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Xcelerate Business on LinkedIn
These are the 5 key elements strong LinkedIn profiles possess and how you can use them to make your profile produce
With 880 million professionals using LinkedIn to generate business, create partnerships, and find new roles or fill their talent pipeline, it’s critical to have an appealing profile.
After analyzing hundreds of LinkedIn profiles, here are is five elements that the strongest LinkedIn profiles have in common.
1. THE BEST LINKEDIN PROFILES SPEAK TO A SINGLE AUDIENCE
At its core, your LinkedIn profile is marketing you, as a professional. Like any good marketing piece, your LinkedIn profile needs to be customized to speak to a specific persona about the needs and pain points that person experiences.
If you try to please everyone, you’ll please no one. Get granular on regarding the problem your client struggles with; share how your service provides transformational results.
If you’re a solopreneur offering a professional service, speak to the transformation you provide.
If you’re a job seeker, what are the results you deliver for a future hiring firm?
Think of a specific person you’d like to read and respond or direct message you. Then, jot down quickly the 3 elements that would want to understand about you:
Now let’s apply this to your LinkedIn profile, using this checklist:
◻️ Take note of anything in your LinkedIn profile that doesn’t appeal directly to this audience — and consider removing it.
◻️ Consider how your audience expects to see you. Does your profile photo show that? Is a business suit something they expect, or will that be too stuffy?
◻️ Identify keywords your audience will be looking for (e.g., “DiSC certified for example, or Lean Six Sigma”). Place in prominent spots throughout your profile.
2. THE BEST LINKEDIN PROFILES CONVEY AUTHENTICITY
You’re more than just a plain–vanilla professional — you’re you! Go ahead and showcase some of your personality in your profile.
Revealing your character has the dual benefit of making you more attractive to people and organizations for which you’re a good match, and discouraging those for which you’re not. In other words, showcasing your personality can help ensure you’re spending your time on the best opportunities. The goal of marketing is to repel the people who are not a good fit, while attracting the firms or individuals who are a fit. If you try to appeal to all, you will never get traction.
How do you want to reader to interpret your personality when they read your LinkedIn profile (e.g., edgy, humorous, pithy, nerdy, intense)?
Now think about how you can apply this to your LinkedIn profile. Here are some ideas:
◻️ Along with your photo and cover image, the headline is the first place where you have the option to define yourself. What can be a fitting way to blend in an element of your personality there? For example, “Entrepreneur | Numbers Guy that Counts & Sells | Intentional Father. Greatest Content Editor” conveys humor, competence, and confidence.
◻️ Your “About section” needs to speak DIRECTLY & SPECIFICALLY to your audience. Although this section is titled “about”, the best use of this spot is to be so crisp, clear and compelling on who you serve and how you create impact for your clients. That is what is called “client facing”. It should cover your expertise as well as your personality. This important write up is successful when someone reads these several paragraph and at the end of the write up, feels like they just had a brief exchange with you at an in-person networking event. It should tell your professional story as well as provide a slice of insight into how you think or show up in the real world or IRL (in real life). It should communicate your personal and professional story.
◻️ Unlike the profile photo, which is typically a traditional headshot, you can demonstrate some visual flair in the banner or cover image. This image should carry a key part of your brand message visually. Choose a cover that supports and carries your personal brand message.
If you’d like to have a customized one created that does just that, you can get that at: LinkedIn Banner Image
3. THE BEST LINKEDIN PROFILES BUILT TRUST
Although it’s likely that your prospective business leads or job leads come from networking and word–of–mouth, it is vital that your LinkedIn profile shows up well in search–engine results. This is a crucial piece to create the trust needed for prospects to take the next step with you.
So, let’s maximize the numerous spots that LinkedIn offers for you to demonstrate competency and credibility which becomes foundational to trust and credibility building. There are awards, publications, patents, recognitions, endorsements and recommendations. Take advantage of them all that fit you.
You’re distinctive! Figure out how to proclaim that within your profile. Your profile should not read like ANYONE ELSE on the planet. No one does you! Excavate the elements that are specifically YOU.
Pull together “social proof” such as listed below. Choose the ones that are most relevant for your ideal client and place those at key spots on your profile.
Here are some places you can search for credibility builders:
◻️ Awards you or your team has won or recognitions you’ve received. (e.g., “Featured in ABC News or ”, any “Best of…” list)
◻️ Testimonials from people with whom you’ve worked and results provided.
◻️ Summits or speaking engagements you’ve been featured in.
◻️ Articles you’ve written or talks you have delivered.
4. THE BEST LINKEDIN PROFILES CREATE AFFINITY
When you meet someone at a networking event, you intuitively explore interests or commonalities. Perhaps it’s the shared experience or the same university, or sharing hobbies or such. These commonalities help us move from strangers to acquaintances.
Your LinkedIn profile needs to showcase how you have relatability. Including that supports the human tendency to look for commonalities before building a relationship.
Create opportunities for someone to identify something they have in common with you by sharing specific experiences and passions.
To get you started on your list, here are some ideas for affinities you could pepper throughout your profile:
◻️ Schools and universities you’ve attended
◻️ Volunteer experiences
◻️ Hobbies and interests
◻️ LinkedIn groups, influencers, and organizations you follow
◻️ Places you’ve lived
5. THE BEST LINKEDIN PROFILES ARE EASY TO READ
Your readers will spend a few seconds (yes, seconds!) getting a first impression about you. If they’re interested, they’ll invest a couple more minutes reading or scanning the rest of your profile. That’s not a lot of time!
Make your profile easy to scan and ensure the most important information pops off the screen.
Divide the “About Section” into readable chunks of text, either through paragraph spacing, judisciosu use of emoji’s or both. Edit ruthlessly. If your about section starts something like this: (With more than 20 years of…), kick that opening to the curb and look further in your write up to start off with something with more impact.
If you don’t like to write, hire it done – IC Growth and other firms offer that service. . Don’t sckimp on your online brand. When you “google” yourself, or others do, 99% of the time, it will be your LinkedIn profile that shows up as the first result.
Make it look and sound great!.
Here are seven things you can do to make your LinkedIn profile super scannable:
1.) Write a concise and impactful headline.
2.) Be intentional with keywords but avoid buzzwords or jargon that doesn’t mean much. Not sure which ones are overused and worn out check out Most Overused Buzzwords
3.) Write a clear and compelling about section. The 3 lines before the button “see more” are especially important. If you don’t spark interest with a clear message and or value proposition, no one clicks to keep reading. Be certain this section is client facing and make the story you tell in this section be hyper focused on results you deliver for your client or employer if you are in a search. Results is the language of business; ensure you are speaking that language.
4.) Avoid the “sea of gray” that comes from a lot of text without white space breaks. Use bullet points or sprinkle in some emojis, even if just simple arrow bullets. The reader gets distracted easily, so use visual markers to help organize the readers thoughts to keep going.
5.) Pin the top three skills to the top that are relevant to the role you are doing now, not just those for which you have the most endorsements.
6.) In the featured section, include high impact videos or downloads of your free or paid offers that highlight your specialized expertise.