How to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile

There are over 450m user profiles on LinkedIn, many of them small business owners.  The vast majority of those small business owners say they don’t get anything out of LinkedIn. But super-successful small business owners know how to leverage their LinkedIn profile to find, connect and engage with their ideal prospects.

 

It all starts with a powerful personal profile, because LinkedIn is a personal, professional networking site. I have set out below seven of the key areas of your personal profile to focus on:

 

1. Re-structure your LinkedIn profile to deliver value to the reader

You can move most LinkedIn profile sections to create a better presentation of youThere are a lot of sections within the LinkedIn profile, but only the first few are static. You need to re-order the others to gain maximum effect. Think about how you want your prospective readers and clients to see and interact with your profile. LinkedIn’s standard order is targeted at job seekers and is almost certainly not the right order for you as a business owner. Take a look at how I have structured my profile: www.linkedin.com/in/allenruddock

 

 

2. Your profile photo – create a great first impression

Create the right first impression with your LinkedIn profile pictureYou only get one chance to make a great first impression. What is going to make that impression better – a smiling professional head and shoulders shot with you looking onto the camera or the holiday snap of you in full ski-gear on the slopes at St Anton? I think you know the answer, but in case you have any doubts, don’t do what some people do and leave the LinkedIn profile photo blank.

 

 

3. Your headline – 120 characters of pure gold

Headlines matter - make sure yours speaks to what you do, not you job titleHeadlines are important – just ask any newspaper editor. They entice people to read more. But what about you profile headline? When you accept a connection request LinkedIn invariably streams a load of people you may know to the page. Scroll through and look at their headlines. Most will say CEO, Owner at…, MD of… or something very similar. Not very enticing! They are all missing a golden opportunity to tell a prospective client what they could do for that client. This is my headline:

 

★Helping Businesses Increase Sales by making Productive Online Connections ★ LinkedIn Coach & Trainer ★ Business Coach★

It says what I do for people. How does your headline stack up?

 

4. Be contactable – use your contact info like a business card

Don't hide you contact details on your LinkedIn profile - be contactableIs your business card blank apart from your name? Of course it isn’t. So why hide your contact details on LinkedIn. Things like your address and phone number are only visible to your 1st degree connections and those people who have sent you an InMail and you have accepted their request to share information.  Too many people hide their contact details on their LinkedIn profile, or don’t put them on there at all. It’s online networking so make it easy for potential clients to get in touch. One of my most read LinkedIn posts was on this subject. Click on “Don’t play hide & seek with your LinkedIn profile” to read the post.

 

5. Keep your summary succinct and client focussed

Make sure your summary covers the key points succinctlyMany people don’t even bother with a summary section. What a missed opportunity. This is the place to tell your prospects all about the benefits of working with or buying from you. It’s not about you, it’s about what you can do for your clients. Keep it punchy and relevant to the pain you’ll take away or the desire you’ll satisfy.

 

6. Add a company page

Company pages demonstrate you company's expertise, products and servicesA company page gives you the opportunity to showcase your business as a whole and any specific products or services that you want to highlight. You can get each employee to connect their LinkedIn profile to the page to help spread the word to a wider range of connections. Once again, focus on what’s in it for the customer. I hate to see “we”ing all over LinkedIn

 

7. Recommendations and endorsements – get them, and lots of them

Get Recommended for your skills and ex[pertiseWhat somebody else says about you is worth a thousand times more than anything you say about yourself. This is where LinkedIn comes in to its own. It is the only mainstream social media platform with a built in system for people to recommend you. They can’t be faked – the recommender has to do it. That is what makes recommendations specifically, and LinkedIn in general, such a powerful system. Make sure you use them in the right place in you LinkedIn profile to support your expertise. Don’t just leave them in the Recommendations section.

 

Endorsements aEndorsementsre much more widely used but are much less powerful. I get endorsements from connections I have never met or worked with. All they have to do is click to say they endorse you. I think endorsements are useful in a negative sense though. If someone says they are Google Adwords expert but nobody has endorsed them for it, you might question the validity of their claim. However, just because 99 people have endorsed them for it doesn’t mean they are any good. Recommendations are what’s really needed for the social proof.

 

These 7 points are really important but there are plenty of other areas to be considered. Why not download my 12-point LinkedIn profile refresh checklist. It’s a one-page tips sheet covering the above and more. Click the button below to get your copy.

Sing up and download your free 12-point LinkedIn Profile Refresh Checklist
12-point LinkedIn Profile Refresh Checklist

Click here to book a 15 minute LinkedIn profile review with AllenBut if you are serious about getting the most from your LinkedIn profile book a free 15 minute profile review with me. My diary is here. Just click the link and set up a call. Here’s the link again: https://calendly.com/allen-ruddock/15min-profile-review or click on the phone.

 

Don’t play hide and seek with your LinkedIn profile

The girl spies through a hole in a paper.Lots of people hate networking. I’m one of them. The thought of entering a room full of strangers and starting conversations fills me with dread. But I do it for three reasons. Firstly, I need to meet new people that could be potential clients. Secondly, most people I meet want to talk about what I do – helping people get more out of LinkedIn. And thirdly, I know most of the people in the room hate networking just as much as me but think they are the only one. But even the most terrified of networkers doesn’t enter the room and hide.

Online networking

LinkedIn is online networking for professionals. It is the place to find and be found by the very people you need to speak to to grow your business, increase sales, find suppliers, build partnerships and alliances or develop your career. So why oh why do so many people hide themselves with their profile. Why do they put the scantest of details about themselves in their profile? Why do they hide much of their profile from public view?

Some people have said to me they only want to connect with people they have physically met. I don’t really get that. The whole point of being online is to broaden your horizons and open up opportunities. If there is a select group of connections you only want to share your most important stuff with then create a private group and invite them in. But be open to connecting with people that want to connect. It could lead to great things.

I have two groups of people that typically connect with me – those interested in project management and those interested in small business marketing in general and LinkedIn in particular. By inviting and accepting invites from people in both communities I have opened up business opportunities, reconnected with former colleagues and developed new friends in far flung places I could never hope to have met in the physical world alone. That has created a network for sharing, giving and receiving feedback, and developing business.

Checking out prospective connections

I’m continually updating my LinkedIn profile to attract new connections. And when I get a new connection request the first thing I do is look at their profile. Is this someone I should connect with? I almost always message new connections and typically I’m looking to find out why they wanted to connect. Then I ask how I can help them. I’m looking to engage and start a dialogue. The thing I definitely am not doing is selling. I look to identify ways I can help people.

My own profile is designed to make me interesting to other people. So if I find someone I want to connect with and send them a connection request, they can see from my profile who I am, what I do and the value I can add to their network. I’m encouraging them to connect.

Dealing with Cranks
Yes I get some cranky connections. I’ve had my share of African scammers wanting my bank details to ‘help’ them get funds out of their country. I simply dlete them or report them and get their profiles blocked. Most are easy to spot as the profiles have very little detail or have jobs that make them highly unlikely connections for me. For example, I had one request purporting to be from a Nato general. It had the correct photograph, but it had been taken off the internet. So always check out requests from people you haven’t met but keep an open mind to who you can connect with.

LinkedIn webinar bootcamp webinar screenIf you’d like to spruce up your LinkedIn profile and get yourself found by more of the right connections download my free guide “The 9 Key Points to Creating a Powerful Personal Profile“. Alternatively, sign up for my 3 part online bootcamp by clicking here or on the screen below.