LinkedIn. Rarely appreciated, totally underused.
Are you ready to take your LinkedIn presence to the next level? If so follow this in-depth LinkedIn guide, become an All-Star Profile and start to use this exceptional relationship building tool well.
Having a LinkedIn profile is not enough, especially if no one is seeing it. Things can get progressively worse if people are seeing it and it is a poor representation of you and your accounting firm.
As your LinkedIn is an important part of your personal brand, you must ensure it is completed properly. In the following steps, I will be sharing how to have an all star profile on LinkedIn that will enable you to use it as a lead generation magnet.
Are You Googleable?
What is the first thing you do before you decide to work with someone? You Google their name to check that they are who they say they are, and do your due diligence on them.
Something you may not be aware of is that LinkedIn shows up high on search engines – quite often on the top spot.
It is for this reason that you need to ensure that your LinkedIn Profile displays what you want it to display. You need to ensure it is professional and gives a positive first impression that adds to your credibility.
Your LinkedIn Headline
Your headline is the most important part of your LinkedIn Profile as it is the first (and sometimes the only) information that a prospect/client/opportunity sees and forms their initial opinion on.
The aim of your LinkedIn Headline is to show expertise, generate interest and get people to connect with you and/or read more about you.
What I would say is that although there is a formula you can use, tweaking and measuring your LinkedIn Headline is essential to see what works best for your firm, and why you are using LinkedIn.
Be sure to say who your ideal client is and your expertise, but other than that you can play with the 120 characters available.
Using your phone to write your headline will also enable you to put in “emojis” and “symbols” to make you stand out. Again, play with the headline and see what works for you and your prospects.
You know the old adage – A picture says 1000 words. So, you need to make sure you have a picture that quickly establishes you as credible.
Simple tips include:
- Look at the camera
- Don’t be daft and gimicky
- Have a clean background
- Dress appropriately for your profession
- Have only your face in the picture, not full body
This section is often left blank. Which means you are missing a trick. When you write your LinkedIn Summary start by knowing the answer to these three questions:
- What do you want your target audience to know about you?
- What do you want them to do?
- How do you want them to feel?
When you are clear on all of this you can then put together your summary. You have 2000 characters in which to do this.
You will need to decide if you are going to write it in first or third person (I highly recommend first person as it is more intimate).
The first two lines of your LinkedIn profile summary are the most important part of it, as they are the only lines people see when glancing through your Profile, without pressing “see more”.
When crafting your summary split it into three sections:
- Credibility – why you
- About Your Ideal Client – their problems
- Your Solution – don’t forget a call to action
Throughout the Summary section make sure you use Keywords so that you can get found in searches.
Current & Past Experience
The formula for the current and past experience is the same as your LinkedIn Summary section but needs to focus on your business not you.
This is the section where you can list WHY your company is so great, and the benefits of working with your company.
You can expand on the services you provide and list the brands/businesses you have worked with.
Contact Details and Your Websites
Contact Details: How do you want to be contacted? Include at the very least an email address.
Websites: Include links to 3 websites. Use all 3 links – you can select different pages on your website. Customise the links so that they are call to actions. You have 30 characters for the call to action.
If linking to your company website, use the name of your website not the standard text “company website”. This same rule applies when linking to your eBook or any other website pages.
Public Profile: Don’t forget to edit your ‘Vanity ULR’ with your name whenever possible. If your name is not available think of a way to still have your name by including a middle initial or a designation after it.
Skills & Endorsements
In the Skills section choose 20 or so skills that you want to be known for. Making sure you have key skills will ensure you get seen as credible and will also help your search rankings. Members who have listed skills receive 17x more profile views than those who leave this section blank.
Recommendations on LinkedIn are the most trustworthy way to receive testimonials. A recommendation on LinkedIn has to come from a proper person and it is easy to see how they have done business with you.
Ask for recommendations from clients, suppliers and people who have experienced you speaking at events/people whom have benefitted from your expertise.
You already have clients, so the first step is to ensure you have connected with clients on LinkedIn and then ask them for a recommendation.
You do not need to list your Primary or Secondary School here. College and University is worth listing plus any other education you may have completed.
Your LinkedIn profile should at all times be building your credibility. Whilst there are a number of sections under accomplishments these 4 can be very helpful if you can complete them.
If you have written a book here is the place you list it. Also, if you have written whitepapers, reports or other content pieces that show you are an authority on your expertise.
In this section you list certifications that you have obtained that are not relevant under the education section.
Honours and Awards
As we teach our clients, receiving awards is great for marketing and credibility. Add them here as your business and/or you receive them.
What are you currently working on? Are you writing a book, planning a new course, webinar or event, launching a new service? This is a great place to add information about these particular activities, again keep in mind relevant keywords.
You can join up to 50 groups. Ideally these should be a mix of:
4-5 industry related groups so you can see what’s going on in your sector
4-5 groups on things you want to learn (optional)
The remaining 40 or so should be groups where you can find your ideal clients, including any offline networking groups you attend. You will need to research groups you want to join using your ideal client keywords. Interaction on LinkedIn groups is down compared to how it was a few years ago, but if you choose a few groups to share your expertise in, you will get noticed.
Next Steps . . .
By following and completing the above, you will ensure that your LinkedIn profile is 100% complete and optimised for your keywords. The more professional and detailed your LinkedIn Profile is, the more credibility it conveys about you and your business.
Your next step is to grow your connections. Start reaching out and connecting with people by sending personalised connection requests.
Having as All- Star Profile is essential for your success with LinkedIn marketing; it will improve your Google Rankings, and your personal brand.