How To Set Up Your Customised LinkedIn Profile Banner
August 31, 2014
One of the new features LinkedIn rolled out recently was the new banner for your personal profile. At the moment this is only available to premium users and for those of you who want to upgrade now, LinkedIn has introduced a cheaper entry point they are calling the Spotlight account (called Personal Plus on the order form). If you’re happy with your free account and would like to go on the waiting list for your profile banner you can do so here.
Why do you need it?
The LinkedIn profile banner is another way for you to showcase how you are. We know a picture speaks a thousand words, this banner is another way to portray what it is you offer, what you’re about. So yes, definitely worth having. It adds another element to your existing profile and importantly, you have seconds to capture the attention of the person viewing your profile. A banner is a power tool to capture that attention and make your reader want spend more time on the page, to read your profile.
The design process
It’s important not to concentrate on yourself and what you offer when you design your banner. It’s not your attention we are trying to capture, it’s your reader’s. Note: The steps below apply to ALL your social media profile banners. Here’s a process to design your LinkedIn profile banner:
- Identify the pain points of your reader, how do you solve these? If you are looking for employment in the IT industry don’t talk about your skills, tell future employers that once they hire you their project will be completed on time and within budget (every time). Showcase your work. If you are an accountant, you don’t offer accounting – you save your clients time and money and help them plan for the future.
- Search LinkedIn and other social media sites to look at profiles of your competitors, what is working in terms of networks / engagement / referrals? What do you think tells a message and what is simply a pretty banner? Incorporate strengths identified into your own banner.
- The image itself? If you know a photographer or have a talent behind the camera, take a picture you can use. LinkedIn does offer a small library of images you can use but I strongly suggest you use an image that’s unique to you. As they open the profile banner to free accounts these images will be used regularly, not the look you are after! For the same reason, try not to use standard stock images.
- Get creative. Open Photoshop or use a free tool such as Canva, Gimp or Pixlr and put your profile together. Use text with an image to reinforce your message and if creativity isn’t your forte there are some great Virtual Assistants (subtle hint!!!) who do this type of work all the time. Or outsource to your graphic designer, Elance or Fiver.
- Once you have a design you’re happy with it’s time for some market research. Send the banner to a few friends, colleagues or people in your network and ask them what they think the banner is saying about you.
- Use a JPG, PNG, or GIF under 4MB in size. A resolution of 1400 by 425 pixels looks best.
- The banner is responsive, meaning it will adjust in size to fit the device your profile is viewed on (laptop, desktop, mobile, tablet etc).
- Ensure your key information is in the area viewed on all devices, this is the area in the image below that states “visible on most formats” ie the top half of your banner.
The following two templates show you how to lay out your design. Click on the images to open at 100%.
How to upload the image to your profile
- Log into your LinkedIn account.
- From your main menu, select profile – edit profile.
- In the banner area, click on edit background.
- Select your image and open to upload.
- Place the image within the guides.
- Test on all devices and make any final adjustments needed.
You’re finished! Share your profile URL with me in the comments below to showcase your new profile, I’d love to see what you’ve done.
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