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The Social Selling FAQs Series: The Ideal LinkedIn Profile

Posted by Dave Howe on Sep 25, 2014 3:52:53 PM

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Social Selling Faqs
Having a robust LinkedIn profile is the corner stone of any Social Seller’s activity. As we share out content and engage with clients on a daily basis, our LinkedIn profiles represent who we are, what we do and, most importantly, how we can help. If you have not already optimized your LinkedIn profile to be buyer-centric I would highly recommend doing so because it is the #1 place where buyers come to learn about you and your products/services.

Keeping this in mind, I have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions & Answers below regarding LinkedIn profiles:

How do I attract buyers to my LinkedIn Profile?

One of the best ways to attract buyers (aka prospects) to your LinkedIn profile is to make sure it is keyword optimized. This means that you want to have industry buzzwords that relate to your product/service and your buyers’ needs mentioned many times through the different sections of your profile. The more times specific keywords are mentioned in your tagline, summary, experience, referrals and skills section the higher likelihood you have of being found for them.

Is it important to hit the "500+ connections" mark?

YES. Having more than 500+ connections will show your potential buyers (and employers) that you have put time into cultivating your social network. Personally, I have spoken to several employers that will not even look at a job applicant unless they have 500+ connections. Buyers often share a similar mind state as they are also assessing you.

How should my profile photo look?

LinkedIn conducted a study a few years ago that tracked participants’ eye movements as they scanned LinkedIn profiles. Their findings: a profile photo was the #1 place that everyone looks on your profile. If your picture is not professional looking with a clear image of your face, it could easily be a deal breaker.

LinkedIn Profiles

Make sure your profile pic focuses on your shoulders and head only. If it is too zoomed out, you will not appear well in thumbnails, which pop up in multiple places all over LinkedIn. Also, don’t just crop yourself out of an existing photo. If you care about your professional image it is worth getting a quality head shot taken for your profile.

Should I pay for a LinkedIn Premium profile?

There are a multitude of different LinkedIn subscriptions levels you can purchase. The benefits of purchasing any of them really depend on your particular job function. I personally have a mid-tier premium subscription that I couldn’t possibly live without because I am on LinkedIn every day with my current role as a Social Selling Trainer. The additional Advanced Search Filters alone justify the monthly expenditure for me.

Other benefits include access to LinkedIn InMails, higher visibility of who is viewing your profile and more information on profiles that are outside your 1st degree network. LinkedIn has also recently launched a new product called Navigator, which is specifically designed for sales teams to utilize for lead generation. Definitely worth checking out if you’re in the sales industry.

Social Selling Expert

Is it important to have a Summary on my profile?

YES. The Summary section of your profile is particularly important for two reasons: 1) providing information to your buyers and 2) keyword mentions. We like to teach an easy to follow format for writing an optimal summary. Use these steps to write yours:

1. Showcase your VALUE; How do you help your buyers?
2. Mention your CLIENTS; Who have you helped in the past?
3. Include your CONTACT DETAILS; How do people contact you if they want more info?
4. Finish with a bank of KEYWORDS; What do you want to be found for/associated with?

Feel free to check out my profile for an example of this.

Does it matter if I have referrals?

YES. Buyers want to hear from people you’ve done business with in the past. It gives them peace of mind because they are potentially investing their company’s dollars in your product/service and they need evidence that it will be a worthwhile investment. Reference checks are a regular part of the buying cycle so you might as well make it as easy as possible for buyers to check your references by having them prominently displayed on your profile.

Is my LinkedIn profile a resume?

Are you looking for a job?... Then NO, your LinkedIn profile is not a resume. If you are in the B2B world then your profile is the #1 place where potential buyers are going to research you and your business.

When writing and/or reviewing your profile try to ask yourself “would I care about this if I were going to do business with me?” If the answer is “no” then adapt the information in each section until you arrive at a resounding “YES.” Buyers don’t care about you reaching 130% of quota and achieving President’s Club three years in a row. They want to learn about how you can help them and how you have helped other people in the past.

I had a lot of fun writing this post. I hope you enjoyed reading it. LinkedIn profiles are one of my favorite topics of discussion. Let me know if you have more questions about LinkedIn profiles that you’d like answered in the comment box below. Or feel free to book a quick call with me via the “Let’s talk Social Selling” button.

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Dave Howe

Dave Howe

About the Author

Dave is a gifted salesman with a passion for training. Having started from humble roots as a doorknocker in Australia, Dave quickly excelled over his decade long sales and marketing career to hold several VP and Director level positions. Prior to joining the Sales for Life team, Dave was involved with start-ups; building and training their sales teams from the ground up.

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