LinkedIn is currently the only business to business online social networking site. When used correctly it can generate lots of enquiries for your business. As well as people searching for you within the site, your LinkedIn profile can also be found externally in a Google search. Sadly, most business owners don’t optimise their online profile and are missing out on using their LinkedIn profile to generate new business.
Here are the four main areas you need to optimise in your LinkedIn profile to generate new business.
Your LinkedIn Headline
Located under your name, your headline is one of the main factors contributing to where your profile is listed when people are searching. By default it’s the job title of your last job. You should be using this area to allow more people to find you and attract their attention when they do.
No one ever searches for the CEO of Pty Ltd (unless they are a sales person!), they are searching for keywords; social media expert, ghost writer, financial planner, etc. Ensure that you use these terms in your headline.
Your headline can either be a complete sentence or a list of words and phrases. Just do what works best for you.
Your LinkedIn Summary
Once your LinkedIn profile has been found, your summary is often the next major area which is read. This is an area where you can expand and provide more information about yourself, your business and the services you offer.
Your summary serves two main purposes. It helps in search rankings, so it’s important to repeat the keywords (which you used in your headline), but it’s better if they flow in a sentence. The easiest way is to make a list of your products/services or ways you can help people. This will often include most of your major keywords.
The second purpose is to build rapport with the reader. Therefore make it personal, professional and enjoyable to read. Don’t use stuffy 3rd person speak. Write like you were having a conversation with them.
At the end remember to include a clear to call to action. i.e. “If you are interested in finding out how to work with me call xxx xxx xxx”
You know that people want to work with people they know, like and trust. But did you know that 70% of people trust consumer opinions posted online? When viewers read the recommendations on your profile, most of them will believe that what they are reading is true.
This is huge! When people read a recommendation on your LinkedIn profile it instantly boosts your credibility and increases the chances of you being contacted.
Aim to get at least 10 recommendations on your most current job and then focus on adding new ones. The best way to get them is to ask! Also remember “Giver’s Gain” and send out some recommendations as well. It’s good karma.
Skills + Expertise in your LinkedIn profile
The final section to optimise is the Skills + Expertise section. Following on from your recommendations, this is a quick way for people to endorse your skills in certain areas. When it was first launched, LinkedIn pulled information from your profile and created your own list of skills.
It’s really important that you go in and edit this list to skills that you want to be known for. Along with the public endorsement for your skills and expertise, it’s another area which LinkedIn uses to determine the search results rankings. If you have a high amount of endorsements for “online marketing” then your profile will be moved to the top of the list.
How does your LinkedIn profile look? Are these four areas optimised for LinkedIn success?
Image credit: A name like Shields can make you defensive
Natalie Alaimo is a social media marketing expert who teaches small business owners & entrepreneurs how to build the brand of “YOU” via social media & online marketing to create an avalanche of clients ready to buy from you.