As a company executive, salesperson or marketer, you are the best personal representation of your business. But does your digital profile reflect this?
LinkedIn is the go-to social platform for connecting and engaging with other industry professionals. It’s also where many of your prospective customers are spending their time—and if you’re not offering them something compelling, you could very well be leaving leads on the table! With a few easy fixes, you can create a killer profile with lead-gen in mind.
Need more convincing of LinkedIn’s potential as a sales tool? Consider the following statistics from Hotmob:
74% of consumers rely on social media to make a buying decision
78% say that companies’ social media posts influence their buying
61 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers PLUS
40 million are in decision-making positions
So ready to get started? Follow these 15 quick and easy tips to transform your profile.
1. Think sales tool, not resume.
Does your personal profile showcase a laundry list of skills, achievements, and employment history? A common mistake is having a profile that represents you as a job seeker versus the established business owner that you are. Some background experience is fine, but don’t make that your main focus. Discuss the value you and your company currently bring to the table right now.
2. Optimize for search.
For prospects who are searching on LinkedIn, there are a few tricks to increase your chances of showing up in their search results:
First, make sure your profile is set to “public.”
Don’t skimp! LinkedIn gives higher authority to profiles that are 100% completed.
Try to include long-tail industry-specific keywords that speak to your prospects.
Change your LinkedIn URL to a customized SEO-friendly version using the format LinkedIn.com/in/yourname – here are the steps to do so.
3. Create a reader-centric summary.
How will your solutions help prospective customers? Reframe your summary to highlight not just your personal achievements, but the BENEFITS and the IMPACT your customers will experience when engaging with you and your company. Try to scale back on a litany of first-person phrases—this will help shift the focus from you to the reader.
4. Change your background image.
Here’s a great way to infuse some business branding into your profile. Add a branded banner (versus the default blue banner) behind your head shot. Be sure to use colors or imagery that mirror your brand and/or your website. It’s easy to create a new image using a free tool like Canva (and yes, you guessed it... we have a post all about that, too.)
5. Pack a punch in your headline.
Your headline may be small in word count but it’s prime real estate. It’s one of the first things people see, so use it wisely! Create an attention-grabbing headline that offers some value. You can even get creative by trading in traditional job titles for high-impact phrases that describe your professional purpose. For example;
Word Wizard | Powering up your pipeline with compelling content
6. Be a frequent publisher.
Got content? Use LinkedIn to amplify blogs posts, white papers, infographics, recent events you’ve attended, and so on. Publish at a steady pace. If you don’t produce new content on a regular basis, update and re-promote historic blog content. Don’t have historic content to publish? There are other ways to stay active. For example, join the conversation by commenting on third-party articles or recent news stories that are relevant to your industry.
7. Know the difference between posts and articles.
A “post” is the default mode of sharing content quickly and easily; articles give you more editing ability and are generally easier for visitors to find without getting stuck in the feed. Here’s a more detailed read on the differences between the two.
8. Pay attention to settings for new posts.
When posting, your choices are Public, Public +Twitter, or Connections on LinkedIn. For maximum visibility, you may want to opt for the highest level of visibility.
9. Generate a buzz.
LinkedIn gives users the option to enable or disable comments. When publishing content, try changing your Comments setting option to “on” to initiate feedback. You can experiment by asking questions to initiate chatter. Just be sure to respond to those comments!
10. Build in one or more calls-to-action.
Offer your prospective customers several ways they can take action. Your summary, for one, should let people know you’re open to new dialog. Use a direct statement such as: Want to talk about how to attract and convert marketing leads? Connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also include indirect calls-to-action elsewhere in your profile. For example, select an enticing piece of media—ideally, one that touches on how to solve a buyer’s pain point—then direct readers to a landing page to download that media.
11. Involve your employees.
Encourage your employees to regularly engage with published content on LinkedIn by liking, viewing, sharing and commenting. If you're particularly gung-ho about employee advocacy, there are a number of paid tools on the market, like GaggleAMP, that make this process super streamlined.
12. Include content that supports the buying process.
Strong visual aids are a must in any sales pitch, right? So think of your LinkedIn profile as your personal sales presentation. Include a recent blog post, a video of your work in action, a PowerPoint presentation, or any other content that addresses a prospective buyer’s needs and pain points. You can add this as an attachment, or follow these steps to embed multimedia directly into your profile.
13. Participate in LinkedIn Groups.
Groups are a great place to find common ground with like-minded professionals within your industry. They help you build connections among a more qualified audience. Use the LinkedIn search tool to begin searching for groups by topics related to your industry.
14. Don’t be shy about gathering recommendations.
One of the most powerful motivators for your prospects is unbiased advice from your customers. They don’t just happen on their own, though; it’s your job to request those recommendations! LinkedIn makes it easy to send such requests to people in your network, so try to take full advantage of this feature.
15. Be high profile (with multiple profiles).
As a business leader, your personal profile speaks volumes about your business. While many of the changes we’re talking about here apply to your personal profile, make sure you also have a designated company page. Also make sure your business partner(s), sales reps, and other employees who regularly interface with prospects are well-represented on LinkedIn. You can start by sharing these tips with them!
Remember, your LinkedIn profile can be the start of a meaningful relationship between you and a prospective customer—so don’t miss the opportunity to get the most out of it. As a valued PMG client, we’re happy to give your profile a quick tune-up at any time. So don't hesitate to ask us!