When a company is looking to hire you to their team, they often vet you online first. During this cyber investigation, your LinkedIn profile will typically show up in the first three to five results. You now have the opportunity to control what they find about you. And if that person is a potential client, you need an eye-catching profile to draw their attention.
LinkedIn is experiencing growth in the amount of people who are starting to log in on a daily basis. With over 350 million members, LinkedIn is a social media platform that allows users to build a professional network. Similar to a business-networking event, it allows its users to connect and build relationships in a professional setting.
The key to attracting clients with your LinkedIn profile is to make them believe that you have what it takes to solve any issues they may have. But in order to do that, you’ll have to tweak your profile to reflect how you can help them. It’s time to get your profile updated and optimized so it helps you attract a steady flow of new enquiries. From the right photo to an attention-grabbing headline, here’s five tips to creating a LinkedIn profile that will make prospects want to stop on your page and reach out to you:
LinkedIn profile tips
Choose the right profile photo
Your profile photo is your one chance to make that first impression, so it has to be good. Use a current shot, make sure it’s professional, and don’t choose something with other people’s heads partially cropped. Make sure people can see your face; the best option is when your photo is cropped from the elbows up. Oh, and don’t forget to smile.
Research shows that all of these factors and more affect what people think of you when they see your photo; specifically, how likeable, competent, and influential you seem. For example, having your eyes shaded or blocked by a glare, your hair, or sunglasses can hurt your impression, while slightly squinting them will enhance it. Even things you wouldn’t ever really think about—for instance, whether your full jawline is revealed in the photo—can have a significant impact on how you’re perceived.
Add a background image
Does your LinkedIn profile look boring and average? LinkedIn’s design has changed in the past couple of years, giving you the ability to add a background photo to your profile. It’s the second visual element at the top of your profile page that grabs people’s attention; it sets the context and shows a little more about what matters to you. More than anything, the right background photo helps your page stand out, engage attention and stay memorable. Therefore, at the very least, you should include some type of branding that represents your identity or your company.
Make your headline more than just a job title
By default, your headline pulls content from the Experience section of your LinkedIn profile. Therefore, it’ll display your most recent job title and the company you work for. The problem with this is that no one really cares about you. Well, not yet anyway.
There’s no rule that says the description at the top of your profile page has to be just a job title. If you leave it like this, though, you’re missing an opportunity to say a bit more about how you see your role, why you do what you do, and what makes you tick. If you’ve got a copywriter at your company, then take a quick look at their profile page headlines for inspiration. They’ll almost certainly have more than their job titles in there.
This section is also doubly important because it’s the only line that shows up under your name in the Who’s Viewed Your Profile list. And you want prospects scanning that list to immediately see the problems you can solve.
Turn your summary into your story
What I really need to say is to make sure you have one. It’s amazing how many people still leave this field blank when creating their LinkedIn profile. The summary section gives you the opportunity to explain to visitor who you help, how you help them, why they should trust you, and how they can find out more.
Tell your story, don’t just use it to list your skills or the job titles you’ve had. Take advantage of all 2,000 characters available, and don’t forget to include your contact information. Don’t be afraid to invest some time by writing a few drafts either. run your summary past people you know. This is your most personal piece of content marketing—and it’s worth the effort
Request some recommendations
Although your profile should clearly articulate what you do and why you’re good at it, a more effective way to build trust and add credibility is to have someone else tell people how good you are.
The recommendations section of your LinkedIn profile makes it easy to reach out to specific contacts and request recommendations. Take the time to think about who you would most value a recommendation from; past clients, colleagues and business associates. Reach out and personalize your request. Another way to get recommendations is to give recommendations. When you surprise a current client with a flattering (unannounced) recommendation, they’ll be compelled to reciprocate.
Getting your LinkedIn profile working harder for you doesn’t have to take up hours of your time. Try applying these five tips to your profile and you’ll find that you can make progress quickly. And for more tips on attracting potential clients or employers, find out how to improve your About page and ways to improve your portfolio.
Daniel is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with over a decade of experience in advertising and marketing in the Greater Toronto Area.