For many business owners, their LinkedIn profile is not seen as a primary marketing platform for the business itself. LinkedIn is seen as useful for personal and business connections, sourcing project opportunities and promoting the individual image. As such, your LinkedIn profile, which may have developed organically over many years, may appear more like a rambling CV or project resume than a honed business development tool. However, we also need to consider that the personal brand of the company CEO/MD can be very beneficial for generating leads and sales for the business.
As a company owner, your LinkedIn profile is probably the most coherent single marketing platform for your personal brand – it can help establish yourself and your business as leaders and authorities in your sector. The competence and expertise of business leaders reflect well on the business itself, and the resulting networking opportunities are vast. What, then, should you be doing to improve your LinkedIn profile for business success and more sales? Here we look at five steps to help improve your profile.
They say the first few seconds of meeting someone are the most important. Consider that with your profile picture. It may be unfair, but many people will leap to judgement on the basis of your dress and demeanour. Do they project the image you want, both for yourself and your business? Consider enlisting a professional photographer for your LinkedIn profile. At the very least, ensure you’re professionally dressed, the lighting is good, and the picture is from the last couple of years – don’t use the same old holiday snap you’ve used as your Facebook profile since 2011.
The background image is also significant. It helps to set the tone of your profile, so choose it carefully. Make it memorable and relevant to the business ethos.
2) Description and Skills
When it comes to your headline and description, think creatively. These need not simply be your job title and a dry list of achievements. Think about the story you are telling with your personal description and how it relates to your business goals. It should reflect your motivations, how and why you are where you are, and why the business matters to you.
Try to be personally descriptive rather than simply repeating buzzwords. Focusing on your motivations and engagement with the business helps build trust for potential customers and partners.
Also, make sure your skills list is up-to-date and relevant. Show the skills that are relevant to your business. You may want to use LinkedIn's skills assessments as a verification, which gives a Verified Skills badge on your profile.
If you've completed any of the courses on LinkedIn Learning, showcase these as well.
LinkedIn is great for networking with synergetic individuals. Not only can your connections show your success in your domain, but they can also help drive traffic to your business from like-minded leaders.
Consider gathering endorsements. The easiest way is to offer endorsements to others, and they will likely return the favour. Choose your endorsees with care, of course, as this will reflect on your acumen.
If you really value the profile of another LinkedIn member, you may want to request a recommendation from them. This can help to cement your position as a trusted business leader.
Don't forget that you can share all sorts of content through LinkedIn. If you have authored any books, eBooks or white papers, here is a great place to promote them.
Be active on LinkedIn conversations, and also consider publishing long-form content on your profile. Your business expertise will be valued.
SEO is often overlooked in LinkedIn, but don't forget how often search results return LinkedIn pages. Put your SEO hat on, therefore (or take some advice), and consider the following:
- Use keywords in your headings and description. For business success, make sure these co-ordinate with your company's marketing strategy. Above all though, use your keywords in a convincing way. Ultimately, naturalistic text is more important than keyword stuffing.
- Make sure all sections are completed in your profile, and up-to-date.
- Try using relevant hashtags in your posts. Hashtags aren’t just for Twitter, and user experience suggests it works in boosting you’re the searchability of your content and profile on LinkedIn.
- Be prolific in your content. Other users will appreciate the efforts of a business leader who writes knowledgeably about their own business and industry sector. This approach will pay dividends with your networking and the status of the company in social media.
Find Out More
At JDR we love LinkedIn, and time and again have seen the powerful results it can deliver for clients as a lead generation and sales tool. Whether you’re already active on LinkedIn or your profile has gathered dust for years, let us help you make the most of the platform as part of a targeted sales and marketing strategy. Get in touch today for more information.
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