Ready your LinkedIn Profile for More Leads in 2022
What if you could make your secret New Year’s wish come true in a big way?
If you’re a sales professional, the goal for 2022 is fairly simple: to get more sales! But beyond traditional marketing, one of your best ways to drum up more sales is to tweak your LinkedIn profile.
This is easier said than done because there is a world of difference between a standard profile and one focused on sales. But we are going to walk you through exactly how to renovate and innovate your profile so that 2022 is your best year ever!
Your First Impression Matters
We all grow up hearing the advice that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And for a sales professional’s LinkedIn page, that phrase has never been more true!
That is because sales is a field generated largely by relationships and personalities. Long before someone discovers your title or learns all of your talents, they are going to check out your profile image to get a sense of who you are.
As a sales pro, your profile image should be a high-quality, professional headshot. If you simply take a selfie, then the image may be of poor quality or look blurry, washed out, or both. And if you have something more abstract (like a picture of a pet or a cool nature shot that you took), potential leads will be confused about who you really are.
Instead, we recommend that you have some professional headshots taken by a professional photographer. Your ideal photo should be 400×400 px for maximum LinkedIn visibility. This takes a little more time and money than a selfie, but a strong and confident profile photo is likelier to bring more leads to your table.
What if you don’t want to do a standard headshot? In that case, we recommend you stand out by using a photo of yourself at work. This makes you look confident, professional, and authoritative in the eyes of your leads.
And whatever else you do, we recommend you use a custom colour outline to make your profile photo stand out!
A Headline That Describes Your Value
LinkedIn is arguably the world’s most specific form of social media. That is because most of the people using it are not trying to make friends or start new relationships. Instead, they approach every new interaction with a simple question: “what can this person do for me?”
As a sales professional, almost everything you sell is designed to solve a customer’s problem. Therefore, winning over potential leads means letting them know exactly what you can do!
How do you do this?
Simple: your headline needs to address your value proposition right away. And that means letting people know who your core lead is and what you can do for them.
The more specific you can be, the better. After all, anyone can say they are “a B2B guru.” But if you can honestly say that you helped dozens of companies save millions of dollars, that is far likelier to get new leads to trust you.
Here’s an example: let’s say that someone has a headline that simply says they are a “Sales Specialist.” This is very vague and should be replaced with something like “Veteran Sales Manager and Analytics Expert. I help transform the data you’ve collected into profit and growth!”
By simply giving a bit more info about who you are and what you do, you can get more leads via LinkedIn.
Don’t Forget the Header Image!
If you’re reading this, then you understand one of the most fundamental aspects of LinkedIn: the need to stand out from the crowd. Everyone on the platform has a profile, but most users don’t make the most out of theirs.
The best example of this is the user header image. It’s possible to customize this image, but far too many users never do so. The image you create should be 800×200 px for maximum LinkedIn visibility.
What should a sales professional do with their header image, though? Some pros opt for eye-catching imagery while others use this space to include a CTA. For example, eye-catching imagery might include a beautiful morning sunrise or a bright night full of stars. A good CTA could be as simple as “Reach out today if you’re ready to grow your business!”
Remember that the basic goal of this image is to help you stand out to leads. Try to use colours that are very loud and/or very warm in order to visually “pop” off of the screen to a prospective lead.
Whatever you put in your header image, just make sure that it further underscores your value proposition to prospective leads by giving them a reason to connect with you in the first place.
The Right Recommendations
Have you been focusing on getting recommendations on LinkedIn? If not, you’re ignoring one of the biggest functions of the platform!
That’s because, at the end of the day, the biggest benefit that LinkedIn has to offer sales professionals is that it helps build and expand your brand.
And recommendations are one of the best ways to do this.
While any recommendations may be helpful, we particularly suggest you get recommendations from satisfied customers. Prospective customers will look to these recommendations to get a better idea of what you do and how your clients feel about it afterwards.
Worried about how much time it will take to ask for a bunch of recommendations? Remember, you can always use automation tools to simplify the entire process.
Additionally, you should always remember that customer testimonials are one of the best things to include on your profile. These may come in the form of video testimonials, LinkedIn recommendations, or anything in between.
To understand why this is so important, ask yourself: what do you do before making a major online purchase? If you’re like most of us, you check the online reviews of a product to see what other people have been saying.
In this case, you’re the product. And prospective “buyers” want to know if they will get their money’s worth. Including many customers, testimonials help reassure others that your products and services are worth every penny!
Showcase Your Skills
Have you completed LinkedIn’s skill assessment test? If not, you are missing out on a key way to appeal to leads!
So long as you score in the upper 30% of a particular area, you will get a relevant skill badge. To leads, these badges provide valuable social proof that you have mastered the necessary skills.
While you’re at it, make sure you list at least five relevant skills and seek endorsements from others regarding those skills. For potential leads, this builds up their confidence in your abilities.
Summary and Experience: What To Include
When you apply to a new job, you would traditionally use a cover letter to help explain why you would be a great hire for this position. And on LinkedIn, you are effectively including this information in the summary and experience section.
Try to craft this section using first-person language and write as if you are writing to the hiring manager of a job you would really like to have. Use this section to discuss the sales philosophies that motivate you and to get into more detailed descriptions of what you have done for other companies and customers.
For example, are you part of the Sandler Sales method? Have you extensively studied things like the SNAP or SPIN method? This is your chance to really tell the other person what makes you tick as a sales specialist.
Don’t be afraid to get really detailed and brag about yourself. This is the section where you set yourself apart from other people that might get the jobs that you want. For example, you can quantify your claims about what you can do by providing very specific info about what you have done for others in the past (the more specific, the better, because this helps convince leads you can achieve the same or better results for them).
Additionally, it wouldn’t hurt to put your contact information directly in this section. If someone is really interested in your summary and experience, this will save them the time it would take to scrub your LinkedIn profile for the info.
What Should I Avoid In A Sales Summary?
Above, we have some of our basic tips of what you should do in the sales-focused summary and experience section. Before we go any further, it’s worth addressing what you should not be doing in this section.
First off, make sure this isn’t just a different version of your resume. As we indicated above, this should be much more like a cover letter than a resume.
Second, don’t just repeat what your job duties are. Doing so will make this section seem both vague and dry. It’s always far better to be very specific about your accomplishments than very vague about your responsibilities.
Finally, don’t fall into the trap of talking up the companies you have worked for overly much. While a little of this may show that you’re a team player, the focus of this section should be on what you have accomplished and not just what companies you previously worked for have accomplished.
For example, let’s say you have a sales summary that just focuses on your work experience and job duties while talking about what an amazing opportunity it was to work for that organization. All this really tells a potential lead is basic details of what you have done and how good others are.
Instead, you should use this summary to explain how your diversity of experience makes you uniquely suited to tackle different challenges for different leads. And you should focus on unique accomplishments that help you stand out from the competition rather than talking the competition up by praising others.
Show, Don’t Tell
From the very beginning, Hollywood has been dominated by a simple rule: “show, don’t tell.” Because movies are a visual medium, audiences expect to see a plot develop instead of just listening to a narrator describe what is happening.
And in the age of video, the entire internet has adopted the “show, don’t tell” mentality. Therefore, the simplest way for you to stand out from other sales professionals on your LinkedIn profile is to strategically use video.
For example, you can use a video to introduce yourself, giving prospective customers a better idea of how you look and how you sound. You can also use videos to showcase your products and services or even video customer testimonials.
Honestly, there is no limit to what video can do to source up your profile. We recommend going through different aspects of your profile and brainstorming which content you could supplement with an awesome video.
Utilize Solid Keywords
What do your website and your LinkedIn profile have in common? To get the most out of them, you need to use the right keywords!
What keywords should you use? We recommend focusing on important keywords to the industry (or industries) that you specialize in.
The keywords are important because when prospective customers are trying to find someone who can help them, they will scan for relevant keywords. Including the right keywords in your profile shows them that you “speak the language” and can offer the exact assistance they need.
That’s important because your exact language can either invite people in or drive them away. So while you’re focusing on what you should or should not include, make sure that you aren’t using any annoying buzzwords!
You don’t have to overthink it to figure out what is an annoying buzzword or not. Just think about the kinds of words you see colleagues and rivals using that always make you roll your eyes.
That means you shouldn’t describe yourself as a “rockstar.” You should also avoid characterizing yourself as a “guru” or, so help us, a “thought leader.”
The only problem with these kinds of buzzwords is that far too many sales professionals use them. And instead of helping you stand out from the pack, these keywords effectively make you sound like everybody else.
A Better LinkedIn Profile: Your Next Move
Now you know what your LinkedIn profile needs to include. But as a sales professional, do you know who can help you discover more leads?