Date: 18th May 2020
You might be surprised to see me state that you are not the most important person when putting together your LinkedIn profile.
That’s because the most important person is your prospective client, the one you want to be sufficiently wowed by your profile to take some form of action such as email you or connect get in touch.
It’s an important distinction, because while the profile has your name and picture at the top, it’s purpose is not to be just another social media network, but to attract the clients you’re looking for.
Putting your potential clients at the centre of your thinking means they will immediately see that you understand them and you will already have started to build some rapport.
So if your LinkedIn profile isn’t all about you, how do you go about putting a brilliant one together?
Here are the three killer questions you need to ask yourself before writing – or editing – your LinkedIn profile.
Q1: Exactly what is it that you do?
That might seem like a simple one to start with, but the answer is not your job title, it’s a succinct description of how you help your clients.
When writing this focus on the benefits you bring, not the activities you undertake. If you have a regular networking elevator pitch, you could use this as the basis for answering this first question.
Q2: Who is your ideal client?
You need to be as specific as possible here. It’s not everyone or anyone! “SMEs” is far too big a target market. You need to think about the industry sectors, location, the size of business, and the key people within that company that you want to talk to.
Critically, you also need to be clear on the problem you are solving for your clients. What keeps them awake at night? This should also help you identify some of the symptoms they will feel when they need your services so you can articulate these too.
Maybe there are some indicators that make it easy for people to recognise themselves. For example, a business owner whose business is sourcing company cars, specifically targets professional female business owners who have their hands full on the weekend and don’t have the time or inclination to shop for a car. Secondly, some women could feel they may be taken advantage of by car salesmen.
By understanding your clients’ triggers you can then use them in your profile to demonstrate that you understand your target audience.
Q3: What are your critical keywords?
Like Google and other search engines, LinkedIn uses keywords to help decide which profiles it shows in search results, so you need to make sure these are included in your profile.
Put yourself in a prospective client’s shoes and think about what they are searching for when they type something into LinkedIn. These are likely to be the kinds of key words you need.
Your keywords need to be a mixture of words clients would use to describe you – accountant, book-keeper, business coach – and words explaining how you do what you do – training, coaching, marketing.
If you can’t face the idea of sorting out your LinkedIn profile yourself or are interested in making LinkedIn work as a lead generator for your business, then get in touch with Judy Parsons. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or bob over to LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/judithparsons.
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