Warning: In this post I am going to share the transcript from a recent podcast I recorded. The advice I share in it is probably the exact opposite of anything you have read elsewhere. So do me a favor and don’t trust anything I share on it until you can test them for yourself in your own business or job hunt. Cool? Cool.
Did you know there’s over 200 million users on LinkedIn?
Or how about the fact that there’s over 25 million profiles viewed every day on LinkedIn?
That’s a lot of eyeballs, isn’t it?
The first rule of marketing I’ve learned over the past decade and a half I’ve been doing this sort of thing, is that in order to catch fish, you have to fish where the fish are.
Sure you can fish in the mud puddle in your backyard if you wanted, but that’s not going to stock your freezer with fillets.
So to catch fish, you first need to be where the fish are.
Marketing your business is no different, instead of fishing for fish, you’re fishing for people and opportunities.
Where are the people at? Well, they’re on social media sites like LinkedIn. That’s where they’re at.
On this episode, I’m going to go against the grain a bit and give you some wickedly bad advice regarding how to market yourself or your business on LinkedIn.
I say it’s bad advice only because it flies is the face of what so many social media experts are teaching nowadays.
So consider yourself warned!
Maybe you’re looking for leads for your business, maybe you’re looking for a new job opportunity, maybe you’re looking for new referral sources to network with.
Whatever it is you’re looking for, what I teach you on this post will help you do that more effectively despite what the experts may be telling you elsewhere.
It All Starts At Your LinkedIn Profile
You have your profile filled out, right?
According to LinkedIn, users with completed profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn. That’s 40 times!
You want to make your efforts on LinkedIn 40 times more effective? I should hope so. Then fill out your profile!
Like everywhere else on the web, content is very important and your LinkedIn profile is no different.
Your content’s going to inspire how others view you, they’re going to judge your intelligence by your profile. They’re going to judge how professional they think you are by your profile. They’re also going to judge how influential they think you are by your profile.
So getting your profile set up properly is extremely important.
Your LinkedIn profile has to be crystal clear about who you are and your value to the world.
Take a look at it. Take a long, honest look at your profile and ask yourself if you would be impressed with it if you weren’t you. If not, you’ve got your work cut out for you.
But you probably already knew that. If you’re not getting any success with what you’re doing on LinkedIn, it’s your profile that’s probably causing you the issues.
Fortunately a lot of what you need to do to turn it around so it does work for you instead of against you, isn’t all that much work.
So that’s pretty good news.
What are you using for your LinkedIn profile pic?
Have you checked out the profile pic I’m sporting? The caricature?
I’m getting told all the time – I mean all the time – by social media experts that I should use my real image.
The problem with that is I’m almost always getting more profile views than those experts who tell me that.
When you go to a professional photographer and get a head shot taken, the problem is, the only business that it helps is the photographer who took your picture.
I’m not against your local photographer. Give him or her as much business as you can. But have it be your kids’ senior pictures, family portraits, maybe a family reunion have them come out and take some pictures. Hire them then, don’t hire them for your profile picture.
In marketing you want to get as many eyeballs to your profile as you can. One of the great ways to do that is to look different than anybody else.
If you do any search on LinkedIn, it pulls up a lot of people. It almost looks like a high school yearbook for 40 or 50 year olds but everybody is dressed the same.
That doesn’t help marketing at all.
I care more about getting profile views than I do about vanity points, but that’s just me.
Now, if you’re looking for a job, is it a smart idea to use a caricature? You have to make that decision for yourself.
But I like hiring people that have a sense of humor, and if you’re looking for a marketing position or a sales position, you’ll impress your future employers if instead of you hunting them down, they came and found you instead.
Trust me on this.
Don’t use your company logo either. Be real, be yourself, even if it isn’t a real picture of yourself. At least use a caricature of yourself, people have no problem bonding with caricatures.
Have you ever watched cartoons?
Who was your favorite cartoon character? I loved the Justice League. I bonded with Superman, I bonded with all of the super heroes on that show actually, except for the Wonder Twins. I mean, they were pretty lame, you have to admit they were lame.
How many people have bonded with Bart Simpson? I’m thinking quite a bit.
Whatever you use as your profile picture just get seen, get noticed, be different, don’t be a lemming and do your best not to look just look like everybody else.
Now let’s look at your profile’s headline
Once you get your profile pic taken care of, you need to take a good hard look at your headline.
Your headline is your second most important element on your profile. It’s what people look at after they look at your profile pic. It needs to be something that grabs attention. Remember, marketing success comes from grabbing attention.
The more attention you grab, the better. You just need to grab more attention to your profile than what your competitors are currently getting.
LinkedIn only gives you 120 characters, so it’s a little tricky to be able to put a headline together that includes your keywords that grabs attention, and then funnels the reader over to your profile.
That’s what a headline is supposed to do. So make sure yours does that.
Let me discuss a little bit first about keywords, I don’t want to get too much into it because that’s beyond the focus of what I’m covering this episode. But, keywords are how your prospects find you.
Now, a great way to find profitable keywords is to just search your competitors’ profiles. Check out their headlines, check out their summaries, experience titles, check out their experience descriptions, and their skills and endorsements and their interests. Check out their groups and associations.
I guarantee you that your top competitors are absolutely peppering their profile with keywords. So it won’t take you very long to find two or three really profitable keywords for your industry.
Is it cheating? You tell me. I only know that it works and it saves a lot of time. Why reinvent the wheel? Your competitor’s already researched what the profitable keywords are for your industry.
Profiting from their labor just kind of makes sense to me. Remember, it’s the little things that will put your marketing efforts on the fast track to success. So spending a couple of hours, looking at your competitors profiles, to find profitable keywords is going to be time well spent.
Now listen to the headline I’m currently using:
“Betcha can’t read just one of my LinkedIn Pulse posts”
I use that headline because it entices quite a few people to come check my profile out and read my LinkedIn Pulse posts.
Now, I’m not expecting any type of search traffic from that headline because I don’t have any of my keywords included in it. Instead, I’m just trying to entice people to come read my posts. Because that happens to be where I have a lot of resources laid out for business owners who want to build successful marketing systems.
When it comes to adding keywords to your headline, it’s a good idea not to use any more than two to three keywords.
LinkedIn doesn’t give you a heck of a lot of space to begin with and when you stuff that limited space with keywords, it makes you look really unprofessional.
Remember, the whole idea of your headline is to gather attention and provide a route for your visitor to follow in order to fulfill the promise of your headline.
That’s going to be really hard for you to pull off if you just have it really stuffed with keywords so keep that in mind when you’re putting keywords in your headline.
Don’t put any more than two or three, it just doesn’t look right.
Care to summarize your summary?
Alright, let’s talk about your LinkedIn profile’s summary section.
We’ve talked about your profile pic, we’ve talked about your headline, we talked about how it’s important to create them in the way that helps you stand out in the crowded LinkedIn landscape.
Ok, that part makes sense.
Well, your summary section is no different, it’s something that you want to help you stand out in a crowded room.
Think of it as your elevator pitch, really. It’s the first thing visitors are going to read when they hit your profile.
First of all, they hit your profile pic, then they read your headline, then their eyes almost always go right to your summary.
That’s the part where you’re going to have to captivate their attention.
It has to be something more than just a recap of your resume, that’s the kiss of death.
Your summary has to be something that entices your prospects to want to swim deeper into your sales funnel, so if you’re looking for a job, you want that prospect to swim deeper into your sales funnel by actually contacting you and asking you to submit your resume to them.
If you’re looking for a prospect for your plumbing business, you want a business to call you and say, hey, I have some plumbing that needs to be done on the second floor of our building, can you come out and take a look at it?
Let me tell you what you can do to make your summary something that does help you stand out.
Here’s what you do, before you even touch your keyboard, go over in your head what you want to communicate and what you want your readers to do.
That’s very important because if you’re going to entice them to go deeper into your sales funnel, you’re going to have to ask them to do something in your summary.
So, before you touch your keyboard, know in your head, even write it down if you need to, what you want your readers to do after reading your summary.
So what is it you want your profile visitors to do?
In my case I want them to read my LinkedIn Pulse posts and then join my free marketing course at youradsquad.com.
But what about you?
There is something you want your visitors to do, right?
For instance, do you want them to read your work history? Do you want them to read your own Pulse post?
Do you want them to visit your website, accept you as a network partner, or just call you?
Whatever it is you want to do, you have to ask them to do it in your summary section.
In life, you have an excellent chance of getting what you want, you really do. But you have to have the guts to ask for it.
Unfortunately, most of the summaries I read here on LinkedIn are totally gutless in that aspect, so here’s what I recommend you do with your own profile.
Not everyone can write direct response pieces well. I understand this. So if it’s something you definitely don’t feel comfortable writing yourself, then consider hiring somebody to do it for you.
There’s a lot of great direct response copywriters on LinkedIn that you can turn to. Given how short the summary section is, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to go that route either, so think about it.
Your LinkedIn summary can become your most important tool to advance your business, your career, and your marketing efforts.
People before they ever shake your hand, they can learn everything about you online.
When it comes time for them to find a solution to their business challenges, you can count that their first source that they’re going to turn to, is going to be you.
That’s if you actually took the time to fill your profile out properly. That means having a profile pic that looks different from everyone else, it means you have a catchy headline that funnels your visitor’s attention to your summary section. And it means that you actually ask your visitors on your summary section to do whatever it is that you want them to do.
How to Set Up The Experience Section Of Your Profile
Now let’s talk about your experience section on your LinkedIn profile. That’s a great opportunity for you to put more keywords into what you’re describing in your section.
What you don’t want to do, is just copy and paste your resume into this section.
Your resume has no business being on this LinkedIn profile. If your future employee needs a resume they’ll ask you for one.
If you’ve ever hired anyone and you had to interview a lot of people, it’s a really boring process.
The in-face interviews were always the best because you could tell immediately whether or not this person was somebody that was going to fit into your team and work out.
But on paper, it was all really dull, going over the numbers and the accomplishments, and it’s just data.
Data’s always boring.
Don’t put data on your LinkedIn profile, data belongs in spreadsheets. It’s certainly important in Google Analytics and that kind of data to track your sales. But as far as your personal data for your business or for yourself personally, don’t include it.
I’m not going to put my experience all the way back to my first job working at Taco Bell frying taco shells. I mean, that was 30 years ago. That kind of data is useless.
So, take all your old jobs that really don’t pertain to what you’re doing today, and take it right off your experience section.
What you want is to only include the experience that is relevant to what you’re looking to accomplish.
Like I mentioned before, I want people to join my free marketing course that I have available at my site.
I’m only include information on my LinkedIn experience that pertains to why I’m a person that you can listen to when it comes to marketing.
You should follow my lead on this.
You’re telling a story with your profile pic, you’re telling a story with your headline, you’re telling a story with your summary. The experience section is where you back up that you’re a person worth following and listening to.
That’s the process that has to take place and if you just copy and paste your resume, it’s just not going to work.
So, tell a story with your profile.
If you can do that, you’re going to win in this game of LinkedIn. You will.
There’s just no doubt about it.
How To Set Up Your Endorsement Section
Moving further down your profile, another section that your visitors will look at and learn more about your story is your endorsement section.
My main skills that I list in my profile is SEO, online marketing, social media marketing, marketing, online advertising. That’s the main thing that my agency does, it’s what I’ve been doing forever now, and it’s what I’ve raised my kids on. So, it’s what I know, it’s what I do.
But when I set up my profile LinkedIn asked me if I wanted to put in small business speaking, small business marketing, and web design, and I’m like, you know what, yeah, let’s add that. I easily added a slew of different skills listed and all that did was make me look like a narcissistic know it all.
The truth of the matter is, I can’t do everything. And so, what I want to do on my profile is only share the skills that further tell the story that I started telling with my profile pic, with my headline, with my summary section and then on to my experience section.
You want to make sure your endorsements just further your story, gives social proof from your peers on LinkedIn saying, yeah, this guy knows what he’s talking about when it comes to whatever it is you do for a living.
Having too many skills listed will water down whatever story you’re telling to your visitors on your profile. So do your best to not use any more than ten or so if you can help it.
Recommendations On Recommendations
Cruising right along, that brings us to the recommendation section of your LinkedIn profile.
I’m not going to spend too much time on this because it’s self-explanatory. The more recommendations you have, the better.
Just make sure that they’re intelligent recommendations, that they’re real recommendations, that they’re from your real clients.
If you don’t have any clients yet, maybe there are people that you helped with a project that you met on LinkedIn that you can ask for a recommendation from.
Maybe you have clients who have already left a reference for you or a testimonial or a recommendation for you somewhere else other than LinkedIn. Get a hold of them, get them to come and leave a recommendation for you.
Clients and customers are usually very cool about that.
Wrapping everything up, the number one purpose of your LinkedIn profile is to tell a story to your prospects.
Does your profile tell a story? If not, you need to work on it, by following the tips that I’ve given you this episode to make it worthy.
Now, down the road you’re going to want to do a lot of activity on LinkedIn. The kind of activity that will drive people to your profile.
The problem I see with a lot of marketers, is that they go and get into all kinds of activities that drives all kinds of views to their profile, but they neglect setting their profile up to be ready for it.
Get your profile tweaked, get it in place, get it set up right, get it ready for company, and get it ready to tell your story.
Because when it does tell your story, you’ll see results from the efforts you spend here on LinkedIn.