Imagine that you are at a party
You are single and spot someone across the room you are attracted to. This person might be the partner of your dreams.
Naturally, you would want this person to notice you. You would want them to be attracted to you. It would be important to stand out among the crowd.
However, imagine how you would feel if this person saw you as exactly the same as every other person in the room. It would be a major disappointment. This person would be just as likely to choose to talk to someone else.
LinkedIn users face exactly the same problem.
Just like single people, LinkedIn users need to stand out
LinkedIn now has millions of members. It would be amazing if there weren’t hundreds of people offering services almost identical as you. As a result, it’s important that you be more memorable to prospects than the competition.
That’s why having a successful LinkedIn profile is so important.
The trouble is, many people fail to put anything memorable in their profile
A typical LinkedIn profile announces someone as:
Sales Manager at XYZ company
This sort of profile typically has no photo. They have a brief CV and that’s it.
There is nothing to stand out to a prospective customer. There isn’t anything to lead the LinkedIn search engine to you. This sort of profile often doesn’t even mention the industry someone is in.
Here are four ways to make your profile stand out to prospects.
1. Have an interesting job title
Having the right job title can make all the difference as to whether someone looks at your profile in more detail. Remember, the job title is one of the few bits of information that accompanies the pop-up box of your profile on LinkedIn. Have a look at Deborah Corn’s profile.
Her job title is Intergalactic Ambassador to the Printerverse. It’s fun. It makes me smile every time I see it. Most importantly, it’s memorable and it screams print.
2. Have a great photo
People like to connect with people. It’s much easier to make a connection with someone if you can put a face to a name. That’s why it’s important to have a photo on your profile. You shouldn’t use any old photo – you should use the right one.
Here’s the photo for Bill Michael, who manages this blog.
There are three important things to note about this photo:
- Bill is smiling
- The photo is not too formal: it seems real and genuine
- Bill is dressed in work attire – you’d be surprised at the number of people who think swimwear is appropriate for a business social media profile!
3. Use the summary to tell people why they should be interested in you
If people look at your LinkedIn profile in more depth, you have a chance to get them interested. But you won’t achieve this by providing your CV. And you won’t achieve this by using the everyday, worn-out print sales phrases that we have all heard hundreds of times before.
Here’s my LinkedIn summary. This section is aimed at print buyers:
I hit them with a typical challenge that they are faced with every day. Then I tell them a way to solve it. Finally, I tell them why they should use me.
4. Have recommendations
Recommendations are an important part of any LinkedIn profile. They act as testimonials. (In fact, I use several of my LinkedIn recommendations on my website). They give prospects some proof that you really can deliver.
It’s time to make your LinkedIn profile memorable
- Create a memorable job title
- Upload a photograph with a smile
- Make sure your summary will grab the attention of prospects
- Ask your best customers to give you a recommendation on LinkedIn
Need more help filling out your LinkedIn profile? The LinkedIn help centre is a great place to start. The folks at Mohawk Fine Papers also recently put together a presentation detailing best practices and helpful tips for creating a better presence and network.
Schedule 60 minutes in your diary to spend on your LinkedIn profile
Don’t be like the single person that fades into the background at the party.
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a larger series on how to effectively utilize LinkedIn for prospecting and sales:
- Three Reasons Why Print Sales People Should Use LinkedIn
- 3 Rules to Creating A Successful LinkedIn Profile
- How LinkedIn Can Help You Find the Perfect Prospect
- How to Connect Successfully with your Prospect
Matthew Parker has been buying print for over 20 years. He’s had over 1,400 sales pitches from printers. Now he’s using that experience to help printing companies engage with their customers and sell print more profitably. Find out more about Matthew on his site. Download his e-book “Ten Common Print Selling Errors And What To Do About Them” for free here.