LinkedIn Optimization for Sales
I share my secrets with you and tell you about how I use LinkedIn as a sales prospecting tool and tell you EXACTLY how you should update your profile to get the best results.
Kyle gives tips on the best way to optimize your LinkedIn profile to benefit your sales.
There’s a lot of videos out there talking about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for a potential new job opportunity. What we’re going to go through is slightly different. Same type of mindset, but we’re going to look at it from the standpoint of updating your profile, and then going out and getting new potential customers to connect with you, and how to attract them and close them as a connection with these tips.
The first thing is going to be your image, your profile image. It’s got to be somewhat professional, updated, relevant. Don’t use anything that is old or way too casual. I mean, this is LinkedIn, so it needs to be in that professional environment.
The second image that you’re going to see is that banner image in the background of your profile. That can be more personal. You can put something there that is a sunset, or if you’re into mountain biking, or skiing or something like that. My recommendation is make that more personal because that you’re really trying to show your personality to anybody that potentially sees your profile.
The third area that we’re going to talk about is the most important. That is your headline. On your headline, typically what people will do is they will put their job position and then at wherever they’re working. You do not want to do that. If you’re using this for sales prospecting, do not do that. You need to do it from a standpoint of relevancy to what it is that you do, and keywords, themes, phrases of what it is that you do. When you send a LinkedIn connection request to somebody, all they’re going to see is your pretty picture and your headline, and whether or not you have mutual connections. If your headline says sales manager at ABC Company, they don’t know what that is, then they’re most likely going to be somewhat hesitant to click into it.
But if it instead says, “Teaching companies to do this,” or “Leading the PCB Market” in whatever it is, doing something to where you’re using all of the characters, not just a one sentence thing, separate them with vertical bars, dashes, however you want to do it. But putting it to where it is relevant key words, themes, and phrases to your industry and what it is that you do. That way when that person sees that LinkedIn connection request, they see your pretty picture. Then they see the headline. If it’s relevant to them, then they’re going to instantly think, “This is relevant. I’m going to click on and look at the rest of their profile.” You will not have that opportunity if you have something that’s just basically your title and the company that you work at.
This is something that is extremely important. You have to do this. This is going to make or break the difference between whether you’re at 50, 60% connection acceptance rate, or whether you’re in the 20% or 10%. Everybody overlooks this. Do not make it to where it is your job title. I’m going to say it five more times if I have to. Beat this into your head. Get creative with it. Do not put … I think you get 60 characters, or something like that. Use all of the characters. If you’re in sales and you cover a territory, put down that territory.
So in a separate video, I’m going to show you exactly how to send out connection requests with strategic people you want to do business with, but for right now we’re just going to focus on the profile. The next section below that is going to be your summary. This is where you want to have a summarization. You’ve got to have something there. Do not leave this blank. A summarization of what you’re great at, what you do. If you’re in sales or marketing, you need to pout services, products, things that you offer. Do not make this strictly for your personal, “I’m the best sales person in the world, and here’s all my accomplishments and whatnot.” Somebody’s going to expand on this and click that drop down to read it. You need to put in bullet points, arrows. Do whatever you need to do to list out the services, products, things that you guys offer. What makes you different as a company.
Now, you need to use the vertical space. Do not have it be chunky paragraphs. You need to try to use it up by doing two sentences, hitting that return line, and putting a space in between those. Then do a couple more. Hit that return line. Go to a bullet point list. And then the last step is going to be add some sort of media. Now with the media, when you click add media, you can either upload a document, or you can upload a link to something, putting in videos, sales sheets, brochures, whatever it is that you have from a brand collateral standpoint. Putting that in there.
Now, it’s not to say that somebody’s going to click and read through it, but when you just look at a profile that has that, and then you look at a profile that doesn’t, the one that has it shows that this person cares more about their personal appearance and what it is that they have on LinkedIn. You got to keep in mind that LinkedIn, while for the most part since ’07 has been primarily used as a tool for people to find jobs and apply to jobs where it’s your resume, potential customers are going to be looking at them. They want to see what your history is. If you’ve jumped jobs every two months, they may look at it and say, “I don’t want to talk to this guy,” and try and find somebody else at your company.
So you need to have your profile optimized to where it looks beefy, that you’ve paid attention to it. This is essentially the only way that they’re going to ever initially look at you. It’s just like a company’s website. So putting some media in there is to fill up the space. Make sure that’s relevant and that it’s good content.
All right. Next is going to be your customer URL. When you click on your profile at the top and you look at the URL, it’s going to say LinkedIn dot com forward slash n forward slash something. If you have not customized this, then it’s going to say your first name, dash, your last name, and then a whole bunch of numbers and letters. The easiest way to do this is to edit it clicking on the pencil icon, going into the upper right-hand corner.
You’re going to edit your public profile and badge, and then from there, you can make it whatever you want. Whether it’s your first name last name together, whether there’s a space, whether there’s a dash, whether there’s numbers, middle initials, whatever it is. It just makes a nice, clean look. It’s not really from a standpoint of people that are going to go to your profile and click on that. That’s for when you share it. It should be at the bottom of every one of your email signatures. Connect with me on LinkedIn, and you don’t want it to be this long, lengthy, ugly URL. You want it to be somewhat clean and straight to the point to where it just ideally says forward slash your name.
While you’re in editing your customer URL, right below it you’re going to see a section that talks about your public profile. This is where you can get to pick to see, do people see your entire public profile? Do they only see one aspect of it? Can you hide your picture, hide your previous job experience, things like that? My personal experience, if you’re in sales, you’re in marketing, you’re trying to add your connections … Make it all public. Just let it fly. Check every box. Let them see everything about you from a public standpoint. Let the search engines index it. Somebody Google searches your name, it will show up. When you make it public, you’re just throwing it out there to where that potential connection, whether it’s a second-degree or third-degree, they can see everything, and it’s not going to look weird if you are hiding your picture. That defeats the entire purpose of this, so make it all public if you’re open to that.
The next section down from there’s going to be your current employment, your previous employment, the duties, the things that you’ve done, your entire job history. You want to make sure, number one, that however you work for right now, you’re linked to the correct company page. When you click add an employer and you start typing in that employer name, there’s going to be something that pops up that allows you to pick the suggested company page for that. If you ignore that, and you put in ABC Company and don’t pick the ABC Company page, there’s no logo of theirs and there’s no link to that company page. You want to make sure that when you’re typing that in, search for it. It may be a different name. Maybe they call themselves something different. If you want to, before you go and edit this section, try and find their company page to see what they call themselves before you add it. But add in your current employer.
Go back through your previous employers. Make sure that all those are linked. Maybe it was 20 years ago, and they don’t have a LinkedIn company page any more, or they’re out of business. Don’t worry about that if it’s that far back, but you want to make sure that every single one of your job employers is linked to their company page. In each section of that, your job description. Talk about … This is your opportunity to talk about things that you’ve done. Talk about your accomplishments. Talk about your daily responsibilities, your duties. Still, like I said in the summary section, you need to use that vertical space. Do not just go paragraph after paragraph after paragraph. You need to separate them out. Use bullet points. Use arrows. Use lines. Link to other things.
You can put in media here too in each part of these jobs. Every job that you work at that you put on your LinkedIn profile, you can add the media icon. You can add either media or a link, just like you can in the summary page. So you can make it relevant to that job. But filling this out … This way, when somebody comes to look at your profile, because you sent them a connection request, and once you send that to them, they’re going to look at your profile. As they start to scroll through, they’re going to see who do you work at. If that is just a link to that page, that would still be better than not having it. But you want to fill that out to where they can understand what type of person are you. I mean, you’re a sales person that’s trying to go after them. How much time did you put into your profile? They want to know what are accomplishments that you have. Every potential customer wants to talk to the best sales person, that person who’s in charge with the most authority. So make it look like you’re that person.
Even if there’s 30 other sales people in your company or a 130, make it look like you’ve put most amount of time, because this is important from a prospecting standpoint that we’re going to show in another video where you need to make it look like you have your shit together. And fill that section out, and do it for every job. If you’re in B2B sales or B2B marketing now, and you used to be a bank teller when you were 21 years old and now you’re 40, you don’t need to fill that out. But at least the most relevant couple positions to what you’re doing. Maybe your last two or three, fill those out with some sort of extent, because it’s just going to also help you from a job standpoint. If you ever wanted to get an opportunity of somebody else, you’re killing two birds with one stone at this point.
Next section, skills, recommendations, and interests. List out your skills. What are you good at? Keep it high level. Sales management, B2B sales, social media marketing. Whatever it is, list out those skills, because people are going to endorse you for those skills. Try and put the most important ones at top. You can organize them based on importance, that way when people see them, they don’t have this entire list. They only see maybe the top four or five, and you want to be able to send those out so that people can say, “Yes. This person is good at that.”
From recommendation standpoint, if you can get recommendations, do it. Let people know that you’ve done business with in the past. Shoot them a message. Ask them if they can give you a recommendation, because it’s just going to help you in the future. Again, from a prospecting standpoint with sales, potential customers, and sales, and also from a job employer standpoint, recommendations are always going to help. That instills credibility into who you are, and what it is that you do, and the ethics and morals that you have.
Now from a following standpoint, companies that you’re following … Everybody can see that. So you need to make sure that you’re not following some ridiculous companies. You need to follow … Obviously stay true to yourself, but follow companies that are going to give you relevant, good information. If it’s blank, it’s going to look a little bit weird. So try and follow at least a couple companies that you find interest in, and that way those will show up there.
Now that your profile’s optimized, let’s look at the two main packages you can get with LinkedIn. LinkedIn Premium. LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Now, Premium, the main benefit behind this for the 59.99 a month that you can pay, or whatever it is when you’re watching this video … based on today’s features is you can send out third-degree connection requests. What does that mean? Anybody you’re connected with is first-degree. Anybody that they’re connected with is now your second-degree. Anybody that you’re not connected with at all, you have no common connections, is a third-degree.
If you’re trying to break into new industry, into a new territory, into a new marketplace, into a new vertical … Whatever it is, and you’re not connected with anybody in that group when you do that search to try and send out connection request, you’re going to have nothing coming back up, because it’s going to be all third-degree, and you cannot send it to them. So it’s well worth the 59.99. You get the little badge right now that shows that you’re a LinkedIn Premium member, and then you also get some InMail, so you can send out InMail to people. But third-degree connection requests, if you can’t send those, you’re going to be very slow moving. So it’s worth it.
Sales Navigator. This is right now around 79.99 a month. This is where it’s at from a prospecting standpoint. If you really are serious about your sales career, or from a marketing standpoint, building out connections, and being able to send out email marketing and stuff like that to people, you need LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You can do it advance searches, like you used to be able to do with Premium, but now you can go after job function, seniority, all those things of a person’s profile that you used to be able to do on LinkedIn Premium is now moved into Sales Navigator, as of about 12 months ago. So it’s worth it.
You can do saved searches. You get notified when people show up in those searches, and then also one of the coolest features is when you do a search for people, at the top it’s going to show you that you’ve got this many results. Let’s say it’s 5,000 people, but then there’s different tabs that show who’s posted something on LinkedIn in the last 30 days. Now, not to say that they haven’t logged in in 30 days. Just who actually posted something. You get 5,000 people that are on your search results, and then you only see 400 posted something on LinkedIn in the last 30 days, the first 400 connection requests you need to send are to those people because you that they’re active to where, if they want to connect with you, they’re going to accept it pretty quickly. Or if not, they’ll just ignore it. So those two packages are worth looking at. At a minimum start with LinkedIn Premium, and then go from there.
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Kyle Milan is a well accomplished sales and marketing professional with over 14 years in the B2B space. He is the CEO of 5 Fold Agency and a Sales and Marketing Strategy & Social Media Marketing expert. He has published several articles at major news media outlets on various topics of; Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing & Advertising, Industrial Marketing, Manufacturing Marketing, and Entrepreneurship.