You are welcome to push back, disagree and share your opinion in comments, because what I am about to say may be just a bit controversial… if you are in sales, your LinkedIn profile is NOT about you. It is about how you help your clients. In fact it is about how you help your reader. We have all heard the incredible statistic that 57% of the buying decision is made before the sales person even knows they are looking…well, who is influencing that opinion? Is it you or your competition. Are they even finding you when they are looking for insights to guide them in their purchasing journey? When they find you, are you the solution they are looking for?
In comes the Client Centric Profile with one goal…to get engagement from the people that you want to, well, engage.
Here is the Quintessential Checklist for a Client Centric Profile
Your headline is some of the most valuable real estate on your profile. It is front and center and is the very first thing people read when they view you. Typically people have their title and company name, but your readers really don’t care about that yet, they care about what’s in it for them. So, give them something of value. Mention how you help clients and offer them some great insights, tips, strategies and tactics that influence their 57%. Yup, it all starts in your headline. I have “Helping Clients Increase Their Top Line Through Social Selling” – If you are not interested in social selling, no problem. But if you are interested…I invite you to read 3 tips in my summary to learn how to increase your top line. The first step in engaging is complete, I now have you moving down to read my summary.
Your summary is your value proposition drilled down. It’s the goal that when your viewers read it, they want more, they raise their hand and say, ”talk to me”.
First, you need to make sure that your profile is telling the right story, the story that your prospects want to hear, not what you want to tell them. What excites them? What engages them? What value do you bring to the conversation? Why should they want to raise their hand? And the best place to do this is in your summary.
In the Social Selling world it is about education and thought leadership, so your LinkedIn profile is no different. If you are in a business development role, we need to start showing our value immediately, and that starts in our profile. A Social Selling profile, a profile filled with stuff for them, like tips, strategies, education and ideas that clearly add value from the very first engagement. If they have a wow moment on your profile, they will raise their hand to talk with you.
BONUS: Also, make sure you add your website, phone number and email address. Only your 1st degree connections can see all your information in your contact box, and we want to be sure that your 2nds and 3rds can reach you easily.
✓ Profile Picture
A high quality profile headshot is essential. It doesn’t matter how much you love your dog, your car or even the wedding cut out with your significant other’s hand on your shoulder…do not have anything less than a professional photo. People hire with people, and having a photo makes you approachable and creates a connection. In addition, LinkedIn’s data shows that having a photo makes your proflie 7 times more likely be viewed.
- Smile and look friendly. Remember we want to seem approachable
- Small pictures look funny! Be sure to fill up the entire space provided with a minimum of 200px by 200px picture. The picture is a square, so be prepared to crop it once it is uploaded.
- Have a solid neutral background, busy is distracting! Don’t include others in your photo either, we want to keep the focus on you.
✓ Contact Information
Please make it easy for your prospects to get in touch with you! Be sure to have your email and phone number completed! (You will want to add your contact information in your Summary and in Advice for Contact You sections as well)
This is where your resume goes. Be sure to list all your relevant experience and connect each position to its’ LinkedIn Company Page. This is where you can talk about your years experience, job responsibilities and accomplishments. In addition talk about who you help and how. This is an opportunity to talk about your niche market and the solutions you provide for them. You can even add case studies that will add credibility to your brand.
✓ Skills, Endorsements, and Recommendations
This is very important for your prospects to see at a glance how you see yourself. This is also very important for keywords as was mentioned before.
- Have 10 or so transferrable skills listed, with at least 10 endorsements for each one
- Be sure to order your skills in priority order. What is most important and represents you the way you wish to be seen should appear first.
- Have at least 3 recommendations from clients.
Be sure to add all your schooling, even if they are just classes at local schools. This will show your commitment to education and may even help with Alumni.
If you have worked on projects with other vendors or even client projects list these and connect your cohorts as it is a great opportunity to cross-brand.
Ever had an article picked up or been interviewed? List it in publications with a live link, this is very impressive and shows that you are a thought leader.
✓ New Background Banner
Currently for Premium Members only, the background image appears above the top section of your profile. However, this feature is slowly rolling out to LinkedIn free members. If you have a free Basic account, and do not yet have the option to add the background image you can CLICK HERE to be added to the waitlist, and be one of the next free members to access this feature.
Background images must be:
- File type JPG, GIF or PNG
- No larger than 4MB.
- Pixel Dimensions between 1000 X 425 and 4000 X 4000 ideally 1400 x 425 pixels
Although recommendations are not about the reader, it is a way for them to see how you help people like them. Be sure to have recommendations from all the niches or industries you serve.
Symbols on your profile are like “The Three Bears” – Papa Bear’s profile has nothing – and all the words just blend together. Mama Bear’s profile is full of fluff, diamonds and crowns and lots of bling. But Baby Bear’s profile is just right. He has arrows to draw attention and break up ideas and bullets to have impact around key statements. And if our prospect is Goldilocks follow the baby!
CLICK HERE to get a full list of Symbols you can use on LinkedIn. (Be sure to look at your profile on a SMART phone, as they can look different)
Need a LinkedIn Makeover or custom banner? CLICK HERE to schedule a one on one session now!