How to write a great LinkedIn profile that gets you noticed
Ace your LinkedIn profile for a winning business strategy
Are you linked in with the best people to help you advance in business? Business success doesn’t always come down to connecting directly with customers or clients – you can surround yourself with suitable suppliers, mentors, media, staff, conversation makers and executives to take you to the next level through association, value and amplified word of mouth.
LinkedIn has 9 million Australians on the social media site, and it’s not hard to see why! Firstly, it offers you a platform to show the business world who you are, and what you do best. It’s like a business card, resume and personal blog all rolled into one, that anyone can access at any time. Through a well-crafted profile and robust content strategy, LinkedIn can become a very cost-effective lead magnet while helping you become known as an expert in your chosen field.
One of the best things about LinkedIn is that it is one of the top sites that Google indexes regularly. This means an optimised LinkedIn profile that really sells who you are can ensure you come up not only in LinkedIn searches, but general Google searches as well. Imagine what could THAT do for your business or career!
LinkedIn also offers a growing network and support system to help you learn, upskill and connect with like-minded people. No matter your role, there’s someone out there who understands what you do, and what you need to advance to the next level. Whether it’s new clientele, a mentor or coach, or simply different tools and systems to make your operations more efficient, chances are, LinkedIn is where you’ll find them.
Our Simple Guide to LinkedIn shows how you can use LinkedIn for professional networking and leveraging your company’s news and announcements, but for now, let’s cut to the chase and audit your LinkedIn profile, see where the gaps are and raise the stakes!
Audit your LinkedIn profile to get more clicks and connections
Is your LinkedIn profile up to scratch? Does it make someone want to join your network or follow your posts? Will your content and tone attract your target market?
To take LinkedIn from a general networking platform to a marketing machine that really fuels growth, you’ll need to optimise your LinkedIn profile.
Master LinkedIn like a pro with this handy checklist we created. Download the free LinkedIn Audit Checklist to optimise your profile and start making valuable new professional connections!
Now it’s time to pull out your shovel and spade, because there’s some digging to do!
the key to a powerful linkedin profile is preparation
- Know your target market. Your LinkedIn target market may be very different to your commercial audience, so you need to establish who you want to notice you. If you’re a hairdresser, your commercial target market might be women within an 8km radius from your salon, but on LinkedIn, you might want to raise awareness with wedding coordinators, lifestyle media, suppliers and other hairdressers. Immediately you can see how the language and messaging will be different to what’s on your website.
- Dig for inspiration. Find language, messaging and content that you may have already developed for a similar audience – there’s no need to reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to. If you’re B2B, you might already have solid content on your website or in your capability statements. If not, peruse previous awards, tender submissions, Google My Business or Yellow Pages descriptions, or even the trusty old resume for some golden nuggets. Sometimes even a line or two that is already written for the right audience can help you continue writing your LinkedIn description.
- Follow the pros. If you don’t have any copy yet, or are unsure what you should include in your profile, you have our permission to jump into competitors’ or industry influencers’ profiles and see how they market to their target audience (note, you have permission for inspiration only – no copying! Not only is it plagiarising and will affect your profile being shown in Google searches, there’s only one of you. Shout your own story to the LinkedIn rooftops – not someone else’s). Use LinkedIn’s handy list of top 10 profiles that shows how you can capture attention quickly.
Your winning hand recap:
- work out your target market on LinkedIn, this may be different to your commercial target market
- find corporate copy you’ve written before that can be modified
- take inspiration from others on LinkedIn
Get them to join your LinkedIn club
LinkedIn only works as a successful marketing and communications tactic when you’re speaking to the right people. Essentially, you want to resonate and connect with people who you would have coffee with or sit in a meeting with – the people who you’d want to join your professional ‘club’.
Now you’ve completed your audit, and know who you want to connect with, it’s time to target your content. You want people to respect you as an authority in your field and see you as someone who could help them on their business journey, too. The best way to do this is show them that they belong to your ‘club’ by making your content relatable and aspirational.
- Create a great first impression. Connect with your reader instantly by making your introduction memorable. Lead with a quote, an anecdote or what you can do for someone – anything except “Hi, I’m Jane and I am an experienced hairdresser.”
- Introduce a case study. Choose one that reflects the work you do with your target LinkedIn audience. This can demonstrate you know how to address a reader’s challenge and turn the situation around with a positive outcome. A case study might represent one of your proudest career moments, or it could be what won you an award or resulted in a glowing testimonial. Whatever case study you chose to mention, the aim is to demonstrate you can help people in your club.
- Use testimonials. There is a separate endorsement section at the bottom of your LinkedIn page, but you can still use your profile to highlight one or two testimonials that showcase your experience and skills. Look for glowing reviews from clients, customers, staff or suppliers that have come through different channels, and include them in your copy. This can help to establish your position as an expert much quicker, as testimonials act as third person endorsement and basically say, ‘you don’t have to listen to me self-promote; here’s the opinion of someone objective.’
- Only list relevant examples and skills. You want to make sure you’re speaking to your LinkedIn market through language they understand and content that’s valuable to them. Our hairdresser for example, probably wouldn’t list colouring skills or ability to give a great perm. Instead, the skills to list would be business efficiencies, sustaining low staff and client turnover, and growing the business by xx per cent on the prior year. This kind of content will pique the interest of like-minded professionals and grow connections.
Your winning hand recap:
- understand the content needs of your target market
- use case studies or testimonials in your profile to establish third person credibility
- list only relevant skills and experiences
Connect with their heart as well as their mind through your LinkedIn profile
We know LinkedIn is a people platform, and with that comes the need to connect as human beings. You may not be able to see them or reach out for a handshake, but you can still develop rapport quickly. Use your profile summary to connect on a personal level through copywriting that connects and converts.
- Build a personal tone. Use an active voice instead of passive to connect quickly. For example, you would write ‘I have developed strong skills in….’ instead of ‘Skills developed include…’. It’s important you write as you would speak in a meeting or over coffee with them. We all work in industries filled with jargon and acronyms, but would you use them with a stranger you’ve just met? The same theory applies here. Your LinkedIn profile is essentially an extended version of your elevator pitch that lets people know who you are and what you do in a matter of seconds.
- Use personal anecdotes. Your copy doesn’t have to be all business and no pleasure; in fact; profiles that only get down to business can fall short of developing rapport with your target market. Is there a personal story or anecdote you can share that crosses over into the ‘icebreaker’ or ‘small banter’ category that you would share at a networking event or office barbeque? That’s appropriate here too, just use a segue (a sentence that links a past and future sentence together) to show how it fits in your profile. Our hairdresser might talk about a salon experience in Bali and how it was starkly different to salons in Australia and very underwhelming, but then segue to say the experience became an important lesson in understanding how the whole salon experience contributes to a hair appointment, not just the cut, colour or style a person walks out with. Do you see the personal and professional cross over?
- Use a clear photo. Another way to connect is to use an appropriate profile picture. You want a clear headshot, smiling, confident and approachable. Leave the family pictures for Facebook, and keep LinkedIn strictly professional.
Your winning hand recap:
- write in active voice instead of passive
- bring in a personal story that’s suitable and gives a snapshot of who you are as a person, not just who you are at work
- use friendly, approachable photos as your headshot
Trust us, you aren’t in this game of business alone – pull up a seat at the LinkedIn table and make your profile your golden Trump card! If writing really isn’t your thing after all these tips, send us a message.
You could have your winning profile up and attracting diamond connections and leads faster than you can say “Deal me in to the LinkedIn game!”
Free LinkedIn Audit Checklist
Create a powerful LinkedIn profile in 6 steps:
Take your basic, low performing profile page to one that helps you connect, convert and conquer on LinkedIn!