LinkedIn is a powerful tool for making business connections—but it is just that, a tool. Even the most active users miss on some simple ways to optimize the way they use LinkedIn. But it all begins with your profile. Someone looking for a new career path vs someone looking to grow their business on LinkedIn would have very different profiles. Before you jump into the B2B art of growing your business via LinkedIn, you need to make sure that your profile should mirror who you are and why someone would want to do business with you.
1. Upload a Decent Profile Picture
Your LinkedIn profile photo sets the tone for everything else a viewer will experience on your page — just like match.com or Instagram. Except LinkedIn isn’t match.com or Instagram. It’s the world’s largest professional network.
So that means:
2. Write a Killer Summary!
The headline of your LinkedIn profile is highly searchable. I know that no one on LinkedIn is looking for “President of Your Social Media Mentor.” So I list something more search-friendly that speaks of what I do on a daily basis — and for which people may want to hire me. “Social Media Strategist that specializes in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Email Marketing” paints a much better picture of who I am and how I can help potential clients.
Whatever you do, don’t leave the summary blank or limit it to a few bland sentences. This is your chance to be creative and describe who you are and what you’re passionate about. Make it personal, while also highlighting key accomplishments you don’t want anyone to miss.
3. Showcase Your Value Via Recommendations
Get some high quality recommendations – especially from existing happy customers (quality is better than quantity). This will give visitors a better idea of what you’re like as a person. After all, people like to do business with people not companies. We're all still human, LinkedIn simply gives you the incredible opportunity to connect with other humans.
But don’t rely on LinkedIn to do the asking for you with their recommendations request feature. Ask in person or write a personal email sincerely expressing what their recommendation would mean to you. Don't forget your key words you want to be "found" for. Think of SEO within your LinkedIn profile.
4. Use the Power of Endorsements
Pay attention to your endorsed skills. This can lend credibility to you. Second, this part can also be searched for. If you have unique skills or technical abilities, you should list them here. This will let people looking to work with you find you. Adding information here is like doing a bit of SEO for yourself!
Tip: If someone endorses you for one of your key skills, endorse them back for one of theirs. Social Media Etiquette 101
5. Build a Mutlimedia Profile
Most profiles on LinkedIn are just plain text – how boring is that? Build a visual profile and you’ll instantly stand out.
This LinkedIn feature (called “Professional Portfolio”) allows you to share presentations, photos, videos, links, PDFs, and more. So use it to your advantage and show off your creative work!
Make sure you include current links to your company site, your Twitter account, Facebook page, any of your other social sites.
I find that a significant number of people who check out my LinkedIn profile go on to follow me on Twitter!
LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful vehicle to make monster connections for a chance to do big busines. I myself am on LinkedIn everyday to see what business opportunities I can be a part of, it has been a big part of me growing my own business. Interested in finding out more strategies on how to Use LinkedIn for Sales Prospecting? Connect with me on LinkedIn today! Good luck guys.
Great tips. I'm surprised that more people don't review their LinkedIn profile. So many people have no profile picture or the default headline.
I know I need to spend some time updating my profile because as with many other entrepreneurs, my business has changed over time. I need to make sure that is reflected in my profile.
Thanks so much Laura! Yes many people don't take the time to really create a proper profile on LinkedIn. I think they don't truely understand the value of LinkedIn and how one can aquire leads through this very powerful social media channel. If they did...I know we'd see more and more amazing profiles. Thank you again for your kind comment.