also want to receive them
and I often send them to peoplethat I've worked with in the
past, so former coworkers,people I volunteered with,

people I even went to collegewith who can attest, and again,
maybe I was in college on acommittee, you know, or
something along those lines aswell as clients.
So think about who can you askfor recommendations from and who
can you offer them to.
If you have a team and peoplework on your team, ask your
staff to provide recommendationsas well.

Okay, so those are your keyareas.
And the profile is so criticalbecause, as you do start gaining
more visibility on LinkedIn,optimizing your profile is
important because people aregonna land there and they're
gonna immediately make adecision, you know, based on
kind of browsing or perusingthat profile and saying to

themselves is this someone Iwanna do business with or does
it look like they do somethingthat I need or would value?
So you really wanna pay closeattention to that as well.
Okay, so optimize your profileand I'm dropping a guide also on
this podcast that you can checkout and look at that guide,

because in that guide, I giveyou what I just went over just
now about how to optimize yourprofile.
That and more and lots ofexamples of really great
profiles that exist out therethat you could model yours after
and all the how-tos to do thestuff that I've done to get you
So definitely check that out,okay.
Now, the profile was importantto me.
Okay, that's always beenimportant to me, and definitely

having keywords in the profilehas been part of my formula
that's led strangers to contactme on LinkedIn and it's led to
great business opportunities.
What also has done that isgrowing my network.
Okay, now I'll say when I firstgot on LinkedIn, I grew my
network, initially with people Iwent to college with, because I

got on LinkedIn probablyshortly after college, somewhere
around the time I was in an MBAprogram, okay, and that was
initially my base, and thenpeople I worked with and whatnot
And then eventually I was like,well, how do I connect with
more people on LinkedIn?
And so I started expandingdifferent ways and I did connect
with strangers initially.

So this is where you make adecision whether or not you
wanna do that.
There were a couple of ways Iconnected with strangers.
One was I joined LinkedIngroups and I specifically looked
for groups on LinkedIn likealumni groups.
So one of the first alumnigroups I joined was for the

college I went to.
I went to a school called ClarkAtlanta University and I joined
the alumni network for ClarkAtlanta and then I individually
reached out to people withinthat group and said, hey, we
both went to Clark Atlanta, Iwanna stay connected with other
alum, so would you be willing toconnect with me?
And I got a lot of people whowere willing to connect, and I

would often send some of thosepeople direct messages and just
say thanks for connecting.
If you ever wanna have a coffeechat or, if they were in
Atlanta, meet up in person.
I'd love to meet you and get toknow more about you.
And I didn't do that witheveryone.
I did that in select instanceswhere I felt like this is
someone where we might have somesynergy or this might be a
great person to network with.

So you might wanna think aboutthat.
That's where, to me, online andoffline communication intersect
and can be highly valuable.
I didn't rely only on thenetwork to do the work for me,
but I knew that I am a person onthe other end and I wanna make
real connections, and I'm goingto make those connections by
reaching out and trying to builda relationship.

So think about if there areopportunities for you to do that
If they're not in your samecity or state.
We've got Zoom nowadays so youcan meet up with someone
virtually on Zoom or just do agood old fashioned phone call,
all right, so make sure you'regrowing your network.
That's one way, and I've gotsome more laid out in that guide
that I'm sharing with you allon how you can really fine tune

growth on your network, whetherthat's to strangers or using
those alumni networks to searchpeople that you didn't connect
with right off the cuff formercoworkers.
I used to work for anotherlarge pharmaceutical company
that has a group on Facebook, analumni group of people who have
worked there, so that wasanother way I built up a lot of
connections, so think about howthat approach works for you.

Now I'll often get the questionshould I kind of come up with
personas and, in a sense, coldcall or target people based on
the industry?
I've done that too.
What I'll say, though, is thoseI found a little bit more
challenging to nurture, so youreally need a plan in place if
you're gonna take that approach.
I think that if you areoffering really valuable content

, even beyond LinkedIn, if youhave a really great email list,
a newsletter, anything like that, and you can send that person
something of value that createsor kind of continues to shape
the connection, that will help,with some of those cold
connections that you know, toreally foster that relationship.
But you've got to find a way tofoster relationships if you do

In my experience it's been 50,50.
Some of those cases I've neededto foster those relationships
and where I fell short onfostering the relationships, I
found that those people were notas likely to interact with my
posts and so over time Iunfollowed or removed the
connection from some of thosepeople because I didn't do a

good job in my follow-up.
So you've got to do that foryourself if you choose to
connect with complete strangers.
Now that leads me to my nextpoint, which is being part of
the LinkedIn community and beingactive on LinkedIn.
So you know, once you do buildup connections, you can't just

like build them or get people tofollow you and connect with you
and then walk away.
You've got to participate inthe community and the community
will reward you for it.
Okay, so that means and this istoday's strategy is that you
really want to make sure you'redoing.
Social media networks reallyvalue commenting and
participating in other people'sposts, and on LinkedIn, the rule

is no different.
Get out there and comment,comment, comment, comment.
Make that really the firstthing you do every day, maybe
even before you post something,think about can I comment on or
do I have something meaningfulto say to posts that are related
to the type of work I do or myindustry, and that will help you
start to also gain morevisibility.

And, as you're commenting, thepeople that you did connect with
whether they were warm contacts, people you already knew, or
completely cold again, peoplethat maybe you found on LinkedIn
and just asked if they wouldconnect with you.
Commenting on theirs is goingto get again, keep you visible
and get you in front of themmore so that they're more likely

to respond when you publishsomething and you post.
So these are a lot of tips thathave helped me along the way,
and what it's resulted in isgetting messages to my inbox of
people asking about jobopportunities I might be
interested in.
It's gotten messages into myinbox from people asking if I'd

like to be a speaker on a panelor participate in a conference
or things like that that give methe opportunity to gain more
What it's also resulted in isclients.
It's resulted in people findingme on LinkedIn, hearing what I
have to say, liking it and thenwanting to schedule a call and

learn more about what I do andif I can help them and, lastly,
it's helped me nurture theconnections I already have.
There are many people within mynetwork that just silently
watched I mentioned this earlier.
They just silently have watchedmy post and will emerge from
time to time and say, hey, I'vebeen following you for a while

or I noticed this and that inyour post and it made me think
about such and such and I'd liketo talk to you more about that,
and that has led to someopportunities.
So I'm giving you a lot ofdifferent techniques or
strategies, but I have all thiswritten down in a guide that you
can download and I want you tocheck it out, tell me your
I wanna see if you implementthis, if you implement these

steps over the next six months.
And remember a strategy likethis takes time, okay, so your
profile isn't gonna take off.
You know day two that youoptimize it and you just have a
day of going on and commentingand posting.
You gotta do this stuffconsistently over time, but I
wanna know how it turns out foryou.
So be sure to drop me a messageor connect with me on LinkedIn:

com/in/S onja Crystal, and Ilook forward to hearing your
success stories.
Thanks for listening until nexttime.
I'll see you soon.
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