These days, if you want to generate quality leads, it’s essential that you take advantage of LinkedIn’s influential search engine and connection builder. An optimized LinkedIn profile can help drive targeted high-volume traffic to both your personal page and the company page, converting business associates into new clients along the way.
Don’t let this potent lead generator go to waste! Below, we’ll discuss how you can augment your LinkedIn so that you are taking full advantage of the tools at your disposal.
In 2018, HubSpot conducted a survey of 5,000 business on lead generation efforts in both the B2B and B2C spheres. They found that LinkedIn:
Generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate at 2.74%, almost 3 times higher (277%) than both Twitter (.69%) and Facebook (.77%).
This figure confirmed that LinkedIn is currently the most effective social network for lead generation; and yet, this powerful tool is often woefully underutilized by businesses and businessmen alike, with many treating it little differently from an online resume.
It’s not just an online resume! LinkedIn’s platform allows you to:
- Post content
- Engage with others
- Set yourself apart as a thought leader
- Reach out to like-minded businessmen and women
Your resume is just a boring piece of paper that highlights your career path. This is so much more. It provides you with a golden opportunity to build bridges and connections with other movers and shakers within your industry.
Consider the following actions to further optimize your LinkedIn:
Start with the Profile Photo
In 2017, LinkedIn redesigned the desktop site to integrate the profile picture front and center. Like it or not, your picture matters to recruiters or visitors on your page. A 2017 eye-tracking study by The Ladders discovered that “recruiters on LinkedIn use an average of 19% of their time looking at profile pictures rather than reading through other relevant information about the candidates.”
One of the very first suggestions for increasing a house’s curb appeal involves slapping on a new coat of paint; it’s one of the quickest and cheapest ways to artificially boost the price and interest. The same applies to your profile picture. Hire a professional to get a high-quality and professional headshot. An optimized photo will meet the following conditions:
- High-quality close up of your face, that takes up at least 60% of the frame.
- A smiling and inviting picture.
- Simple or plain background.
- Business Attire.
Don’t Waste the Cover Photo
In addition, the cover photo provides you with plenty of real estate to catch a visitor’s eye and really sell yourself. Too many people simply go with the default, boring blue background. That is a massive waste of space! Instead, use Photoshop or hire an expert to create a professional background photo optimized for targeting your audience. This can include:
- Additional backdrop images of yourself or the business
- A tagline
- Your website or company’s URL and social media links
- A call to action
Write Persuasive Profile Copy
If you take away anything from this article, it should be that your LinkedIn profile is not your resume. It shouldn’t be written in the same dull way that makes it seem more like a laundry list of career achievements as opposed to a compelling pitch for your skills or services.
The goal of your copy should be to get a visitor jazzed up and excited about whatever it is you do. Give it pizzazz; give it personality! Consider the buyer persona of the lead you wish to engage and write to them. Naturally, the specifics of this targeted lead language will hinge upon your business strategy and buyer persona research.
- The Headline – This piece consists of approximately 120 characters of text that goes directly beneath your profile name. Typically, you’ll want to display your job title in such a way as to entice potential leads. Use SEO keywords and task descriptions to optimize this portion. For example, you could write “Helping software companies simplify data processing with speed, ease, and confidence,” instead of, “Sales Representative.”
- The Profile Summary – The summary is the section of your profile that gives you the most room to provide compelling SEO-based copy. You have more than 100 words to make your case, failure to optimize this section is folly. The summary should be focused primarily on the company that you work for and include some sort of CTA at the end. For example:
With nearly 20 years of dedication to XYZ Trucks, you can bet that we’ve learned a thing or two about truck sales. Selling a truck or large piece of equipment isn’t your everyday sales item. It takes time, energy, and money that you don’t have to waste. That’s where we come in.
We’ll come to you and appraise the truck at your convenience. If we do decide to buy it, we’ll also personally take it off your hands. There’s no downtime or expense for you when having to move it for sale, running or not.
Don’t let that truck or large piece of equipment continue to burn holes in your pockets. If you have any of the following brands or trucks available for sale – send me a message or email at mf@XYZtrucks.com
- The Experience Section – Once more, many business owners choose the path of least resistance and opt for a tedious summary of their previous employers and roles. Don’t be lazy! The experience section gives you another fantastic opportunity to utilize SEO keywords and create a convincing copy.
- Highlight your experience by demonstrating your skills, knowledge, or other benefits you gained from that prior post.
- Chart your growth and illustrate the upward trajectory of your career and skills as an employee.
- Only post relevant experience that builds up your case to possible leads, rather than distracting from it.
According to LinkedIn, “businesses that post at least once per month have been shown to gain followers 6X faster than those that don’t. In addition, Company Pages with at least 150 followers typically get 5X more Company Page views than those with fewer followers!”
Publishing original content or sharing informative content on LinkedIn Pulse is a fantastic way to establish yourself as an authority within your realm of expertise as well as generate high-quality leads. Optimal content includes:
- Blog posts
- Industry-related articles, surveys or studies
- YouTube videos
The goal of any post should be to engage both current and prospective contacts. To ensure that your targeted content stands out, be sure to:
- Post at least once per week
- Give descriptive captions
- Use eye-catching images
- Employ hashtags to boost visibility
Make the Right Connections
The entire purpose of LinkedIn is to build and leverage your online network. It’s about connecting you to others, but not aimlessly. You have to build the right connections. Ideally, these connections are with professionals within your industry and within the industries of your target audience. Simply having thousands of connections won’t cut it.
LinkedIn’s keyword search algorithm places an emphasis on initially showing you your first-degree connections and then moving on to the second and third. This also occurs with your prospective clients. If you are connected to members of their professional network, your personal profile has a higher likelihood of showing up when they perform a keyword search.
Ways to connect, include:
- Reach out to previous colleagues, clients, friends, and employers.
- Import customer emails or email marketing list and then synchronize email contacts.
- Add a link to connect to your profile in your email’s signature or on your website.
- Scour LinkedIn groups for groups that are related to your intended audience or that are related to your industry.
Garner Endorsements and Recommendations
The Skill and Endorsements section of your LinkedIn profile provides you with a massive SEO keyword opportunity. Consider the skills most relevant to your job and add them so that they are endorsed first and show up at the top of your page. Unlike your headline, creativity doesn’t matter as much as high-volume search phrases.
Your goal is to have trusted fellow members of your industry endorse or recommend your various skills. This helps prospects see you as trustworthy and reliable from the outset.
Whether you’re a LinkedIn novice or long-time member, it’s essential you remember that this can be an incredibly powerful tool in your arsenal. It would be foolhardy to let it sit around accruing rust and going to waste when it could be working on your behalf. You have an opportunity to build your network and thus your business. So, don’t let it go to waste. With just a little extra time and effort you can optimize your LinkedIn and greatly improve your chances of success.
Corliss, R. HubSpot. LinkedIn 277% More Effective for Lead Generation Than Facebook & Twitter. https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30030/LinkedIn-277-More-Effective-for-Lead-Generation-Than-Facebook-Twitter-New-Data.aspx
O’Keefe. LinkedIn. LinkedIn’s Redesign Puts Recruiters’ Eyes on Your Photo. (2017). https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedins-redesign-puts-your-photo-front-center-mark-o-keefe/
ShakingHands. LinkedIn Tips to Grow Your Company Page Followers.