We’ve already shown you how to use LinkedIn for sales prospecting. But to get the most out of the platform, you need to optimize your LinkedIn profile to help you get more sales.
Think of it as personal branding. If your profile page doesn’t look professional or portray the value you can provide to prospects, they’ll leave your page without bothering to message you back.
To make sure that doesn’t happen, you need a profile that captures people’s attention and creates interest in your products or services.
Use these six tips to optimize your LinkedIn profile and turn regular prospects into eager, new customers.
1. Focus on Your Prospects
Most people tailor their profiles to impress recruiters and potential employers. They think it’s a good idea because they are putting their career on display.
But it won’t help you land any prospects. Instead, you want to impress potential customers when they view your profile.
There are many ways you can impress potential customers. Here are a few examples:
- Highlight the successes you helped clients achieve.
- Post content you’ve published that helps people in your industry.
- Discuss the major problems facing your typical prospects.
Information like this shows that you know your industry well, and it builds trust with potential clients and positions you as a solutions-oriented salesperson. Show how you can add value when you update your profile and show prospects that you understand them better than everyone else.
2. Write a Compelling Headline
The headline is the first thing your prospects see when they visit your profile. Therefore, you must make sure that it’s compelling enough to draw their interest.
Most people think a professional headline should be a fancy job title, but that’s a big misconception. Your prospects don’t care how sophisticated your position sounds.
Instead, they want to find the best person to help them solve a problem or accomplish a goal. If you can quickly prove to them that you understand their situation, you’ll grab their attention and pique their interest.
To make a compelling headline, you need to convey what you can accomplish. Here are some examples:
- “I help B2B companies optimize their email marketing campaigns.”
- “I help businesses generate “X” amount more revenue through email marketing.”
- “I help executives save two extra hours every day by intelligently managing their tasks.”
Your headline is like the subject line of an email. You want prospects to read it, be enthralled by it, and demand where they can learn more.
If your current headline is your job title, go to your LinkedIn profile and change it so prospects immediately see how you can help them. It’ll convince more people to view your profile and potentially connect with you.
3. Optimize Your Summary
There’s only one goal for your summary: keep it short, sweet, and prospect-centered.
Your headline should be roughly three short paragraphs that highlight the results you’ve helped deliver for clients along with a strong call-to-action for your prospects to contact and connect with you.
You may mention your current position or your own company, but you must describe how any of your descriptions will help your clients. For example, you could say, “As a sales consultant for XYZ Email Marketing Company, I help people determine whether automated email campaigns are right for their marketing platform.”
After you tell your prospects how you can help them, show them with concrete examples. For instance, you could include reports, PR headlines, or recommendations from previous clients. Showing proof of your skill-set is incredibly valuable for making prospects more interested in you.
Remember, your profile demonstrates your personal brand. Brand yourself as the person who delivers for their clients and understands prospects’ desires.
4. Use a High-Quality Profile Photo
Whether you’re on Instagram, Google Plus, or LinkedIn, a key component to succeeding on social networks is your presentation. For LinkedIn especially, you must have a good-looking, high-quality profile photo.
A good profile photo may not astound or awe viewers, but a bad one will quickly turn them off. Prospects won’t take you seriously, even if you’re an incredible salesperson. This is a terrible way to begin the relationship.
So take the time to upload a professional looking photo to represent you on your profile page. Here are a few ways to accomplish this:
- Hire a professional photographer.
- Ask a friend who has good photography skills – and preferably a DSLR camera.
- Even consider someone who doesn’t have great photography skills. With digital photos, you can take as many as you want without worrying about waste. Also, the new Apple and Google phones take DSLR-like photos, so chances are you’ll at least one good photo.
Make sure you consider what you are going to wear, how you are going to look, and where you will take the photo. Although it’s hard to go wrong with a business suit, there may be better options. For example, a fitness trainer might take a photo in the gym to display their physique and allow potential customers to envision working with them.
5. Get Endorsements
Your LinkedIn profile has a skills section exhibit for your profile. Not only can you choose which skill sets to display, but people in your LinkedIn network can endorse them, adding credibility to your claims.
When a potential customer looking for a marketing agency sees that you have over 100 endorsements for online marketing, social media marketing, digital marketing, and SEO, they’ll feel much more comfortable doing business with you.
To build up your endorsements, try these tactics in order:
- Build a list of all your skills. Then, select the key skills you want to display and delete ones that aren’t applicable to your business or prospects.
- Build up your connections and endorse other people, starting with those you know best.
- Ask people you know to endorse you. As long as they believe that you have the skills, most people have no problem doing this.
- Ask your previous clients to write an endorsement.
These endorsements are great for building your credibility with potential customers. If you want people to feel comfortable buying from you, increasing the number of LinkedIn endorsements you have will help.
6. Build Your Professional Network and Get Active in Groups
Start connecting with people and building your relationships. Congratulate them when they have a job anniversary or share some good news, or simply say hi if it’s been a while.
On top of that, join groups that are relevant to your prospects. Post comments and share articles that contribute to this group’s mission. You may also answer questions that people have to further show your expertise.
Adding value to strangers can go a long way. And when people realize that you know what you’re talking about, they’ll look to you to help solve their problems.
LinkedIn can be a lucrative tool for salespeople. But to get the most out of it, you must optimize your profile. Follow the tips above and you’ll start getting highly targeted leads coming to you for business.
What other tips do you have for salespeople using LinkedIn for prospecting, or for getting more out of a LinkedIn profile? Let us know in the comments below!