LinkedIn profile optimization is a must for salespeople and entrepreneurs.
It plays a huge role in inbound leads – people who find you on LinkedIn through search or through content. These are the best leads because they already trust you and want to buy from you.
It’s easier to convert an inbound lead on LinkedIn than even the ones that come in through the website.
Follow these steps to optimize your LinkedIn profile:
- Step 1: Optimize your LinkedIn headline
- Step 2: Optimize your LinkedIn About section
- Step 3: Use featured section and optimize it
- Step 4: Write detailed and optimized experience section on your LinkedIn profile
- Step 5: Collect recommendations on LinkedIn to optimize your profile
- Step 6: Other things you can do to optimize your LinkedIn profile
Step 1: How to optimize your LinkedIn headline?
Most people write a formal LinkedIn headline as if it’s their resume. How many times have you seen a LinkedIn headline like this:
Vice President Marketing/sales/IT @ xyz company
Dynamic, results-oriented professional with xx years of experience. Proven track record of delivering results, innovation and business impact in __ industry.
What does it tell you about this person, other than the job title and company?
– Not much!
Do you learn anything about the person’s past success or achievements?
Unfortunately, most profiles on LinkedIn follow this template. Even salespeople and entrepreneurs make the same mistake. Such headlines are not optimized to attract your prospects and rank high in LinkedIn search.
People make this mistake because they consider LinkedIn to be a formal network where they need to stay, well, formal. It’s the safe thing to do, like wearing a white shirt and black shoes to work.
If you want to sell on LinkedIn, such a profile is not going to help you. You need to optimize your headline for what your prospects are looking for.
Take a look at these LinkedIn headlines examples that are optimized for sales:
Guiding Bankers, Entrepreneurs, Sales Teams, and Professionals to Leverage LinkedIn, Sales Navigator, and ChatGPT to Start Trust-Based Conversations… without Being Salesy | Follow & Ring My 🔔 for Social Selling Insights
What’s common across these profiles?
– A headline that clearly tells what the person does
– First 1-2 sentences that establish trust, value and differentiator
If you want to use LinkedIn to generate leads, your profile headline and first couple of sentences must help you stand out from the boring, run-of-the-mill LinkedIn profiles.
The good news is that it’s easy to do with my LinkedIn headline template:
I <do this> for <target market> <benefit of your product or service> | keywords about your service/product> |
For example, my headline says:
“I generate leads for B2B software companies and coach sales teams on how to get more meetings | B2B Lead generation | Sales Coach | Growth Enabler | LinkedIn Sales Coach |.”
It clearly tells what I do and for whom. My LinkedIn headline also helps to rank higher in searches.
In fact, this is what ChatGPT says about my headline “The headline is clear and concise, effectively conveying your professional focus and expertise. It clearly states that you generate leads for B2B software companies and provide sales coaching”.
See how easy it is?
Now it’s your turn to write your headline using the LinkedIn headline template.
Step 2: How to optimize the LinkedIn profile About section?
The About section is the second most important part of your LinkedIn profile. It’s your story that tells your prospects why you’re the best person to solve their problems.
Discuss your prospects’ pain, challenges, and opportunities in the About section of your LinkedIn profile. Show your prospects your solution how you fit into their world.
The About section improves your LinkedIn profile’s SEO
LinkedIn is not just a social media platform; it’s the largest search engine for professionals.
People are searching for prospects, content, experts, professional contacts, future employees, and suppliers. You want people to find you when they search LinkedIn for someone with your skills and expertise.
People who contact you through LinkedIn are more likely to buy from you. They have already researched you and other options on LinkedIn and found you a good fit for their needs. So ranking high in LinkedIn searches is important.
Ranking high in LinkedIn search isn’t as difficult as ranking in Google searches. LinkedIn uses two primary factors to rank your profile – keywords in your profile and the reach of your network.
If you are connected to the person who is searching, you will be included in the search. You will rank high if your profile has the right keywords.
The About section of your LinkedIn profile converts visitors into leads
The About section is your landing page on LinkedIn. It needs to covert people who visit your profile into leads.
Many people make the mistake of writing their resume in the About section. Don’t do that. Use the Experience section for your job history.
The first sentence of the About section is critical because it needs to hook the viewer to read your full profile.
When people see your LinkedIn profile, they only see the first couple of sentences in your About section. The first sentence must grab their attention.
You can either start with a strong CTA or a sentence about the benefits of your solution.
Here are some examples of About section that are well optimized:
Look at Brynne Tillman’s LinkedIn profile. She is a LinkedIn selling expert and coach.
She starts with a CTA:
LEARN TOP LINKEDIN AND SOCIAL SELLING STRATEGIES ►
The buyer’s journey has changed. Buyers are now researchers, explorers, self-educators, and collaborative decision-makers – and it’s significantly impacting the traditional sales process.
The CTA is optimized for search and clearly tells you what she does. The opening sentence tells you that your sales cycle has changed, so you need a different approach to selling.
This is a great way to start the About section.
The other option is to start with a couple of sentences about the benefits of your product. Include the main keyword about your product and service.
Here is another example of a well-written About section.
400+ B2B marketing leaders at HubSpot, DocuSign, Medallia, Cato Networks and many others use Testimonial Hero to easily create video testimonials that reduce friction in the sales cycle and close deals FASTER..
It lists customers to build trust, tells what the software does and the benefits it delivers. It has the keywords related to his product.
Let’ look at another example:
Do you need an SEO Consultant? Awesome! Let’s start from here:
It starts with what a prospect needs and adds a clear CTA about what to do. It also includes important keywords for his service.
About section is the perfect place to educate prospects about how your solution solves their problem. The key here is Educate, not Sell.
Use the next couple of paragraphs to build on the opening sentence/CTA.
List challenges faced by your prospects. Agitate about their pain and problems. Then share insights about how to solve their problems. Finally, show them how you can help.
Follow it with one or two case studies/examples of how you have helped your customers. This gives social proof and builds excitement in the reader that you can help them get similar results.
Share links to third party review sites if you have a SaaS/technology product. Share links to press coverage to build further credibility.
Finally, include a soft call to action to get people to contact you. If possible, include an offer, like I do with a 30-minute free consultation call.
Include keywords in the first sentence and sprinkle them throughout the About section to optimize your profile for search.
See my profile as an example of how to optimize About section of your LinkedIn profile:
Step 3: What is featured section on LinkedIn and how does it affect your profile optimization?
While the About section is a critical part of your profile, the Featured section is the engine for driving leads on LinkedIn.
Most people don’t fill this out because they don’t have anything to show. But that’s what makes it so attractive to entrepreneurs, sales and marketing professionals.
If you do this well, you really stand out from the crowd.
How do you use featured section on LinkedIn?
Add links to your LinkedIn posts & articles, your blog posts, link to your product/landing page, documents and presentations.
This is really a lead generation section and you should treat it as such. Look at these examples:
Sam has got links to some educational content and case studies offering proof that their software works.
Lukasz shares clips from his presentations at events and interviews that establish him as an expert. He has also included a link to reviews from his clients on Clutch.co (a review site) that establishes trust and provides proof that he delivers top notch SEO services.
Brynne shares some of her LinkedIn posts and blogs in the featured section. Some people also showcase awards, certifications.
This is the sort of information you will normally find on the home page or landing page of a website.
Step 4: What to put in the experience section on LinkedIn for profile optimization?
The “Experience” section is where you build your chronological resume. Add past employer, duration of the employment, and your achievements.
Focus on your achievements in each role/job. Achievements build credibility by showing that you deliver results.
A common question people struggle with is how many years to go back in your experience section. My recommendation is to go as far back as it makes sense for your current work/solution. Use placeholders for roles/jobs that are not relevant to your current focus.
Use deliverables instead of formal job title. Add keywords in your job description and achievements to help your profile rank higher in LinkedIn searches.
Step 5: What is the recommendations section on LinkedIn and how to optimize it?
Recommendations from clients and supervisors are best for building credibility on LinkedIn.
You can get it from co-workers also, but those are not credible.
Try to get a minimum of three recommendations. Make sure these include important keywords you want to rank for in searches.
One of the challenges with recommendations is that everyone has glowing recommendations on LinkedIn. Unless you get it from clients or respected professionals in your field, people tend to discount them. But any keyword-rich recommendations will help in your profile optimization.
LinkedIn introduced skill endorsements to highlight professional skills. One of the problems with skill endorsements if that most people endorse others with the expectation to receive an endorsement in return.
But it has a big impact on your profile optimization as LinkedIn created it to help recruiters find people with the right skills. So, make sure you get some endorsements for skills you want to rank for in LinkedIn.
Step 6: What else to do to optimize your LinkedIn profile?
There are some other parts of LinkedIn profile you should optimize to improve your profile’s search performance.
If you provide software services or outsourcing solutions, click the pen icon for “Providing services” section.
Click the Add services button to add your services like software development, etc.
In the about section, add a short description of your business. See my services section as an example:
If you’ve professional certification or licenses relevant to what you’re selling, add those in the Licenses & certifications section.
There are many other things you can add to your profile to optimize it further. Click the Add profile section button on your LinkedIn profile page to see all the options.
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile is the first step in using LinkedIn to sell your products and services.
The next step is to identify people to grow your LinkedIn network.