How to create a Killer LinkedIn Profile - 2020 Revision
How to create a Killer LinkedIn Profile – 2020 Revision
Hello there, my name is Martin Henley And I’d like to welcome you to this super short video, updated for two thousand and twenty which is about creating a killer LinkedIn profile for yourself.
Now, you’ve probably found your way to this video because you are interested, at least, in LinkedIn marketing and my advice is that you get excited. LinkedIn, we think, is a ridiculous and preposterously good thing and if you’re not working it properly in your business already, you need to start thinking about making that happen. You are already behind the six hundred thousand people who have seen the original video.
This new video will help you to catch up.
The original How to create a killer LinkedIn profile video has now had almost 600,000 views and is still the second most popular video about LinkedIn on YouTube that hasn’t been produced by LinkedIn. The feedback that we have received has been really positive, mostly.
So why have we decided to update this video?
We have updated this video because the world has changed, LinkedIn has changed and I have changed – and I missed out some important stuff the first time round that you need to know about.
So in two thousand and twenty we have Donald Trump as President of the United States getting ready to run for his second term.
We have The United Kingdom out of the European Union.
LinkedIn was acquired by Microsoft for twenty six billion dollars in 2016, there was a design refresh in 2017 and they are now claiming more than six hundred and sixty million members, that’s coming up for ten percent of the worlds population.
I have moved away from providing marketing services, you would have to have something really exciting going on if you wanted me to get involved, and towards producing content. There is now an Effective Marketing LinkedIn Marketing course that you can check out here which will walk you through the whole process of how you effectively implement LinkedIn marketing for yourself, you can check that out here.
We are also producing an extensive and exhaustive Marketing Jargon busting series that cuts through the marketing BS to support businesses like yours to be more successful, you can check that out here.
So for all of these reasons we felt like it was time for a refresh on this topic. Also, it probably wouldn’t hurt for some fresher content to rank a little better on YouTube.
Please do not hesitate to like, share and subscribe to our channel – there really is a raft of useful content on its way if you are looking to drive your business forward through Effective Marketing.
The first point I want to make is that your LinkedIn profile will serve two purposes throughout your career.
The first, of course, is that is an incredible recruitment tool. So if you are looking for a new job with a new employer, then you should definitely be using LinkedIn to do that. But our hope for you is that you won’t spend more than five or ten percent of your career looking for a new job, and the lion’s share of your career should be about using LinkedIn to make the most of the job that you are in, especially if you are in sales or marketing. That’s where LinkedIn is most exciting, leveraging LinkedIn as a marketing tool to market yourself and the products and services that you provide to prospective customers.
And so, we are talking today, unashamedly about using LinkedIn as a marketing tool, to generate new leads and sales and contribute to the success of your business.
When you come to put together your killer profile, there are essentially six components that you need to be thinking about.
The first is what LinkedIn call your professional headline. So whereas at the top of your profile, right now, you will most likely have your job title or your job description what you really need to be doing is delivering some value with that headline, and we’re going to show you how to do that in this video.
The second element is your picture, too many people having appalling profile photos and don’t know what is appropriate – so stick with us and we will let you know exactly.
Then we are going to look at your contact details. If you want your profile to convert, you need to let people know you want them to get in touch with you and how they’re going to get in touch with you. So our recommendation is you give them your mobile telephone number and your shortest email address. But there also is some SEO benefit to be had here, so we’re going to share that with you.
The fourth element is your summary, which we’re going to talk about very briefly. I’m sure you know what you should be saying in your summary and we are going to show you how to make sure that delivers good value.
The fifth element is skills and expertise, it’s really important that people have the option to endorse you for the things that you actually want to be endorsed, and found for.
And the sixth and the last thing we’re going to talk about very briefly, is your interests.
So the first thing that we’re talking about here is your professional headline.
Your professional headline appears in lots and lots of places. It appears at the top of your profile, it appears on the search page, so when people are looking for people like you the first thing they will see, maybe the only thing they will see. is your professional headline.
Your professional headline appears on every message you send, it features on every invitation that you send, and it appears on the people you might know listing. So your personal headline is the most pronounced, the most visible part of your profile, it’s appears in those five places and there is an opportunity here to be achieving four really quite valuable things.
Your professional headline should be establishing your level, it should identify with the people that you want to be selling to, it should be communicating what it is that you do, it you should be conveying the value that you deliver and the benefit customers get from working with you.
And you have to achieve all of that in 120 characters or less – around 17 words or three lines, which I know sounds challenging but stick with me, I am going to show you exactly how to do that.
The first thing we think you should be achieving in your professional headline is establishing your level. So if you are an expert at what it is that you do, then you should be telling people that. Should you be shy about that, I don’t think you should, but if you are you could also convey that you are experienced, or that you are committed, or that you are a specialist. But the first thing you want to do with your professional headline is establish your level.
This is the question that’s important. When you have a problem, when you’re looking to get a problem solved, who do you look to engage? Do you go looking for an expert? Or do you go looking for a salesperson? The answer, of course, is that you go looking for an expert.
If you are an expert, and to be an expert by Malcolm Gladwell’s reckoning in his brilliant book Outliers you need to have completed ten thousand hours at whatever it is that you do. So if you’ve done what you do professionally for eight years, then I think you are perfectly justified in describing yourself as an expert, but you may prefer to describe yourself as a virtuoso or a maestro at whatever it is that you do. You shouldn’t do be shy about letting people know the level you have achieved and make no bones about establishing the level that you are at. So that’s the first thing you want to establish with your professional headline.
The second thing you want to communicate is identification with the people that you want to be working with. So if you target, for example, project managers or marketing managers or technical directors or chief financial officers or chief technical officers, let them know in your professional headline, I am expert at working with you. I want to be doing business with Marketing Managers and Business Owners, so my professional headline starts, Expert at providing Marketing Managers and Business Owners with …. the things that I do. So hopefully that’s making sense to you. Be sure to let people know that you specialise in working with them from the very first time they see your Professional Headline.
The third thing you want to establish is what it is that you do. Now prospective customers really don’t care very much about what you do, they care more about the problem you solve, so you can be a little bit creative about describing what you do. My Professional Headline is about educating and motivating marketing managers and business owners, what I’m actually referring to is the training that I do, which is of course educational and motivational.
The fourth, and final thing you want to allude to, is the benefit that these people take away from the products and services that you provide. Here you need to think in terms of features and benefits, and what you need to establish here is the takeaways, what they achieve, what they are left with, when they work with you.
The way I like to think about this is if you buy a drill, for example, it doesn’t matter that it’s red, it doesn’t matter how sharp the bit is, it doesn’t matter the power output, because you are not actually buying those things. What you are you’re buying is the possibility, or the capability to make holes. So when I buy accountancy, for example, the takeaway is tax mitigation or reduced tax liabilities, if I buy a lawyer, what I’m buying is time out of jail if my accountant messes up.
So, get really focused on the takeaways, get really focused on the benefits that people take away if they have the opportunity to work with you.
The second consideration here is how your prospective customers are motivated. At a basic level people are motivated in one of two ways, either they are positively motivated or they are negatively motivated. So for example, if like me, you’re selling to marketing people, sales people and business owners, who are looking to grow their business, then you can assume that those people are likely to be positively motivated. They are looking for more, more time, more leads, more sales, more money, more profitability, more kudos, more respect and more freedom to enjoy all of those things. These are positively motivated people.
However, if you are selling security, or IT, or Accounting, then you can expect your prospective customers to be more negatively motivated. They are looking for less, they are looking to save themselves time, and risk, and money, and hassle. So, when you think about your benefits, think about what it is that you’re delivering, who it is that you’re selling to, and how those people are likely to be motivated, and that will help you to realise the benefits they are looking for.
So in your professional headline, you want to be achieving these four things, you want to establish your level, whether you decide you are an expert or a specialist or determined or dedicated, whichever level you decide you are at make sure you let your profile viewers know; you want to be identifying with the people that you want to be selling to, whether they are Sales Managers, Business Owners, Accountants, Project Managers, Engineers – let them know that you deal with them; the third thing you want to do is communicate what it is that you are going to be doing for them. The last and most important thing is to deliver the benefit, tailored to their motivation, what it is that they are going to take away from working with you?
Now, you have to deliver all of that in three lines, 120 characters which is around 17 or 18 words, but you will see from my my professional headline that is perfectly possible.
My professional headline reads: Expert at educating and motivating business owners and managers to improve sales and profits through Digital Marketing.
Thats 17 words, 119 characters with spaces – how did I do? You are welcome to let me know in the comments.
Now, in old-fashioned parlance this is what they would have called a USP, a Unique Selling Point or your elevator pitch, its what we call a value proposition. Once you have done this work you will have a statement that you can deliver in less than six seconds that communicates your level, who you want to work with, what are you going to do for them and what benefit they are going to take away from working with you. That will give you a killer, killer, professional headline for your LinkedIn profile but you are also welcome to use it at dinner parties, networking events, in presentations and if you happen to find yourself in an elevator with a billionaire investor.
You are very welcome.
Your LinkedIn Photo is important and powerful for two reasons, firstly because pictures are powerful, people look at your photo and they make a judgement; and secondly because it features everywhere.
It’s right there at the top of your profile, it appears on the search page, on every message and every invitation that you send and it also features on the people you may know listing.
The first thing to consider is that your photo on LinkedIn is never very big, and in most of these places it is really small. So you need to make sure that the photo works in these different sizes. My recommendation is that you use a head shot, full body shots simply won’t work when they are reduced in size, and even a bust or torso shot will often struggle to have an impact.
The real key to your photo is to make sure that you look like you do in the real world, and ideally you will look the way you do in a professional context. If this all goes really well you are likely to end up meeting prospective customers whose first impression of you will have been this photo, and when you meet them ….. you don’t want to give them a shock, or cause for suspicion.
You know how you feel when you turn up for a Tinder date and they don’t look anything like they did on their profile, and you cant think about anything other than that for the whole date – its a similar thing here 🙂
Your picture should be a representation of you in your role, they say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and your profile picture is telling a story. If you have you have read “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell you will know that people make a judgement of you in a second, and the judgment here is, does this look like someone that I want to do business with, if the answer is no they will be gone. So here are some examples of good and bad pictures.
This is Bill Gates’ profile photo, would you say that this is what Bill Gates looks like in his professional life? I’m not so sure. Except that Bill Gates is retired and only talks about his philanthropic activities on his profile, so maybe this is an appropriate picture in that context, maybe if he were still CEO of Microsoft he would have a different shot. Personally, I don’t think it’s a great picture, maybe thats what he thinks a philanthropist looks like 🙂
Similarly, this is Richard Branson’s profile picture, and this is a flat out terrible photo. If I was a billionaire, I’d spend twenty five pounds and get someone to take a decent photo of me, and that is my recommendation to you – if you implement what I am sharing with you here literally thousands of your most ideal customers will be seeing this photo, so invest a little bit of time and money to make sure its the best photo possible.
What is usually not good is the picture that you may have lying around that you think is the only picture of you that is any good. Someone may have caught you half pouting and you think yeah, I look great in that photo, like a model. That picture probably isn’t appropriate for your LinkedIn profile.
So here are some things to avoid, a picture of you and your kids or any kids, unless you are a childminder is probably not appropriate. A Picture of you with your pets unless you are a pet sitter, or animal trainer, probably not appropriate. No picture, definitely not appropriate.
Make sure your photo is relevant to you in your business. If you’re a scaffolder, you certainly don’t need a photo of you in a tuxedo for example. In fact, the only reason you should appear in a tuxedo is if you’re a maitre d, or a master of ceremonies. If you are a yoga instructor then you in your yoga kit and yoga pose would be appropriate, just remember to make strong eye contact. If you’re a deal maker and you spend your time with dealmakers then you probably need to look corporate.
If you are a designer, a photographer or a film maker then you need to look creative.
The question to ask yourself is, if the people who visit your profile were to run in to you in your day to day professional life, would they recognise you from this picture.
What always works best is a head shot where you are looking straight at the camera, with strong eye contact and a genuine smile. Everything on your profile should be saying this is exactly what I am and what I do, make sure you aren’t creating confusion by trying to look better, or cooler, than you actually are.
Here are some examples of great profile photos.
So take the time to find yourself a photographer and get them to take a good photo of you and remember, this is for your LinkedIn profile, and not Tinder.
The third component that you want to think about is your contact details. If you want your profile to be converting, you need to let people know that you want them to get in touch with you, and you need to show them exactly what it is that they need to do to get in touch with you. My recommendation, and I do this, and I’ve not had any adverse effect and I’ve certainly not had lots of spammy phone calls or emails, is to provide your mobile telephone number, and your shortest email address. So that the people who engage with your profile know how to get in touch with you and how you would prefer for them to get in touch with you. You could also put in your address here but my reckoning is that nobody is going to sit down and write you a letter because they’ve been so impressed with your LinkedIn profile. But you do need to provide at least your telephone number and at least your email address.
The opportunity here, when you look at your contact details, is to list three websites. That’s not to say that you need to have three websites but you have the opportunity to list three websites. There is an SEO benefit to be gained here if you attach your keywords, those search phrases that you are looking to optimise your website for.
So for example mine are optimised for LinkedIn Marketing Training, Marketing Services and Marketing Blog. When you come to this section, it will offer you either personal, company, blog, RSS feed, portfolio or other. If you select other it gives you the opportunity to attach your keywords to the link which then appear in your contact details as anchor text. You don’t need to have three websites, you can simply direct these links to three different pages on your one website and those pages will then be associated with those keywords by the search engines.
As long as your profile is published and open it WILL get indexed by the search engines, and when the search engines associate those keywords to your site, it will deliver an SEO benefit and contribute to increasing your rankings in the search engines. If you only have access to your own profile this will give you three keyword rich links from an authority site, LinkedIn. If you convince your colleagues or team to also do this then the SEO is increased by three for everyone who completes this five minute task. The other benefit is that when a human being is reading your profile, they’ll have a sense of what those web pages are about and are more likely to click using those links if the topics are relevant to them.
Component number four is your summary. In your summary you get 2000 characters, essentially to back up the promises that you’ve made in your professional headline. If you are already delivering the value that you claim to be delivering this is an opportunity to put some case study here and talk about the different sorts of businesses that you’ve worked with, the different levels of decision makers that you work with, the benefits that they’ve taken away from working with you and maybe some of the process to support your professional headline.
Make sure that you include a call to action. There is a brilliant book by Steve Krug called Don’t Make Me Think, which is essentially about web usability. What he tells us is that it’s not the case that people don’t have time to dig out your contact details, it’s not that they don’t have the time to click through to your website to find your contact details. It is just that they wont, because if you don’t tell them to contact you explicitly they won’t be thinking about doing that because they aren’t really thinking about anything. Unless you tell people exactly what it is that you want them to do, they will not do it, because it will not even occur to them to do it.
So in my summary, what I say is, if these things are of interest to you, if you feel like we could be benefiting you, then you are absolutely right and I would love for you to call me, and I give them my mobile telephone number and my shortest email address. So if you want people to be doing something specific online, you need to be telling them exactly what to do, because they’re not sharp enough, in that instance, to be thinking of that for themselves.
So element number, where are we? Number five. Element number Five is your skills and expertise and recommendations. And I like this a lot although I know a lot of people who don’t. I like this because it forms a social proof that goes along with recommendations. The trouble, I think, with recommendations is that there was a huge recommendation trade going on. People were messaging each other saying will you recommend me if I recommend you? But of course, if I don’t have experience of the work that you provide then I’m not really qualified to recommend you. Recommendations are key, if people provide you with strong recommendations that will really support your profile but you need to be a little bit careful about having your most important customers talking about the most important work that you’ve done for them. That may make it very, very easy for your competitors to reach out to them. The trouble with recommendations is that everyone knows this trade is going on and that has watered down their believability.
I think that the endorsements around the skills and expertise is a nice social proof that communicates how good you are at what you do.
What you need to do here is enter up to 50 skills or expertises, is that a word? that you want to be found and endorsed for. My recommendation is that you do some keyword research, we show you how to do that in episode number eight in out WTF series, you will find that here ….. you need to look at the kind of language people using, with Googles keyword planner, for example, when they come to search for the things that you offer. Then you need to load the skills and expertise with these search phrases. Now this comes back to a point I was making earlier, which is that your profile should be about marketing yourself and the products and services that you provide to customers and not to prospective employers. If you are a salesperson, for example, then you will have skills around negotiation and objection handling, and closing, which are all great skills for a salesperson to have. But categorically, you wouldn’t want to be marketing yourself to a prospective customer with those particular skills, as a killer salesperson. So again, your skills and expertise need to be focused around the products and services that you provide in your current role to prospective customers, if it’s going to be effective when you reach out to those people.
So what happens if you don’t load these 50 keywords here, well LinkedIn will do that work for you, and obviously, at least I would hope, you are much better qualified to know what it is that you want to be marketing yourself for than LinkedIn. We had a French speaker on one of our courses, a native French person, who was incredibly offended that LinkedIn thought it was appropriate that they put French speaker amongst their skills and expertise. So make sure you do this work, it won’t take you more than half an hour and what you are essentially doing is letting LinkedIn know what you want to be found for.
Then what happens is that when people come and endorse you for these things it starts to form a nice communication and social proof about how good you are at what it is that you do. And this has benefited us, especially because people are occasionally a little bit challenged with what we actually do. We are a whole of marketing company, we really want to get involved at the marketing strategy level, but actually, what we have to do is market ourselves for the tactics because people are much more interested to get things done. What you’ll see If you look at my endorsements, for example, is that I’ve had way over 100 people now endorse me for marketing, marketing strategy, social media and digital marketing. This gives people a better sense that whilst we are a whole of marketing company, we are also skilled when it comes to the tactics. Whether that’s telemarketing, or email marketing, or SEO, or social media, or LinkedIn, or whatever those tactics might be. This is a really nice way of communicating what we actually do and what we are good at.
Skills and Expertise forms a really, really nice social proof alongside some strong and believable recommendations. So invest, go and do your keyword research and once you have done that you want to be littering your whole profile with these keywords, because you really want your profile to be found for the things you do as well as who you are.
The last element I’m going to talk to you about in this video is your interests. So if you look at my profile, you’ll see that my interests are listed as marketing and social media and all those these marketing type things. Now, I accept that, heaven forbid, if I were ever to go for a job interview, I wouldn’t list those things as my interests. I’ll be talking about going to the cinema, and reading, traveling, photography, playing tennis and chess and all of the things that make me seem like a normal human being that people might enjoy working with. But your interests on LinkedIn are really just another opportunity to load your profile with the keywords that you want to be found for. So there’s a chance when people within my network are looking for the things I do, that I’ll appear at the top of that list. I’ll have a professional headline and photo that will compel them to click from the search page to my profile, a killer profile that will compel them to engage with me, shows them how to engage with me and I’ll be the one to get that call.
I hope this has been useful. I know it will be if you manage to get this work done. You really need to get excited about LinkedIn Marketing, because it’s phenomenal. It’s achieving really good, really meaningful results for us in our business, and for those businesses that we’re working with on LinkedIn.
If you took value from this video, then I’m sure your friends will take value from it, so please feel free to share it with them. We’d love for as many people as possible to benefit from this content. So if you’ve enjoyed this, share it and come back because we’ll have something new for you again very soon.
If you are serious about driving your business through LinkedIn please take a second to check out the course, you will find that here: that will walk you through the whole process and demonstrate how with just 15 minutes investment a day you could be building a seriously valuable network that will deliver the leads you need right now and continue to benefit you throughout your career.
If you are serious about being more effective in your marketing please check out our What the … marketing jargon busting series where we are cutting through the BS to empower businesses like yours to be more successful.
Thanks for taking the time to check this out, please take a second to like, share, subscribe and comment, that helps us enormously.
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