Everyone seems to be on LinkedIn. I bet you are, too. Of course you're searching for new contacts, getting leads, learning about companies, etc. Although that's a great start, you have to play it from the other side too. Isn't it a lot easier if you are the one getting sought out?
When a client comes to me about their LinkedIn profile, they want to know what to write for a summary. Actually, they usually want me to write it for them. Which I'm happy to do, if they are willing to put in the time with me.
Wait, what? Why should my client have to put in any time for something that I'm supposed to write for them? My answer is because I need to get to know both what they do, and who they are. Not their title or position, but them! What do they do for their company? How do they uniquely fill their role? How does their personality and strengths work into it all?
Have you thought of your summary? What does it say about you? And how?
Most people will sweat over what to write in their summary. They want something creative and fun, but they rarely seem to have an issue with their headline. Think about LinkedIn's search results. Their summaries don't pop up. It's their name and headline. Before we get to the headline, let's talk about your summary first!
Ironically enough, you should write from the inside out. Meaning you should start from the summary, then move on to your headline, extras, etc.
Over time, I've come to a simple conclusion. Relevance. Gotta have it. Scratch the rest. You have to put yourself in your targets' shoes, and that can be hard to do. If you're writing and don't know who your target is, then back up and figure it out.
That isn't the only kind of relevance there is. The other is between the content and your headline, but we'll get to that in a minute.
Aside from meeting the contacts you want to find, why did you get on LinkedIn? More importantly, what do you want to do on LinkedIn now that you're on it? After using it for some time, what have you experienced so far? A better question might be - What would you like to see different?
I'm keeping this to things that are free for you, paying for a premium membership or Sales Navigator will certainly benefit you if you need those extras. However, I want to give you what I can for free!
Without goals you're dead in the water on the platform. Think not only about what you want right now, but what you would like to do or be in the future. Do you want to be a content producer/curator? To be seen as a thought leader or expert in the field? Develop your personal brand? Sell more? Promote yourself or the company you work for? Do you want to provide clarity about who you are and what you do? Or do you simply want to collaborate?
Whatever your purpose, it will have a direct and significant impact on your content.
Your profile has to stand out from others around it and get them to click! That brings to me a sticking point. Remember those goals we talked about? Once you have decided what your goals are, you can then think about who you want to connect with. Once you have your target demographic selected, it's time to get to work.
Where ARE they? It's a broad definition. Where are they working geographically, and for what types of companies? Where are they at in their careers? In what departments do they work? This will have you thinking about what you have to offer them.
You know "where" they are now, hopefully. And you now have a clear idea of "where" you are! Perfect. What's the intersection of this map?
A good place to start is by providing samples of your work. If you are a copywriter, you might add examples of your writing as attachments in the media section. If you design e-mail campaigns, you can add layouts you've done. Author? Add covers of your books. You get the idea. Keep in mind that audience drop-off is not a bad thing. You want to build a quality list of contacts, not anyone who is willing to hit connect. There are plenty of those out there that you don't have to work for!
Tip: Hold off on getting recommendations from your network until you have your summary and headline written. This will help to steer their recommendation based on what your profile says.
Your primary focus will be to start conversations and promote user engagement. Remember, these begin in your reader's mind. If you don't start there, they won't take it any further (i.e. connect). Don't worry about perfection. Just simplicity! The goal is to be concise and to the point and guide future conversations.
I recommend taking one of two routes.
1) For a story-based profile, you can use these questions to get your story started.
Tip: Notice these focus on origins. Something was started. How can they help be a part of a great ending?
Tip: What analogies can you think of for what you do? You want it to seem easy to you!
2) You solve pain points, and here's how:
Now that you have a place to begin and a framework, start writing! Anything slightly creative is better than nothing, or something dull! It may take some time to develop, but consider it as a work in progress.
When someone does a search in LinkedIn, and you come up in their result, remember this: They see your headline first, which is only about 10 or so words! You don't have much room to make an impression. Look at others and see what they use.
Some ideas to consider:
If you'd like to see what I did, please visit My LinkedIn Profile!
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