LinkedIn is the primary social network for professionals and can be a powerful marketing tool. But if you’re using it as a basic, uninspired and uninspiring online resume, you are definitely not tapping into that power potential.
This article will tell you how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for marketing exposure by giving you 4 small changes you can make that will transform your profile into part of your lead generation and marketing strategy.
Overall Goal: Audience Relevance
Before you can take advantage of our tips in this article, though, you should establish a plan. When surveyed, 71% of B2B marketers expressed that audience relevance is the key to successful marketing strategy. Your overall goal, then, is to highlight how your profile is relevant to your desired audience. Make sure youknow your audience. Identify each part of your LinkedIn profile—Headline, Summary, etc.—and get a sense of the purpose of each part and how each could be used to show prospective customers that you are who they are looking for.
Keeping your plan and your audience in mind will help you know how to apply the tips below.
1: Be Bold
There is a disturbing trend among average LinkedIn profiles. Perhaps you’re familiar with the ever-bland “Job Title” headline? When you simply put your current position beneath your name, you are using your profile more as a resume and less as a marketing asset.
Be bold with your headline. Give more than your job title. Take a look at Lawson Abinanti. His headline invites viewers to look further into his profile and at the same time makes a strong statement of his abilities and credentials.
It doesn’t lean on a nondescript job title for a description of expertise.
Ok, your turn. Begin by asking yourself some questions: What is your expertise? What proof can you present to demonstrate that (e.g., published articles)? Who has endorsed you? Which of your projects have highlighted your success?
Use the answers to these questions to formulate a strong, confident headline. Your headline is the main point that all other aspects of your profile will drive home.
The Publications section of your profile is a great place to start backing up the claims of your headline. List your best articles—the ones published on respected sites and your viewers would recognize. Include a brief teaser description beneath each publication and a link to the article.
The Experience section will also provide support to your headline. Don’t be ashamed to do a little name-dropping here. If you’ve worked with recognized industry experts or have endorsements from them, feature that information. The Experience section, however, is also its own animal and should be handled as such.
2. Everyone Loves a Good Story
Don’t let your Experience section go the way of the “Job Title” headline: pure, uninteresting resume. A list of companies you’ve worked with or for and generic bullet point job descriptions don’t really paint a picture of the impact you’ve had on your clients and customers. Give your viewers a narrative, like Bruce McKenzie.
This style illustrates clearly what was done in a real scenario with real challenges, real obstacles, and real results. Notice how Bruce also spends a little time giving context to the problem. This not only demonstrates her knowledge and expertise, but also educates visitors about some of the problems they may be experiencing too. Bruce’s authenticity as a service provider and her clarity about what she does, why, and how it works, make her Experience section a lead generator.
3. Present Case Studies
88% of B2B marketers consider case studies to be the most effective form of content marketing. Still, we don’t commonly see case studies on LinkedIn.
It’s time to change that. Derek Miller features case studies on his LinkedIn Projects section to show how he performed on certain projects.
There is the risk of overlap here between the Experience section and the Projects section. Derek has a great system in place:
In the Project section, he provides short blurbs that link to a slide share presentation associated with that project. Another option would be to link to a case studies or portfolio section of your website. Projects/Case studies that you do not include on your website could be featured in your Experience section. Make sure that if you’re going to feature both case studies and narrative experience descriptions, you are not being repetitive. Consider how to distinguish your case studies section from your experience section.
4. Worth 1000 Words
Take advantage of the opportunity to include Media on your profile. Using LinkedIn’s Professional Gallery features, you can add SlideShare presentations, video, and other interactive tools to highlight your value.
Wayne B. is a great example here.
You can see that in his summary section he includes video to highlight his services as well as downloadable whitepapers. In fact, he includes video throughout his profile. But if you don’t have video, don’t worry: you could share slides from a presentation you’ve given. Otherwise you could create a presentation to display media (screenshots, images, etc.) associated with your different projects.
I don’t have to tell you that we’re in a marketplace that is fast paced and we need to keep up with it. Make your profile stand out and use these 4 tips to renovate your LinkedIn and bring it up to speed so that it can become a more effective part of your marketing strategy. Make your profile stand out