LinkedIn is one of the best online social media sites for B2B networking. It’s no wonder: There are now more than 467 million LinkedIn users, and the platform offers a plethora of tools to help you make valuable connections. That being said, it is important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date, and optimized for maximum impact and reach.
In this post, we’ll go over ways to retool your LinkedIn Profile to help make your networking successful.
Freshen Up Your LinkedIn Profile
Review Your Cover Photo
Your cover photo is the first impression you make, and it should immediately convey your professional identity. For example, Richard Branson’s LinkedIn cover photo is of the sky, which makes sense since his main business ventures involve the airway and aerospace industries. Another example: Bill Gate’s cover photo is a collage of activities featuring children and families representing work by his foundation.
Take a look at your cover photo: Does it reflect your business or the services you offer? Is the design outdated?
If you decide it’s time for a change, use a free design tool like Canva or Adobe’s SparkPost to create a new cover photo. Both apps offer free images, backgrounds, and layout variations.
Update Your Personal Photo
Many people threw up casual selfies or staid corporate headshots when first setting up their LinkedIn profile, or worse, no photo at all. The first type of photo can make an unprofessional impression. The second can be viewed as cold and unreachable. The third simply causes people to distrust the LinkedIn user—who wants to connect to an unidentifiable person?
Your profile photo is the first visual impact you’ll make to a visitor, so the photo you use should be friendly, yet professional. You want people to trust you, and, at the same time, know that you can handle business aptly.
Selfies can work, but make sure you have an uncluttered or solid background. Also, don’t wear clothing that is too casual such as a T-shirt, unless you work for a company that makes or sells T-shirts.
If you opt for a professional photographer, bring along a variety of clothing options. Let the photographer know what you want to convey with your photo—professional, yet friendly—and they’ll help you achieve the final result.
Edit Your Title
Avoid using gimmicky titles, i.e. “Superstar marketer” or “Mega lead-generator.” These are overused and superfluous. Simply stating your highest skill-set gives people enough information about what you do.
However, you can have a greater impact on visitors to your page if you immediately state what you do and how you can help others.
For example, instead of my original LinkedIn profile title, “Digital Marketing Specialist | Editor | Writer | Publisher,” I could put: “Digital Marketer Using Social Media & Blogging to Grow Your Presence Online.” This states what I do, and how I can help other business owners.
I keep my title as is, as I go into detail on how I can help business owners with my work in my summary.
Rewrite Your Summary
In addition to your title, this is the second most important space to catch a visitor’s attention and make an immediate impact. One of the biggest mistakes Linkedin users make with their profiles is writing a summary that is a boring recap of their resume.
Take a look at your summary and ask yourself these questions: Is it compelling? Does it describe how you help businesses succeed with your services? Do you tell a story about how you became so good at what you do? Do you tell the visitor what to do next after reading your story?
If the answer is no to one or more of these questions, it’s time for a rewrite. The example below states specifically what I do, how I do it, the industries I work with, and also gives a bit of background on me and my business. A direct call-to-action, “Take the Next Step,” tells visitors to contact me.
Super Optimize Your Contact Info
Many people miss the opportunity to optimize their contact information with specific call-to-actions tied to outbound links to landing pages.
On your profile page, you can put a phone number; an email address; a Twitter handle; an instant messenger app like Skype or WeChat; and up to three Website links.
For the Website links, rather than simply putting the standard label “Company Website” or “Blog,” you can customize the labels with call-to-actions.
For instance, all three of my links go to my Website, but to different landing pages. The first link has the CTA “Get More Leads Online.” My second link describes an offer for a free eBook, and the third has a CTA to sign up for my blog.
Here is how to custom your Website links:
Log in to LinkedIn and go to your profile. On the right-hand side, you’ll see Contact and Personal Info. Clicking on Show More will display all your contact information.
Click on the pencil icon at the top to edit your information.
In the left field, input an URL, and on the right, click on the arrow and choose Other. This will display the third field where you can put your customized call-to-action. Repeat these steps for the other two links, and click save.
Taking these simple steps to optimize your LinkedIn profile will go a long way in your B2B networking efforts.
However, spiffing up your LinkedIn profile is only part of the equation in achieving success with your LinkedIn networking. Sign up for my blog to find out more ways to achieve more with your digital marketing efforts, including how to use LinkedIn to generate hot leads.
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