It is really easy for your lone LinkedIn profile to be overlooked among nearly a billion other LinkedIn profiles.
Having a LinkedIn profile is no longer enough. Actually, it was never enough, not if you want to stand out. If your LinkedIn profile does a poor job of capturing the attention of your target market, it’s almost the same as not having a profile at all.
Your LinkedIn profile is an essential part of your personal brand, and having a great one is a MUST if you plan to do any form of LinkedIn marketing or business building.
According to LinkedIn, your profile may already show up with the All-Star status.
Sadly, that doesn’t mean much. All you need to do to reach LinkedIn’s All-Star status is add something – anything – to the various sections of your profile without even completing it. Yet, you still have the All-Star status, giving you a false sense of having a professional presence on LinkedIn.
To me, an All-Star profile means:
- your profile intrigues people, prompting them to want to learn more about you
- when you send connection requests to people, they are so impressed by your profile that they are willing to accept your requests
- you are easily found when someone searches for what you do
In this article, with the help of a comprehensive step-by-step LinkedIn profile infographic, you’ll learn how to create a true All-Star LinkedIn profile that captures interest of the right people.
Follow the steps in this article and infographic to create a professional, captivating and optimized LinkedIn profile, transforming it into a lead generation magnet.
In fact, having a polished and professional profile is so vital that I recommend you don’t start actively using LinkedIn for lead generation until you complete this step.
What you need to know about Google search results
Today, what is the first thing YOU do when you want to learn more about someone? It’s likely you turn to Google to search their name!
What do you think the first thing a prospective client does when they want to find out more about you?
They use Google to search your name.
Your LinkedIn profile will show up very high in the search results. If the person is interested in learning more about you professionally, it’s likely your profile is the first thing they will click.
Personal branding has become a hot topic, and your personal brand is reflected in everything that shows up in Google search results and your social media profiles.
Capture the attention of ideal clients in your LinkedIn profile
There is an art and science to capturing the attention of others and then keeping it.
If you want your profile to stand out among nearly a billion other LinkedIn profiles, these skills are vital. You need to know how to grab the attention of your ideal clients with your profile and then convince them to click on it to read it.
One of the most important and powerful ways to do this is to make your profile about them – your ideal clients. You do this by talking about their goals, their challenges and their aspirations.
Before you can craft an effective, client-centric LinkedIn profile, you must know who your ideal clients are.
A misconception you (and many) may still have about LinkedIn is that your profile should be all about you, like your resume or professional CV. That’s fine if you are seeking a job, but if you are using LinkedIn for business building, your profile should be client-focused, speaking directly to the target market you want to reach.
People are much more interested in what you can do for them than they are in you personally. They are thinking WIIFM – what’s in it for me?
Make sure you identify who your ideal clients are, the specific problems/challenges they face and ways you can solve those challenges.
Establishing your authority is another important way of capturing and keeping the attention of your ideal clients. Your apparent expertise or authority will cause them to pay more attention to you than to others.
Another important strategy to keep in mind when re-writing your LinkedIn profile is to make your profile interactive. An interactive profile will more easily persuade a viewer to keep reading than a passive profile will. You can make your profile interactive by adding multimedia in a number of key sections.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile with keywords
If you want people to find you based on what you offer rather your name, you need to think about the keywords they may use in their LinkedIn searches.
On LinkedIn, people tend to look for people rather than things or information as they do on Google.
For example, on Google, someone may search for how to write a great LinkedIn profile or LinkedIn profile examples.
But on LinkedIn, they may search for LinkedIn expert, LinkedIn profile writer or LinkedIn marketing consultant.
When adding keywords throughout your profile, think about the words and keyword phrases your ideal clients would use on LinkedIn versus what they would type into a Google search.
How to Write Your LinkedIn Profile to Capture Attention
Share this LinkedIn profile infographic freely as long as you reference the source and link it back to this blog post.
Below this infographic, you will find more specific details on how to write your LinkedIn profile, including what to add in each section. Be sure to read to the end if you are committed to building a powerful personal brand and LinkedIn presence.
Now that you’ve gone through this complete LinkedIn profile infographic, let me expand on some of the most important sections within your profile to ensure you understand exactly what you need to do to have a professional presence that attracts your target audience.
1. LinkedIn cover photo
A professionally designed cover photo will help you create a consistent and professional-looking personal brand.
Your cover photo should not only reflect your personal brand but also inform people of who you are and what you offer. Let your cover photo tell the story of who you are and whom or how you help.
2. Professional profile photo
As you well know, first impressions are everything, especially online. You have seconds to make a positive impression, and a professional headshot will help you achieve that. In fact, personal branding starts with a professional headshot.
Ensure your profile image makes the right impression on your target audience.
Here are some pointers for a better profile image:
- look straight at the camera
- smile and show some teeth
- have a clean, plain background
- dress appropriately for your profession and audience
- include only you in your image
3. Your name
Include nothing but your name in the name field.
Adding something other than your name in the name field violates LinkedIn’s Terms of Service and can get your account restricted. LinkedIn’s Terms of Service state it is unacceptable to add personal information, such as email addresses or phone numbers, or to use symbols, numbers or special characters.
But beyond this breach of contract, using something other than your name makes you harder to find, looks unprofessional and reduces your credibility.
There are exceptions. These include professional/academic abbreviations, e.g., Ph.D., as well as former names, maiden names and nicknames as these can make it easier for people to find you.
4. Your LinkedIn headline
Your headline is a critical part of your LinkedIn profile. You have 120 characters to compel your ideal prospects to click further to learn more about you.
To increase your chances of showing up in the search results, include one or two keywords in your headline. But it is not enough to show up in the search results as you will be competing with many other profiles there.
You must stand out to attract your ideal clients. You can achieve that by creating a compelling statement to capture your readers’ attention and intrigue them enough so they click on your profile to learn more about you.
Your headline may include any of the following:
- evidence of your credibility
- information about what you do and for whom
- outcomes/solutions you offer clients
- keywords you want to be found for
To learn more about how to write the perfect headline, click here.
5. Contact info (vanity URL)
Within the contact info section, LinkedIn will create a default URL for you. That default URL consists of your first name, dot, last name, forward slash, a series of numbers with a dash and another string of numbers.
A vanity URL replaces that random, full of letters and numbers, hard-to-remember default link with a unique and clean link with only your name.
You should change the default URL to a vanity URL. If at all possible, select your name for your vanity URL. If your name is not available, try adding a middle initial or a designation at the end.
6. Contact info (website)
In your contact information, you can include your website(s).
Instead of leaving the default description of your website field as “Company Website,” customize it.
LinkedIn gives you three spots to include websites. If you have more than one website, include up to three of them in this section. If you have only one website, you can still take advantage of all three fields.
For example, one URL could go to your homepage, another to a service page, and a third to your lead magnet landing page. This will encourage people to visit the specific pages, where you can provide more information about your business.
Additional Reading: Transform Your LinkedIn Profile into a Client Attracting Landing Page
7. Your About section
Like in your headline, the first sentences of your About section need to catch the attention of your ideal clients and pique their curiosity so they click the …See more call to action to read your entire About section.
If you don’t grab their attention, they will click away, and opportunities will be lost.
You have a total of 2,600 characters to write a compelling and client-centric About section.
8. Write in first person
No matter to whom you are selling, whether it’s a small business or a large company, the decisions are made by people. People connect with people, not brands.
For this reason, you should always write your About section in the first person.
Even though it is business-oriented, LinkedIn is still a social network, so don’t forget to be social. One effective way to do this is to write in the first person, not in the third person.
9. About section (highlight your credibility)
In the first couple of paragraphs, share a little bit about who you are, your story, why you do what you do and your background.
Mention accomplishments enhancing your credibility, such as media attention, publications, well-known clients, years of experience, education or anything else that makes you stand out. This establishes your credibility in what you do.
10. About section (ideal clients—problem—solution)
Next, identify your ideal clients. You want to ensure that once your ideal clients land on your profile, they realize you are someone who can help them solve their current problem(s).
You achieve this by:
- being specific about the types of clients/niches you work with
- speaking directly to them and their core problems/challenges
- offering a solution to solve their problem(s).
11. About section (call to action)
Finally, at the end of your About section, have a clear call to action: tell your viewers (leads, prospects) what they should do next if they are interested in learning more about how you can help them.
If you miss this part, they will be less likely to act after reading your profile. People often have the best intentions when planning to follow up, yet they usually don’t.
Do you want them to call you or email you? Tell them exactly what they should do next.
Additional Reading: How to Use LinkedIn for Lead Generation
12. Your Featured section
The Featured section on LinkedIn can be VERY powerful to showcase your expertise.
The Featured section gives you an attractive and prominent visual opportunity to highlight your most important features, services or news about your business. It also makes your profile more visually appealing and provides interested viewers with the opportunity to get more information about you.
This is the perfect spot for a lead magnet, a really important and highly-relevant piece of cornerstone content, or an article or video about you or your business.
My recommendation is to include only two things in your Featured section to ensure they don’t get visually cut off or hidden and to avoid overwhelming your viewers with too much information. Focus on the two things you want to highlight – more than that will just be noise and go unnoticed.
13. Engage with your connections
It is important to engage with the people leaving comments for you on your status updates on LinkedIn.
Engagement helps get a conversation going, which helps build relationships and trust.
Your most recent engagement with others is also visible on your LinkedIn profile under the Activity section.
This makes it extremely easy for anyone viewing your profile to see just how active or, rather, inactive you are on LinkedIn, which can influence their opinion of you and how likely they are to reach out to you.
14. Your Current experience description
This section describes what you’re doing right now in your business or your current position. You have up to 2,000 characters to describe your current work experience and highlight your position or business. Why not make full use of them?
First, begin with a couple of paragraphs highlighting your company and showcasing your business’s credibility and expertise.
Share the most compelling information about your company here. You can also provide information that highlights the benefits clients receive when working with you.
Next, you could list the services you provide. This is another good spot to add some of the keyword phrases you’d like to be found for in a LinkedIn search.
If it is relevant, you may also want to include any well-known clients or brands you’ve worked with to enhance your social profile.
15. Your current experience (call to action)
Like in your About section, you will want to end the description of your current work experience with a call to action.
You can use the same call to action you used in the About section, or a variation of it, and add it to the bottom of your Current Work Experience section.
16. Your current experience (add multimedia)
Adding multimedia, such as videos, SlideShare presentations or PDFs, to your profile will make it more visually appealing to viewers, capturing their attention. In addition, it gives viewers the opportunity to learn more about you and how you can help them.
A great way to do this is by adding videos to your profile.
A video is very effective in humanizing you and helping you build trust and connect with your viewers. You can also include a product video, a company video or a testimonial video.
17. Your current experience (create sub-sections to highlight different services or niches)
If you offer multiple services or want to highlight more than one niche on your profile, you can create more than one experience section within your current position.
If you select the same company with the same start date for the services you provided or list them within one month of each other, LinkedIn will automatically group them together. This allows you to showcase the different services you offer with a description of each one.
Additional Reading: 5 Crucial Steps to Mastering LinkedIn Lead Generation
18. Past experience
A complete and professional LinkedIn profile should include at least a few of your past positions, even if what you did previously is not relevant to your current business or job.
Your Past Experience section does not require very detailed descriptions unless you want to highlight the accomplishments of a certain position.
19. Volunteer experience
If it is relevant, add any volunteer experience you may have. Volunteer experience refers to any unpaid positions you have held. It can enhance your credibility and allow readers to learn more about who you are and what is important to you.
20. Skills & endorsements
While the Skills section does not have the same weight and credibility as the Recommendations section, it can increase the level of social proof of your expertise and improve your search ranking if you strategically use the keywords/skills you want to be found for in this section.
Did you know that members who list their skills on their profiles receive up to 17 times more profile views than those who don’t? In addition, a high number of endorsements of your skills enhances your social proof of those skills.
Recommendations are a vital part of establishing trust and building your authority and credibility on your profile. This is the most important form of social proof on LinkedIn.
Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from people you have worked with and who can speak to your expertise and results. Be sure to personalize your request and provide ideas of what you would like them to write about.
Watch this video on how to get LinkedIn recommendations.
There are a number of different sections and categories located under Accomplishments. These areas can help ensure that your profile:
- stands out
- enhances your credibility
- helps your ideal clients to know, like and trust you
One such section is Publications – an excellent place to showcase your authority on your topic.
In this section, include content or resources you have created that are of value to your ideal clients. These could include books, eBooks, reports, whitepapers or articles you have written.
23. Honors & awards
Adding any honors and awards you and your business have received is an excellent way to establish your authority and credibility.
Capture attention and start generating leads with a great LinkedIn profile
Let this article and the accompanying LinkedIn profile infographic guide you through the creation of a complete and professional LinkedIn presence for your brand. LinkedIn is full of profiles, good and bad. Pay attention to the ones that stand out to you.
Whether you are a business owner, professional service provider, an executive, marketer or sales person, LinkedIn is one of the first places people will go to learn more about you. Take control of your personal brand and enhance your professional credibility by using the tips shared in this LinkedIn profile infographic.
Having a great LinkedIn profile is essential to successful lead generation. It will elevate your overall personal brand to ensure you make a good online impression.
If you found this article on how to write your LinkedIn profile helpful, please share it via social media to help others succeed at LinkedIn marketing. ❤️
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