Sales professionals know the importance of branding, but not all of them think of themselves as a brand. However, your online presence does represent you as a personal brand, so you need to make sure you are leveraging social platforms in the best possible way.
Your LinkedIn profile is one of the most valuable tools in the spectrum of social networks. And there are a number of ways you can make it more buyer-centric to ensure that it attracts the right people: your prospects. Here are some key questions to think about while you’re building your LinkedIn profile.
1. Do you have a professional and approachable photo?
Your profile photo is one of the first impressions people will have of you. Eye-tracking software shows that it’s almost always the first thing people’s eyes are drawn to when they land on your page. Make sure you choose a photo that is professional but also friendly and welcoming. Straight-on head shots work best.
2. Is your profile informative?
Sparse profiles leave people wondering what you do, what your qualifications are, and what you’re leaving out. Make sure to fill out all the different areas of your profile to make the value you have to offer instantly apparent. With 88 percent of B2B professionals in the United States using LinkedIn, sales reps need to make sure their profiles are packed with engaging information and content.
3. Do your profile, summary and heading communicate the value that you offer?
What industry are you in? What services/products do you offer? That should be immediately apparent from the second someone lands on your profile and reads your heading and summary. You want to give them a reason to stick around and contact you.
You want your prospects to see your profile and see that you understand their business and have some valuable insight or information to offer them. Write a summary statement that resonates with your audience. Jen Mahon suggests something like: “These are some top challenges my previous clients were facing…”
5. What can you offer that is different or better than other sales professionals?
Your profile should answer this question and leave the buyer with a clear understanding of how your solution stands out from others. Get specific with this, and mention how you have helped solve challenges for past clients. Make sure your profile is less of a resume about you and more about the buyer.
6. Is it easy for people to connect with you?
Your profile should invite buyers to reach out to you. Include your email and other relevant contact information, and add links to your Twitter handle, blog or other networks you use for professional purposes.
7. Do you share new information and keep your profile current?
Find and share content your prospects will find interesting. You can follow influencers, share your thoughts and point of view or start discussions in other ways. Koka Sexton says that members who join the conversation on LinkedIn at least once a week are nearly 10 times more likely to be contacted for new business opportunities.
Now is the time to start reworking your LinkedIn profile, make it buyer-centric and connect with targeted buyers. Here’s a quick checklist to summarize the process:
- Use a professional, friendly profile photo.
- Write a clear, concise heading that calls out the value that you offer to your audience.
- Make your particular value in your industry stand out by packing your profile with information.
- Highlight the concrete value you have brought to past clients.
- Focus on the buyer. Unless you're looking for a job, your profile is not a resume.
- Invite buyers to connect with you in a variety of ways.
- Share new, targeted content and engage in relevant discussions.