One of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear professionals say LinkedIn is a waste of time and doesn’t work for business. This could not be further from the truth. Not only is LinkedIn one of the fastest growing social networks, it is one of the most powerful business networking tools.
I think most of the people who believe LinkedIn is a waste of time simply don’t know how to use LinkedIn to maximize business results. I typically see people go wrong on LinkedIn in one of two ways.
- You create a profile, add your professional experiences and rarely log on. If you don’t put the time and effort into your LinkedIn profile, people won’t put the time and effort into looking at your profile and the services you can provide.
- Your profile is your resume. If you’re using LinkedIn to find a job, this makes complete sense. However, if you want to use LinkedIn to generate new business, you have to position your expertise correctly. You need to put relevant information on your profile such as your unique selling proposition, your ultimate claim, your value, your prospects challenges, needs and problems and what differentiates you from your competition.
If you want some tips for writing your profile, check out this article I wrote on the subject:
When you use LinkedIn correctly, you have the opportunity to reach thousands of prospective clients and attract new business. You can do this by optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Many people know SEO is important for their website, but it’s also extremely important in attracting new business through LinkedIn.
LinkedIn SEO is very similar to SEO on your website. When you strategically place words throughout your profile, it helps you get found by the LinkedIn search algorithm. Again, just like website SEO, with the right keywords in place, you can reach the top of the searching ranking, which is exactly where you want to be in order to get found by your target clients.
Here’s how you can increase your LinkedIn ranking and profile views, to turn your LinkedIn profile into one that attracts prospects:
Add Keywords to Your Name
Your name field is the first place LinkedIn looks for keywords. It’s important to identify the specific keywords you want to target using LinkedIn. For example, one of my clients is a CPA and CPA is one his LinkedIn keywords. Rather than just stating his name on LinkedIn, we included a keyword after his name.
LinkedIn will allow you to have 40 characters in your last name field. I do not recommend using all 40 characters, as it can make your name look long, confusing and unprofessional. Too many keywords and symbols can also make it harder for people to find you when they search your name. Additionally, if you use too many characters in your last name, it can cut off your professional headline in the “People You May Know” sidebar. A significant number of your views come from this sidebar, so you want it to be as clear as possible while still grabbing the attention of potential clients.
Enhance Your Professional Headline
After reading your name on LinkedIn, most people look at your professional headline. This is also where LinkedIn looks for keywords. Remember when we talked about using your LinkedIn as your resume? Well the majority of people use the professional headline to state their current title and where they work. The problem with this is thousands of other people have that same job title, which does nothing to help your search rankings or show your value.
Instead of using the professional headline as a place to list your job, use it as a place to spark people’s attention and get them to click your profile. Identify your target keyword phrases and place them in your headline. For example, one of my keywords on LinkedIn is Lead Generation. So my personal LinkedIn headline reads: Lead Generation Expert Gets Clients Targeted Leads Through Google & LinkedIn, Delivers ROI of 300% Plus+. By enhancing my professional headline, both my search results and profile views have increased.
For more on your LinkedIn headline, check out How Your LinkedIn Headline Can Improve Your Sales Success.
Write a Compelling Summary
The next section of you profile to place keywords is in your summary. The key here is to use keywords naturally without overusing them. Carefully integrate the keywords into your summary just as you would on your website.
Your summary is a great place to discuss your expertise but it’s important to focus on your target client and the benefits they will receive from working with you. Your ideal client is going to be less interested in you and what you have accomplished and more interested in what you can accomplish for them. It’s best to use keywords to balance your credibility with your results in order to increase your search ranking.
Create Your Experience
The second most important factor to increasing your LinkedIn ranking is incorporating keywords into your experience section, specifically your job titles. Similar to your professional headline, many people use this section to list their past titles: Sales Manager, Director of Sales, V.P. of Sales, etc. While it’s important to build your credibility by sharing past experiences, it’s just as important to use keywords to rank well.
One way to do this is to create several job titles within your own company making each title a keyword. For example, on my LinkedIn page, I list the following positions I’ve held within my company: SEO Lead Generation Expert, Facebook Lead Generation Expert and SEO, Social Media Marketing, Consultant, among others. This helps me rank well for each keyword phrase and improves my overall ranking and profile views.
Max Out Your Skills
LinkedIn lets you add up to 50 skills on your profile. It’s important to use this section to include all of your target keywords as skills. Once you enter your skills, reorder them so your keywords are prioritized. For example, my first skill is Social Media Marketing followed by SEO, Email Marketing, Lead Generation and so on.
LinkedIn will then ask your network if they want to endorse your skills. The more endorsements you receive, the more it will help your search ranking. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase your search ranking so be sure to take full advantage of the skills section.
Don’t Forget Your Interests
The last place to add keywords on LinkedIn is your interest section. Many people use this as a place to list hobbies but it’s also a great spot to add keywords. Consider adding a few business keywords to this section to increase your ranking and views.
Now it’s your turn to take the above advice and transform your LinkedIn. Start by making a list of keywords. If you’re unsure of what keywords to select, do a little research and see who currently ranks at the top of search results, the keywords they use and where they place them. Try adding keywords in the suggested places and document your results. Be active on LinkedIn and start using this powerful network to connect with prospects and grow your business.
Looking for more? Contact us for a free consultation.