So you want to make use of your LinkedIn profile as a part of your company’s overall social media marketing strategy. That’s great! Giving potential clients a glimpse at the real people behind the business helps them to feel a more personal connection with your company.
But if all you do is fill out your LinkedIn profile like a bare-bones, text-only, generic online resume, it won’t have the effect you’re looking for. To make full use of this social media channel for marketing purposes, you need to stand out from the crowd, and make your profile something special – or it can actually have the opposite effect, and seem almost de-humanizing!
To make sure your LinkedIn profile serves the purpose you intend, here are 7 ways you can stand out from the crowd.
1. Rock your headline. You know that little “professional headline” that shows up right beneath your name? The one where people usually put their job title? Well, why not shake things up a bit, and try a different approach? Instead of your job title, enter a brief description of who you are, who you help, and how you help them. Think elevator speech here – you know, the way you’d pitch yourself or your business to someone in an elevator. “A dog trainer who helps families when they’ve given up hope that Fido will ever sit and stay,” or maybe even “A writer guiding businesses through the complex world of online marketing.” (See what I did there?)
2. Add that personal touch. If the whole point of having a LinkedIn profile is to help people feel that they know you as a person, then there’s no point in even logging in if you aren’t planning on letting your personality shine through. Yes, it’s important to be professional, but at the same time, you want to give people a glimpse of the real you. The perfect place to do that is in the Summary section of your profile. Tell readers who you are, what you’re passionate about, and what your goals are. Give them some insight into your background, and what your life is like. That personal touch will go a long way towards establishing a connection with readers.
3. Be a nerd. I know, I know, you heard this a thousand times from your English teachers growing up, but it’s still true today – spelling, grammar, and punctuation count. They just do! I mean, c’mon – if this blog post were riddled with typos and grammatical errors, would you really take it seriously? And what would you think of the company behind a blog post like that? Yu”d probly thnik we, was nt verrrry prufesionul, rite? That’s why doing a thorough spellcheck – a human one, because computers can’t catch every mistake – is vital, as is double-checking grammar.
4. Call readers to action. After you’ve gone to all the trouble of crafting the perfect profile, don’t just leave it at that! Tell your readers what to do with this newfound connection they’ve made. Include a call to action in your Summary. Invite people to call or email you, to check out your webpage for more information, or to sign up for your email newsletter and to receive a free white paper…anything to further the relationship.
5. Don’t forget the power of social proof. Writing a personalized, interesting, unique, and inspiring LinkedIn profile is all well and good, but every reader knows it was all written by…you! And you might just be a little bit biased in favor of your own company. But this problem disappears once you toss a few elements of social proof into the mix so that people can see that others agree with you. First of all, your education is an objective measure of your qualifications, so don’t forget to fill that section out in its entirety. Secondly, any awards you or your company have won are another indicator that others have found you to be something special. And finally, recommendations and endorsements from employers, clients, and business associates are extremely effective when it comes to proving you’re as good as you say you are.
6. Go multimedia. It’s a simple fact – you’ll catch and hold people’s attention more easily with images, videos, PowerPoint presentations, or colorful PDFs than you will with plain black and white text. So go all out, and upload all the multimedia files you’ve got. Add links to your online videos, and remember to include images with every blog post.
7. Be creative! Let your own creativity and unique personality guide you in adding creative touches to your profile. Maybe you have a uniquely funny or sarcastic voice – use it to describe your current and previous jobs, or your education, in a humorous way. Use your video production skills to make a welcome video specifically for your profile. Post an attention-grabbing picture, or offer a freebie to anyone who can find the hidden French word in your profile – anything to differentiate your profile from all the others.
By applying these 7 tips, you’re sure to create a LinkedIn profile that’ll help you and your business stand out from the crowd.
Do you have any other tips to share? What’s your LinkedIn strategy? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!