If your ideal clients were to look at your LinkedIn profile right now, what impression would it give them about your personal brand, your professionalism, credibility and your authority on your subject matter?
If you or your company provides the products or services that your ideal client is looking for, would your LinkedIn profile both clearly inform them of this while making them feel confident that you may be the right person to help them?
If you can’t confidently and positively answer Yes to both these questions, then it is time to revamp your LinkedIn profile so that it represents you in the way that will best serve you and your business.
This article is meant to provide you with a comprehensive LinkedIn training on how to write your profile so that it concisely lets your ideal clients, partners, and industry peers know precisely how you can help them overcome their challenges or problems.
The key to successfully building relationships and social selling (generating new leads) on LinkedIn begins with a powerful and professional presence. You must strategically write your LinkedIn profile with your ideal clients in mind, this is essential before you start connecting with prospects so that you can create an impactful first impression.
Keep in mind that you only have seven seconds to impress a prospect or connection before they click away.
To make this process simple and easy to follow, I have created a detailed outline for all of the critical sections for you to complete to stand out with a compelling LinkedIn profile.
With every LinkedIn training I offer, whether it’s to a Fortune 500 company or a group of entrepreneurs, I always start with laying the foundation with a powerful personal brand and profile. Follow these steps, and you will have much greater success with all of your endeavors on LinkedIn!
LinkedIn Training: How to Create the Perfect LinkedIn Profile
1. Add A Professional Profile Photo
Display a professional profile picture. Ensure that you are recognizable, professionally dressed, smiling, and looking straight at the camera against a neutral background. Profiles with a profile photo get 40% more views.
2. Customize Your Cover Image
Your cover photo is prime LinkedIn real estate. Make sure to capture the attention of your viewers by uploading an image that is professional and shares more about who you are and what you do.
3. Have a Compelling Headline
Your LinkedIn headline is the MOST critical part of your profile.
Ensure that your headline captures your readers’ attention and makes them want to click on your profile. You may also want to include one or two keywords that you want to be found for in a LinkedIn search.
4. Set Your Vanity URL
A vanity URL lets you change the unique link given to you from random, hard to remember letters and numbers to something simple and memorable, like your name.
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.
5. Customize Your Websites
LinkedIn gives you three spots for websites, so if you only have one website, you can still make use of all three by setting them to different pages on your website such as your blog or a product or service page. Take the time to customize each website label rather than just using the standard “Company Website” title.
6. Update Your Contact Information
Decide what contact details you want to make available. If you are seeking opportunities, you may want to make it easy for people to contact you. Relevant contact info can include your:
- Twitter account
- Business address (optional)
- Phone number (optional)
7. Summary Section
Your Summary section is the perfect place to shine and let people get to know more about you.
Until someone clicks Show more, they will only see the top of your Summary section.
In this section, you have 2000 characters available to help views get to know you better.
It’s where you can share a little about your personal story and why you chose your career path. Include information about: who you are, your story, why you do what you do, and your background.
It’s also the place where you can showcase your credibility on your topic and share your accomplishments.
This is also where you should speak directly to your ideal clients and the problems they face, and you can also share how you can help them to solve their problems.
Finally, end with a clear call-to-action to your Summary section. Tell your viewers exactly what you want them to do next.
PRO TIP: Make sure you identify exactly who your ideal clients are so that your profile immediately resonates with them. If your ideal clients are VPs of Sales, and you help them to increase their teams’ sales performance, say that in your profile. To view my entire Summary section on LinkedIn, click here. While you are there feel free to click “Follow” to get updates from me.
8. Add Rich Media
You can add multimedia to some sections within your profile including your summary and work experience. Adding rich media provides viewers with more information about you and makes your profile more interactive.
LinkedIn’s rich media feature allows you to add videos, SlideShare presentations or PDFs. Videos are especially effective at humanizing you and allowing people to get additional insights into who you are.
9. Current Experience
Your Current Experience is where you describe what you’re doing right now in your current position. A compelling current work experience section should include:
- Describe Your Company. Share the most compelling information about your company here including a USP, your mission, vision or anything that enhances the credibility of your company.
- List Your Products/Services and Benefits for Clients. You can list out the types of products and services you offer, describe who they are suited for and the benefits your clients receive as a result.
- Include a Call-to-Action. This short call-to-action can be the same as the one you use in your Summary section or it can be different but should let the viewer know what to do next.
PRO TIP: If you have multiple services or niches that you want to highlight on your profile, you can create more than one experience section within your current position. To group them together as I have (shown in the image above) you must select the exact same start date, and then LinkedIn will automatically group them together.
10. Past Work Experience
While you don’t need to list every job you’ve had, make sure to include at least some of your past experience to ensure your profile looks complete.
You don’t need to provide long descriptions for each past position, just a couple of sentences or a short paragraph will be sufficient unless you have specific achievements you want to highlight.
11. Include Your Education
Add any higher education you have completed. There is also a section for courses and certifications if you wanted to list any non-accredited training you received.
12. Add Any Volunteer Experience
Any work experience that was unpaid belongs in the volunteer experience section. List any boards you’ve served on, advisory services and any other volunteer work you have done.
13. Skills & Endorsements
Include a list of the skills you possess, both as a form of social proof (to be endorsed) but also as a place to add the skills that you want to be found for. Your three most relevant skills should be listed at the top.
14. Get Recommendations
Recommendations are a powerful form of social proof as current or past clients, colleagues and industry peers have taken the time to write, in detail, about their experience with you.
When people are deciding with whom to do business, they are often swayed by the decision’s others have made, so the more recommendations you have, the better. Quality recommendations are important. Ask for at least five to ten recommendations from credible people who can genuinely vouch for who you are and what you do.
Ensure your profile looks complete and professional by filling out all the relevant areas in your Accomplishment section such as Publications, Certifications, Courses, Projects, Honors & Awards, Patents, Test Scores, Languages, and Organizations.
These areas further establish your credibility and authority and help your viewers to know, like and trust you.
LinkedIn Training on How to Write the Perfect Profile
The last thing I want to cover is the importance of adding keywords to your profile to be found in the search results. Think about what your ideal clients would be searching for if they were looking for someone like you on LinkedIn.
For example, I serve a wide variety of clients from large companies with sales teams with my social selling training, B2B entrepreneurs and professional services providers who may be looking for a LinkedIn Expert with my books and online programs, Governments with my LinkedIn training and workshops, and conference planners as a Social Selling Speaker and LinkedIn Keynote Speaker. Each word I have underlined is a keyword I want to be found for that I have included within my LinkedIn profile.
I hope you have found this visual step-by-step LinkedIn training on how to create the perfect LinkedIn profile to be helpful and practical.
By breaking down your LinkedIn profile into small and simple steps, this will allow you to tackle each section one at a time, with a clear understanding of how you can best use it to look professional and credible to anyone who lands on your profile.
If you take the time to complete each section as outlined, you will be found by more people that will want to click on your profile to learn more about you. Many of them could be the perfect clients for you.
Once you have made these changes to your LinkedIn profile, you’ll be ready to begin to generate more leads and sales from LinkedIn. Attend a free advanced online LinkedIn training to learn how to turn connections into clients.
Inside the training, I reveal the highly effective rapport-building process that has been refined from years of testing and perfecting. Register here.