This infographic from SalesforLife is focused on how a LinkedIn profile can be optimized for selling. Well, in my opinion, every LinkedIn profile should be optimized for selling… otherwise why are you on LinkedIn? Your value in your profession is only as valuable as your professional network.
That said, I believe many people do damage by either abusing the platform or by not optimizing their LinkedIn profile. One practice that I'd really like to stop is trying to connect with people that you do not know. I recognize that you're looking to grow your network, but a blank invitation is not the means of doing so. Connect with me via social media, get a conversation going, let me know why a connection to you might be of value – and I'll most likely connect!
Your LinkedIn profile shouldn't be your resume – it is not about your achievements or about how you crushed quota. Instead, it should be customer-centric, focused on what value you can offer to potential prospects and buyers. Answer this question: how can I help my buyers? Here's how to craft the perfect LinkedIn profile for Social Selling.
How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
- A Real Photo – I don't connect to cartoons nor blank images. Your face is the most recognizable feature you have, put it online. I'm a graying, old, fat guy… I still put my photo online.
- Your Headline – A position title doesn't provide the value you bring others. Don't go overboard and please don't pitch being a millionaire.
- Publish Content – Provide visitors relevant content where they can identify your expertise within your industry.
- Polish Your Summary – Your headline grabbed their attention, now it's time to provide some color and a great call to action.
- Share Visual Content – As visitors scan your page, provide some visual content that's eye-catching and differentiates your profile from others.
- Experience with Results – Your work history doesn't matter nearly as much as the results that you achieved in those positions.
- Endorsements – While they're overused and undervalued, a profile with no endorsements isn't catchy visually. Get yours!
- Recommendations – Unlike endorsements, a colleague taking the time out to craft a well-deserved recommendation is incredibly valuable.
- Add a Publication – Are you sharing and writing elsewhere? Be sure to add those sections to your LinkedIn profile so visitors can get to identify your expertise.
- Honors & Awards – We live in a world where your social and civic involvement is an important factor in determining what kind of person you are. If you've been recognized, share it.
Be sure to look at your profile as seen by the public and by connections so you can improve and optimize your profile. On the right hand side, LinkedIn even provides a gauge of your profile strength… use it! I'd also recommend upgrading to a paid subscription to LinkedIn. Aside from differentiating your profile and increasing its visibility, it provides some great tools for identifying who is viewing your profile and how you can get in touch with others.