Are You Really LinkedIn?

Enhance your existing LinkedIn profile to attract prospects and build your professional brand.

August 11, 2016

  • are-you-really-linkedin

Creating a LinkedIn profile is an essential first step toward becoming a more effective social seller—but for sales professionals, it’s not enough simply to have that profile. Remember that not all LinkedIn profiles are created equal—and in fact, successful social sales reps have profiles that are specifically engineered to attract and engage their prospects.

As you build your professional network, your profile is the first thing your prospects will encounter. As such, it’s your first and best opportunity to introduce yourself, by showcasing your professional brand and fostering the warmth, familiarity, and trust that’s necessary to establish strong relationships.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at tips and best practices that will help you to enhance your professional brand via your LinkedIn profile.

Write for your customer—not for job recruiters

The typical personal LinkedIn profile reads a lot like a résumé, with detailed explanations of previous roles and a voice that’s aimed at recruiters. That’s great if you’re looking for a job, but that approach won’t work for sales professionals.

Think of your profile as your professional introduction—a kind of “virtual handshake” to prospects. As such, your profile should be customer-centric, written in the voice of your brand and aimed at your ideal customer. Of course, you’ll still want to describe your experience, but do so in a manner that highlights the value you can offer to your clients.

Make sure your profile is 100% complete

For most of your prospects, your profile will form their first impression of you. That means you want it to exude professionalism, helpfulness, and competence—and one of the easiest ways to do that is to ensure that it’s fully complete.

About half of buyers will avoid sales professionals altogether if they find their profile and notice that it’s incomplete. It’s a simple step to take, but it makes a huge difference in the buyer’s eyes.

Customize your photo, headline, summary, and experience

Your LinkedIn profile is completely customizable, offering several opportunities to make a lasting impression on your prospects. Begin with your profile photo, which should be professional, friendly, and representative of the way you’d appear in a face-to-face sales setting.

From there, you can customize your headline to describe your experience and vision, emphasizing your value to clients. Finally, your summary and experience should tell your story, focusing on how your background makes you unique—and how it helps you to bring more to the table. Remember not to simply rattle off your accomplishments: your profile should detail how you’ve solved problems for clients, pointing to how you’ll continue to do so for new prospects.

Post content and engage with updates

Once your profile is complete, you can begin looking outward to bolster your professional brand. The best social sellers regularly post content that’s relevant and interesting, and that’s related to both their industry and clients. You should also aim to engage with your client’s updates to build the relationship by liking, commenting, and sharing when appropriate.

You can win more deals by creating a LinkedIn profile that showcases your professionalism, value, experience, and trustworthiness.

For more tips and best practices that will help you to develop your professional brand, download our Executive Playbook