What is your ideal prospect doing when they land on your LinkedIn profile page? Hopefully, it’s staying and reading through. But how can you be sure?
Here’s the problem: if you have a Linkedin profile, it’s one of the top results people will see when they Google your name or start researching you or your business online.
So what will they find?
Here are 7 ways to improve your LinkedIn profile so that it starts attracting prospects instead of repelling them.
1) Start with Your Headline
Your headline is the simple most important piece of information on your LinkedIn profile. It’s the first thing people see when they visit your profile or get a Private Message from you, and it shows up every time you make a comment on someone else’s post.
At the end of the day, your headline is what makes people decide if they actually want to follow you or not.
The best LinkedIn headlines are:
-Clear, not confusing
-State the service offered
-State the persons helped
And if space allows, you can also add:
Pro Tip: Avoid being a ninja, a guru, a maven or some other cutesy title you’ve given yourself. Cutesy titles can lead to confusion, and a confused prospect never buys. So, keep it simple.
Here is a quick formula you can use to get started:
What you do for people + who those people are + achievement + fun fact
Tax Prep & Bookkeeping for Business Owners. “Taxes Aren’t Simple” Podcast Host. Forbes Top 12 Innovator 2023. My kids say I am hilarious.
2) Update that Profile Photo
Make a good first impression with your profile photo by making sure you get a close-up of you smiling behind a plain background. Zoom the photo in to where your face is covering 70% of the circle. If you don’t like the background of your photo, you can use an AI tool like removal.ai or Canva to remove the background and change it to a color or background of your choice.
3) Create a Custom Cover Photo (aka LinkedIn Banner)
When a prospect lands on your profile, they will immediately see your cover photo since it takes up the most visual real estate on your page. That means it needs to stand out, look professional, and include some important information.
Here’s what I like to include:
-Another photo. This can be of yourself, your team, the landscape of your town, or perhaps your office building. Photos from speaking events can work well here. Again, you’ll want to remove the background to add the cutout into the image.
-Your website headline. Do you have a headline on your website? Include that in your cover photo to create consistency and build brand awareness.
-Credential Badges. You may wish to add the logos of publications where you have been featured in or events you have spoken at. For example, “You May Have Seen Me In” or “Featured In” followed by 4-8 logos from credible sources such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Wall Street Journal, or anywhere you have been featured. You could also include badges for awards or accolades you have received. Credibility badges offer your user just that—credibility. These badges are a form of social proof that build trust with the visitor.
Here are the logistics:
Your photo should be 1128 x 191 in size and all photos included should be shot with good lighting. Keep the space toward the bottom left clear for the header photo overlay that displays on the page.
4) Spice Up that “Summary”
I am going to keep it real with you here. Writing a LinkedIn summary isn’t easy, but here are some things you can do to make it stand out right away.
-Use a maximum of 3-4 paragraphs about you. Include information about how you got into your industry, why your work is meaningful for you, and how you best help people now.
-Make sure each paragraph is short. This makes your page scannable and more likely to be read through to the end.
-Add a last line CTA telling them to visit your website, subscribe to your email list, schedule a call, or download your lead magnet.
-Add your email address or Calendly link so people can get in touch with you without extra steps.
Adding these elements can elevate your summary and allow you to position it as a funnel to bring leads to your landing page or website.
5) Fix Up your Featured Posts
The featured posts section on LinkedIn allows you to talk about what you do a little bit more.
LinkedIn allows you to pack a bunch of stuff in the featured section, but keep it to two to three things so your visitor is focusing on what YOU want them to see.
• Add your website or landing page so that you can have a quick funnel link.
• Add a project that you’ve been doing lately or something you’re proud of.
• Add one post with a photo of you just being human. This makes you relatable and trustworthy.
You can also add some value posts here or maybe even a couple more pictures to give your prospects a glimpse of your life.
Not too many people are going to be interested in your experience, unless it’s to see how long you’ve been in the given industry or if they’re on your profile as a recruiter. So, in this space, you want to keep it short and sweet. Focus less on the details of the job and more on the positive change you influenced while you were there. This section should be a space used to highlight your skills, rather than just list the jobs you had.
The same is true of the “education” section. Keep it short and sweet. Include any accolades or special programs you finished such as graduating Summa Cum Laude or finishing an internship.
Wondering how your LinkedIn Profile measures up? Check out this previous blog on an AI tool you can use.
As you can see, there are quite a few ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile to attract the types of clients you want. Some of them are quick fixes, while others may take more time. But, if this is the first stop on a prospect’s tire-kicking journey, it’s worth the time or money investment to optimize this prime piece of digital marketing real estate.
Maribeth Kuzmeski, PhD, President of Red Zone Marketing, is a marketing strategist, advisor to financial services companies, bestselling author of seven books, and a professional speaker rated as a Top 25 C-Suite Speaker as seen in Meetings & Conventions Magazine. She speaks on topics including marketing, branding, sales, and customer service.