What does your LinkedIn profile look like?
Have you used it like an online CV?
If your answer’s yes, you’re not alone. A quick browse through your connections will show that most people do, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.
When you run a business, LinkedIn can be a fantastic source of new customers – especially in the B2B arena.
If someone stumbles across you because you happen to provide the service they are after and they are faced with the usual list of strengths and services, your profile wouldn’t make much of an impact.
Just like your website, brochures, emails, newsletters and all the other marketing bumph you create, your LinkedIn profile must be used as a marketing tool.
How do you do that?
Read on and you’ll find out.
Making your LinkedIn profile a marketing tool
Before you begin, make sure you have a plan in place. If you don’t, all your thoughts will tumble into an incoherent pool of words that won’t impress anyone.
The main aspect of any marketing message is focus – without it, your words become meaningless. Make sure you what you say is directly relevant to the audience you’re trying to attract.
Let’s start with the Headline.
Most people will just show their name and the position they hold, but it’s far more powerful to make a statement about how you can help your potential customers.
· What’s my expertise?
· What evidence do I have to back that up?
· Has anyone endorsed what I do?
· Are there any standout projects that I’ve worked on?
Then all you need to do is create a powerful headline incorporating that information. However, one thing to note is that you only get 120 characters to play with (including spaces) so you’ll have to be succinct.
Next is the background section where you can create a summary. Remember, you’re marketing yourself so this section needs to sell what you do. That means focusing on the benefits, outlining any unique selling points that make you stand out and, if you have some big name clients, it never hurts to name drop.
Like the headline section, this has a character limit – 2000 this time, which is why a clear plan is essential to make sure you include all relevant information, not forgetting a call to action.
This is the bit that tends to be written like a traditional CV, but rather than just listing past roles and responsibilities, create stories around your achievements to make them standout. This will help you illustrate how your skills helped other businesses overcome issues they faced.
This is the section where you can showcase your amazing work.
Create case studies to outline how you’ve helped clients. One thing to remember here is that each heading in the projects section is clickable. That means you can write a teaser about your case study and then enable people to click through for more information, driving traffic to your website.
It’s also possible to upload video, presentations and images to your profile. This rich media is not only eye-catching it also gives you the opportunity to show examples of your work.
Your LinkedIn profile has to be more than just a CV.
Take a look at yours now and put yourself into the shoes of someone looking for your particular skill set. Does it answer all your questions? Would you get in touch?
If the answer is no, it’s time to revisit your profile and create something powerful.