If you’re looking for an easy way to help boost lead generation for your business, then consider updating your LinkedIn profiles. I mean it. Yes, BOTH of them — your business profile and your personal profile.
While many business owners tend to prioritise Instagram or Facebook, research shows that 80% of B2B leads come in through LinkedIn, which means small business owners can’t afford to ignore their LinkedIn pages any longer.
By updating your LinkedIn profiles strategically and with intention, you’re optimising them for lead generation. Here’s how to get started.
Let’s Get Personal
Be honest — have you updated your LinkedIn profile at all since your last job search? If your profile picture is still from your college graduation, it’s time to clean house.
Since your personal profile will be linked to your business’s LinkedIn, it’s inevitable that your profile will be perused by potential leads. This means your profile is acting as an ambassador for your business, so you want it to be up to snuff.
Here are the things you should focus on updating:
An ideal LinkedIn profile picture gives viewers an idea of your personality within the bounds appropriate to your industry. This picture should be relatively recent, and when possible, taken professionally (or, at the very least, in good lighting if you’re using an iPhone photo!)
When taking a LinkedIn profile picture, wear an outfit that makes you feel confident — think something you’d wear to a big interview.
Here are two examples of different but appropriate LinkedIn profile pictures. The first is taken by a photographer with good lighting and Melissa looks both professional and approachable.
And then we have Lindsey’s picture, which shows her with her camera and in action. For her profession, this profile picture fits perfectly.
Your headline is your first chance to engage a viewer into scrolling for more information, so consider writing more than just your current job title. Use this space to give a creative elevator pitch of who you are and what you do.
Here are a few examples of LinkedIn headlines that follow this practice. Scott draws you in with a headline that makes you ask, “What exactly is a story wizard?”
Jason uses his headline to give an approachable and digestible idea of his skillset.
And Dan’s headline gives you a look into the duality of his personality as an employee – hardworking but fun!
These headlines go above and beyond simply stating their position at their company — they’re giving a concise explanation of their value and skills.
Dig into the details here. Your summary is the place to give people an idea of why people choose to work with you. Don’t be afraid to sell yourself!
Check out these examples. Jenny not only details her past professional experience, but she also goes on to explain her core beliefs.
Similarly, Jordin uses her summary space to give you an idea of what her work looks like both inside and outside of the office.
Make sure your relevant work experience is up-to-date, adding in any jobs or positions you may have had since the last time you updated your LinkedIn. Take this time to double-check what you’ve written for past jobs for spelling or grammar errors.
For example, Jason gives a succinct idea of what his responsibilities were at each position he held.
Jordin added in her personal company to her LinkedIn profile because the experience she’s gotten from this job adds value to her current position. Notice how she uses bullet points to quickly summarise her past experience.
And here, Kevin goes into detail about his different positions at the same company over the years. Instead of simply saying he’s worked at HubSpot for 3 years, this shows his upward trajectory as an employee.
Round It Out
Your personal profile has the luxury of filling out more information than you would on your business’s profile. This gives potential leads a look into what your full breadth of experience looks like, what you value as a person and why people enjoy working with you.
Don’t overlook the opportunity to portray yourself and your talents more completely by filling out these sections!
Licenses and Certificates
Gone through a training program you’d like to highlight? Licensed to lead workshops on certain technologies? Have a college certificate in French? Throw those on here! (Well, maybe not the last one).
It’s especially important to include certifications that make you look more competitive in your field, such as Kevin’s HubSpot certifications.
Skills and Endorsements
Like the skills section of your resume, but easier to scan. Here, people can endorse you on the skills they agree you excel in, like the way Jason’s colleagues endorsed him on skills like social media marketing.
Okay, HERE’S where you can put that fluency in French, along with any other accomplishments you didn’t have the chance to mention in your previous work experience.
As you can see from our example, don’t be afraid to be thorough. Even if you’re not sure if something could really apply – it’s worth adding! You never know what could catch someone’s eye.
Interests and Volunteer Experience
By listing a few interests and volunteer experiences, both industry-related and (appropriately) personal, a potential lead could easily find a commonality between the two of you, which may be more incentive for them to choose your business.
Here, Jenny is able to show what issues matter to her as a person by the volunteer experience she lists on her LinkedIn profile.
By asking clients to write a recommendation for you on LinkedIn, you’re providing a way for potential leads to read others’ experiences and feel more confident about the decision to choose your company.
You can ask for recommendations directly through LinkedIn by pressing the “Ask for a Recommendation” button in the Recommendation section. Be sure to personalise your message when requesting a testimonial from a former client and be sure to say thank you!
And, as we can see from Jason’s example, it’s always helpful to be just as generous by giving recommendations to people you think have gone above and beyond in their work.
Now that you’ve cleaned up your personal profile’s act, it’s time to dig into your business’s LinkedIn profile page.
Keep It Consistent
Updating your business’s LinkedIn profile should hold a similar weight to updating your website. All your information should be current, contact details should be easy to find and most of all, what you write should engage and pull in leads.
Profiles that have incorrect contact or business information, a lack of valuable content, hastily written copy or old logos don’t inspire much confidence in potential leads and could easily drive away a customer.
Starting with your profile picture and cover photo, make sure you’re picking images that are high quality and properly sized for LinkedIn dimensions (400 x 400 pixels for profile pictures, 1584 x 396 pixels for cover photos,) so they don’t come out blurry or pixelated. Business profile pictures are often company logos, but some companies use other photos, like that of their president or CEO.
For a cover photo, this could either be a picture of a product you make or a service you provide (a painting business might post a picture of a house they painted) or you could create an image on editing programs like Adobe Photoshop or websites like Canva.
On sites like these, you can create a cover photo with a background image of your choosing and add any relevant text, like a slogan. Plus, using text on a cover photo can help draw a lead’s eyes down towards your profile picture and header – Jenny’s cover photo is a perfect example!
Next, it’s time to revamp your business’s copy throughout the header and the about/overview section. You want these to be consistent and on-brand, so be sure to write in your business’s defined tone and personality. Remind yourself that potential customer most likely already knows the industry you’re in, so use this space to set yourself apart from your competitors.
Answer questions like:
- What’s your company’s mission?
- Why do people enjoy working with you?
- Why should they choose you over your competitors?
By engaging your readers with your copy and creating a high-quality visual aesthetic with your logo and cover photo, you’re already setting your business up for success.
Now, what are you actually posting?
Having a business LinkedIn with great copy and quality photos is all well and good…until your lead scrolls down and sees that your business hasn’t posted anything since 2012.
If you have a ghost town in the content section of your profile, here’s the solution:
Post content that provides tangible value to your audience, which is another way of saying it solves a problem, educates a reader or helps them do things faster or easier. This will help establish your organisation as a thought leader in your industry and increase the odds you see a boost in traffic on your page.
Examples of content that provides value include:
- Blog posts on common questions in your industry
- Case studies and whitepapers
- Video tutorials
- Educational opportunities on how your audience can learn more about aspects of your industry
- Articles on new technologies or advancements in your industry
- Answers to FAQs
Don’t worry — this content doesn’t all have to be something you generate yourself. It’s absolutely acceptable to have a blend of content created by you mixed with content you’ve curated (and sourced/linked!) from another reliable source.
Jumpstart Your LinkedIn Leads
These edits may take some time, but they are well worth the new leads they could generate. By taking the time to optimise your LinkedIn profiles, you’ll be raking in those new customers in no time.