You may or may not be a social media aficionado but to be an effective salesperson or modern manager you must know how to write a good LinkedIn profile. 238 million professionals are members and it was only founded in 2003!

Before you meet, your prospects are not only checking out your business online, they are checking YOU out. This means they will view your LinkedIn profile to establish whether you are a trusted adviser. When you leave a voicemail for a new prospect, if there is any interest, they will look you up. LinkedIn is the new handshake.

So it is essential to get your profile right.

Watch out for the 3 biggest mistakes people make:
  1. Profile looks and reads like a CV – instead it should be a sales tool describing the benefits of what you offer and how you assist your prospects to achieve their objectives. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for what you do.
  2. Poor profile picture, or no picture at all – imagine attempting on-line dating with no photo, complete waste of time. Your objective is to be seen as a trusted adviser so get scrubbed up and have a professional head and shoulders shot taken looking at the lens. And smile!
  3. No contact details. Make sure you include telephone and website contact info.

The next biggest mistake is not personalising introductions – the ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn’ phrase is too dry and impersonal. Instead use the light touch phrase ‘Let’s connect’ eg ‘Good meeting you this morning, let’s connect’.

Ask your customers and whoever else to post recommendations and help your profile towards All Star status.

Here’s a sample email requesting a recommendation.

Dear ____,

I’m sending this to ask you for a brief recommendation of my work that I can include in my LinkedIn profile.

It would be great if you could include examples of results you received as a result of working with me/us.

To make this easy for you, here’s a possible draft… feel free to edit this or create your own…

[insert your draft of the recommendation]

Big THANK YOU for your help.

Keep your profile fresh by posting regular updates and work at getting your connections up. You need a minimum of 50, 100 is better.

Here’s a little known ‘secret’ which LinkedIn currently permits. If you enter both your first and last name in the First Name Box and put what you do in the Last Name box – what you do will appear whenever your name comes up in searches. All helps to build your personal brand.

When you complete your professional headline (120 characters including spaces), use it as a branding tool. Make it sound like you, not a mechanistic listing. It can simply be a job description, but think about how you can personalise it to reflect what you believe in.

Explore the recently enhanced multimedia capabilities of the platform. Can you add video clips, white papers, slide shows? Have a look at LinkedIn, CEO, Jeff Weiner’s profile.

Learn more about our new LinkedIn For Sales one-day Masterclass.

Read more about LDL sales and leadership development programmes.

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