When an ideal client finds you in the LinkedIn search results, do you stand out and catch their attention? Do they want to know more about you and click to visit your profile?
And when they land on your profile, are they inspired to take action and connect with you?
For most people, the answer to these questions is a resounding NO.
While I am sure you will not disagree on the value and importance of a first impression, you may not fully understand:
- just how critical it is to your success on LinkedIn
- how quickly it happens online (3 seconds)
- and how hard it is to change a bad first impression.
Especially if you are trying to generate leads from LinkedIn.
Let’s be clear…if an ideal client 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.
Perhaps. But acknowledging and understanding this truth will help you if you use this LinkedIn tutorial to do a makeover to your profile, rather than accept defeat.
Four elements of a great LinkedIn profile
What does it take to have a truly great LinkedIn profile? I believe it’s a combination of these four essential elements:
- It speaks directly to your ideal clients. When your ideal clients land on your profile, can they clearly see you are the person who can solve their problem? Make sure you directly address their top of mind challenge and position your solution using the language they use when discussing it.
- It captures attention and generates curiosity. With just under a billion users, you need to stand out on LinkedIn, if you want people to click on your profile and learn more about you. Standing out can be as simple as a professional and complete profile that focuses on your ideal clients.
- It establishes your authority. People buy from people they like, know, and trust. One of the best ways to help people to know, like and trust you is by establishing your authority on your topic by sharing your experience, accomplishments, accolades and content.
- It provides social proof. People hate taking risks. Social proof helps to lessen the feeling of risk, especially online. Provide your ideal clients with social proof in the form of recommendations and skill endorsements.
Be sure to keep these four elements in mind when you begin your LinkedIn profile makeover.
LinkedIn Tutorial: Makeover Your Profile in 10 Steps
Step 1: Headline
No LinkedIn tutorial would be complete without mentioning that one of your most important opportunities to stand out, generate interest and speak directly to your ideal clients is by creating an attention grabbing LinkedIn headline.
This is vital as you only have three seconds to capture attention with your LinkedIn profile headline. It needs to make them want to know more about you and, hopefully, encourage them to connect with you.
Keep in mind that you only have 120 characters, so make sure your ideal clients can quickly identify that you offer what they’re looking for.
You can do this when crafting your headline by including the keywords you want to be found for – aka the keywords your ideal clients will use when they search for someone who does what you do.
You can also begin to establish your authority here. In my example below, you can see in the beginning of my headline I have #1 Bestselling author for my books LinkedIn Unlocked and LinkedIn for Students, Graduates and Educators.
This immediately helps establish my authority on my topic.
Additional Reading: How to Write the Perfect LinkedIn Headline
Step 2: Profile image
Did you know that you are 11 times more likely to have your profile viewed if you have a profile photo? 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. Your LinkedIn profile photo should NOT include:
- your family or friends
- your pets
- your logo
To help 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
Additional Reading: How to Write Your LinkedIn Profile to Capture Attention [Plus Infographic]
Step 3: Cover photo
LinkedIn provides excellent visual real estate at the top your profile – aka your cover image. It is a critical mistake to not taking advantage of this.
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. Have the image professionally designed so that it has maximum impact.
While your profile picture should focus on you, use your LinkedIn cover image to showcase your business.
Step 4: About section
A key step in this tutorial on LinkedIn, the About section is where the real meat of your profile lies.
Understand that the first couple of sentences of this section must catch readers’ attention and pique their curiosity so they will click the …see more link to read your entire About section.
The top of your About section is an important place to begin establishing your authority and credibility with readers. In the first few paragraphs, share information such as who you are, your expertise, why you do what you do.
It is helpful to mention accomplishments that enhance 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.
It is important to also identify your ideal clients in your About section and speak directly to them and their core problem(s) as well as offering a solution to solve their problem(s).
At the end of this section, add a clear call to action telling them how they should contact you.
Note that you have 2,600 characters that you can use to write a compelling and client-focused About section. Increase your effectiveness with this section by writing it in first person – as though you are speaking directly to your ideal clients.
Step 5: Contact info
Update your contact info to include your current email and your website(s).
Even if you only have one website, take advantage of the opportunity to include two additional key pages from your site such as your services or contact pages. It’s important that you customize the names, so they don’t just display as Company website.
It is also extremely important that you create a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile (e.g. LinkedIn.com/in/YourNameHere).
Make sure you use your name, not your business, which may change in the future. You can see my URL is Linkedin.com/in/MelonieDodaro.
Step 6: Featured section
Your Featured section is an important place to help you establish your authority, generate interest and potentially provide social proof – all while speaking directly to your ideal clients.
This section provides you with a prominent shop window to visually showcase your most important features, services, or news about your business. You can add a lead magnet, a highly relevant piece of cornerstone content or an article (using LinkedIn Publisher) or a video about you or your business.
Focus on selecting two featured media items you want to highlight. This will ensure they don’t get visually cut off or hidden and you will avoid overwhelming your viewers with too much information.
Notice in the image below I lead with two valuable free resources that are highly useful to my ideal clients. And I also shine the spotlight on my core service: LinkedIn lead generation.
This information reinforces my authority in the eyes of my audience as well as builds the critical “know, like and trust” factor with them.
Step 7: Experience section
Your Experience section describes what you’re doing right now in your business or your current position and should include information about your company and the services you offer. You have 2,000 characters to do this.
At the top of the experience section include 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 list the services you provide or share information that highlights the benefits clients receive when working with you.
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.
At the bottom of the Experience section, you will want to end with a call to action, just like in your About section.
Step 8: Past Experience
Your LinkedIn profile makeover would not be complete without including at least a few of your past positions, even if what you did previously is not relevant to your current business or job.
This section does not need to be very detailed unless you want to highlight the accomplishments of a certain past position.
Step 9: Skills & Endorsements
LinkedIn members who list their skills on their profiles receive up to 17 times more profile views than those who don’t.
While the Skills section does not provide the same level of social proof as the Recommendations section, it can increase your social proof and improve your search ranking if you strategically add the keywords/skills you want to be found for in this section.
When completing your Skills section, be sure to:
- Have a minimum of 10 skills added to your profile
- Move your three most important keywords to the top
- Think keywords as you select the skills you want to add
- Endorse others (when appropriate) as many will reciprocate and endorse you
Step 10: Recommendations
There is no more powerful form of social proof on LinkedIn than recommendations. Having a minimum of three recommendations is a vital part of establishing trust and building your authority and credibility on your profile.
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 assist them by offering ideas of what you would like them to write about.
LinkedIn profile makeover service
If you follow this LinkedIn tutorial, step by step, you will create a LinkedIn profile you can be proud of – one that gets found, stands out and convinces your ideal clients to take the next step with you.
If you find writing about yourself difficult we offer a LinkedIn Profile Transformation service, where we’ve helped hundreds of busy professionals, just like you, grow their businesses with compelling profiles that…
- Increase the number of times they appear in searches
- Command their ideal prospects’ attention
- And have many of the prospects reach out to them!
We can do the same for you. Click here to learn more about our done-for-you LinkedIn profile writing service.