1. The Headshot
Getting a recent professional headshot only costs about $50, but so few people do it. The very first impression you’ll make is with your picture.
Here are some do’s and don’ts:
• Get a recent professional headshot
• Wear professional dress
• Smile - remember, this is your first impression!
• Have a picture that was taken using a polaroid in 1980
• Show any skin or have a photo wearing something you wouldn’t wear to an interview
• Have no photo at all
2. The Headline
Many people don’t know this, but your LinkedIn Title doesn’t have to be the same as your current job title.
For example, if you’re a Partner at Cristello & Sons, LLP - you can make your LinkedIn title whatever you want! It’s important to think of the headline as something that speaks to your target customers.
Try and use the formatting like this:
I Help ______ Get ______ By Using ______.
This new headline will be aimed towards the people you want to be connecting with.
Here is a great example of a formatted headline if you’re an accountant for a specific niche like doctors or dentists:
I Help Doctors And Dentists Save Money And Get Financially Organized Using Cloud Based Accounting!
The key is to come up with 2 or 3 different headlines and see which one is converting the most connections.
3. Premium Account
While not a necessity, getting a premium account is good for your brand but can be EXPLOSIVE for finding and generating new leads and new free consultations for your firm.
It costs about $59 per month for the most basic LinkedIn premium version and is well worth it if you’ll invest the time to use it.
4. 500+ Connections
LinkedIn was started in 2002. That’s well over 10 years that you’ve had to get at least 500 connections on the world's #1 professional network.
When I come across a profile with less than 500 connections, it just raises questions. Why?
It has nothing to do with the level of service you provide, or how great your firm is, but your prospects only know what you show them when they stumble on your LinkedIn profile.
The Background Section
After the header section of your profile, this is the next thing your prospect will see. It’s important to remember the entire purpose of LinkedIn is like having a billboard on the internet for your business.
You should answer the exact questions this accountant did:
• What I Believe
• What I Do
• How I Do It
• Who I Serve
• My Background
It’s important to make sure that your LinkedIn page is made for your AUDIENCE. Not for you. That’s why choosing a niche is so important. Frankly, your prospects don’t care to work with a general accountant. They want someone who truly understands them and what they’re experiencing. If you’re an Accountant For Lawyers - an Advertising Executive probably won’t message you for accounting services - but the Lawyers will come in droves!
Ask yourself this question: Am I consistently receiving messaging from targeted clients on LinkedIn? If the answer is no, pick a niche and target your messaging directly to them. You will be surprised at the results. I get 1-3 consultations per week just from normal traffic that come across my page.
The Skill Section
The skills section is one of the easiest to beef up. Pick a handful of skills to focus on and get your friends to vouch for you.
How do you do that?
Every time you endorse someone, they receive an email. Many of them will endorse you right back and you’ll build your top skills. Every time you go to anyone’s profile, make a habit of endorsing them for their tops skills and you’ll soon hit 99+!
Your Experience Section
The experience section is the last major section you should spend time on. This is your chance to show off your company and brand.
• What’s it like to work with you?
• What is your team like?
• Have you won any awards? Has anyone recommended you?
• How long have you been doing this?
Having multimedia, photos, slideshows, and videos strengthen this section. If you did put a call to action in the “Background” section, it’s great to include it here as well.
You should create a company page for your business. It only takes a few minutes but allows your to upload a photo which will show on your profile similar to the above.
Try and accumulate as many recommendations as possible. Start with your existing clients and colleagues. Make a habit to slowly reach out to 1 or 2 people per month to slowly build the social proof that this is a special firm, and you’re an incredible person to work with.
Your LinkedIn profile should be one of the main advertisements for your firm. Ask yourself:
• Would I schedule a consultation if I were my target client?
• Does my LinkedIn accurately represent my essence and what it’s like to work with me? • Do I have a “call to action” for people to meet with me?
If you’re not sure how to answer some of these questions, or the answer is no… Pull up your computer, and start remaking your profile. Now is the perfect time to start growing your business. Take the next 90 minutes, head over to LinkedIn and start implementing these tactics, ASAP. No excuses. Just go for it!