I hear all of the time that people don’t get anything from LinkedIn. When I ask why, they say things like, “I haven’t done anything with it,” “I don’t know what to share, so I don’t,” “I don’t know how to use it”.
Unfortunately, just having a profile, complete or not, isn’t enough anymore. If you don’t have a complete profile, people aren’t going to find you. If you do have a complete profile, but don’t share anything, people aren’t going to find you.
Your LinkedIn profile is an essential part of your brand and having a ROCK STAR profile is a MUST if you plan to do any LinkedIn marketing or lead generation.
In this blog post, you’ll learn how to have a ROCK STAR profile! You’ll have a complete and optimized profile so that you are found easier, not only on LinkedIn but in a Google search.
First, let’s talk about what LinkedIn is and why you need to be on it.
With more than 610 million members in over 200 countries, LinkedIn is a way to build your professional identity, discover professional opportunities, business deals and new ventures. Don’t think of LinkedIn as a resume – instead, think of it as an inbound marketing tool where you can create your own future and tell your story.
The whole part of LinkedIn is to make connections and engage with those connections in a meaningful way. Unlike Facebook and Twitter where your profiles are based on the content you share, LinkedIn is focused on growing your professional network, build your personal brand, and increase your industry knowledge.
LinkedIn is being used by companies in more ways than you can imagine, including social recruiting, public relations, community-building, social selling, social media marketing (including social advertising) and employee advocacy.
So, what’s in it for you?
LinkedIn can give you exposure and access to important people. It can also help you attract new prospects, keep in front of existing clients, spark marketing or business partnership possibilities, generate more introductions and referrals, provide invitations to speak at events or conferences, uncover media or press inquiries and much more.
Nine times out of 10, it’s your colleagues searching your profile, people you’re trying to do business with and people you met at an event who are getting to know you.
You want to use your LinkedIn profile as a resource, so people want to keep coming back.
Now that you have a better understanding of what LinkedIn is and why you should be using it, let’s talk about what you need in order to have a great profile.
Your profile image and headline are the very first impressions that someone will see when they find you on LinkedIn. They will decide within seconds whether they want to learn more about you or move on to the next person.
Remember that the impression you give must be a professional one. It must speak to what you do and your credibility.
Before we get to your profile picture and headline, let’s start with your name. LinkedIn only allows for your actual name as well as any commonly accepted titles like, MD, MBA, PHD, CFP, etc. I would not be able to use “Michelle Arbore Social Media Coach.”
Profile Photo: YOU MUST HAVE ONE! If you don’t, people will see that blank silhouette. That is going to send a message that you don’t care enough about yourself or your company. It’s going to show that you don’t care enough to take the time to represent your company in a professional manner. It’s going to show a lack of credibility and people won’t take you seriously. It means a prospective client will pass you by.
Having a profile picture brings your story to life and lets people know you’re for real. Your profile picture should portray you in a professional manner. You want to use a good, close-up picture that stands out, and make it unique to you while maintaining a professional appearance.
Headline: The most important part of your profile, behind your profile picture, is your headline! Your headline lets everyone know at a glance exactly what you do—and for whom. It establishes credibility quickly.
The headline is a space where you can really sell yourself and your services. Instead of “Health Coach,” consider “Health coach for busy moms who want to look better, feel better, and have it all…naturally.”
Keep in mind that you do need to be concise. You have only 120 characters to get your point across.
Summary: The first thing people will read to learn more about you and what you offer. They really want to learn how you can help them. Don’t make your summary all about you or written like a resume. Show that potential client why you’re someone worth knowing! Profiles with summaries get 10 times more profile views than someone who leaves it blank.
The Summary gives people a chance to KNOW, LIKE & TRUST you. Your summary should be client focused. It should speak directly to your target market. It can only be 2000 characters long so make sure your potential clients know they are in the right place and that you are the person who can help them with their specific problems.
Write it in 1st person and talk directly to your target market – how can you help them?
Contact Information: If you haven’t done so already, choose your custom URL now. Try using your first and last name with no spaces to see if it’s available. If it is, great! If your name is more common, it probably won’t be available. Try including your best keywords to craft a meaningful URL such as /sallysmithhealthcoach or /coachsallysmith.
Next, you’ll want to enter your website, phone, address, Twitter handle, and your birthday. When it comes to your address, only enter one if you work at a physical location, otherwise, leave it blank.
Does this seem to overwhelming for you and need some guidance?
Current Experience: This is another great place to speak to your ideal client and explain why they are in the right place, why you are the right person to help them.
Your current experience should talk about your company and what you offer. Again, you have 2000 characters to fit it all in.
Here’s something to think about – do you do more than one thing when it comes to your business? Are you a speaker? Did you create a product or write a book? Add those to your current experience. Make them their own entity.
Are you on any boards or committees? Create another experience for each of those.
Past Experience: Your profile should include at least a few of your past positions, so your profile has a more complete look. You can include up to a paragraph describing what you did and any accomplishments during that time. Don’t forget about the keywords in the title and descriptions.
Education: Add your school name, degree, field of study, activities and societies, from year to year, and a description.
Other areas to complete:
- Publication: have you written anything (ebook, blog, book, etc.) or been written about?
- Project: working on any projects for your company? Add the name, dates, creator, associated with, URL and description.
- Honors & Awards: If you have won anything or been acknowledged, this is the place to share it
- Organizations: add any organizations you are part of, including chambers of commerce
Skills: This section can increase your level of social proof and improve your search ranking. Your skills are a simple and effective way to building your professional brand and engaging your network. You should include specific skills that showcase your abilities to others.
Keywords: LinkedIn’s search algorithm is closely aligned with Google’s own algorithm, so a well-optimized profile will not only rank well on LinkedIn, but it will inevitably show up when others Google your name.
If you’ve previously done keyword research for your blog or website, the top-ranking keywords you found are a great place to start with your LinkedIn profile optimization. Choose the top two or three and optimize your profile around those.
If you are still stuck, put yourself in your customers shoes. What words would you use to search for someone who does what you do?
You will use your keyword in your headline, summary, & experience (headlines and descriptions).
Still need help with these sections?
Connections: Connections are the key to ranking better in a LinkedIn search. No matter how relevant or well-chosen your keywords are, if you’re not connected to a lot of people, your search ranking will be limited.
Having a large number of connections achieves two purposes. First, it serves as social proof of your status and expertise. Second, it allows you to find or be found by more of your ideal clients.
Recommendations: These are a vital part of establishing that KNOW, LIKE, & TRUST as well as build your authority and credibility. Think of recommendations as a testimonial of your experience which showcases your business ethics. They can show how you helped a client or company grow.
One thing you should know is that no matter which social media platform you use, it’s about building the KNOW, LIKE & TRUST factor. By having recommendations, this is an outside source saying how good you are.
Sharing content: Becoming a thought leader in your niche and establishing yourself as the “go to” person for up-to-date info is a great way to grow any business—especially for coaching and service work.
When you’re seen as the expert in your field, you automatically open a host of opportunities.
You can—and should—establish your expertise by creating your own content on your blog, through your podcast, in products, and even in books. But one often overlooked way to quickly become a resource to your audience is simply by sharing content others have created.
Writing Articles: What to do when you have more to say than a status update? Write an Article on LinkedIn.
Call it blogging or content marketing, one thing is certain: If you’ve not used LinkedIn to publish yet, you’re missing out on a fantastic opportunity to reach a much wider audience.
Why should you consider publishing content?
- It’s a great way to increase your authority on your topic
- Your connections and followers can share it with their network
- You have a fantastic opportunity to reach a much wider audience by sharing your posts in LinkedIn Groups – most of those group members are not in your network, so they can learn more about you and your expertise
Whether you are a business owner, salesperson, marketer, professional or executive, your LinkedIn Profile will often be your very first online impression for people who want to learn more about you. What they find on your profile will influence them to connect with you and know if you are someone who can help solve their pain point. By creating a professional, client focused LinkedIn profile, you will attract your ideal clients, help them to know they have found the right person, and establish your authority on your topic.
Looking to have someone walk you through creating a LinkedIn profile that ROCKS!? Then check out the LinkedIn How to Make it Rock! Course. There are videos guiding you step-by-step, two workbooks you will use throughout the course, and over $400 in free bonuses that will help you with all of your social media. Click here to learn more about the LinkedIn How to Make it Rock! Course.