Building credibility on LinkedIn starts with an engaging profile. If you haven’t updated your job experience since you were an intern, or your profile picture is from your days as a baby-faced undergraduate, it may be time to make a few changes.
Your LinkedIn profile. If you’re like most people, you set it up one time when you were looking for a job, promptly forgot your password and probably haven’t tried to log back in since. If that’s the case, you may be missing out on LinkedIn’s full range of capabilities.
While it’s still a good place to find a job, in recent years, LinkedIn has grown as a platform where companies can connect with prospects and generate leads. If you’d like to start using LinkedIn in this fashion, it starts with a revamped profile.
With that in mind, here are our tips for optimizing your LinkedIn profile for lead generation success (you may want to remember your login info this time):
Update Your Profile Picture and Banner Image
You only get one shot to make a good first impression. On social media, your profile picture is the equivalent of meeting someone face-to-face for the first time. Therefore, ensure you’re projecting a warm, professional, and trustworthy image to potential prospects. That doesn’t mean you have to hire a professional photographer to take your photo either. Simply having a profile picture results in up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests.
In addition, a good-quality banner image can help your profile stand out from the crowd. One of the more underutilized spaces within a profile, your banner image can be used to highlight a product or service you’re selling in a creative way. But keep it simple. Try incorporating your company name, website or phone number into your image, while not distracting your profile viewers.
Your Summary Is Gold
While a picture is worth a thousand words, it still won’t convey your purpose to a potential prospect better than a well thought out summary. Your summary is the one place on your profile where you can give an overview of your professional life in your own words. You can highlight your biggest accomplishments or showcase client successes. More than any other aspect of your profile, your summary is where you draw your prospect in further and convince them you would be a valuable connection.
Add Relevant Skills
In the words of the immortal Napoleon Dynamite, “Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills.” And while we don’t advise using LinkedIn to find a significant other, adding relevant skills and updating them on a consistent basis is one way to let potential prospects know you would be a valuable connection.
It’s best to keep these skills business-related, because unlike Napoleon Dynamite, nunchuck skills, bowhunting skills, and computer hacking skills are probably not what your ideal prospect is looking for in a potential business partner.
Showcase Your Work
LinkedIn allows you to add a variety of media such as videos, images and presentations to the various sections of your profile. By showing examples of your work, a potential connection will have a feel of your products or services.
It’s important to spend time optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Just like optimizing your website for Google search, optimizing your LinkedIn profile will help increase views and boost awareness.