Learn to Love Your LinkedIn
Your LinkedIn profile is your primary business card. Make it count.
When people hear about you and want to look you up, chances are, they’ll go straight to your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn started as a digital CV with a factual overview of your past work experience, but it has grown into much more. In many industries, over 80% of business leads come through LinkedIn.
If LinkedIn is indeed a place where you expect your target audience to search for the services you offer, then step into their shoes. What would they be looking for when they land on your profile?
They want to get a clear picture of who you are as a professional, how you can help them, and why they need to work with you. They are likely going through many profiles and comparing, so be clear about what makes you different from your competitors.
To make it more challenging, you probably have seconds rather than minutes to intrigue them to stay on your profile read more. This means your profile is not just about you. It’s mostly about them and letting them know you understand the problem they are struggling with and that you are the right person to help them solve it.
Don’t panic, it’s easier than it seems. Let’s take it step-by-step.
Discover what you like about the way others present themselves
No need to reinvent the wheel. Take a look at a few LinkedIn profiles to understand what level of clarity you look for when analyzing others. And then apply that same level of clarity to your profile.
Your whole profile should be impeccable, but the magic happens in your HEADLINE and ABOUT section. Here is where people looking at your profile expect to find the answers to basic questions:
- Who are you? (profession)
- What can I call or recommend you for? (Skills)
- What do you offer? (Services)
- How do I engage with you? (Call of action)
Take a look at the profiles of a few people who address these questions in different styles and think about which style has your preference.
Angel Figueroa Mayordomo - Elena Ivanova - Miriam Brunke - Carole Heine - Nadina Galle - Jon Weston - Lacey Abbacchi - Natalia Wiechowski - Cole Schafer - Mathijs Sterrenburg - Kim Witten - Twan van der Slikke - Joanna Maiden
Need more inspiration? Take a look at this 2 min video.
Lay the Foundation
Decide what you want to be known for and how you want to come across
If you want people to remember you and recommend you, give them a story to share.Looking at LinkedIn profile of Elena Ivanova, one could recommend her as follows:
Elena is a graphic designer. If you are struggling with visual communications, she can help you design graphics that bring your brand to life. You can call her if you need: Brand identity, Website design, Packaging Design, or Editorial design. Do you have a design challenge? Take a look at her portfolio and if you're interested, reach out to her via email.
Your LinkedIn profile should support your value proposition, so make sure your customer story is clear and to the point before you start editing your profile.
You want to be known for solving a specific problem for a specific target audience.
At the same time, you want to leave an impression of your character and make your profile personal. Let your readers get a sense of your personality and decide how you want to make them feel when they read your profile.
That said, write your customer’s story & your story before you bring it together in a LinkedIn summary.
Your customer’s story
- Who is your client?
- What is their problem?
- What do you propose as a solution?
- How will the solution make their life better?
- What makes you the right person to help your customers?
- Why should they trust you?
- How do you want to come across?
- What are your core values?
Give it a shot: update your LinkedIn Profile
Be clear and concise
Sometimes less is more, and your LinkedIn profile is one of those times. The easier you make it for people to understand what you do and who you are, the better.
Be clear and intriguing at the same time. Your header should already explain who you are and what you do, while also sparking curiosity to read more in the About section.
Write an About Section that answers these 4 basics questions:
- Who are you professionally?
- What skills can I recommend you for?
- What services do you offer?
- How do I start working with you?
The About section is a story you want your readers to share when they talk about you. At the same time, you want to give the readers a sense of your character. Dare to make it personal and memorable.
Work & Volunteer Experience
Briefly explain the experience in a way that is relevant to your value proposition. Ideally, you don’t need the ‘see more’ button.
- Is your role title clear?
- Can you describe your role and responsibility in 1-3 sentences?
- Does each role have a logo?
- Do you have interesting media to share with those interested?
Skills & endorsements
List the skills you would like to be known for. Be selective and stick to those you want to rank on. Pin the top-3 skills that are currently most relevant.
Know what recommendations you would like to receive. Make sure there is at least one recent recommendation from someone you recently worked with that reflects the value of your services.
When you’re all done, share your updated profile with a few friends and colleagues and ask them how they would recommend you in 2 or 3 sentences. After all, as Dr. Frank Luntz would say: “It’s not what you say, it’s what people hear.” If you did your job well, their recommendation will come very close to the one you would like to receive.
And if you would like a random stranger to take a look at your updated profile, schedule a 30 min LinkedIn scan with me.
What can you expect from a LinkedIn scan?
Honest feedback of what I hear when I read your profile!
During a 30 minute call, I will take a look at your LinkedIn profile for the first time and give you an honest, non-sugar coated reflection, as a random stranger of how I understand your professional profile: what you do, how you do it, and why it matters.
I will tell you who I understand your target audience to be and how I would recommend you based on the story you’re sharing.
It's free as long as you promise to put serious effort into improving your profile.
What’s the catch?
I would like to showcase more examples of well worked out profiles. ;)
And to be very honest, I hope to meet 2 or 3 rabbit-like entrepreneurs in that process each year who are ready to take the first step in building their personal brand and start with personal brand training.