Many of my clients have asked me this question, “If there’s one thing I need to get right with social selling on LinkedIn, what it should be?” A seemingly complex question as there are many important aspects to becoming an authority figure on LinkedIn. However my answer has always been, “Make sure your personal profile is transparent and projects the right image to your network.” Why is this important? As you probably know by now, if you conduct a Google search for your name, more than likely it’s your LinkedIn profile which will appear among the first five listings. Whether it’s a prospective employer or an ideal business client, your LinkedIn profile is what they will want to view first. So, what’s the secret to creating a personal profile that’s transparent and positions you as an expert in your area of specialization in a way that prospective employers find you an attractive candidate and your ideal clients invite you to connect with them instead of your competitors?
To help you achieve transparency with your personal profile, I’ve listed 7 easy steps you can follow. If you’ve been reading my previous articles, you already know I love to use acronyms, so here are the 7 steps to Personal PROFILE Transparency for LinkedIn.
As a business owner or an employee, you add value to your organization or those you serve through a set of unique skills and experience. When preparing your executive summary your task is to convey exactly what problem you solve in your job or business, how you solve it and why you’re the right individual to help overcome the problem. This adds a personal touch which cannot easily be replicated by others.
A typical executive summary comprises a summarized form of a bio-data which is uninteresting and does not differentiate you from others who have similar skills and experience.
Even to this day I see personal profiles in which the skills area is disorganized. I always advise my clients to give priority to areas of proficiency which are most sought after by their target audience. LinkedIn makes this easy by providing a dropdown menu to choose from and also the option to add your own skills if they are not found in the list.
When your network connections begin to endorse you, you will quickly be able to see which skills your network feel you are good at. You can then move the skills you would like to be endorsed for the most, to the top and push skills related to tasks of lesser importance to the bottom. You can also add skills which may not appear in LinkedIn’s list.
I don’t have to tell you how important it is to create a great first impression in business. The same rule applies to LinkedIn as well. Once again think in terms of keywords and organize your profile around important keywords. Use keywords in your profile headline, your specialties and in your work summary.
As far as possible, try and organize your profile so your important keywords appear first and the less important ones subsequently. A word of caution. Refrain from keyword stuffing, meaning using the same keywords repeatedly without any relevance. Always aim for clarity, transparency and make your content appealing to read.
Your Settings – As you grow your network and establish yourself as an authority in your niche, you will find other LinkedIn members attempting to take the easy route and copy what you do, connect with your connections and keep tabs on exactly what you’re doing to establish your presence.
This is one reason I tell my clients to pay careful attention to their Privacy Controls and Settings. There are several areas which need your attention. For instance I make sure my network member’s don’t see who I am connected to on LinkedIn as some of my connections could be their ideal clients.
LinkedIn practically hands over the opportunity to showcase your expertise to the online community for very little effort without having to pay a fortune on advertising or public relations. Use this to your advantage by making your profile as informative as possible.
Display Groups and other badges on your Linkedin profile. This creates a desire among other members to connect with you, and the opportunity to connect with people who have shared interests. Also make sure you collect third party recommendations and endorsements related to every position you have listed on LinkedIn.
Share examples of the work you have done and the results you have delivered as a proof element to your profile. Also ensure you claim your unique LinkedIn URL. This is very important for social selling success as it improves your Google results when anyone types your name in Google.
We’re all human and others want to know the “real you”. Use this as a leverage to build your connections.
What are your interests apart from work? List your hobbies and interests anything else you are passionate about such as volunteering your time for charities or other causes.
Shared interests will often result in valuable connections that you would not be able to achieve despite all your qualifications and experience. People interact with others they like and trust and it’s easier to like someone who has the same interests as you do.
Hint: Don’t be surprised if what you say is used as an ice-breaker when other members open a conversation with you.
There are two sides to education. The obvious one is to ensure you have provided accurate details about all your education qualifications. Always be transparent about your educational qualifications and don’t give in to the temptation of turning a diploma into a degree or list qualifications you aren’t able to verify.
The other side of the coin is about educating others. With inbound marketing gradually replacing outbound marketing it’s increasingly important to publish content that positions you as the thought leader and influencer in your niche.
Remember not to simply copy what others are saying. A good idea is to address a burning problem in your niche and write how you would solve the problem. Ensure you’re fully transparent about what you can and cannot do to help. Over time you will be the one others look upon to provide them with solutions, which could result in lucrative business opportunities.
Now you know why personal profile transparency is important for social selling success, revisit your LinkedIn personal profile and make whatever changes you have to so it is fully transparent. Of course if you would like the fast-path to LinkedIn success please visit www.solomoitacademy.com to get a head start on leveraging LinkedIn for social selling success.
At solomoIT, we specialise in providing customised training, consulting and strategy formulation for your digital marketing requirements. Give us a call on 1300 430 949 or +613 8630 2810 for a consultation and to get started on enhancing your social media presence and online reputation.