A few weeks ago I launched my LinkedIn training workshop – something I have been planning to do for a while due to the phenomenal growth of this amazing marketing communication, recruitment and lead generation tool.
To say that my discoveries have been illuminating would be an understatement.
Image the scenario… you have a new client meeting. The brief is fairly simple to understand – the Managing Director wants to develop his personal brand and strengthen his network with liked minded business professionals and more importantly, decision makers who could be targeted to become future customers. As you begin to introduce yourself and talk through some of the ideas you have to achieve his objectives, he turns and quite forcefully announces:
“LinkedIn is a waste of time – I’ve tried every trick in the book and it has done nothing for me!”
As I began to check through his profile, it soon became apparent why. On first glance, I found that many fundamental steps were being missed – which is a common observation I have made with many other business owners whilst developing my new training workshop. These essential elements, which are missing or lacking on profiles, mean many users fall at the first hurdle at making new contacts and winning business.
And there’s others, at the opposite side of the spectrum, who think that LinkedIn is “just another social media channel”, that it’s for industry chitchat, and no more (when they couldn’t be more wrong – just check out these statistics to see why).
“93% of B2B marketers considered LinkedIn the most effective for gaining leads over other channels”
Content Marketing Institute
“62% of B2B companies have won a customer through LinkedIn”
“40% of B2B buyers consider LinkedIn important when researching technologies and services to purchase
Social Media Today
LinkedIn is and can be incredibly powerful, yet all too many professionals and businesses are overlooking or underusing this superior marketing tool. Below are my five simple tips which form the fundamental building blocks of LinkedIn networking – with them, your profile will look professional, and you’ll be confident that the impression you’re making, is the right one.
5 quick and easy steps to optimise the heck out of your LinkedIn profile:
1. Say Cheese!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this could be no truer than when applied to the world of LinkedIn profile images. Ensure that those words are the right ones with a front-focused, eyes forward professional image (unsuitable LinkedIn profile images are a matter of much debate).
When potential clients or employers come across your image, what would the answer be if they asked themselves: “can I do business with this person?” Professionally shot photos are often a great investment, as they can capture a little personality, whilst ensuring the image is LinkedIn and ‘corporate world’ ready.
2. Craft a compelling headline
Go beyond your bog standard job title – consider what you truly offer and the way in which people may come across your talent or skill in the mammoth LinkedIn search arena. Contend with others by crafting a compelling headline that describes the benefits you deliver – but keep it clear, succinct and free from meaningless, fluffy buzzwords.
3. Sell yourself – Summarise your finely-honed strengths and experience
This is LinkedIn, not “Curriculum Vitaed-In”, so avoid the dull CV stuff – be authentic and write an elevator style pitch summary as to illustrate:
- Who you are and what you do.
- What your USP is – what gives you the edge over everyone else? How can your achievements back this up?
- What your specific skills are and why this matters to your potential client, customer or employer.
4. SEO yourself
Think of LinkedIn as a seriously sophisticated B2B search engine – consider the keywords that pertain to what you do, what your clients may search for and feature them throughout your profile – in your headline, in your summary and in your interest section.
5. Get previous employers, clients or customers to speak on your behalf
Word of mouth is just about the oldest marketing method in the world – and it’s still one of the most effective. The truth is, when anyone can be whoever they wish online, it is often in fellow professionals, businesses and consumers’ words we trust most. So ask around for recommendations – gain glowing testimonials that back up all that you’ve said you are – ask customers, clients, suppliers, managers and trade partners.
The next stage after optimising your profile is planning an engagement strategy – who to target, what to say and how to grow and nurture those valuable new leads. This in itself needs careful consideration and is another blog post in itself…. watch this space!
I hope this article has provided you with some inspiration and ideas to help you to optimise your LinkedIn profile. If you wish to receive more marketing goodness like this, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter – below.
Not sure how LinkedIn could work for your personal brand or organisation? Elevation Marketing provides one-to-one and group training sessions for CEOs, Senior Executives as well as Sales and Marketing Managers, providing knowledge and practical experience on how best to optimise your LinkedIn profile / company pages including engagement strategies and content development.
For an informal chat contact Simon on 01642 688678 / 07846 690938 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or you use our contact form here
Header image courtesy of Gratisography