“One new notification: Mark Zuckerberg viewed your profile 30 minutes ago”.
It’s an unlikely scenario (unless it’s another Mark Zuckerberg who works in your accounts department), but if the founder of Facebook does visit your LinkedIn profile, then you need to be ready for him.
You don’t want Mark Zuckerberg to click on your LinkedIn profile and find out that you haven’t updated it in the last six months, or your profile picture is a badly cropped, fuzzy photo of you from ten years ago.
When you’re investing in LinkedIn automation tools, you need to pay close attention to your LinkedIn profile. If you optimize your LinkedIn profile, and treat it like a landing page, then you can generate more –– and better quality –– leads.
Why do I need to optimize my LinkedIn profile?
LinkedIn is the top-rated social network for lead generation, and your LinkedIn profile should play a pivotal role in your social selling strategy.
You might already be using LinkedIn automation tools to sequence LinkedIn profile visits to trigger social lookbacks (when someone looks back at your profile after receiving a notification that you’ve been looking at them).
If that’s the case, then you need to have a relevant, tailored LinkedIn profile that you have completely filled out so that you can attract the right leads to connect with your, visit your website, or find out more information about your business.
Marketer and speaker Carla Johnson has optimized her LinkedIn profile with a strong headline, multimedia aspects, and plenty of sharing and commenting activity.
How can I optimize my LinkedIn profile?
While LinkedIn regularly changes the way profiles are displayed, there are some key elements you need to keep on top of if you are to optimize your LinkedIn profile and turn it into a landing page for lead generation.
Use appropriate and eye-catching photos
The first thing anyone will see when they click on your LinkedIn profile is your photo so make sure it attracts their attention –– for the right reason.
Don’t post pictures of you doing shots in a bar, or wearing a silly hat (unless you own a business that sells hats).
With LinkedIn’s current design, you need both a cover photo and a headshot, and they need to be high-resolution, high-quality photos, not poorly-resized, poor-quality images.
Marketing consultant Shonali Burke gets it right on both counts, with a professional headshot, and an interesting and unique LinkedIn cover photo.
Make your headline stand out
The next thing people will see on your LinkedIn profile (after your photo) is your headline. While this was traditionally the space where people wrote their job title and company name, you should now make sure your headline accurately describes what you do and offer, as succinctly as possible.
Try to avoid using buzzwords and industry-jargon, or making it so long and wordy that people don’t understand what you do.
You need to hook them in with the headline so they feel compelled to read on to see what you do and how you can help them.
Product marketer Josh Fetcher keeps his headline up to date with his latest achievements so people can not only get a good idea of what he does but also be assured that he does it well.
Update your profile regularly
While you don’t need to be updating your profile every day, you do need to regularly add new information to ensure that people can see you’re active on LinkedIn.
This extends further than ensuring your work and contact details are up-to-date. Make sure you add new articles, share content, comment on articles, and reply to any comments on your articles.
This will show up in the “Articles and Activity” section of your LinkedIn profile and is a key way of demonstrating to people that you’re highly involved in your community and industry and that you are active.
Marketer Brittney Borowicz Keller regularly publishes articles, as well as sharing other content with here followers, and liking posts that are relevant to her industry.
Also make sure that you have structured your LinkedIn profile so it’s easy to read and skim through. Break it up into small sections with headlines, and use bullet points to draw people to read a summary of the most important information about your business.
Get –– and give –– recommendations and endorsements
Social proof is more important than ever in attracting leads and guaranteeing sales. That means that you need endorsements and recommendations if you are to convince prospects that you’re the real deal.
Make sure you only ask people who really know you for recommendations and endorsements to ensure they include specific details that are relevant to your business.
The same goes for endorsements –– having 150 people endorse you for “fashion” isn’t going to be much help if you work in finance.
And always make sure you give back, and recommend and endorse people who you rate in business.
Retail management CEO John Crossman both regularly gives and receives recommendations, and the latest are all relevant to his current role.
Optimize for keywords
When you build a website or landing page, you always optimize it for keywords so that you’ll show up in the search rankings for relevant terms. The same applies to LinkedIn search.
If you want to rank for relevant keywords that will increase your chance of showing up in LinkedIn’s search and generate high-quality leads, then your profile needs to contain these words –– and similar terms –– throughout.
But it’s not 2010, so please don’t resort to stuffing your keywords into every sentence.
Choose which sections to display –– and fill them all out
LinkedIn lets you choose which sections you can add and display on your LinkedIn profile, and many of them are optional (see below).
You don’t need to fill them all out, but make sure you include ones that are relevant to your business.
For example, publications, patents and certifications may be most relevant if you work in manufacturing or designing products. If you work in the non-profit or charity sectors, you may want to add volunteering or causes instead.
Whatever sections you choose, make sure you have filled them out with relevant information that will drive leads, and that they are up to date.
Add calls to action
Make sure you have plenty of calls to action (CTAs) within different sections of your profile.
Some of these –– such as within the publication sector –– can be links to your website or other external sites. Others –– such as CTAs within the summary section –– will be text-based.
For example, you could add your website, phone number, Twitter handle, or email address with a call to action to contact you for more information.
Digital marketer Brian Fanzo includes a call to action with his email address and phone number a the bottom of his summary section.
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is an important part of your social selling and lead generation strategy, but you also need to ensure that you are targeting the right people, and that you’re able to effectively follow up when you’ve got their attention.
LinkedIn automation tools can help you create lists of the right people to target, as well as enabling you to gently nurture them through the sales pipeline by building your influence and listening to what your prospects really want.