I love LinkedIn. It’s my favourite social media platform, and I spend a lot of time on it. For me, LinkedIn is the best tool available to gain quality leads and target ideal clients. But before you start building any kind of lead generation campaign, you need to create a fantastic LinkedIn profile that jumps off the screen. With that in mind, I want to share 3 simple things that you can do to boost your LinkedIn Profile, focusing on your Headshot, Headline, and About sections.
Having a good LinkedIn profile photo is REALLY important. It’s one of the first places where you can make a great first impression and showcase your personal brand. Failing to upload a profile picture is one of the most basic mistakes on LinkedIn — it will make you look spammy and untrustworthy, while a bad profile picture will make you look unprofessional — not the look you’re aiming for!
A study by Todorov and Willis showed that it takes 1/10 of a second to make a snap judgement about someone’s character from their face — including trustworthiness, likeability, competence and attractiveness.
Remember that people buy from people — and a professional headshot photograph is an easy way for your connections to verify your identity, and shows your profile is in use and up to date.
Consistency is paramount when it comes to branding, so if you’re trying to come across as reliable and professional, you should look reliable and professional.
Here’s a little-known secret that will boost your discoverability using your LinkedIn profile photo!
Rename your photo file with your name and primary keyword/title, and then re-upload — for example, ‘nickbagga-marketingconsultant.jpg’, This helps your image to score more highly in search results, improving your SEO ranking.
You can also check how suitable your image is by uploading it to Photofeeler to get objective feedback from other users.
Here’s my checklist of the 10 most important things to remember when selecting your LinkedIn profile photo:
- Are you in the centre?
- Are you smartly dressed to represent your business/brand?
- Do you have a friendly, approachable expression?
- Is the photo recent?
- Have you cropped it to head and shoulders?
- Can you clearly see your face?
- Is there anyone else in the picture?
- Have you used a neutral background?
- Is the lighting soft?
- Have you renamed your file with your name and keywords?
In my Complete Linked In Mastery Course, I’ll take you through a detailed evaluation of both good and bad examples of headshots, and I also provide more detailed resources to help you really ace your LinkedIn profile photo.
Your Headline — a short block of text (limited to 220 characters) that appears underneath your name and is visible to anyone on LinkedIn — is the next most important part of your LinkedIn profile.
Along with your headshot, it shows up everywhere and is the first thing people see when interacting with you. To stand out and resonate with your prospects, your headline must be professional and convey credibility.
There are 4 main types of headline: Keyword-focused, Client-focused, Egocentric and Mission-led.
Headline dos and don’ts
- Include keywords (to help your SEO ranking)
- Make it stand out with emojis
- Utilise the 220-character limit
- Make sure it’s relevant to what you do
- Use the divider symbol (|) to separate text
- Be succinct
- Use the default headline ‘Job Title at Company’ — instead, customise and personalise YOUR headline
- Write ‘looking for new opportunities’ — it looks desperate
- Put the term LION in your headline (LinkedIn Open Networker) — it looks spammy and dated
- Make spelling mistakes — it will damage your credibility and professionalism
- Use acronyms or industry jargon
Don’t be afraid to change your headline from time to time as it’s a great way to refresh your LinkedIn Profile. My Complete Linked In Mastery Course provides plenty of helpful resources to ensure you create the best possible headline.
The ‘About’ Section
This is the next most important section of your LinkedIn profile — where you get to sell yourself, convey professionalism, credibility and impress your prospects.
It’s the main event of your LinkedIn profile and is your opportunity to provide detail about you and your services — use it to sell yourself!
Key things to remember:
- Speak directly to your target market
- Tell your clients how you can help them
- It should be keyword optimised
- Use all 2600 characters
- Make use of formatting
- It should be written in the first person — it’s YOUR LinkedIn profile, so should be YOU talking directly
I recommend a 3-part formula for your ‘About’ section, using the 80/20 rule:
- Who am I? (You 20%)
- Who I help (Your ideal clients — 80%)
- Get in touch (call to action/CTA)
Who am I? (20%)
This is your chance to brand yourself and communicate who you are in more detail. Remember to keep it brief! Mention your professional background, show your credibility and passion, and list your awards and accomplishments, and your specialist skills.
It should be written in the first person, using a friendly tone.
Who I help (80%)
List the types of company or job roles you work with — identify their pain points and problems and tell them your solutions.
Talk about the client’s goals, to answer WIIFM? (What’s In It For Me?) — ultimately, people care about themselves, not you!
Use testimonials to highlight your authority.
Get in touch (Call To Action/CTA)
Keep it short and sweet, with no unnecessary detail. Generally, your email address and phone number are sufficient.
Optimising Your ‘About’ Section
When viewing a LinkedIn profile on a desktop, you only see the first line of the ‘About’ section. Make sure you have a good opening line to encourage viewers to click ‘see more’.
Here are my top tips:
- A huge block of text can be hard to read and off-putting. Break it up into sections to draw the viewer’s eye to your key information.
- Use emojis to create bullet points and break up sections — Emojipedia is a great resource.
- Use formatting to make key phrases stand out. Pro-tip — you can convert key phrases into bold text using sites such as Lingojam and then paste them into your LinkedIn profile
- Use keywords to improve your search ranking
- Use Bitly links to drive traffic to your website — but check to make sure they work!
- Include a call to action
- Ensure your spelling and grammar are correct — get someone to proofread your profile.
My Complete Linked In Mastery Course explores the best ways to optimise your LinkedIn profile in greater detail, with helpful resources to make sure you’ve covered everything.
Now you’ve got a great LinkedIn profile, you can start thinking about the next step — targeting your ideal client and generating quality leads. Look out for my next article — “My 4C Method for Prospecting Like a Pro”, where I’ll talk you through my tested approach to nurturing leads without the cold, hard sell.