B2B professionals around the world agree that LinkedIn is a great way to network with potential business partners. But many executives and sales professionals find themselves willing to network and interested in meeting new people (or even getting tons of views every week)â¦ but not very convinced that their LinkedIn profiles showcase their strengths.
When introducing yourself, you need to make sure that the most interesting, compelling, and authoritative details are the first thing your contacts notice about your profile. We’ve covered a few of these basics already, but here’s a full list of our practical tips for writing an amazingly compelling LinkedIn profile:
Basics of the LinkedIn profile
Create a strategic title.
The list of your position is rarely sufficiently informative. Include details about what you actually do for your clients or in your role, such as âVP of Business Intelligence – Identifying Growth Opportunities in Healthcareâ. Or you can take a look at Rick’s profile here, which includes the keywords “Online Marketing Expert | Web Consultant | Web Strategy | Website creation. “
Use organized formatting.
You can’t use rich text in your LinkedIn profile like you can in Microsoft Word, which means you can’t bold, underline, or italicize anything. However, you can create an organization with spaces and capitals. Create a digestible summary using appropriate paragraph lengths (about three lines per paragraph) and no more than two or three uppercase “introductory headings”.
Activate the unique link of your profile.
If you just signed in to LinkedIn as is, your profile link probably includes random letters and numbers. Update your standard URL to create a clean, unique link that includes your full name. If your full name is already taken, create a link that includes your industry, location, or business.
Writing a LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is searchable using the LinkedIn search bar. This means that it is helpful to include important keywords that your customers and key contacts will use to conduct their business. Make a list of 2-3 of those keywords that you will highlight in your profile and use each of them 2-3 times. Using more than this amount will make your profile less readable and less accessible to those who take the time to read it. You can also follow Rick’s lead and use these keywords in a list at the bottom of your profile to combine the best of both worlds:
Focus on the value you provide.
When it comes time to write your profile, don’t try to rewrite your resume. Instead, write values-driven statements, like you might in the mission statement of a resume or cover letter. What do you do for your clients and colleagues? What are your particularly valuable skills, whether they are specific to your sector of activity (website design, acquisitions) or specific to your position (communication, identification of opportunities)?
As you can see from Rick’s example, he leads with the primary goal of his business, which is to help his clients grow their businesses using their websites. Then he expands on what he does on a daily basis and ends with a notable example from his professional history that provides a case study for the value it provides. When writing your profile, aim for a short statement that identifies the value you bring to the table and an understanding of how you got to where you are now.
Stick to a word count.
There is no official average for LinkedIn profiles, but in general we prefer to stick to between 100 and 300 words. Less, and you are not providing any distinctive details to those who read your profile. More, and you risk providing too much information for your contact to remember. Rick’s example above boils down to 137 quick words, but provides enough detail and information to start an interesting conversation.
Because working with LinkedIn can be a new experience, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When in doubt, treat LinkedIn like a traditional networking tool, like a business card or a live networking event. Don’t use LinkedIn words or details that you wouldn’t share at a live networking event. Write a summary or introduction that you would be comfortable reading over the phone to a new contact. If this proves to be very difficult, try recording when you introduce yourself on your next conference call or meeting and transcribe what you said. You might be surprised at how quickly and succinctly you can describe your skills, value, and experience when you’re not focusing on typing.
As you continue to be active on LinkedIn, you will find that more and more contacts click on it to view your profile. However, you can also encourage more traffic to your LinkedIn profile by being more active on the platform. Once your profile is up to date and ready to be seen, take your networking a step further by studying LinkedIn groups and building an active group of clients and referral partners within your industry.
Is your LinkedIn profile optimized to actively transmit your skills and expertise?