Having a LinkedIn profile is no longer enough, especially if no one is seeing it. Or worse, people are seeing your profile but it does a poor job of representing you and what you do.
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 lead generation.
According to LinkedIn, your profile may already show up with All-Star status.
Sadly, that means nothing at all. It could simple mean you’ve added the various sections into your profile, perhaps with little to nothing in those sections, yet it still shows all-star status giving you a false sense of your professional presence.
To me an all-star profile means that you…
- Are easily found when someone searches for what you do
- Your profile intrigues people, makes them want to connect and learn more about you
In this article, I am going to show you exactly how to have true all-star status with a comprehensive step-by-step LinkedIn profile infographic so you can visually make sense of what it takes to truly have an all-star profile.
In following the steps laid out in this article and infographic, you will be able to create a professional, search-optimized LinkedIn profile, while also turning your profile into a lead generation magnet.
In fact, doing this is so vital that I recommend that you don’t start actively using LinkedIn for social selling until you have done this.
Google Search Results
What is the first thing a prospective client will do when they want to know more about you?
They will Google your name.
Did you know that your LinkedIn profile will show up very high in the search results (often in the top spot) and usually before your website?
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.
Remember, LinkedIn is not Twitter or Facebook and the impression you give must be a professional one. It must speak to what you do and your credibility.
LinkedIn Marketing: Attract Your Ideal Clients with Your LinkedIn Profile
When re-writing your LinkedIn profile, it’s essential that you know who your ideal clients are, so that you can create a client-focused profile.
A misconception you may have when writing your LinkedIn profile is that it should be all about you, like your resume or professional CV. When in fact, your profile should speak directly to your ideal clients.
People are much more interested in what you can do for them, than they are about you. Remember they are thinking: WIIFM (what’s in it for me).
Make sure that within your profile you identify exactly who your ideal clients are, as well as the specific problems/challenges they face and how you can solve them.
Choosing Keywords for Your LinkedIn Profile
If you want to get found on LinkedIn when people are searching for what you offer (rather than searching for you in particular), then you need to think about the keywords they may use in their search on LinkedIn.
On LinkedIn people tend to look for people, rather than things or information like they would on Google. For example, on Google someone may search for “How to create a great LinkedIn profile” or “LinkedIn marketing ideas” whereas on LinkedIn they may search for a “LinkedIn expert” or “LinkedIn profile writer” or “LinkedIn marketing consultant”.
So, when you are adding keywords throughout your profile, think specifically about the words and keyword phrases your ideal clients would be using on LinkedIn vs on Google.
How to Create an All-Star LinkedIn Profile [Infographic]
Feel free to share this LinkedIn profile infographic anywhere on the web 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 a great LinkedIn profile. 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 marketing infographic, let me expand on some of the most important sections within your profile to ensure you understand exactly what is needed to have a professional presence that attracts your target audience.
1. LinkedIn Cover Photo
Have a professionally designed cover photo to take advantage of this LinkedIn profile feature, which will help you create a consistent and professional looking personal brand.
Keep in mind that your cover photo should not only reflect your personal brand, but it can also be a great place to quickly and easily let people know a little more about who you are and what you offer. It is also a good place to add an appropriate call-to-action.
2. Professional Profile Photo
The first and most important thing you need to remember is that first impressions are everything, especially online. Personal branding starts with a professional headshot, you have only seconds to make a positive impression.
You need to ensure that your profile image will convey the impression that you want to make.
Here are some pointers for a better profile image:
- Look straight ahead at the camera
- Smile, show some teeth
- Have a clean, plain background
- Dress appropriately for your profession and audience
- Your picture should include only you
3. Your Name
Your name field should include nothing other than your name.
Adding something other than your name in the name field is a violation of LinkedIn’s Terms of Service and can get your account restricted. But beyond this breach of contract, using something other than your name makes you harder to find, looks unprofessional, and reduces your credibility.
LinkedIn’s Terms of Service state that it is unacceptable to add personal information such as email addresses or phone numbers, or to use symbols, numbers, or special characters.
There are exceptions. These include things such as suffixes, e.g. Ph.D., as well as former names, maiden names, and nicknames (as these can make it easier to find you by those who know you).
4. Your LinkedIn Headline
Your headline is the MOST important part of your LinkedIn profile. You have 120 characters to make your ideal prospects and clients want to learn more about you.
Using one or two keywords, create a headline that will generate interest and encourage your connections to want to click on your profile to learn more about you.
It is not enough to show up in the search results as many other profiles will be also be listed.
You must also stand out and capture the attention of your ideal clients. This would include having a compelling statement to capture your readers’ attention and intrigue them enough to want to click on your profile and learn more about you.
Your headline may include any of the following:
- Highlights of your credibility
- Insights into what you do and for whom
- Outcomes/solutions you offer clients
- Keywords you want to be found for
5. Standout Summary Section
Like your headline, you want the first couple of sentences of your Summary section to catch attention and make your ideal clients curious to learn more about you and click See more to read your entire summary section.
If you don’t grab their attention, they will click away, and the opportunity is lost.
6. Have 500+ Connections
While you only want to fill your network with high quality connections, it is important to work on building your network to over the 500+ level.
This is important both as social proof but also as it will allow you find or be found by more of your ideal clients. Remember that you can only be found by people who are your 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree connections or that you share a common LinkedIn Group with.
7. Post LinkedIn Publisher Articles
It is extremely easy for anyone viewing your profile to see just how active… or rather inactive you are on LinkedIn. A great way to stay active and visible, if you write articles, is by posting regularly to LinkedIn Publisher.
This activity will help keep you top of mind with your connections, which is crucial to relationship-building.
8. Share Regular Status Updates
Another great way to ensure that you look active on LinkedIn is to post regular Status Updates.
Not only will this help you look active and stay top of mind, but it will also generate engagement and conversation with your connections.
9. Write in First Person
No matter to whom you are selling, whether it’s a small business or a large company, the decision is made by a person. People connect with people, not brands.
For this reason, you should always write your Summary in the first person.
Even though it is business-oriented, LinkedIn is still a social network, so don’t forget to be social. One way to do this is to write in the first person, not in the third person.
10. Summary Section: Credibility Section
In the first couple paragraphs share a little bit about: who you are, your story, why you do what you do, and your background.
Mention accomplishments that will enhance your credibility such as media attention, publications, well-known clients, years of experience, or anything else that makes you stand out. This establishes your credibility in what you do.
11. Summary Section: Ideal Clients—Problem—Solution
Next, identify your ideal clients. You want to ensure that once your ideal clients land on your profile, they will self-select themselves after realizing that you are someone they need to connect with.
You do this by being specific about the types of clients you work with and then speak directly to them and their problems/challenges as well as the solutions you offer.
12. Summary Section: Call-To-Action
Finally, have a clear call-to-action—tell your viewers (leads, prospects) exactly what you want them to do next.
If you miss this part, you are leaving it to chance that they will take action. People often have the best of intentions and plan to follow up, yet usually don’t.
Do you want them to call you or perhaps email you? Tell them exactly what they should do next.
13. Summary Section: Rich Media
LinkedIn has a rich media feature that allows you to add videos, SlideShare presentations, and PDFs.
Adding multimedia to your summary section makes your profile look more visually appealing and provides viewers more information about you.
14. Contact Info: Vanity URL
By default, LinkedIn will automatically create a URL for you. The URL will include your first name, dot, last name, forward slash, a series of numbers with a dash, and another string of numbers.
A vanity URL lets you change the unique link from random, hard to remember letters and numbers to something simple and memorable, like your name.
You should change the URL you are given to a vanity URL. If at all possible, you should select your name for your vanity URL. If your name is not available, try adding a middle initial or a designation at the end.
15. Contact Info: Websites
In your contact information, you can include your website.
Customize the website label instead of it showing only as “Company Website.”
LinkedIn gives you three spots to include websites, so if you have more than one website, include up to three of them in this section. If you only have one website, you can still take advantage of all three.
For example, you may set one to go to your homepage, another to a service page, or perhaps to a landing page for a download you are offering. This will encourage people to visit the specific pages where you can provide more information about your business offerings.
16. Contact Info: Email
Adding your email(s) to your contact info can make it easy for potential prospects to contact you.
Unfortunately, it can also make it easy for spammers to spam you as well. Thankfully, LinkedIn allows you to be able to choose whether or not you wish to share your email, depending on your preference.
17. Contact Info: Twitter Profile
If you have a Twitter account and are active, it is a great idea to include your Twitter handle. This allows people to easily check you out to learn more about you and contact you on Twitter, which is a more casual setting.
18. Your Current Experience
This section describes what you’re doing right now in your business or your current position. Just like the Summary section, you have 2,000 characters to describe your current work experience, so make sure you make full use of them.
First, begin with a couple paragraphs that highlight your company and anything that positions showcases your businesses credibility in your industry.
Share the most compelling information about your company here. You can also provide information that highlights the benefits clients receive in working with you.
Next you could list the services you provide. This is another good spot for keyword optimization.
If you have well-known clients or brands you’ve worked with include a list of them, otherwise list the types of clients you work with.
19. Your Current Experience: Call-To-Action
Lastly, in your current work experience description, include a call-to-action.
You can use the same call-to-action that you created in the summary section, or a variation of it, and add it to the bottom of your current work description section.
20. Your Current Experience: Add Video
Like in your Summary section, you will want to add multimedia to your profile to make your profile look more visually appealing and provide viewers more information about you. A great way to do this is by adding videos to your profile.
Adding video to your profile is very effective in humanizing you, building trust and connecting with your viewers. You can also include a product video, a company video, or a testimonial video.
21. Your Current Experience: Add Other Rich Media
You will want to include other forms of rich media to your current experience as well as video, such as slideshows and PDFs.
PDFs can be white papers or marketing materials describing your products or services. You can also include SlideShare presentations with content you want to share.
If you do add multimedia, be sure the content is both relevant and professional in appearance.
22. Past Experience
Your LinkedIn profile should include at least a few of your past positions, to have a complete and professional presence.
Your Past Experience section does not require very detailed descriptions however to make your profile look complete and professional include at least a short paragraph describing what you did and any accomplishments during that time.
23. Volunteer Experience
If it is relevant, you should add any volunteer experience you may have. Depending on the industry or situation, this can add credibility, count as experience or just provide readers with more information about who you are and what is important to you.
24. Skills & Endorsements
While the Skills section does not have the same weight and credibility as the Recommendations section, it will increase your level of social proof and improve your search ranking.
Did you know that members that have listed their Skills on their profile receive up to 17 times more profiles views than those who don’t? In addition, it certainly enhances your social proof when you receive a high number of endorsements for your 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 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:
- looks professional and complete
- further establishes your credibility and authority
- helps your ideal clients to know, like andtrust you
One such section is Publications, which is an excellent place to showcase your authority on your topic.
In this section, include content or resources you have created which are of value to your ideal clients. These could include books, eBooks, reports, whitepapers, or articles you have written.
27. Honor & Awards
Adding any honors and awards you and your business have received is an excellent way to establish your authority and credibility.
Start LinkedIn Marketing & Social Selling with a Great LinkedIn Profile
I hope you enjoyed this LinkedIn profile infographic and that it will be helpful to you in creating a complete and professional LinkedIn profile. Having a great profile is essential for your success with LinkedIn marketing (especially if you are using it for social selling) and it will improve your overall personal brand and make a great online impression.
Whether you are a student, job seeker, business owner, salesperson, marketer, professional or executive, LinkedIn is one of the first places people will go to learn more about you. Take control of your personal brand and enhance your credibility by using the tips shared in this LinkedIn profile infographic to create a professional presence.
If you found this LinkedIn profile infographic helpful, please share this via social media to help others with their LinkedIn marketing efforts.
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