Is your LinkedIn profile attracting or repelling your ideal client?
First off we need to define WHY we’re on LinkedIn.
A lot of folk get on LinkedIn, fill out the profile without thinking too hard, and then do a few activities here and a few more there, and then guess what…they don’t see any results!
To get results we first need to ask ourselves what are our objectives… “Why am I on LinkedIn?”, “What do I want to achieve?”.
So, what does that look like?
You might decide “I want to grow my consulting business to 20 clients a month”, or “I want an annual ROI of 6 or 7 figures”.
That’s a great start….but HOW do we get to that?
The next step will be to define both your short term and long term goals for LinkedIn….
“I want to use LinkedIn/Sales Navigator to find 20 clients per month. To do this I’m going to reach out to xx people per day, or xx per week and I’m going to do that for 3 months/6 months/9 months.”
If you’ve got your ‘why’ and ‘how’ worked out, you’ve got the start of a successful campaign!
Here are 5 profile tips for a successful 2023.
I am going to be blunt here because I am more than a little perturbed. There is a lot of misinformation out there about LinkedIn profiles. I know because I have asked a few hundred people about it…and boy, I got some insight and a few expletives!
And, this is the part that makes me mad…when I surveyed those hundreds of people about their profiles on LinkedIn, I kept hearing a few common responses:
“Guru X or Influencer Y said I only need a background photo, headline, and a sales letter in my About summary…"
Of course, they didn’t really say “Guru X” or “Influencer Y”. They gave me an actual name, but I went ahead and changed the name to protect the guilty.
If you have studied marketing and publishing at all, you probably know what I mean when I say “Guru”. These folks do their best to create this impression that you need to have the bare minimum to attract, pre-qualify and close those that view your profile.
They would have you believe that they are like some modern-day sorcerer that can turn lead into gold.
Well, here’s the thing – they are sorta half-right.
Because once you learn how to write a great profile, then you literally can sit down, write some words out, and then watch those words turn into big-time cash.
Ok, not really, but it’s the foundation of a great marketing and branding campaign.
1: The Good News…
OK, first things first – there is a LOT of money to be made on LinkedIn.
A great profile has the power to completely transform a business. If a business is just starting out, it can put that business on the map. If a business is slowly dying on the vine, a great profile can be the start to turning that business around.
Are competitors giving you problems? Well, you know the answer – you are just one profile makeover away from leaving your competitors in your dust.
Case Study: My good friend and colleague Bob Lovely (now passed) had an executive career coaching business — something that could easily be viewed as a commodity. When you are selling a commodity, consumers tend to “price shop,” looking for the lowest price they can find. Bob repositioned his profile and started publishing consistently since June 2014, something his competitors didn’t do. Suddenly he became a “category of one”, which made it impossible for his coaching prospects to “price shop”, therefore making price irrelevant to his ideal client.
Outcome: He consistently made six figures a year organically only using LinkedIn, articles, and Gmail.
How did he do it? He knew his ideal client inside and out.
Take a moment to think through exactly who it is you want to target. Who is your ideal customer or client? If you answered “everybody”, “any business owner”, or “every U.S.-based sales executive”, that’s NOT the right answer.
Get the picture?! If all you can come up with is the above, take a closer look at your clients right now. Think about the types of people you really like working with and who are your best clients from a financial perspective. Now it’s time to build a real prospect profile.
Here are a few questions you should answer:
- What are your target industries and geographic areas
- What company size is the right fit for you? One man shop? Only companies with more than 50 employees?
- What types of position titles does your buyer usually hold? Come up with the top 10-15 positions that you target.
- What level of annual revenue do your best clients have? Make sure they can pay you!
- What are the biggest challenges or desires your ideal client faces as it relates to [x]?
- What are the top three things that keep them up at night?
- What types of products or services [in this area] have they already tried? What did they like or dislike?
- What factors do they consider when purchasing a product or service?
- What are their top 3 goals as it relates to [x]?
- What keywords are they using to find your product or services that solves their problems?
- Why do your existing customers work with you? Need help brainstorming - ask your clients! Do customer interviews!
2: Spend Time on Your Headline
Your headline is the single most important piece of your profile. 99% of your activities on LinkedIn are tied to your profile. What they see first is your photo and headline.
If you blow it here, then the rest of your profile can be pure gold, and IT WON’T MATTER.
Because if your headline doesn’t work, then no one will be compelled to read on or, worse yet, even view your profile.
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- Providing Small Physical Therapy Private Practices Online & Offline Marketing to Drive Growth 🚀 E-Rehab.com Founder
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- Providing Innovative Solutions to Retirement Income Planning for Federal & Aviation Employees ✈ Ask Me How!
- Visionary Biotechnology Leader Pursuing Cures and Treatments for Infectious Diseases, Cancers, and Monogenic Disorders 🔬 15 Years Developing Gene and Cell Therapies 🧬 CEO at American Gene Technologies®
3: What’s In It For Me?
Does any of this sound like you? Your ‘About’ section sings like a Toby Keith song, "I Wanna Talk About Me," or worse yet, it's in 3rd person?
C’mon folks, this isn’t 2009!
Your ‘About’ section is the ideal location to share your story in FIRST PERSON, what you do, who you do it for, and the outcome or results you get for your clients/customers.
Ultimately your prospects want to know what's in it for them when working with you over your competition, so focus on the clients you serve.
TIP: It is important, but optional, to share your most important value proposition, HOOK or call to action in the first three lines before the prospect clicks on 'see more.' Make it exciting or irresistible! It will compel them to read the rest of your copy.
Great 'ABOUT' sections:
4: The Reader’s Path
This is one that even some of the “experts” miss… your readers will take different paths through your profile.
In fact, they will have an almost infinite number of paths through your copy. But there are TWO PATHS that your copy ABSOLUTELY must be written for…
The Linear Path and The Skimmers Path
Some of your prospects will read the entire profile straight through from top to bottom. This is the easy one that most people write for.
However, many entrepreneurs (even some of the gurus) completely forget about the Skimmers… and depending on your market and your message, the Skimmers might represent the MAJORITY of your readers.
You NEED to write for both the Linear readers and the Skimmers. If you don’t, you will kill your opportunities.
If you can hook both types of readers (and maybe even CONVERT those Skimmers to Linear readers)… then you really have a winner.
Here is the formula for a great profile beyond the 'Headline' and 'About' Summary:
- Use copywriting techniques for your headlines and copy in ALL sections
- Brainstorm keywords and use them casually in your copy, especially in your Skills section (HINT: LinkedIn says this helps you get found organically). More on this coming up.
- Use most of the characters available to you. The About Summary is 2600 characters, and the other sections use 1000 characters.
- Break up your copy with headings, bullet points, emojis, bold type, and color
- Use only 2-4 short sentences per paragraph - chunky paragraphs are hard to read on mobile devices
- Fill out ALL sections - It’s an H2H (human to human) touch. Let people in! The more they know, like, and trust, the easier it is to convert a conversation into a sale.
Here’s how to find those all important keywords
Let’s remind ourselves that LinkedIn is a search engine and if you want your prospects to find you, you’ve got to think like them. So remember,
- What are the keywords your prospects are typing in to find your products and services?
- What problems do your prospects have that you can solve?
- What desire can your product or service fulfil?
Select up to 50 keywords for the SKILLS section. When you’ve worked out the keywords to showcase your expertise and authority on the subject matter, don’t just shove them in, sprinkle them strategically across your profile.
Having trouble coming up with the keywords? If you have one great keyword, see if you can break it down even further..
For example, Social Media Marketing can become ‘4’ keywords:
- Social Media Marketing
- Social Media
- Social Marketing
All of these will get attention in the search or the organic newsfeed - Boom!
H.E.A.T 🔥 for profiles
Here’s my guide for creating the winning profile, I call it HEAT..
Human. Expertise. Authority. Trust
H - Human
- Profile Photo - YOU! 99% of your activities on LinkedIn are tied to your profile. It’s the first thing people are going to see, so make sure it’s a photo of YOU! Not a photo of your company logo, your family, your family dog or your vacation! Take your photo face forward, smiling and wear something you would wear to your first in-person meeting with a potential customer. Keep it neutral, no busy backgrounds, blur out all the noise, or add a colourful background…let people focus on your face.
- Accomplishments - People often forget to fill out these sections, and yet there’s so much you can include here. If you have honors and awards or Publications you have written, or that have been written about you or your company, add them in. What about the projects you're particularly proud of, and your client success stories?
- Other - Include your volunteer work and the organizations you belong to or support monetarily.
Keep in mind it’s a human profile and people want to believe you’re likeable.
This is the chance to showcase your expertise…
- What do you do and how did you get there? Why are you the expert?
- What is your backstory? Don’t give a sales pitch or a work experience summary, show why you are the expert at what you do.
You can add this to your ‘About’ summary and it can be included in other sections too such as your Featured section, Work Experience and Projects.
It’s great to tout some of your successes, but expertise doesn’t cut it alone, let’s take it further and include the Authority…
A - Authority
Expand on your expertise to showcase your authority:
- Who do you help and how do you help them?
- Define how you’re different from the competition. Do this by researching who the competition is both on and off LinkedIn. Then make it clear what YOU can offer in your profile and content (knowing they won’t get it from anyone else).
- Explain the outcomes you can provide - add this to your Headline, About Summary, Background Photo and Experience.
- To expand on this even further, tell them in your ‘About’ summary to check out your successes, client stories, or testimonials in the Project section. This drives people to read the rest of your profile.
T - Trust
Treat the Projects section differently.
- Showcase your successes in a story format … the CV/Resume look is long gone.
- Use the Problem, Agitate, Solution (PAS) formula to bring people into your world and add the stories to your Recommendations.
- LinkedIn recommends a minimum of 10 Recommendations in your profile with keywords.
To hear Tracy talk about PAS and how to get those recommendations, listen to the webinar ‘How to create the perfect LinkedIn profile for 2023” at 23:00 minutes in.
Here’s the perfect example of a profile banner - before and after!
5: Promotional Activity
This is something that so many people mess up… well, it just has to be on my list of steps.
The big problem for most people is that they optimize their profile, and that’s it; they don’t do anything; they just reposition it and HOPE for the best.
This is a big-time mistake.
First, there is a reason for a CTA in many of the profile sections…. and it’s not a “build it, and they will come strategy.” I call that HOPE MARKETING.
You build value, expertise, and solutions in your profile, and after that… you need to cross-promote it and get active.
Of course, there is much more to this subject than I can go into in this article, but take it from me… you need to have a plan for how you will promote yourself, and you need to have a structure for how you do this.
(This is where Dux-Soup can help - get started with their FREE 14-day trial, which includes ALL the features, and you can be nurturing your prospects in no time).
Again, this is NOT rocket science, and you cannot guarantee LinkedIn will organically promote you… but you can’t ignore it either.
Here are some suggestions:
- Alert your email list of the updated profile- This strategy is all that my good friend Bob Lovely did to make a healthy five figures each month in coaching fees. He did not have a smartphone, website, or fancy software. He used Gmail and the power of LinkedIn only.
- Cross-share to all your other social media, website, and email signatures
- Get Active by posting content in the newsfeed and driving them to “ring the bell” in your profile, starting a newsletter (articles), comment on others’ content and articles.
- Grow your audience. Often your connection request approval rates are tied to what’s in your profile (Hint: know, like, trust)
So, what has any of this got to do with Dux-Soup? Well let me tell you.
I use Dux-Soup Pro. Here’s how:
- In Sales Navigator I segment out my 1st degree connections into lists.
- Then I create a message that’s applicable to EVERYONE in my list and use Dux-Soup to automatically send the messages.
- The messages are sent out over a few days so my LinkedIn account stays healthy.
- When someone responds, I send a manual, personal reply back.
Strategize (using OpenProfile in Sales Navigator only)
- I find the groups I want to belong to and follow them.
- I then use Sales Navigator to send free InMails to a demographic within the group, using the Sales Navigator filter and then I refine.
- Here’s the best part…I can send 40-50 messages per day to those who have an Open Profile….for FREE !
Dux-Soup can even find the OpenProfiles for you. Here’s how…
In the Actions tab, select ‘Send InMail during visits using SalesNavigator or Recruiter’. Add your subject line and message…
Then go to the Skipping tab and select ‘Skip if not an OpenLink member’...
My Dux-Soup Success Stories
Want to know what success looks like? Here are a couple of examples…
To hear Tracy talk about how she used Dux-Soup to get these results, listen to the webinar at 39:16 minutes ‘How to create the perfect LinkedIn profile for 2023” .
Obviously, this article is more an “expose” than an end-to-end guide. My goal was to open your eyes and clear up many misconceptions about LinkedIn Profiles.
That’s it for now… now it’s time for you to get to work on a profile that sells!
Need some help? Grab my free Ultimate 30-Point LinkedIn Profile Checklist Here!
Oh, before I go…
BONUS: Possible New Profile Features (Premium Members Only)
Last month I was honored to be on an opinion panel for potential new profile features. Let’s just say that some of these will be a GAME CHANGER for many, especially for entrepreneurs and those working in the gig economy.
Here’s a taste:
- Customized Styling for Premium Profiles: You won’t want to be a freemium member anymore. Get exclusive access to customizable text formatting to personalize your profile. Stand out in search results (and through your activities) by changing font colors, adding italics, and bolding words. ALSO, add personality by turning your background photo into a carousel with multiple photos.
- Badges in Highlights Section: Think Google Reviews for LinkedIn!
- Advanced About Section: With a premium account, you can elevate the details that help you stand out above your competition by adding tabs to this section. You can share what makes you, your company, product, or service unique. Go beyond text-only descriptions by uploading images, videos, and hyperlinked URLs to tell your story.
- Focused Viewer Mode: Help your profile stand out, Ad-free and distraction-free! Ads and other competitive profiles similar to yours (People Also Viewed) will be removed so those viewing your profile will see you and you alone.
- Custom Profile CTA’s: Customize your primary CTA button on your profile to drive viewers to take the desired action (think webinar, free guide, calendar, membership, event, linktree to all your offerings)
You can see how these look in reality by heading to the webinar recording - at 29:10 minutes ‘How to create the perfect LinkedIn profile for 2023” .
About the Author - Tracy Enos
Tracy Enos is one of the world’s top LinkedIn Experts and a single Mom of 4. She has helped 1000’s of clients all over the globe generate millions of dollars in business, without spending a cent on paid advertising.