Social Selling is about many things. But first and foremost it is about getting attention and keeping their interest – what people see and read. It is about relationship building and this article deals with the start of many of those relationships.
Sorry to say this, but your profile might be killing business prospects and you may not even know it. Visitors come to your profile and they might be “already gone”. Why is this and what can you do about it?
Visitors may be coming to your LinkedIn profile and they just don’t like what they see. They jump for the back button. You’ve lost them. You may never know it or why – unless you get help. They come, they go and you may not even know (OK, I made a rhyme, but you expected something musical, right?)
Look at “whose visited your profile” and see who this is. It’s a great place for finding leads and it’s a place that shows you who is NOT reaching out.
One simple way to begin improving upon your “click off rate” is to ask others to take a critical look at your profile. And ask them for suggestions. Have them specifically look at the areas listed below so you can focus their attention. Be sure to do a decent sample size (5+ people), start making some changes based on what they say.
When people land on your LinkedIn profile they see a few things right away. They might hit the back button. That’s bad. Or they might move their heads a little closer to the screen (good) based on what they see when they get there. It’s that first 3-6 seconds that makes you or breaks you and it’s like with a web site. So, are you pulling them in or pushing them away?
Let’s dive in a bit and see if we can improve upon a bit…
Some help with pulling them in
The primary things that will affect how you are “viewed” are:
- LinkedIn photo
- Headline text
- Current job titles & employer names (up to 3)
- Past job titles & employer names (up to 3)
- LinkedIn profile URL
- Header image (Premium Account holders only)
LinkedIn profile photo
Your LinkedIn photo is the VISUAL welcome mat on your profile and it is SUPER important, worthy of a post all to itself. You can sure bet we will be doing a special post on this topic. This photo should be of you and you only. There is much that can be done to pull in viewers. My all means make it attractive and make it stand out.
Your profile photo is the center piece of your profile AND is what people see of you whenever you appear anywhere on LinkedIn. This can be in lists, in messages, in posts and much more.
LinkedIn profile headline text
Your headline text is the TEXTUAL welcome mat on your profile and it is equally important. The reasons are 2-fold. First is what people see (read) and that’s critical. What message are you putting in front of them? There are lots of strategies here. And I will explore them just a little bit. Once again, this is the subject of an article all to itself and you can expect an article dedicated to this coming from us in the future.
Second is what the search engines see. The text you put are tracked by both the LinkedIn search engine and external search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. They all (rightfully) assume that this text is the most important things on your profile. For starters, think about including keywords and some type of a value statement. Here is mine for example:
Forbes Top 50 Award Winner ♦ Social Selling Speaker, Trainer, Author, Expert, Futurist ♦ I help sales teams make quota!
Current job titles and company name
The job title and company name text that appears for each position appears in clear view to all visitors. LinkedIn show up to 3 entries from your pool of “current” jobs. There are lots of strategies on what to do here as well. No matter what, make sure you think about how they appear at the top of your profile as much as you think about how they look down below. The search engines also value this information. Think about keywords that you want to be associated with in your job titles and spice it up a little bit. For example:
► Integrated Alliances LinkedIn Training and Sales Training, ► Integrated Alliances Social Media Speakers, ► NewGen Broadcasting – WebmasterRadio.FM
Past job titles and company name
Just below your current job entries are the 3 PAST job entries and it too appears in clear view to all visitors. Perhaps you can make those past positions look nice and attractive as well. Here is mine:
► Internap Network Systems, ► Cable & Wireless Global | SAVVIS, ► US West | USWest | U S West
You can display one education entry in this area and you can control which one it is. Pick one that shows you off best or that is most genuine and move it around so it appears here. It might take several iterations. If you have a real degree and took a class at a local community college most recently and have that listed, pick the better of the two.
LinkedIn Profile URL
The LinkedIn profile URL is much more subtle than the previous items I have presented. Everyone has one of these and it’s just a matter of whether you figured out how to change it or not. When you have the default URL with random characters appended to your name it shows a lack of detail that visitors may think applies to your work as well. Be sure to give yourself a nice custom profile URL that makes you look as intelligent as you are.
The importance of this is subtle although there are indeed some good strategies for it. For example, I live in Prior Lake, Minnesota. The city is a cool place with a vibrant business community and lots of great live rock and roll music. Yet, most people don’t know where it is other than “somewhere in Minnesota”. Fortunately, LinkedIn lets me pick the larger nearby city instead and I choose to do so (Greater Minneapolis-St Paul Area). I look more ready for business being in a big city vs. a small one.
For many there are options to be had with your industry. If you do marketing for an aerospace firm should select Marketing or Aerospace or something for your industry? Give it some thought for attracting people and enticing them to stay on your profile a little longer. Look at what others are doing, both in your firm and in similar positions at other firms to get a perspective. On another note, your employer may have a standard or may want to implement a standard.
LinkedIn articles and posts
LinkedIn implemented a sophisticated content publishing platform a while back. And they launched it first with a select group of individuals. This is now open to everyone and it’s a terrific way to get attention of your target market and jazz up your profile. I am doing just that here with this post for example. Make sure you include a good looking, relevant picture in your post. So that picture will appear on your profile and encourage people to hang out a little longer. How is this for standing out a bit?
LinkedIn profile summary
Getting a little further down we get to your summary and, in particular, the TOP of your summary. Pay some extra attention to the first sentence and the first paragraph. Greet profile visitors with a “virtual handshake” and thank them for stopping by. The profile summary is the single most important piece of “larger” text field you have on ALL of LinkedIn. Make it count.
LinkedIn profile header image (premium account holders)
In May 2014, LinkedIn added a full width header image that has long been included with Facebook, Twitter, web sites and blogs. This is the NEW way to really impress visitors and draw them in. In the same month, I wrote a popular LinkedIn article about this feature with over 20,000 views to date.
The Eagles Already Gone song trivia and links
“Already Gone” was a huge hit for the Eagles but it is not a true “Eagle song” in the purest sense of the word. This song was written by Jack Tempchin and Robb Strandlund, who were good friends of the band. Tempchin sent an early version of the song to Glenn Frey who had just come out of a personal relationship and the lyrics really clicked with him. Frey sings the lead vocals while he and Don Felder do the nifty twin guitar solos that complete the song.
The Eagles (mostly Frey and Henley) had a falling out with Johns over the way he handled the recording sessions and the band was seeking a new producer. Bill Szymczyk was subsequently contacted about the role, but he wouldn’t take the job until he cleared it with Glyn Johns. Call it a combination of background check and professional courtesy. Szymczyk got the OK and he brought the band to his LA recording studio to actually cut the record.
This was also one of the first songs that the Eagles recorded for the On The Border LP with their new producer Bill Szymczyk. The band’s first 2 albums were recorded in London with famed British producer Glyn Johns (Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones).