Social networks, such as LinkedIn, offer plenty of scope for finding prospects and building relationships. Many sales professionals prefer to use LinkedIn for social selling. So, how do they do it? If you wish to use your LinkedIn profile to build relationships with clients, your profile should be more than a professional resume. A good profile presents a well-rounded image and is an interesting read. The way to make yourself seem valuable to clients is not to brag about meeting professional goals every single time. Remember that you are trying to attract clients, not recruiters. Here are six ways in which you can optimize your LinkedIn profile for social selling.
1. Choose a professional profile picture.
A good profile picture is sharp and shows your head and shoulders. A smile will make your picture more appealing. It will also make you look trustworthy. The background should ideally be as plain as possible. This ensures visitors will be focusing on your face, not on background objects. Take a look at your profile picture and ask yourself: are you easily recognizable in the picture?
2. Clarify your title.
Most people on LinkedIn use the professional title that is printed on their work contract. Essentially there is nothing wrong with that, but sometimes a professional title can include words that people from other industries are not familiar with. That is why it is a good idea to include a short explanatory or descriptive sentence to clear up any confusion.
3. Change your URL.
A standard LinkedIn URL contains a long string of numbers and letters. Getting rid of these extra characters will give your URL a more professional look. It will also make it easier for people to find you on Google or LinkedIn. You can adjust the URL by clicking the adjacent settings icon. This will take you to another page, where you can type in a new URL. Keep it simple. It is good practice to use your full name with as few additions as possible.
4. Write an engaging summary.
Your summary is one of the most important parts of your LinkedIn profile. A good summary is personal and interesting to prospects and clients. It should convey what you have to offer visitors who connect with you or respond to your InMail. Your summary should contain three elements. It should mention your passions and interests, it should talk about the organization that you are a part of, and it should contain a call-to-action. A call-to-action is, for example, an invitation to visitors to connect by calling or emailing you.
5. Share your Experience.
Showing visitors what you have achieved so far and what you are working on now is a good idea, as long as you present it in a way that is interesting and appealing to prospects and clients. This means no bragging about how good you are. Instead, try to write about how you can help others with the knowledge you have gathered in your career.
6. Add some rich-media content.
Adding rich media to your summary and experience makes it more likely that visitors will engage with your profile. Choose videos and presentations that are relevant to prospects and clients and that help them to get to know you better.
Once your LinkedIn profile has been rendered optimal for the purpose of social selling, you are ready to start making connections and building relationships. LinkedIn is the ideal platform to send private messages, such as InMails.