When a prospect arrives on your LinkedIn profile, are they inspired to take action and reach out to you?
For most people, the answer to this question is a resounding NO. Nobody will dispute the value and importance of a first impression but there’s a disconnect in the way many perceive first impressions online.
Let’s be clear…if a random prospect arrives on your LinkedIn profile and they aren’t inspired to take some sort of action, whether it’s connecting with you or going to your website, you’ve failed to make a great first impression.
Sound harsh? Maybe it is, but the truth will help you if you use it to improve yourself rather than accept defeat.
4 Elements of a Great LinkedIn Profile
What does it take to have a truly great LinkedIn profile? I believe it’s a combination of four essential elements.
- Are you an authority in your field? Show us the evidence.
- Optimization for LinkedIn search. It’s not helpful having a great LinkedIn profile if nobody ever sees it.
- Do you create enough of an impact to be memorable and inspire the right people to take action?
- A connection to your target market. When the right people land on your profile, can they clearly see you are the person that can solve the problem they have? Make sure that is obvious.
Step 1: Create a Killer LinkedIn Profile Headline
The ideal LinkedIn profile headline heavily relies on those same four elements: credibility, search optimization, impact and connecting to your target market.
Let’s take a look at mine as an example:
- It establishes credibility quickly. I mentioned the fact that I’m a #1 international bestselling author. Obviously that’s a major credibility booster for anyone of my ideal clients so I put that front and center.
- It’s optimized for search. Notice how I mentioned the keywords “LinkedIn Expert”, “Keynote Speaker” and “Social Selling” as these are terms I want to rank high for in LinkedIn search.
Step 2: Write Your Summary Section
Your summary section is where the real meat of your profile lies. You’ve captured the reader’s attention if they’ve gotten this far so it’s time to make a connection to your perfect prospect.
I believe a great LinkedIn summary should be written in first person, as if you were speaking directly to your ideal clients. It’s important to have the keywords you want to be found for sprinkled throughout your summary section to help improve your rankings.
WARNING: Whatever you do, don’t resort to keyword stuffing any part of your LinkedIn profile. This is where you’re blatantly repeating the terms you want to be found for without actually integrating them into the copy. This does not leave the right impression and looks horrendous.
Step 3: Get a Professional Profile Image
Did you know that you are 11 times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have a picture? Many people won’t accept connection requests or even bother engaging with profiles that don’t have a picture.
Make sure your profile photo is simple, professional and only has you in the picture. Leave the personal photos and group shots for Facebook.
Step 4: Add a Cover Photo
Look at that beautiful visual real estate above your profile. How could you ever consider not taking advantage of this?
Do yourself a favor and have the image professionally designed so that it has maximum impact. Your profile picture should focus on you but you can use your LinkedIn cover image to showcase your business.
Step 5: Fill Out Your Contact Info
Update your contact info to include your email, phone number, Twitter ID and your website(s). Also make sure you get a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile (eg. LinkedIn.com/in/yournamehere).
PRO TIP: You’ll want to avoid using the canned labels for your website links such as “Personal Website” or “Company Website”. Here’s a comparison of what I’ve done vs. the standard option.
To do this, select “Other” in the drop down menu when editing your website links under Contact Info. I suggest writing something that describes what can be expected when they click the link. Notice how I’ve taken the opportunity to promote my free webinar and LinkedIn Master Class.
6. LinkedIn Publisher Posts
I love LinkedIn’s Publishing platform so much that I wrote an article describing ten reasons you should be using it. Shortly after publishing that article I stumbled across an amazing study that reveals the most common dominators among the top 3000 posts.
Having high quality original content published on LinkedIn will create a memorable impact with new prospects that are just finding you and establish your credibility in a powerful way. If your content is popular, it further adds to your credibility as an influencer when they start snooping around your profile.
7. Current Experience
Your current work experience should include information about your company and the services you offer.
Make sure it also includes:
- Keywords in the title field
- Keywords in the description
- A clear call to action
8. Past Experience
Include at least a few of your past positions to make your profile look complete and fully optimized for search results.
Make sure your relevant past positions include:
- Keywords in title field
- Keywords in description
- Minimum of one paragraph in the description outlining what you did in that position and include any accomplishments
Adding Slideshow presentations and video to your profile will quickly set you apart from the competition and add a personal and visual element to your profile. People will immediately feel more comfortable with you when they can see your face and hear your voice, even if it’s only a video.
10. Skills & Endorsements
The skills section has a few important functions that will allow you to increase your level of social proof and improve your search ranking. Be sure to:
- Have a minimum of 10 skills added to your profile
- Think keywords as you choose your skills
- Endorse others as many will reciprocate and endorse you
LinkedIn Profile Makeover Service
Need help creating a killer LinkedIn profile? If you’re socially savvy and have a way with words, you can always check out my free guide or you can opt for our LinkedIn Profile Makeover service and have a pro do it for you.