Any Expertpreneur® with common sense has a social media presence.
It's your opportunity to connect directly with your target market in their world… showcase your unique solution and personality… and generate a true rapport with your prospects and clients. All helping you build the business of your dreams.
And one great channel for Expertpreneurs® is LinkedIn. The only social media platform dedicated to connecting professionals with each other and their target market.
However, to make the most out of LinkedIn, you have to create a profile that sets you apart from your competition. Or else you'll blend in with the sea of “me too's” and never stand a chance of getting noticed.
That's why today I'm sharing my 9-point checklist for creating a magnetic LinkedIn profile that puts you in the best light. Generating more business for you than ever before.
You'll discover the value of not conforming to “corporate speak…”
How you can leverage testimonials to prove how great you are…
And how to make sure you're getting in front of the people who'll ultimately become clients.
9 Best LinkedIn Practices Checklist
1) Be Yourself – This may sound like a no-brainer, but I can't tell you how many people struggle with this simple concept.
LinkedIn is home to many large corporations and people who want to work with them. And, unfortunately, they tend to have a “corporate speak” they use in all of their communications. Whether it's working or not is irrelevant – it's protocol.
So, all major businesses and people who are seeking jobs with them default to this canned business-jargon in their profiles.
You may be tempted to jump on this bandwagon. However, I urge you not to. No matter what, it will sound inauthentic and “forced.” And you'll alienate your target market.
Instead, be free with your profile. Let it express who you are as a person, and put your unique personality front and center. That will help you stand out from the crowd and make you far more appealing to others searching for Expertpreneurs® with your knowledge, skills and experience.
2) Personalize Your Presence – In conjunction with “being yourself,” you want your LinkedIn page to reflect your business as fully as possible. And there are a few tricks to personalize your page to do just that.
For one, you have the ability to customize the URL for your LinkedIn page. That means you can use your name or relevant keywords to make yourself more “searchable.” This is much preferable to the default URL which is very impersonal.
Here's what the custom link for my personal page looks like: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sherylwolowyk. Clean, straightforward and direct, right?
On top of customizing your URL, you want to have an attractive and accurate photo so people immediately know who you are. I'd recommend getting professional head shots taken, if you can. Otherwise, have a friend with a good camera help you out.
The goal is to have an image that reflects your personality, and is also clear and professional. You don't want to use a poor-quality shot taken from your phone in a bar. This is the first thing people will see when you come up in a search – make it count.
Finally, cover photos are a LinkedIn addition that can really make a difference in your presence. Much like on Facebook, your cover photo is the large image at the very top of your page. And it's a reflection of you, your business, and the work you do.
I recommend getting a shot of you “in action” doing what you do. If you're a speaker, that could be an image of you on a stage talking to a huge audience. For a trainer, it might be teaching a class or working with a client.
Basically, anything that shows you in your element is best here. Because once a user gets to your page, this is the first thing they see. Be sure to impress them!
3) Create a Killer Headline and Summary – Just like with any sales messaging you have in your business, one of the most important elements is your headline. Along with your photo, this is the first thing people see when you come up in a search.
This is the ideal place to share your Value Proposition – who you are, what you do, and how you stand apart from the competition. If you don't have a Value Proposition yet, I highly recommend you take the time to figure one out.
When people are searching through LinkedIn, they're going to come across countless professionals vying for their attention. So if you're a personal trainer, just putting “personal trainer” as your headline is a one-way ticket to getting completely ignored.
However, if you put “Master bodybuilding coach for female athletes,” you suddenly stand out. You're speaking to your target audience and you're stating what you do differently – you're not just a trainer, you focus on bodybuilding. And in doing so, you're going to get more attention from the right clients.
Following this, you want to have a targeted and impactful summary of who you are and what you do on your page. This is your chance to impress your audience and show them why they should pay attention to you.
Talk about what makes you an expert in your field… your sales story – how you got where you are and why… and why you're giving back to the community. Make it very clear how much value you can provide.
I would also recommend including any massive transformations your clients have seen. Those big results will grab your target audience's attention and make them want to find out more about you.
4) Always Address Your Target Audience – Again, this may seem like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many LinkedIn users ignore this simple fact. People want to know “what's in it for me?” They don't want to hear you go on and on about yourself for no good reason.
So, when you're developing your headline, summary, and communications through LinkedIn, remember who you're speaking to. What are their deepest fears, frustration, and problems? Their hopes, dreams, and desires? What is keeping them up at night?
Why would they be searching for a professional like you on LinkedIn?
If you take the time to find those answers, you'll be able to better address their needs with everything you put out there. And with that, you'll generate a larger audience of users who fit into your Ideal Client avatar. Which could mean more potential sales down the road.
To this point, since LinkedIn is a hub for professionals of all kinds, you may be tempted to tailor your communications to your peers in your field, or event planners who might hire you to speak. Don't give in to that.
If you're clear about who you are and how you help your target audience, they'll be so impressed with your page and your message, they'll want to hire you. Because they know you'll deliver a compelling message to the audience they're drawing into the event.
5) Be Conversational – While taking into consideration “being yourself” as well as “speaking to your target audience,” you want to always make sure your communications are conversational in tone. Never too rigid or stilted.
Basically, you should always sound like you're speaking with your best friend at a bar. Just like when you are writing a direct response piece.
At Expert Elevation we consider direct response marketing to be a best practice for an Expertpreneur®. Direct response marketing is simply business to consumer (or business to business) sales messaging that elicits a specific and measurable response. Which could mean attending an event, downloading a report, or buying a product.
In any case, for direct response marketing to be effective it has to be conversational in tone. And that's how you want your LinkedIn profile to be – casual, and congruent with who you are.
It'll lower the defenses of those who reach your profile. And take them down the path of getting to know, like, and trust you a lot faster.
6) Don't Be Afraid to Boast a Little – It's no secret that proof is the key to success as a business owner. When your audience sees what you've done, rather than you telling them what you can do, they'll be more inclined to trust you.
That means it's vital to your success on LinkedIn to share any successes you have.
If you've achieved any milestones or received any training in your field, you want to share that. Anything to prove that you know what you're talking about.
Beyond that, and perhaps more importantly, you want to showcase success as an Expertpreneur®. That means accolades from your peers or leaders in your field, awards you or your products have received, and, of course, any testimonials you may have gotten from your clients or customers.
Nothing is more powerful for your business than quality testimonials about your products and services. They prove to new prospects that you really are who you say you are, and can give the results you promise.
A great way to present your testimonials is through the recommendations section of LinkedIn. There, your clients or customers can share a glowing review in their own words and publish it to your page. And, because they have all of the control in what it says and you can't adjust it at all, it holds an even greater weight than if you include the testimonials yourself.
7) Keep In Touch Regularly – Just like with all of your regular content and personal social media pages, you want to update regularly.
For one, you always want to be sharing new content with your target audience. LinkedIn has a blog feature that allows you to post on LinkedIn. You just have to create the blog (you could repurpose one you've already written), add a photo, and publish it.
Beyond that, you can share news and content as “status updates.” Either share new posts you've published on your own blog, or share relevant news stories in your industry. Anything your target market will eat up and share with others.
As a note, LinkedIn has removed the feature allowing you to automatically link your blog to their website. So, in order to share a blog from your personal page you have to do it manually, either through a share function on the blog or by copy and pasting the link to LinkedIn.
Beyond that, you can run ads through LinkedIn, as well. A great way to keep visible to your audience, and do a little testing on your messaging. See how users are responding and adjust accordingly.
8) Join and Engage in Groups – One of the most overlooked, and underutilized aspects of LinkedIn is “groups.”
You want to aim for groups your target prospects are a part of. Just by doing a little digging you can find out which groups fit and which don't and get involved accordingly.
Once you find a few that work best for you, the best course of action is to join those groups and start providing value to them. Share news and content, give advice, and help people as much as you can.
Unfortunately, many Expertpreneurs® think that just by joining a bunch of groups, they'll get a slew of new customers. They don't realize that they have to actually engage the members of the groups to see any results.
When you provide value, they'll start to know, like, and trust you, and get into your world. Potentially becoming paying customers one day.
Another great strategy is to join groups that your peers are a part of. Similarly, if you provide a lot of value and stay active in the group, it could lead you to landing speaking gigs, JV partners, and affiliates. You never know!
9) Leverage Visual Media – I've already talked a bit about how you want great photos to wow your prospects and prove you're a professional who “means business.” However, you can incorporate visual media in your LinkedIn page well beyond just having a great profile pic.
If you've ever created any video content for your audience, you can include it as a “portfolio piece” on your LinkedIn page. Simply add video in the Edit Profile section and put it front and center.
You can also add any presentations you've ever put together. If you have a slideshow with a recording of a talk you gave, you can post that on your LinkedIn profile for people to see. It's a great way to showcase your expertise while demonstrating your ability to speak in front of an audience.
The point is, you want to keep your page as diverse and relevant as possible. Have media for every kind of consumer to engage with, and you'll up your chances of LinkedIn users following you and wanting to get to know you better.
Boost Your Business With LinkedIn
You now have a full checklist you can implement today to improve your LinkedIn profile. This will get you started down the road to having a strong social media presence and engaging more prospects than ever before.
However, you should know that this is just the basics of what you need. These improvements will get your profile to the level it needs to be to start experiencing results through LinkedIn. Any less than this just isn't enough to succeed.
So go through this checklist and make sure your LinkedIn profile is shiny, engaging, and magnetic. Soon you'll find that more people will connect with you than ever before, and you'll start to generate a steady stream of clients