By Sara Cullin, APR
You’ve probably built your company page on LinkedIn with all the bells and whistles. You’re feeding your audience a healthy mix of curated content and updates that support your corporate initiatives. What other ways can you drive business with LinkedIn?
Whether your objective is prospecting clients for your agency or selling products online, embrace employees as spokes to your LinkedIn page hub. You can simultaneously fulfill their need to be thought leaders while establishing ambassadors for your brand.
LinkedIn offers great prospecting tools that may be worthwhile if that’s where your audience is hanging out. However, before you take that plunge, optimize employee profiles. During one-on-one mini consultations with our company’s sales team, I’ve shown them how to optimize their profile with these four tips from LinkedIn experts. Typically, we take a profile that reads like a resume and turn it into a profile of someone you want to know and do business with.
1. Make your profile about THEM (not you).
Who is your ideal customer? Everything about your profile should appeal specifically to them. In the “Summary” section, write as if speaking directly to this customer. In language they understand, tell them how you can help them overcome their pain points and be successful. “Your summary is your elevator speech,” says Crystal Thies, aka The LinkedIn Ninja, who cautions against treating your profile like a fill-in-the-blank biography. “Your past is only as important to the extent that it builds the case of why people would want to do business with you.”
For example, here’s how you might optimize your “summary” section to be about THEM.
Before: I’m an experienced account manager currently responsible for an $80 million portfolio and managing a team of 12 account managers.
After: Today’s growing businesses need better spaces for their employees and customers. New construction should be sustainable, efficient and attractive. Please contact me to create the space where employees can thrive and your business can grow.
Follow this theme as you build the “Experience” section. Instead of points from your resume, provide examples of how you have already helped other clients just like them.
2. Provide engaging content (not just copy).
Copy should be brief and avoid company jargon. Support your to-the-point copy with documents, links, photos, presentations and videos, which can be attached in each section of your LinkedIn profile.
3. Optimize these three parts of your profile.
There are three pieces of your profile that represent you all over LinkedIn and these show up in search results, when you comment on a post, send a message, etc.
First, your picture should look like someone your customer wants to do business with. In most cases that means a smiling professional.
Second, your name obviously needs to be consistent with the name you use at work, if you want to be searchable.
Third, your headline should not be your job title. Remember this is about THEM. Summarize what you wrote on your profile and make that your headline.
Before: Project Manager
After: Building Beautiful, Sustainable and Efficient Space to Do Business
Take a look at this “Perfect Profile Blue Print” from AdWeek.
4. Add value and be social.
Communicate with your network. Share a mix of relevant articles from industry publications or the company’s LinkedIn profile. Add a note at the beginning about why you’re sharing it and who might benefit from watching or reading your share.
But, remember communication is a two-way street. So, let your connections know when they’ve shared something you found valuable by commenting on their posts.
By concentrating on these four aspects, you can help employees make the right connections -- and get your company’s message out.