It was 2010 and I nearly gave up on LinkedIn.
I wasn’t sure how it worked, who I should connect with and how I should connect. In fairness back then LinkedIn wasn’t as advanced as it is now.
But a few people who I highly respected told me it was going to be the way of the future so I listened.
At the time I had just launched my business advisory firm and was looking to build out my network on the platform.
I started by importing and mass connecting with people from my email. Then I sent invitations to
people from old business cards I had collected over time.
No personalisation, it was simply the generic ‘Hi (name), I’d like to add you to my network’.
My network grew from 0 connections to over 850 within 6 months but after all this effort I still hadn’t managed to generate a single client from LinkedIn.
Everyone was quick to accept my invitation but hardly anyone responded to my private messages or request for meetings.
I was dumbfounded…
I couldn’t believe how this was even possible, all these connections, and not even one client? My current strategy clearly wasn’t working, so I decided something had to change.
So I did a stocktake. I looked at all the strategies I was implementing and realised that …
Regardless of the strategy there was one key factor that would ultimately determine whether or not it was going to work.
And that was my LinkedIn profile.
So I revisited my profile and it was clear why I wasn’t getting the results.
Not only did it look like a resume but it didn’t CLEARLY explain:
– Who I was.
– What I do.
– Why I do it.
And ultimately how all this mattered to my target market.
Realising my profile was the centerpiece to all my LinkedIn activity I started making subtle changes.
After a few months of testing I realised there are certain things you should and shouldn’t include in your profile.
Not to mention the way your profile should be written and displayed in order for you to really CONNECT with your target market.
So I started implementing these strategies, and it wasn’t long before I cracked the formula.
I went from 10% of people accepting my invitations to over 50%. And not only were they accepting, but they replied to my messages. I was having meetings, sales calls etc.
And it wasn’t long before I got my first client, then another one and another one.
So in this article I want to share with you what areas I updated on my profile based on what worked then and more importantly what’s working now.
Making these changes and having a compelling profile has been instrumental in successfully growing my business advisory business and now with Linkfluencer.
– It’s helped me reach over 17,000 followers.
– We’ve landed big clients like KPMG, Westpac and NAB.
– I now write for some of the biggest publications in the world including Huffington Post, Entrepreneur and Business Insider.
– I get asked to speak and be a guest judge at conferences all over the world.
But more importantly we’ve managed to use my profile to grow our business.
In a little over 5 years we’ve now empowered over 20,000 businesses in 35 countries and 60 industries.
I don’t say this to impress you but to SHOW you just how important and valuable your LinkedIn profile can be to helping you grow your influence and business.
So please make sure you not only read these tips but actually implement it within your profile.
First and foremost it’s your profile picture. You probably know this and there is a good chance you have even read about it.
But it amazes just how many profiles I come across that have old, pixelated or unprofessional profile pictures.
The first step is to get a professional photo done, something smart, casual and make sure to smile. 🙂
Have a custom header image, something that builds authority..
Mine is me speaking.
Maybe you have a good picture with an influential person? Think of something that’s going to get people want to connect with you.
This goes without saying, but make sure you have up to date contact details and use your work email.
Nothing worse than seeing email@example.com as the email address in the contact field. 😉
Know your client avatar, this is by far the most important piece of your entire profile.
Who are you ultimately looking to get in front of to build a relationship with.
– Who’s the decision maker?
– What company size do they operate?
– What industry do they play in?
– What are the common misconceptions within that industry about your service or product?
– What are some of the key objections you face when selling your product or service?
– What challenges or pain do they have and how do you solve that for them?
Once you know the answers to these questions simply weave them into the various sections of your profile.
This will position you as someone who understands the industry, helping you stand out and connect at a deeper level with your audience.
Make sure you have updated articles on your profile, you don’t want people to check out your profile. With blogs from years ago, they might think you’re no longer in business or 6 feet under.
Always ensure you have updated content displayed on your profile.
Complete all the relevant experiences that were key in getting you to where you are now. Don’t have too many though, you don’t want to look like you’ve jumped around.
Make sure they are complete and written in a story format. Just look at the way I’ve written mine.
Summary / Professional Story:
Your summary needs to be written as a professional story outlining where you started, your journey to date and what you are working on now.
As well as that make sure it’s written in 3rd person. Check out our blog for more on how to write a good summary.
Get at least 10 recommendations from past clients, it’s one thing for your profile saying great things about you.
But when your clients are it’s a completely different story. But rather than just getting recommendation for the sake of it, be targeted.
Look at the top 3 challenges your target market face, the top 3 objections you face within your sales process and what makes you unique.
And then ask your clients to write recommendations based on those angles.
Skills & Expertise:
Only have a maximum of 5 skills and expertise. Having anymore makes you look like a generalist not a specialist.
People want specialists these days, think back at a time when you came across a profile that had over 30 skills. What did you immediately think?
Exactly, this person is jack of all trades, master of NONE.
Leverage the media section of your profile. Link to awards, media or anything else you have been featured in.
This is to build up your credibility when people check you out. In this section make sure you link to your website or online sales funnel within your profile.
You need to drive traffic off LinkedIn to a solid call to action to convert your views into opportunities.
Best way to do that is through some kind of a sales funnel such as a free downloadable video, strategy call etc.
And my final tip is to ensure readability on mobile. Write your profile similar to how I structured this article. Two lines maximum for each sentence – it makes it much easier to read on mobile.
So there you have it, a detailed breakdown of what worked then and what works now for your LinkedIn profile.
Nailing this is paramount to your success on LinkedIn, so take the time to get it right.
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