With LinkedIn having over 300 million members, it may pay to upgrade to the premium version in order to gain competitive advantage and further enhance your brand image. Check out the new features that were available the beginning of July to premium members. I’ve also included a step-by-step “How To” to help you change or add your background photo.
1. An image-centric look that includes a larger profile photo (ideal pixel size is between 200 x 200 to 500 x 500. If either width or height exceeds 4000 pixels, your photo will not upload) and an expanded custom profile background image (1400 x 425 pixels). You can choose to either upload your own background image, keep the default blue gradient background, or select from a gallery of background images should you need design inspiration. Unlike the other three new features, this one will eventually roll out to free members. As of right now, the new custom backgrounds are only visible on the desktop site, not on mobile devices. Whether or not this will be updated in the future remains to be seen. If you are interested in receiving the new profile early, you can submit a request to LinkedIn here. Signing up multiple times or contacting LinkedIn after you’ve signed up on the waiting list won’t enable the feature any faster. Photo source: LinkedIn
Update From LinkedIn! If you have the free, basic LinkedIn membership and had early access to the profile background and then it was suddenly gone, here’s why from Matt @ LinkedIn:
“…this is a test feature that we are slowly rolling out. We rolled it out to some members, and then had to pull it back for some of those members to address some issues. So, you were able to upload the image, and it then disappeared. We have some more work to do on the feature before we continue to roll it out and unfortunately, I don’t have an ETA on when this will happen. This was obviously not ideal or a good experience. Once again, I apologize for the confusion. Thank you!”
How to Add or Change Your Background Photo
This information is taken directly from the LinkedIn Help Center. Premium members must first have the Premium Profile feature turned on before adding a background photo on your profile. To add or change your background photo:
- Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage, and select Edit Profile.
- Click Edit Background, which appears above the top section of your profile.
- Select a background image or click Upload to use a photo of your own.
- File type – JPG, GIF, or PNG
- File size – 4MB maximum
- Ideal pixel size – 1400 x 425
- Click Save.
2. LinkedIn has added a top key word prompting feature for you to help with optimizing your profile. Premium members will be able to pick from a highly personalized set of keywords to add to various sections of your profile. When someone is searching for a particular skill like “Blogger” and you have it listed on your profile, it will look twice as big as other results, therefore, allowing your profile to stand out from the crowd and get you noticed. This feature is not available to free members. For other ways to optimize your profile, check out 14 Tips To Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn.
3. A new “open” setting that allows unlimited visibility. Only premium members will have the ability to choose this setting. This feature will allow your profile to be visible to everyone on LinkedIn (not just in your network) and will also allow them to reach out to you for free. Previously, premium members could opt-in to this feature, but now is standard. If you do not want this feature, you will have the ability to opt-out.
4. Tracking your ranking and visibility among your first-degree connections has been improved. Not only will you be able to see a full 90-day view of “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” but you will also be able to see your top 100 results for “How You Rank” sparking a friendly competition within your network.
Also worth mentioning, LinkedIn is also introducing a new premium starter package called Premium Spotlight. According to LinkedIn, “this new subscription consists of all the features mentioned above and is designed for ambitious professionals who are looking to take their career to the next level. You can compare all the premium offerings here if you’re interested. I would imagine this is in an effort to increase its Premium Subscriptions revenue of $95.5 million which is an increase of 46% over Q1 2013 (and 20% of total revenue, a percentage that remains consistent for the first quarters of both 2013 and 2014) according to a Forbes article.
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