LinkedIn Makeover Time: Optimising Your Profile For Lead Generation Marketing
Is your Linkedin profile optimised to be a lead magnet in attracting prospect buyers?
Whether you work in sales, marketing, new business or account management – your company is acutely missing out if you haven’t optimised your LinkedIn personal profile and company pages, to stand the best chance of converting prospect leads and attracting inbound ones.
That said it’s important to remember that the modern buyer doesn’t want to be sold to. A modern buyer wants someone that can help them solve their problems. So you need to resonate and sympathise with your prospects likely challenges and subtly convey that you could be the answer to their problems. Your LinkedIn profile needs to reflect you as a professional and as a problem solver.
As a leading new business development consultancy one of the first things we always do when onboarding new clients, is reviewing the LinkedIn profiles of the key members of their team that are actively putting themselves out there amongst their prospect universe. As the levels of return between an optimised profile for prospecting purposes and a run of the mill ‘Joe always on the lookout for another job’, profile is day and night. More often than not, we take it upon ourselves to complete full makeovers all our client’s team members that are client facing – as ultimately it just makes our jobs that much easier – given the return of increased conversion ratios
For those of you that are keen to make self-improvements to their profiles, I have summarised below a few handy tips of our trade on the path to profile optimisation.
The job of your headline is to draw your buyer in and get them to want to read your profile. In order to attract the modern buyer, your headline needs to include who you serve and the value that you bring them. If your headline is simply your job title or your company name, it can really fall flat. If your title is screaming “I’m in sales” It can actually be detrimental. So be sure that your headline is prospect-centric. If you find this difficult, here’s a little hint to make it easy, start with an action word like helping, guiding, delivering, transforming. A powerful headline can have a huge impact on connection ratios, response rates and engaging targeted buyers.
Your LinkedIn profile header image and headline is your one shot at a great first impression. It’s sad but true that many will just give you a few glancing seconds at your header as they decide whether to accept your connection or respond to your message.
One of the best ways to truly stand out from the crowd is with the custom image that surrounds your mug shot. It’s critical you take some time here to think creatively as to what you could utilise or have a designer whip up, to ensure visual or informative treat for your prospect viewing audience.
If you opt to take the informative route, you can add things like your company logo, tagline, brand colours, abstract imagery that hints at your product, service or proposition. Use the space wisely as it’s a cracking opportunity to extend and reinforce your brand.
When you come to create your own use the size guide below:
|LinkedIn Profile Cover Image||1584px x 396px – This is exactly 4:1 proportion.|
You can find more info and troubleshooting for recommended images sizes across all social networks here
With both your headline and cover image taking centre stage, we recommend where-ever possible running A/b test, using different creative combinations. This will be easy to do if by ensuring you keep track of success metrics such as connection ratios and response rates. When you find your champion versions you will be all set for a good while!
In the summary section, way too many people don’t make use of this real estate, often because when you first glance at a LinkedIn profile, it appears as if there are only two viewable lines here, when in fact you’ve actually got 2000 characters to play with here, giving you the opportunity to subtly talk about what you do by pressing on the potential pain points that your ideal prospects are likely burdened by.
We recommend you keep it lighthearted at first, also using a bit of intelligent wit and charm can go a long way here, in how you go about introducing yourself, and your business.
Given the generous character limit, LinkedIn gives us to play with here it is vital, that you strategically and creatively utilise the first sentence and a half, to entice and engage the reader to want, nay crave to click ‘Read More’. We recommend doing something trick here called the “Click to know” technique, basically structuring the sentence in a way that ensures the cutoff point on the preview, will leave the reader informed but partially in the dark wanting to know more, I have included a couple of examples below that emerged from a couple of profile makeovers we did for two of our clients…
▶ ▶ ▶ While worn out clothes only impact your image, worn out business tools impact your bottom line. What are the risks of outdated software solutions? Has your business outgrown its current system? Sanderson has decades of experience and expertise in delivering software for manufacturers like…
▶ ▶ ▶ Shopmium is a mobile media app, delivering high purchase intent engagements for over 500 grocery brands. It’s my responsibility to connect, showcase and demonstrate the results Shopmium can guarantee for UK brands. Yes, you read that right, pre-campaign Shopmium can guarantee…
The final tip for this summary section is to ensure you close it out with your contact information and suitable calls to action, we love to close it out with a calendar link, whereby engaged prospects can immediately click through to schedule an intro or demo to an empty slot in our client’s diary.
Whether you’re trying to find new prospects, strengthen existing relationships, or brand yourself as an industry leader, building your personal and business brand by optimising your LinkedIn profile will work wonders in assisting you in your quest. While LinkedIn is a platform that is crowded, if you put in the time and effort to develop a unique and attractive presence will see a huge ROI on your time, more particularly in terms of conversions, connections, and opportunities.
Don’t forget to add the all-important visuals whenever and wherever LinkedIn gives you the opportunity. You can add media such as powerpoint presentations, video, customer testimonials, product demonstrations, standout explanatory images etc. Ask yourself what media will serve best to build credibility in the eyes of your prospects. What do you look for when you’re on a mission to solve a need of your own and looking at the profile of someone who you believe could hold the answer?
Wherever and whenever you feel you don’t have an image or video, or deck to feature, that will do your company and lead generation efforts justice, then take a step back to think what would be ideal – and get it briefed into a designer or producer. As once again the juice will be well worth the squeeze.
Just like you optimise your website and blog posts, it’s important to optimise your social profiles with keywords. Especially since social profiles are some of the top results on search engines. Let’s take a look at a few places where it’s essential to include your keywords:
Your Headline, Summary, Work Experience, Website URL’s, Skills, Endorsements and Job Titles.
Keywords listed in the Headline field will have the greatest impact, increasing your ranking among other users for the same terms. LinkedIn allows you to use 120 spaces for your Headline, and using as many of the 120 as possible is the recommended smart move.
Endorsements & Recommendations
The best way to receive endorsements and recommendations is to give them first. Start by going through some of your close friend’s and colleagues LinkedIn profiles and start endorsing them for the skills and wherever possible write them a well thought out full-bodied testimonial. By making the effort and taking this step for others, they will more often than not reciprocate and do the same for you, and if needed you can also give them a nudge.
It goes without saying that having standout testimonials from authoritative industry colleagues, will go a huge way in giving you, your profile, your company and your proposition a stellar amount of credibility.
List your Skills Wisely
You need to arrange your skills according to relevance and importance both to yourself but more so to your ideal prospect. Ask yourself what will matter most to them, what do they need to be reassured that I excel in? The more skills you add, the more likely that you will be found from search. You can choose to add all 50 skills or be selective on which skills to include. Depending on how you want to brand yourself. It’s worth also periodically checking on your feature skills, and strategically deleting or adding dependent on your present focus and viewing audience.
Customise your LinkedIn Profile URL
This is your LinkedIn web address and YES you can customise it! Your URL appears when you click ‘See Contact Info’ on someone’s profile. If you do not customise your URL, LinkedIn provides you with an auto-generated URL that is a generally a long combination of letters, numbers and slashes. It’s best to claim your name or get creative.
A “professional” photo doesn’t mean a boring one. Ensure that you are smiling, you appear approachable, relaxed, and friendly because that’s just the kind of person someone would want to work with and buy from. Additionally, while this is not a hard and fast rule, it is a good idea to ensure that about 60% of the photo is taken up by your face and it is shot against a simple and clear background.
If you don’t have a suitable photo of yourself, we highly recommend getting a professional one taken, it will be well worth over the alternative of putting up a bad mugshot that will serve no purpose other than shooting yourself in the foot before your even out the gate. Whilst LinkedIn doesn’t allow it within their bylaws we’d unofficially recommend that you put up a holding image that could be a brand symbol or cartoon logo of yourself – just until you get a professional shot done.
With your makeover complete – its time to take it to market! A few tips to get you started!
DO NOT just connect with your colleagues, friends and family.
Make sure you always put aside 30 minutes each day to connect with your ideal prospects and the leaders in your industry. By doing this over a sustained period of time, you will be amazed at the value position you find yourself in, a year on when you have thousands of ideal prospect 1st connections at your fingertips – with each piece of content you share appearing on their news feeds.
The more you connect with interesting, socially active people within your market niche, the more your opportunities you will find yourself presented with, to expand and grow.
NEVER use the standard automated connect message, ALWAYS click ‘add note’ and personalise to the hilt. See our separate blog post on ‘the art of the perfect LinkedIn connect message’.
FOLLOW companies who are already your customers as well as those who would make great ideal clients.
When you optimise your LinkedIn profile for lead generation marketing and sales nurturing, it is the first step towards selling successfully on a social level. While it might seem like a daunting process and commitment at first, once you set the ball rolling, keeping in mind a few basic best practices, you can easily create that killer LinkedIn profile and amaze and engage your potential prospects into taking action.