By now, every sales person worth their salt knows that LinkedIn is an important place to be to find and attract new leads. Even if social selling isn’t your “thing,” most reps these days understand the importance of creating a compelling LinkedIn profile. Even if you approach a lead offline via a cold call, it’s likely they’ll do a little online research to check up on you. And if you are posting regularly on the platform to gain the attention of new prospects, you need your profile to be optimized so they’ll see value in connecting.
Here are our top tips for improving your LinkedIn profile to attract new leads.
Use a Professional Headshot
LinkedIn reports that members who include a photo receive 21 times more profile views and 36 times more messages than those who don’t. But don’t just use any old picture. Your photo needs to convey your level of professionalism and expertise. So avoid using photos where there are distracting backgrounds or others cropped out of the image. Invest in a professionally taken, clear, high-quality headshot. Not only does this demonstrate that you are a polished and seasoned professional, LinkedIn research reveals that profiles with professional headshots get 14 times more views than those without. Finally, avoid using a photo that is older than five years since this can come across as misleading and paint you as untrustworthy.
Create a Punchy Headline
Many LinkedIn members look no further than the headline when they are perusing profiles, so take the time to make sure yours is attractive to new leads. These 120 characters need to include keywords and phrases that your target demographic will be interested in. For sales pros, your current job title may or may not be relevant here. Think carefully about who your leads will want to connect with; it may be better to use your 120 characters on words that highlight your industry expertise and knowledge rather than the fact you are a sales pro. Another tip is to use your headline to list your key skills and separate each with a symbol such as a check mark, dash or asterisk, e.g., Company Name, Manufacturing Industry Expert, Small Business Specialist, Experienced Sales Professional.
Customize your Profile URL
Another way to stand out to new leads is to customize your LinkedIn profile’s URL. Learn how to do it here. Doing so will again make your profile seem more polished and professional and appealing to your leads.
Show Off Your Skills
Listing your skills is important; not only to demonstrate your value to potential leads but to show up in a search in the first place. LinkedIn recommends that you list at least five skills and that you rank these skills in their order of importance. From there, LinkedIn will solicit endorsements from your connections about your top skills - the more endorsements you have, the higher your appear in search results. Listing your skills can result in 17 times more profile views, so they are important.
Take Care with Your Summary
Although LinkedIn says your summary needs to be at least 40 characters, don’t be afraid to go longer and more in depth. This is your best opportunity to appeal to your new leads and position yourself as a knowledgeable industry expert. You’ll want to use those important keywords again, but be more expansive here and show some personality. Use the first person and a conversational style. Show off your industry knowledge by describing some of the challenges and opportunities that current exist in the space; where you see it going in the next few years and how you and your product are solving some of the industry’s problems.
Make Use of Testimonials
Positioning yourself as a trusted expert is a great way to attract new leads. What better way to do this than to show off testimonials from happy clients on your page? Ask clients and coworkers for testimonials to give you more credibility and build your personal brand.