Enhance your LinkedIn profile with a video intro

LinkedIn is the world’s most popular social media networking platform. Since many in-person networking opportunities are almost non-existent due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more important to leverage the popularity of this platform to help build your network digitally.

What’s one way to make your LinkedIn profile stand out? Add a video at the top of your profile! Use this video to introduce yourself, your professional background, your skills and areas of expertise.

This video will let others in your network to know you beyond only words on the screen, because they can see you in action and hear your voice. And, as communications professionals, posting a video would allow you to demonstrate your excellent presentation and on-camera communication skills, which could be of interest to potential employers or clients.

A talking head-style video that you film yourself will work well. Follow the tips outlined below to create a high-quality video that helps you make a great impression.

Keep these tips in mind as you make your video:

  1. Plan your words: Make notes so that you’re crystal clear on what you’re going to say about your professional background and specialties. Rehearse in advance. You want to come across as natural, but not scripted.
  2. Plan your visuals: Wear at least business-casual attire and do your hair and makeup as you would for a business meeting. Ensure the background is professional and has no visual distractions. Maximize lighting and film in bright light or daylight if possible.
  3. Smartphone filming smarts: Use horizontal video if you’re filming on your smartphone. Look at the camera lens, not the screen.
  4. Keep it short and concise: Limit the video to one minute in length.
  5. Increase your energy: Video can deplete the energy you convey. Combat this by speaking with a more energy than you would when speaking in-person. This might take some practice to ensure you still come across as natural.
  6. Include a call to action: Use a call-to-action that is appropriate to the types of relationships you’d like to foster on LinkedIn. For example, if you’re a freelancer, you could encourage potential clients to message you, or you could encourage viewers to read your LinkedIn profile to learn more about your professional background.

How to post your video to your LinkedIn profile

Whether you choose either of the two options below, take advantage of the new Featured section in LinkedIn profiles. According to Social Media Examiner, “this section is located toward the top of your profile, between the About section and Activity section. If you don’t see this feature, it’s probably because you can’t access it yet. LinkedIn is gradually rolling it out to all members.”

Check if you have it yet by seeing if it’s available when you click on the “Add Profile Section” menu in your introduction card at the top of your LinkedIn profile in desktop version.

If you don’t have access yet, you can still create your introduction video now so that it’s ready to post once you do. (This is my plan!)

Please note that LinkedIn doesn’t allow users to upload a video directly to the Featured section. The following two options provide solutions.

Option 1: Upload video via a LinkedIn post

First, upload your video directly to LinkedIn as a post. This type of video is known as native video. Once it’s published as a post, you can add it to your Featured section.

The advantage of this approach is that you’re keeping the viewer’s eyes on your LinkedIn profile rather than sending them to an external site to view your content.

Option 2: Link to a video elsewhere online

To add a link to your video, click the + button in the Featured section and select the option to add a link to external media (such as Vimeo or YouTube). Paste the URL of your external video into the box and press Enter.

Make sure your thumbnail will grab the attention of the person viewing your profile. You can create a thumbnail in the design app of your choice or start with the opening screen of your video.

Also add an eye-catching title (required) and description (optional) to encourage people to click on your video. The description is automatically pulled from the page you’ve linked but you can edit it to make it more LinkedIn-friendly. Using an external link means the person viewing your profile will be taken away from LinkedIn to watch it. Then, click save to save your changes.

Instructions for options 1 and 2 courtesy of Social Media Examiner.

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