Money-maker or deal-breaker – is your LinkedIn profile optimized to help you sell?
A busy sales rep’s LinkedIn profile gets views from hundreds of people for hundreds of different reasons, reaching far beyond direct prospects checking them out online.
Every post, comment, like or share reverberates through the online community of 500m+ members, and building a powerful profile that pro-actively contributes to pushing new and existing prospects along the sales funnel can be an investment worth many thousands of dollars in its cumulative impact.
Looking to turn your LinkedIn profile from a static bio into a lead-gen engine?
Here are the essentials:
OK, let’s get through this one fast - LinkedIn profile photos have the simple purpose of presenting you as an approachable professional.
You might be amazed that this point even makes our list, but… let’s just say that there are some wide-ranging interpretations out there of what this concept might mean.
Remember, the function of your photo is to help bridge the gap that exists from not meeting your customer in person.
So, if your picture shows you cropped out from a blurry wedding group photo, behind reflective ski goggles or zoomed out to 1,000 yards on top of a mountain peak, you’re creating a needless barrier that can be solved with a neutral background and a cell phone camera.
2. Banner image
Your profile’s banner image is freely available advertising space – why not make use of it?
As a minimum, it should represent your brand for top-of-mind awareness – ideally with your company’s tagline.
At best, have your marketing team create a banner image that delivers an elevator pitch of your offering, compelling headline sales data, an engaging screen capture or a client quote.
What’s likely to move prospects down the funnel faster – a generic cityscape backdrop or a powerful customer testimonial?
LinkedIn offers you the chance to customize your ‘headline’. This is not the same as your current job title – it’s what sits at the top of your profile, and what people will see when you pop up in their news feeds.
To get the most out of it, tell people about the results you create, not your job function.
Who’s going to get a foot in the door faster with target prospects in the video adtech space?
'Account Executive' or 'Helping marketers improve ROI on video ad spend'
Quick hint – it’s best not to go overboard here. Remember to keep it intelligible and relevant. You’ll see plenty of quirky and well-intentioned headlines that actually confuse more than they help, e.g. "Delighting customers with awesome user experiences"
OK... so what do you do?
Your summary sits right under your photo and is the centrepiece of your profile.
This is your chance to promote your solution - not yourself.
As well as an engaging overview of your product and how it helps customers, remember you can drive prospects to even more compelling sales materials – product overview videos, customer testimonials etc.
Use specific page links - don’t make prospects work to find good information about your offering.
If you want to frame your solution with some context about the company behind your product, try and keep it concise.
A deluge of stats about growth, investment, awards etc. can obstruct your key message – the problem you solve for your customers.
This is where prospects can see what you’re up to on the LinkedIn platform.
If you’re a real solutions expert in a niche community, that should shine through – what do you like, what do you share?
What do you comment on, what do you say?
Who do you engage with?
Details like this can be the difference between prospects returning calls or answering emails… if they look for evidence that you’re engaged with your community but your profile is a ghost town – you have to work that much harder.
When top sales reps summarize their experience, they find a way to intertwine their experience with results they’ve achieved for their customers.
You can still showcase your personal performance, but take a look at the difference below:
'Exceeded sales quota by 15% for 3x consecutive years' vs 'Exceeded sales quota by 15% for the 3x consecutive years, helping over 120 accounting firms save an average of 30% on payroll processing costs'
Attaching media to your profile (in the form of flyers, product overviews, data sheets etc.) is a chance to get any visitor who lands on your profile to explore your product.
It often takes weeks of emails, calls, voicemails and old-school prospecting to get a chance to show a prospect the highlights of your solution – why miss the chance if they’re on your profile, ready to learn?
Just make sure it’s up to date, and work with marketing to ensure content is evergreen. Outdated market reports, product releases or company news weaken your relevance and can do more harm than good.
While you’re not in control of any unsolicited recommendations graciously bestowed by benevolent co-workers or customers, it’s common practice for mutually respecting peers or business associates to request recommendations to round out their profile.
If you do pro-actively seek recommendations (plenty of people do), it’s worth asking if connections can reference your business impact as well as your personal qualities.
Again, the difference can be powerful:
'Helen was a pleasure to work with - responsive and professional' vs 'Helen was a pleasure to work with - responsive, professional, and helped us dramatically reduce the amount of time we spent finding key data across our organization.'
Adaptive Tech recruits on behalf of high-growth SaaS vendors, filling roles at all levels including SDR, CSM, AE, Sales Engineering, VP and more.
You can check out Adaptive Tech's SaaS sales vacancies in our job listings here.