In the LinkedIn battle of About v Featured, simply prime all sections to avoid defeat
Is LinkedIn’s ‘Featured’ section on your profile more important than the ‘About’ section?
A South Carolina-based video marketing provider, Danny DelVecchio, says it is. In particular, ‘About’ is so “overrated” that LinkedIn users should just “quit” putting time into About and instead use their time to create a “dope” Featured section. How South Carolina!
If you read the post as a contractor here in the UK, you might be wondering if you’ve gone wrong by even using the About section (“buried” and ‘barely even locatable’), writes Matt Craven, founder of The CV & Interview Advisors.
Do your LinkedIn posts have visual appeal?
First off, let’s look at the post itself (which I’ve reproduced, at the end of this article).
Well, Danny is clearly practicing what he preaches as he’s created three images with links behind them to promote some of his free and paid-for content.
This is actually a great idea (not just the practicing what you preach part!), as using emoticons and links in this way adds visual appeal to your profile while promoting some products and services.
It’s an easy-win that contractors down on their LinkedIn luck could consider making!
Horses for courses
However, this specific linking-LinkedIn technique is more appropriate for individuals who are selling products and services, than a agency contractor looking for a three-month contract or a usually direct-to-client interim, seeking a 14-week assignment.
I’m big on encouraging contractors to think of themselves as businesses selling services to clients, but there’s a subtle difference between a limited company contractor and marketing consultant selling video-related services.
It is as a result that I’m not 100% certain that a recruiter or client -- parties who scout contractors on LinkedIn -- would be engaging with ‘Featured’ in the same way that Danny suggests using it.
That said, if there’s something super-duper or new and shiny from your company to promote, then absolutely Featured is a useful section on LinkedIn.
How 'Featured' on LinkedIn works nicely for me
For example, I have a photograph of me being awarded the Best Contractor Product or Service Award at the Contracting Awards 2022, in my LinkedIn profile’s Featured section. For me, this online real estate is highly useful, especially if a contractor was to land on my profile seeking CV Writing Services.
Interestingly though, the visiting contractor might not immediately know that I sell CV Writing Services and even specialise in the contractor market, if it wasn’t for the ‘Headline.’ So arguably, maybe LinkedIn’s ‘Headline’ section is the most important section of a business user’s profile.
If you’re a contractor or limited company owner believing that your ‘Featured’ section isn’t pulling its weight, ask yourself if you have anything to add to Featured that would trump About, in terms of importance. In many cases, I would suspect contractors will be hard-pressed to come up with something immediately compelling.
A value proposition remains your must-have as contractor
Nonetheless, I’m inclined to agree with the OP. It is rather odd that LinkedIn only displays a few lines of your ‘About’ (four lines if you’re lucky). And that restriction does somewhat diminish the value of About.
While we can all ask why LinkedIn does this, the trick remains the same -- and it’s to get someone’s attention within those first few lines, so they decide to read the rest of your About.
This is why I recommend contractors use a ‘value proposition.’ A value proposition in your About is crucial because it instantly explains the value you are proposing to offer your target audience, and encourages them to read on.
If you can get your LinkedIn profile visitors to read your About, then it’s of great value because I’d still say it’s probably the focal point of most people’s LinkedIn profile.
But if you have taken advantage of Featured and written a number of posts, one could argue that About does get rather buried in a sea of other things. In short on LinkedIn, things can get rather cluttered, especially if you’ve got a lot of experience you wish to convey.
When in doubt fill them all out
Yet if you don’t use Featured, and you aren’t terribly proactive with writing posts or similar, then About does remain reasonably visible and therefore should be given your full attention.
Perhaps the smart option is to make sure that every section on LinkedIn has been optimised.
Debates over which sections are more important will run and run.
But for the sake of a few hundred quid paying a copywriter, or some painful Sunday afternoons having-a-go yourself, most self-respecting contractors ought to get every section spot on.
What we all also need to factor in is the LinkedIn algorithm, and making sure your LinkedIn profile is optimised to appear high in the search results. It’s what we might call ‘LinkedIn SEO.’
If you were to neglect About, and therefore omit content and keywords that might trigger your appearance in search results, it would render you less visible to potential clients and recruiters. It’s frustrating that much of About’s content is hidden until the reader clicks “See More.” But for contractors at least, that content still plays an important role in your LinkedIn profile’s visibility.
If you’ve realised how powerful LinkedIn can be in helping you win more work and grow your contractor business, you might want to register for our upcoming webinar - The anatomy of a contract-winning LinkedIn profile – formulas for inside and outside IR35 roles. It’s on Thursday 28th Sep at 12 midday and you can register here https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5674726179330114399
You can also request a free and confidential 1-2-1 LinkedIn profile review by using this link: https://cvandinterviewadvisors.co.uk/partners/contractor-uk
Danny DelVecchio posted:
The most 𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐃 feature of LinkedIn is...
The ‘About’ Section 👎
- It's buried. You can barely even find it.
- If you do find it, the preview is two lines.
- If you do click on it, you really gonna read it?
The most 𝐔𝐍𝐃𝐄𝐑𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐄 feature of LinkedIn is...
The ‘Featured’ Section 👍
- It's so easy to find. (easier with images)
- It's a free space to promote your top CTAs.
- It's easy to adjust when your priorities change.
My Two Cents 💡
- Quit putting time into your ‘About’ section
- Use that time to create a dope ‘Featured’ section
🚨 Very curious to know, do you read ‘About’ sections?