LinkedIn is no longer just a platform for jobseekers. Over the years it has transformed into a platform that both new jobseekers and CEOs can use to build their careers.
LinkedIn has become a powerful sales and demand gen tool. If you’re in the B2B business, LinkedIn is no longer an optional platform. With more than 310 million monthly active users it’s becoming harder to cut through the noise.
If you want to be the most effective you can while using LinkedIn, you need to play the game smarter than your competition. This means even something as simple as optimizing your LinkedIn profile is something you need to explore.
Here are a few reasons you should optimize your profile even if you’re not job hunting:
- Improved in-platform search rankings for your company, name, and what you do
- Build your personal and professional brand online
- Stand out among other professionals using LinkedIn for demand gen or sales
- Showcase your professional accomplishments and accolades
- Makes it easier to connect with others in your industry you admire
This guide will show you the top five places you’re missing great opportunities on your LinkedIn profile, as well as providing examples of people who are doing it right. Follow these easy steps and you’ll have a fresh new LinkedIn profile designed to drive results and enhance your social media presence.
1. Maximize your cover photo potential
One of the largest pieces of LinkedIn real-estate is often underused and ignored. Your LinkedIn cover photo is the perfect place to make a bold statement about you and your business. Do you have a side-hustle or a website? Maybe you’re trying to drive webinar sign-ups? This is the place you can use to make a big statement.
Think of your cover photo like a personal billboard. What message do you want to send to people checking your page out? The traditional stock photo of plants or your writing desk might work for now, but there’s so much more you could be doing.
Let’s look at career expert Madeline Mann for an example of a cover photo used correctly:
Madeline delivers the value upfront. It’s clear what she’s all about (and how she can help you along the way). The image even includes a CTA that tells you that you should follow her for recruiting tips and more. It’s a dynamic illustration that uses minimal space to drive maximum value.
This can easily be accomplished using a display ad design software like Canva or Lucidpress. Many of these services offer free versions of their product to single users. These products allow you to use templates designed to fit the space of your LinkedIn header photo. From there, you can customize your header and tell your unique story.
2. Make your headline tell a story
The space right under your name on your LinkedIn profile is reserved for your headline. That should be the first sign that it’s an important piece of the puzzle.
Your headline should be a clear reflection of you and your goals. It’s one of the first things people see on the page and it will help determine if they care to stick around and learn more about you. That’s why you need to be doing more than just stating where you currently work.
For killer headline inspiration, look no further than Julia McCoy.
CEO. Author. Content Creator. This headline is a powerful statement that tells you exactly what Julia is all about. Most people stick to the standard “X job at X company” for their headline. That formula works but it’s not creative or eye catching. Reimagine what your headline can be other than your current position.
Play around with your headline. Explore what the leaders in your industry are using this space to create. It might take a few tries to find something that feels like it fits. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different formats until you find one that works for you.
3. Turn your summary into your sales pitch
Piquing your audience’s interest with your cover photo and headline is good, closing the deal is better. Your personal summary is the best place to drive action. Think of it as your own personal sales pitch. What action are you trying to drive? How are you hoping to connect with people? And most importantly, what value do you bring to your audience?
Digital marketing expert, Neil Patel, is a perfect example of how to use your summary space as your sales pitch.
It might seem braggadocious to the casual observer. But there’s a lot more going on here under all of this information. Neil Patel has created an incredibly organized and well thought out design. Let’s break down what he’s really doing in this section of his LinkedIn profile.
One quick glance at this summary and you know:
- Who Neil Patel is and what he does
- How he can help your business
- The numbers behind his results
Think of how you’re currently using your summary section. Are you showing the value of connecting with you? What about your LinkedIn profile would convince a prospect or potential customer to accept your connection request? Delivering the value proposition up front is crucial to staying ahead of the curve.
Linking the pieces to work together
These are just a few of the strategies you can use to optimize your LinkedIn profile and take a hold of your online reputation. Once you get a handle on the basics, you can explore more LinkedIn strategies. Building your perfect LinkedIn profile takes time and patience. Play around with the copy and images to find your perfect personal brand.
Lauren Pope, Content Marketing Team Lead at G2
Lauren is a Content Marketing Team Lead at G2 with five years of marketing experience. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Hubspot, Yahoo Finance, and on the G2 Learning Hub. In her free time, Lauren enjoys listening to podcasts, watching true crime shows, and spending time in the Chicago karaoke scene.