Here’s How to Build a Perfect LinkedIn Profile

When is the last time you polished your LinkedIn profile? Would you count on your profile to make a stunning first impression on prospects who are sizing you up?

If you aren’t confident in your LinkedIn profile, your prospects won’t be either. A study by LinkedIn found that 50% of buyers avoid sales professionals with incomplete LinkedIn profiles. Now may be the best time to drop everything, and fine-tune that profile of yours!

  1. screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-5-23-20-pmA Professional Profile Photo (Headshot)
    Increase your LinkedIn profile views by 11x by simply including a photo. Use a high quality photo of you (just you!) that appears professional and friendly. You can visit a local photo studio or ask a friend to take a photo of you in front of a solid color wall at your office. Upload a JPG, GIF or PNG file at the ideal size of 500x500px.
  2. A Descriptive and Impactful Headline
    Your headline needs to answer these two questions: Who do you help and how do you help them? To answer the question, use action words and career-related keywords. Make your headline a mini value proposition to show potential buyers what you have to offer in the first few seconds of looking at your profile. Tip: Do not include your company name because it appears below your headline.

    Ex. Social Media Coordinator ▸ I support employee advocates and social sellers in a digital marketing environment
    Ex. Senior Marketing Manager | Social Media | Brand Marketing | SEO
    Ex. Network/Cloud/Hosted Services Specialist – “Taking your Enterprise to The Next Level!”

  3. Cover Photo
    Use this opportunity to add a photo that visually supports your descriptive headline. What image would you use to represent your personal brand? Once you’ve decided, upload your image at 1400x425px. If you’re looking for a high quality image, I recommend  Unsplash for beautiful, free stock photography.
    Screen Shot 2016-11-27 at 5.36.32 PM.png
  4. Contact Section
    a. Include all ways that a potential buyer can contact you: Phone number, email address, and Twitter handle. Your connections should find it easy to reach you.
    b. Customize your LinkedIn URL to use your full name. It will be easier to remember and nicer to print on a business card. If you have a common name, add your middle initial or a number. Here’s mine:
    c. You have three website links available to use in the Contact section. Point visitors to your company website, but personalize the link description to be more catchy than “Company Website.”

      • Learn about us!
      • See Special Deal
      • Read about our services
  5. A Well-written and Effective Summary
    Too many people in sales do not have a summary written for their profile, and that is a huge shame! When a prospect is intrigued by an excellent headline, they scroll down to your summary to learn more about who you are and what you do.The summary is your big chance to win over a prospect by showcasing your specialties, personality, and detailing how you can help solve their business problems. There are different writing styles that are effective. Read this HubSpot article to get inspired!
    Here are a few guidelines to consider when crafting your summary:
    • Write in the first person (the prospect wants to hear from you!)
    • Keep it to 3 paragraphs
    • Keep each paragraph to 3 sentences or less
    • Include keywords that buyers might search for
    • In the first paragraph, expand on what you wrote in your headline.
    • In the second paragraph, be specific about what you do, and what you have done. Certain projects that you’ve managed, companies you have worked for, results you have been responsible for, talk about, HOW you continually make your headline happen.
    • In the third paragraph, include a clear call-to-action that shows readers why and how they can contact you.

    Tip: You have the option to add media to your summary, which is a highly effective way to continue to show prospects who you help and how you help them. If you have a good visual that would help persuade a prospect to choose you, upload a PDF, photo, link, video, or presentation to your summary.

  6. Skills and Endorsements
    Don’t be shy! Showcase your best abilities by adding them as skills to your Skills section. Your connections can endorse you for skills and even suggest skills to add to your profile. Highly endorsed skills can be persuasive to the prospects viewing your profile. Endorsing someone else’s skills is an easy way to give props, and they may return the favor!screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-6-38-18-pm
  7. Recommendations from Customers, Peers, and ColleaguesThese days, everyone checks reviews before purchasing a product. It’s no different for today’s B2B buyers. The buyer starts the researching process by crowdsourcing among their connections for a solution to their business problem. Oftentimes, the buyer received referrals. If you are recommended by a customer, it can make a big impact on a prospect’s decision. To get a recommendation, consider giving a few!
  8. Experience (Current and Past Jobs)
    Your experience section should serve as a resume when you are on the hunt for a new job. When you are in a sales position, your experiences should be written with the prospect in mind. You want to continue to tell prospects how you have helped customers in each of your roles. Write a short paragraph or bullets of what you did in each role and 
    highlight how you helped your clients. That’s what prospects want to know. Tip: Make sure you are linking to the correct company name in each of your roles so the prospect is directed to the correct company LinkedIn page.
  9. Volunteer Experience & Causes, Honors & Awards
    Always add volunteer experience, honors, and awards to your LinkedIn profile, if you have them. Many people don’t have these experiences, which makes it even more important that you share this information on your profile! By sharing your honors and awards, you’re telling prospects that you are a high achiever who is trustworthy and respected. By adding volunteer experience, you’re giving prospects a glimpse into your passion and personality outside of work. Who knows? Maybe a prospect volunteers for the same organization that you do, and you’ll be able to start a conversation because of it!

Need a visual? Check out this infographic by HubSpot!

Happy profile updating!

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