How To increase your Linkedin Followers For Your Business. You probably already know that LinkedIn is the single most powerful online platform for entrepreneurs. Yet, it comes with a caveat: since there are more than 377 million professionals who use the social network, you need to stand out, and in a good way.
Most entrepreneurs know that they need to distinguish themselves from other business owners. It should be easy – you’ve built a unique company/brand with a specific target market in mind, and you have the skills and expertise that inherently set you apart from the sea of others, right?
While that may be so, there’s no guarantee that possible customers or clients and other professionals will notice these aspects of your profile – unless you present them in the right way.
If you’re ready to get started, I recommend that you grab any information you might need, and set aside a few hours during which you’ll be able to work uninterrupted. Keep in mind that putting in the extra effort now is what can make the difference between getting powerful leads and developing relationships with long-term contacts through networking, versus scrambling to get any customers coming in at all.
We’ll start with the basics and move on from there, so that everything from your profile name to your status updates are optimized to best attract the people with whom you want to connect. If you’re ready to begin, then let’s get started!
When it comes to optimizing your LinkedIn profile, there’s nothing that’s off-limits. In other words, with every single aspect of your profile, there’s an opportunity to capitalize on those seemingly insignificant character counts so that you can truly make your profile stand out. Let’s take a look.
1) Business Name
This step is as simple as it gets: your business name has a 60-character maximum, and it’s the most basic form of identification you can include. For this portion of your profile, keep it short and simple – include your legal business name, and avoid using any nicknames, contact information, or keywords in this area, as it could make you appear inauthentic.
2) Webiste URL
Don’t overlook the URL. Optimizing this portion of your profile gives it a neat appearance, and more importantly, makes it easier for others to share. Customize your URL so that it appears this way: linkedin.com/[yourname]. If your name is already taken, consider incorporating some other distinguishing characters, but don’t include a ton of numbers, nicknames, or any other unprofessional content.
3) Profile Photo
Each day, it’s estimated that 45 million profiles are viewed on LinkedIn. One way to ensure that your profile gets included in that number is to incorporate a professional photograph – this makes your profile seven times more likely to be viewed. If you can, go for professional headshots; if not, make sure that the image of you is professional in appearance (business attire, plain background, and no selfies!).
4) Background Photo
Part of having an eye-catching LinkedIn profile is making sure that you’ve achieved 100% completeness. While you might not consider the background photo to be of significant importance, this is an opportunity to personalize your page a bit more and gain the attention of your target audience. To really boost your brand visibility, why not choose some creative form of your logo as your background photo?
In just 120 characters, you have to sell your expertise and your brand as the best possible solution available for anyone who might need your product/services. Essentially, your headline should reflect your personal promise of value – it should say who it is that you help, what value your product/services can deliver, and why your company is the best choice (what makes it unique). Here’s where you can
include some SEO to attract your target audience through top keywords. What words do you hope to get found for when your potential customer or client does a search?
Include those in your headline – but make sure that the verbiage still flows naturally. In other words, don’t make it obvious that you planted those keywords in your headline; make sure that they fit into the overall message of your brand statement.
6) Business Location
Like your name, this aspect of your profile is pretty straightforward. But before you move on so quickly, consider this: if your business is located on the outskirts of a big city, it may benefit you to list that city as your location. This can improve your odds in search results, and is especially beneficial if you live near a city with a large population of potential customers.
In addition to optimizing your location, you need to tailor the industry section of your profile so that it effectively reflects your brand. To target potential customers and/or possible industry connections, ask yourself this: what would he or she search for in the “industry” section to find me? If you have a paid profile (and thus, have access to the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” insights), then you may want to experiment with incorporating different words into your “industry” section.
After a few tries, you should be able to find out which phrase is resonating best with your target audience.
8) Contact Information
You’re on LinkedIn to make connections, so make sure it’s super easy for anyone who views your profile to get in touch with you. If you’re only a third-degree connection or beyond, it’s likely that someone who’s interested in connecting with you won’t bother to send an introduction or buy an InMail to get in touch.
You can still make it easy for people to reach you by optimizing your contact details. You can include up to three websites as well as a Twitter handle. Don’t forget about the “Advice for Contacting” section, in which you can incorporate any information that makes you easy to reach, such as an email address or phone number.
9) Brand Description
Here, you have 2,000 characters to describe your brand and significant accomplishments. Envision the key descriptions of expertise and features that would define your brand as the best in the industry. How can you illustrate the ways in which your brand has grown, achieved key wins, and provided unique value to previous or existing customers?
Don’t be afraid to incorporate numbers here. Most importantly, show, don’t tell! If you can provide links to any blogs, websites, or reviews that really help your brand
stand out, this is the place to do so. You can also include any eye-catching media such as videos, images, presentations, or documents to your experience section.
Whenever possible, let your brand speak for itself. Also, be sure not to rattle off any of your company’s accomplishments in a resume-like format. Your goal is to make your profile stand out and come to life. If you’re questioning the readability of your
Experience section, then run it by a couple of friends or family members to see if it needs any edits.
Like the Experience section, Publications has a 2,000 character limit. Here, you should include any examples of work you’ve done – from blog posts to papers and any other published written content, any work-related content you’ve completed in the past will exhibit credibility in your industry for anyone who’s viewing your profile.
The LinkedIn Summary is of monumental importance when it comes to getting noticed, and optimizing it is what will give you an edge over your competition. Some people fail to bother with their LinkedIn Summary altogether, which is a big mistake.
Your LinkedIn Summary is so important – perhaps the most crucial element of your entire LinkedIn Profile – that’s why it has taken a lot of space in this article.
Most likely, you’ll spend the most time working on your profile summary. While it’s only 2,000 characters, the part that can be most difficult is taking advantage of those characters and using them to your best ability so that your summary gives a
well-rounded, captivating description of your brand without being overly-detailed, or conversely, too nondescript.
The summary has a 2,000 character limit, and it’s in your best interest to use those characters up. Specifically, research suggests that profiles with summaries of 40 words or more are more likely to be featured in search results. That’s a great reason to put a little extra thought into your summary.
One of the easiest ways to get started on your LinkedIn Summary is to revisit your headline. Remember, your headline should reflect your promise of value. It indicates why (and how) your product or services could provide unique benefits that people couldn’t find elsewhere. To create your summary, you’ll simply build on that statement.
Here are a few questions to consider when writing your summary:
- What would you like to communicate to potential customers and possible connections about your product/services?
- What type of impression do you want your brand to make on people who view your profile?
- What qualities is your brand best known for? Think of ways in which you can illustrate how your brand upholds its core values and distinct purpose.
Also, there are some words you may want to consider avoiding altogether. One of the most commonly over-used phrase (according to LinkedIn themselves!) is “motivated.” While you likely won’t use this word to describe yourself as an entrepreneur/business owner as it is more commonly used for job candidates, it is still a good idea to avoid it altogether, because there are so many individuals who
include this word in their profiles.
Instead of using this kind of adjective, focus on explaining the things that set your brand apart. How has your self-motivated nature led you to develop a successful start-up with a unique edge over its competition? Did you use your motivation to develop your product or service, which is now a creative solution to an ongoing dilemma? Remember the rule: show, don’t tell!
As for some other words to avoid, the remaining list of “the most overused, underwhelming buzzwords” and phrases of 2014 according to LinkedIn includes: passionate, creative, driven, extensive experience, responsible, strategic, track record, organizational, and expert. Keep in mind that these aren’t necessarily “bad” words, they’re simply overused.
The reason they’re overused is because nearly all customers want to use services from professionals and brands that fit this description; the secret is showing how your brand fits these descriptions (although you shouldn’t pick all of them; target a few of these or other key adjectives that fit best with your brand), instead of just listing the qualities it exhibits.
Your summary should also have an organized structure. You shouldn’t rattle off past accomplishments or try to woo potential customers by taking on an obvious salesy tone. The summary should have a logical flow that highlights a few specific accomplishments and features of your services/product. You can also discuss the things about which you are passionate (as long as they pertain to your industry) and
any special skills or experiences you have that sets your brand apart. Your tone should be 100% genuine.
Don’t forget that you can always ask friends or family members to proof your work and provide any suggestions for improvement.
Essentially, the summary section affords you the opportunity to tell the story of you and the development of your brand. While it should be professional and the focus should be on your brand (avoid details about your personal life, of course), you don’t have to make it sound too formal or forced.
Be sure to write your summary in the first person, and always begin by building on your promise of value.
If you are struggling to organize your summary, consider first making bullet points to address expertise, noteworthy accomplishments, and product features/services offered. You can always build upon these points and draft a cohesive summary from there. Or, conversely, you may want to choose to keep some of your summary in bulleted format. For instance, I’ve found that listing key values/differentiations in a
bulleted list is effective and helps draw the eye down the list.
Remember, readability is an important part of having a LinkedIn profile that gets you noticed. So, you might want to include key values such as
“Commitment to providing customers with 100% satisfaction and a guaranteed ROI” or “Career Coach who is passionate about helping her clients find jobs that are the best fit for their lifestyles” in a bulleted list.
Finally, don’t forget to include a call-to-action at the end of your summary. You need to make profile visitors feel as if they should get in contact with you now. This is the part where you essentially “seal the deal” and do your best to convince potential leads that your product/service is the solution they’ve been looking for.
More On Advanced Linkedin Profile Optimization
We’ll take this process step-by-step, and with just a little time and thought, you’ll have a professional, attractive LinkedIn profile optimized to stand out to your target audience. As an entrepreneur, your unique product or service serves a specific purpose and provides a solution to a problem that many people are experiencing.
That’s what makes your brand stand out and able to offer significant value for the right customers. Now, it’s just a matter of putting the spotlight on that unique value so that you can make a powerful, unforgettable first impression.