Thursday March 20, 2014
Creating a Profile that Attracts Prospects
Its important to remember that your profile is your online branding, so you need to make sure that your profile has cohesive branding to your website and other social presences. Make sure you are using the right logo and make sure that your employees are using the right logo. You might want to create some standardized copy as a template your employees can use (if you have employees) in their profiles.
Another thing to remember is that LinkedIn is like a website, and just like you wouldn’t want spelling or grammatical errors on your website, you want to make sure that your LinkedIn profile is free of errors as well. One way to get around this is to create your profile first in a Word document to catch spelling and grammatical errors. Creating your copy in a Word doc will also allow you to count and do some basic formatting. And if anything happens and you lose your profile, at least you’ve got a copy of it. And it will be much easier to rebuild.
Another tip is that your LinkedIn profile is very similar to Google in that if you have the right keywords in the right places, you show up better in a search. You probably already know what your keywords are, but keep it simple.
One of the best places to find keywords that other people are using on LinkedIn is in other people’s profiles. Type your keyword (or keyword phrase) into LinkedIn’s Smart Search and see who shows up. Go into their profile and check out their skills section. These are pretty LinkedIn relevant terms and they’re actually quite good keywords.
Create a list of keywords using skills and prioritize it. You’ll be putting these keywords in your:
- Professional Headline (120 Characters)
- Title fields (100 Characters)
- Experience and Education description fields (1000 Characters)
- Summary Section (2000 Characters)
- Interests: (1000 Characters)
Your Professional Headline (that’s that area right underneath your name – the 120 characters that describes who you are and what you do.) Most people will just have their title at “Company.” They don’t take the time to describe who they are, what they do and whom they serve. This is a great place for a tagline and a few keywords.
LinkedIn will show your picture, your name and your professional headline on most of your communications on LinkedIn, whether you are responding to a group update, sending a message, inviting someone to connect, or introducing someone to someone else, so invest the time to make your Professional Headline good.
Most people only put their current titles in the title field- but you can expand this section to really describe your role. And possibly pop in some keywords too.
Put your official title in both current and past Experience (jobs) but then consider expanding upon your role. You have 100 characters. Please feel free to take a look at my profile: LinkedIn.com/in/LinkedInExpert as an example.
A lot of people just skip the description field of their Experience section, but I would strongly urge you not to! You have a 1000 characters in the description area to plant those keywords. As you describe what you do for the company and what the company does, these keywords are going to kind of naturally “bake” right in. Create your description first in a Word document (that way you can use bullets and count characters,) and then copy and paste it right into the Experience description field. .
In the Background section of your profile, there is something called the Summary. A lot of people just skip this section, but don’t, because you have 2000 characters here to expand on who you are and what you do. I always recommend that you keep the summary section customer-facing (as in “What’s In It For Them?”) It’s OK to list your features - but what difference do you make to your customer or your prospect?
Be clear on what it is that you do - but more importantly - how does that benefit your prospect . Create your Summary in a Word document,; use formatting, bullets, and don’t be afraid of white space! Chunk those bits of information up into bite-size pieces your prospects can digest.
The Interests section, found at the very bottom of your profile under Additional Information is the only place I recommend you blatantly dump your keywords into. (You have a 1000 characters.) Yes, put your personal interests first, (Hiking, biking, walking, judo) but then take that list you’ve created of keywords and just paste it in. Make sure you separate each keyword or keyword phrase with a comma so that the words are searchable.
Add a Photo!
I just interviewed the amazing Ekaterina Walter (Author of “The Power of Visual Storytelling”) and its clear to me just how important it is to have a GOOD LinkedIn profile photo in your Profile. So make sure you invest in your business and yourself by taking and uploading a good one!
Also make sure to add any relevant PPTs, Slideshare presentations, PDFs, Word docs or .jpgs that really help to define your Brand, your credibility and/or your expertise! Anyone can say they are the world’s best at something, but when you are interviewed on CNN, and post that interview, then you truly prove that you are worthy of your prospect’s attention!
If you just get the right keywords in these four sections, you have a much, much better chance of your profile showing up when someone does a search on them. And since LinkedIn actually drives more traffic than Google+ and Bing, you need to make sure that you are findable to your prospects because they are looking for you, or they are looking for someone like you. So let’s make sure it’s not your competition that shows up. Once they find your profile, you want to make sure they stay there! So add those visuals to engage them more fully.
For more tips like these, please follow my blog at www.LinkedIntoBusiness.com.