I have recently moved into an exciting new world of working with a team of LinkedIn experts to help people just like you to understand the power of LinkedIn. LinkedIn have made some changes to the format of the tool in 2017 but the fundamental principles remain the same. LinkedIn is a social network for business owners & professionals who want to move their business growth and professional lives to the next level.
LinkedIn is similar to a traditional networking event where you go to learn about a topic of interest and to build your network. However, LinkedIn has the additional bonus of being able to choose exactly what you want to learn about at your convenience and connect with specific people you want to reach, like your target market, in seconds.
The networking/sales process begins with a warm introduction to who you are and what your business stands for by crafting a powerful & well-constructed LinkedIn Profile. Don’t waste the opportunity by simply cutting and pasting from your Resume, your Profile has evolved to be so much more than a place to find a new job.
Your Profile can act as your silent sales person developing new leads and connections for you while you do what you do best, work on your business. Take the opportunity to present yourself in a way that inspires, impresses, and builds confidence in your abilities, products, and services. Use your LinkedIn Profile as the tool to shape your online image.
While this all sounds great, you might want Proof to validate the effectiveness of LinkedIn so here are some interesting statistics to ponder:
1. With more than 467 million registered users, LinkedIn is surpassing other platforms as the premier social media outlet for businesses.
2. LinkedIn operates in more than 200 countries and territories opening you to a global marketplace
3. Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second opening a wider pool of people to connect with
4. There are more than 40 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn, the fastest-growing demographic! One of these students may be your next stand out team member to assist you to grow your business.
5. People come with a mindset to do business on LinkedIn with 62% of members seeking industry insights
6. There are 9 million members in Australia and New Zealand alone that you can research to find your target market
7. All of the C Suite (CEO, CFO, COO etc.) of top Fortune 500 companies are members of LinkedIn and that is the crowd you want to be mixing with
Here are some other facts worth noting more specifically about your Profile:
1. LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook or Twitter according to Hubspot if you know how to write your Profile to be found
2. Approximately 60% of Business to Business companies find customers through LinkedIn making it even more critical your Profile is found.
3. Your LinkedIn Profile ranks highly on Google which boosts your personal Profile and leads to yourself and your business
4. Your prospects search online for validation of your product or service to build trust. In fact, research shows 92% of prospects research you online before doing business with you so my question to you is, does your LinkedIn Profile leave a good impression?
You have 3 seconds to impress and encourage people to read on so let’s review the critical elements of your LinkedIn Profile considering the changes in format to boost your credibility and generate leads.
Your Profile Overall
What impression does your Profile make from first glance? Have you taken advantage of every opportunity to provide an insight into who you are and what your business is about? Or is your Profile limited with information -no Summary or Headline and just a list of a few places you have worked before?
With the new format, each section and your succinct description of yourself and business offering is even more critical as most sections now only show a small portion of your information before the ‘see more’ button is to be clicked.
I have outlined how many characters you are allocated to work with to complete your Profile, use your free marketing space wisely.
Your Name: First Name: 20 characters & Last Name: 40 characters.
Headline: 120 characters
Summary: 2000 character limit (the first 90 – mobile & 220 -desktop) characters are most important as that is what you have before the …. ‘See More’ in the new format so choose your first statement wisely
Experience Title: 100 characters
Experience Description: 200 character minimum and 2000 maximum
Recommendations: 3000 characters
Your Profile Picture is Worth 1000 Words
Considering you have 3 seconds to make an impression, you want to ensure one of the most prominent features of your Profile makes an excellent impression and encourages readers to connect and read on. If you don’t have a photo at the moment, this is your first priority as research proves you are 14 times more likely to be viewed on LinkedIn if you have a profile picture. Remember you are sending a message through your photo about how you want to be perceived in business. A professional photo is best and ensure it is current as you want to move your relationship offline as well.
Once you have made a fantastic impression with your Profile Picture, it is time to move onto your other selling points.
Your Professional Headline
Your LinkedIn Headline is possibly the most important part on your Profile as it follows you everywhere you go. It is your 120-character hook to people finding you in a LinkedIn search & them being able to immediately identify you can help them. It should be about what you do as opposed to what you are. It should be memorable and enticing enough for someone to click on your Profile and not your competitors.
You have 2000 Characters to create an emotional response in your readers. Clearly articulate the problem your product or service solves for your target market and you will have your client coming to you.
You have 100 characters for your Experience Title, make them count! Review the tips above about your Headline and make sure you are using a value proposition title rather than just a status title such as Director at XYZ Pty Ltd.
Use Keywords in both your Title and Description so that you are found more easily on LinkedIn Search.
You have a maximum of 2000 characters for your experience description for each position so make the most of them applying a similar strategy to that outlined in your Summary section.
Your past experience validates what you are currently doing and shows you have had experience solving problems in the past. Research proves that if you have 5 or more experiences listed on your Profile, you gain more views and credibility. When writing about your past experience, provide a brief overview of the company you worked for so it provides some context of where you worked.
Endorsements act as a stamp of approval from your peers and showcases the skills you have to help your clients. It is best to aim for 99+ endorsements and importantly order them by dragging the skill up the ladder to ensure the top 3 skills you want to be known for are at the top and seen.
Education is key pending on your industry as that shows you have the knowledge and are certified to offer the advice you do to clients.
Recommendations act in a similar way to Endorsements but are even more powerful. Recommendations on LinkedIn can be used across your marketing materials as proof of results. People trust recommendations from other people.
In summary, LinkedIn is the best social business sales tool to boost your professional and personal brand as a thought leader in your industry and can generate leads and sales for you if you know how. The medium also allows you to connect with like-minded people locally, nationally and globally opening-up new avenues for sales and distribution. Better still, if your Profile and follow-up activity are right, LinkedIn can act as your silent sales person so that you can focus on what you do best, working on your business.
If you want to learn the winning formula for writing a powerful Profile as well as dive deep into your target market creating a client avatar, join me & lead Sales Strategist & Business Coach Julie Mason on Saturday, the 6th of May for a workshop to remember.
This interactive, hands-on 1-Day Powerful Profile Bootcamp will cover
1. Secrets To A Powerful LinkedIn Profile with Templates & Formulas
2. How to Develop A Crystal-Clear Client Profile Through The Creation of A Client Avatar.
Once you have crafted your Profile, the material can be used in all aspects of your business marketing and at networking events, the 6th of May will positively influence your sales strategy in 2017.
To see the full breakdown of what will be achieved during the workshop and to book, go to http://bit.ly/ProfileBootcampMay seats are limited.