As a professional résumé and LinkedIn profile writer, over 50% of my business comes directly through LinkedIn connections. A portion of these customers are not the job seekers that comprise the majority of my clientele, but rather small business owners, sole practitioners, independent consultants, and salespeople who want to generate new business opportunities and market their products and services via LinkedIn.
As this platform was launched over a decade ago, it surprises me just how many businesses and individuals are missing out on opportunities to increase market share, enhance revenue, and expand their customer base. Also notable is the fact that many businessmen and businesswomen who are active on LinkedIn have not optimized their profiles for business generation purposes.
It is fairly common to find a well written and fairly complete profile for an entrepreneur or sales professional. However, if correct grammar and a dozen complete profile sections (plus a business page) were all it took to be successful, articles such as this would not be needed. I often inquire about how a prospective client chose the content they were using before contracting my services, and more than a few have admitted to virtually copying someone else’s profile. When they do not notice an increase in business, they often wonder what went wrong.
Typically, I can point out two big mistakes. First, plagiarism is bad. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but stealing another individual’s work and passing it off as your own is a no-no. We all learned this by middle school so I will refrain from belaboring that point.
The second mistake is less obvious. Your profile should be constructed around your end goal(s), therefore the content should reflect this. To emphasize this point, I ask you to think about all the reasons and objectives that people may have had in mind when setting up their profiles. If you are drawing a blank, here is an incomplete list: job search, sales, recruitment, professional networking, marketing, credibility enhancement, community engagement, information dispersal, event promotion, exchange of services, and collaboration. (I intentionally left the inappropriate uses off this list, and yes, I’m talking to those of you who use LinkedIn as a dating forum).
In short, the profile of a LinkedIn job seeker should not look like that of a small business owner, consultant, or salesperson. Though LinkedIn provides us all with the same sections with which to build our profiles, the content we exhibit in those sections can (and should) vary depending on your objectives. The reason is relatively strait forward: keywords. While visuals, text layout, and engaging content is important, keywords drive people to your page.
An effective profile is not necessarily complicated, but it will take careful consideration, diligent research, a capacity for creativity, and a bit panache when it comes to writing.
Some may ask “Why bother?” Though some studies have indicated an 11% average annual sales increase with an effective LinkedIn presence, my response to this question is much simpler:
What is the benefit to your business of adding one new customer or account per month? How about 10? To figure out what this (very) conservative equation can mean for your yearly bottom line, multiply that number by 12 (months).
If the answer you come up with it is worth more than 8 to 20 hours of your time, or (alternatively) $500-$2000 in paying for a professional to build it for you, it may be time for you to consider a profile overhaul and LinkedIn presence expansion.
If you know someone who could benefit from this article, please share it with your friends and connections!
About the Author:
Adam Zajac is the Head Résumé and LinkedIn Profile Writer for Vocamotive, Inc. As a business writing and career development professional for the last 10 years, he has successfully assisted thousands of individuals throughout the United States. For a free consultation, contact him using one of the methods below.
Message or Follow Adam on LinkedIn at: www.linkedin.com/in/adamzajac
Contact Adam via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Call Adam for more information at: (630) 789-2519
Get assistance with developing your LinkedIn strategy at: www.vocamotive.com