Social Selling Challenge of the Month: Upgrade Your LinkedIn Profile

Discover how to update your LinkedIn profile and start adding multimedia content to set a solid foundation for your social selling in 2015.

February 2, 2015


Whether you are among the 45% of Americans who usually make New Year’s resolutions or you prefer to make good ol’ fashioned goals, you are essentially doing the same thing: Resolving to take actions – or in the case of dropping bad habits, avoid actions – that will lead to a better version of yourself over time. Unfortunately, only 8% of resolution makers actually follow through and achieve their goals.

You’ve probably heard of SMART goals by now. If not, you can learn more about them here. The general idea behind creating SMART goals is that thinking about your goals in detail and creating a specific plan to achieve them naturally makes you more likely to succeed.  In fact, people who explicitly make New Year’s resolutions are 10x more likely to achieve them than those who don’t.

To help you focus on the specific, achievable activities that can advance your sales career, we will be issuing a new “social selling challenge” for you each month. And because your LinkedIn profile is the foundation of your social selling efforts, it only seems fitting to start there. The good news is many of you have already made progress on your LinkedIn profiles, so finishing the rest of the challenge – completing your LinkedIn profile and adding one multimedia presentation – by month’s end should be a snap.

Step 1 of 2: Complete your LinkedIn profile to 90%+

Since 50% of B2B buyers say they will not work with sales professionals who have incomplete profiles, the first step toward improving your social selling is making sure you LinkedIn profile facilitates sales rather than inhibits them. Here are the essentials for having a complete profile:

  • Profile picture - Adding a picture makes your profile 7x more likely to be viewed by others, so make sure you have one that shows you at your professional best.
  • Headline – Your headline is one of the first things people see when they view your profile, so you want to create a compelling headline that will get prospects interested in learning more about you.
  • Custom URL – LinkedIn assigns a generic URL to your profile, but a custom URL looks more professional. In addition, adding your custom URL to your email signature will increase the likelihood of others engaging with you on LinkedIn.
  • Summary – This is where you can really share your skills and expertise, and create a compelling story of how you can provide value to your prospects. If you are in sales, your summary should speak to your ideal buyer.
  • Work experience – Instead of having this section of your profile read like a resume, update it to be a more personal description of what you accomplished at each of your jobs.

After making sure everything is current, try scheduling a monthly or quarterly reminder to analyze your profile for additional upgrade opportunities. Whether it’s gaining a recommendation from an esteemed colleague or adding a certification or accomplishment, no prospect has ever looked at a profile and said, “Whoa, this sales rep is a little too credible and trustworthy.”

Step 2 of 2: Add at least one multimedia presentation

An effective way to grab your prospect’s attention is by adding multimedia content to your profile. Pertinent links, videos, SlideShare presentations, and white papers go a step beyond simply telling your prospects what you can do, to actually showcasing your value. Your marketing department can be a good source of this content if you have not created any yourself.

Start out by adding one piece of multimedia content this month, and revisit this content throughout the year, adding new content whenever you think it will provide value to your clients and prospects.

Completing your LinkedIn profile and adding a multimedia presentation allows you to showcase yourself as a credible, trusted advisor who is easy to work with. And the best part is your LinkedIn profile is always working for you – even when you are not.

Stay motivated and make sure you are focusing on the right social selling activities this year. Be sure to subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales blog for the next social selling challenge of the month.