How To Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile For Social Selling
Updated: Jan 15
LinkedIn is one of the most valuable platforms for personal branding. With more than 600 million users globally, LinkedIn is a gold mine for building connections with prospects – social selling is the way deals are happening and those relationships are increasingly being built online.
However, with so many users, if you want to stand out on this professional network, you need to perfectly craft your personal brand. What you must avoid is coming across as a sales person. Never use sales titles such as "sales manager", "business developer" or anything similar. Nobody wants to deal with sales people, they want to deal with trusted advisors so even if you are a sales person, look to utilize alternative titles that turn down the sales volume. If you do not, your connection acceptance rate will be low. Furthermore, you will want to come across like a "thought leader" or "expert" in your space by sharing and commenting on relevant content.
For example, if your company sells onboarding software to HR & Recruitment teams, your job as a sales person would be to approach decisions makers within those functions in view of generating awareness about your product. In this case, instead of calling yourself a sales manager or business developer on LinkedIn, you may give yourself a title such as "Recruitment Tech Strategist" or "HR Technology Advisor".
Here are tips tailored for sales professionals to build your brand, optimize your LinkedIn profile, and set up your social selling strategy for success on LinkedIn:
1. Make Your Profile Easy To Look At
Let’s be honest — nobody wants to interact with a LinkedIn profile that’s not visually appealing. Start by uploading a recent, high-quality headshot. If you’ve never had professional portraits done, now is a very good time to think about having some taken. Or you can get scrappy, find some nice natural lighting, and have someone with decent Instagram skills take an optimally filtered photo on your phone. Once you’ve updated your profile picture, add a relevant cover photo – see example below.
Then fill out your profile as much as possible. Keep it recent and thorough. Add publications, certifications, experience and more. The more comprehensive your profile is, the more likely your potential new connections are to get an immediate feel for who you are and what you’re all about.
2. Make Your Headline Stand Out
Think of your headline as your digital handshake — it matters and it makes a big impression. While most people use their headline to broadcast their current job position, there’s room to get a bit more creative than that.
Take, for example, Rand Fishkin, Founder and former CEO of Moz. Instead of this boring stuff, though, his headline says “Wizard of Moz.” If you don’t have the name recognition the founder of Moz commands, think of a creative way to explain how your role helps others. If you are a Data science and AI company for example, you may want to use "Accelerating Intelligence".
Your first priority is to make sure your headline is clear and accurate, but after that, there’s room to play around with it and make it creative. Keep it true to your mission, personality, and outlook, and it’ll attract the kind of attention and connection that you want. Nothing salesy here.
3. Pursue Intentional Connections
Few things are worse than the dreaded “Invite All” LinkedIn connection. While it’s possible to use the platform to cast a broad net, you’ll be much better off using it to connect intentionally.
As you build your LinkedIn network, think about connecting with the people who can help you build your personal brand, or more importantly, connecting with people who you can help.
If you’re connecting with a new prospect, keep the focus on what you can do for them, not the other way around.
4. Nurture Your Voice
The thing that most influences your personal brand is your voice. If you use LinkedIn as a public stage to blabber on and on or to publish low-quality content, it’s highly likely your personal brand won’t grow.
Instead, take the time to hone in on your voice and nurture it into something more professional and compelling. Maybe you’re that person who curates interesting articles, posts insightful commentary about your industry, or shares uplifting motivational stories. If you want to publish articles, one meaningful article that’s true to your voice will have a much bigger impact on your network than a bunch of poorly thought out, rushed posts. Find what drives you and optimize your LinkedIn profile around that!
When you stay true to yourself, your authenticity will be evident and attractive to your connections.
5. Be Visible
LinkedIn is a top-tier personal publishing platform. Once you’ve honed your voice and style, use it to post content on a regular basis. The more frequently you publish, the more readers have to interact with. Publishing posts is also a great way to get noticed by 2nd and 3rd-degree connections. And it’s a great way to establish yourself as an industry expert when you’re connecting with prospects. Think about it this way: are you adding as much value as you consume from LinkedIn? People always want to connect with someone who brings them value. Start with a LinkedIn article, and then – who knows – you could be selling someone the world’s next big innovation.
Driving More Conversations With A Personal Brand
Whether you’re trying to find new prospects, strengthen existing relationships, or brand yourself as an industry leader, building your personal brand by optimizing your LinkedIn profile will help you in your pursuits. While LinkedIn is a crowded platform, people who put in the time and effort to develop a unique and compelling presence will see a huge ROI, in terms of conversions, connections, and opportunities. We at Leadriver can help you accelerate your social selling efforts to systematically generate more qualified leads on a monthly basis. In fact, we guarantee results! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.