A good LinkedIn profile stands at the core of a good outreach strategy. Before you start asking people to connect with you, you first need to make sure your profile is worth the connection.
We’ve all heard the stories about how the attention span of an average Internet user is narrowing. What this means in practice is that you have only a matter of seconds to grab someone’s attention and get a positive reaction.
To do this, you’ll need to make sure your LinkedIn profile is perfectly optimized and ready to make an instant impression on your prospects.
Here are some LinkedIn profile optimization tips that will help you boost sales and improve your prospecting efforts.
LinkedIn Profile Optimization Tip 1: Choose a professional profile photo
Bad news: that one photo from your Instagram that you like so much because it highlights your good side? It probably won’t do on LinkedIn.
It’s not an exact science, but a good profile photo on LinkedIn should follow some basic rules. The fact that you look good in a photo doesn’t mean you exude professionalism and trust.
Here are some essential rules for a good profile photo on LinkedIn:
It should be up to date, so you should look about as close as you look right now;
High resolution is a must. The standard size is 400×400, but you can go higher, as long as it’s under 8MB;
Your face should take up at least 60% of the frame, so no pictures from hiking trips where you’re standing at the top of a mountain;
You want to look professional but friendly. Avoid taking pictures that look like they’ve been downloaded from a stock photo website.
LinkedIn Profile Optimization Tip 2: Don’t forget your background image
So many people make the mistake of leaving this space blank.
While it might not have a dramatic impact on your prospecting efforts, a good background image will contribute to the general feel of your LinkedIn profile and allow you to show what you’re passionate about.
Here are some ideas of what you can use for your background image:
Your workspace or home office;
Your mission, cause, or life motto;
Your product or service;
The landscape of your home city or the city you work in;
An activity you’re passionate about like your hobby, music, film, etc.
If none of these ideas sound right to you, you can always go for something abstract like architecture, solid color, or a texture – create it yourself, or use a ready-to-go template. Everything is better than leaving this space blank!
LinkedIn Profile Optimization Tip 3: Craft a good headline
Here you have 120 characters to describe yourself and explain to your prospects what makes you special. You want to stand out and briefly get your point across briefly.
Here it’s easy to fall into the trap of patting yourself on the back, so only stick to facts and don’t oversell.
Make sure your headline isn’t just your current position or job title like “Digital Marketing Guru/Specialist/Manager” or something similar. That way, you’ll get lost in the sea of other profiles with the same title. This is your chance to tell your prospects why you’re the perfect person to start a partnership with, so focus on your achievements, results, and USP’s.
Also, make sure your headline includes some of the keywords that you want to be associated with. So, if you’re a digital marketing specialist based in Toronto, your headline should include those words.
LinkedIn Profile Optimization Tip 4: Optimize your summary
Think of your headline as the hook and the summary as the whole story.
This means that whatever you teased in the headline, you can elaborate in the summary. So, if your headline mentions you’ve achieved great results promoting SaaS products online, show us your results here. Go into detail and tell your prospects a brief story of your career, focusing on the value you brought to your employers/clients.
Just like with your headline, this is a great place to include keywords you want to rank for in searches. Here are some useful LinkedIn summary examples you can check out.
LinkedIn Profile Optimization Tip 5: Highlight your most relevant skills
Adding skills to your LinkedIn profile is easy, deciding on the most important ones is the hard part. But, since certain skills need to be on top and others on the bottom, you need to make this decision and focus on your most relevant skills.
A good idea here is to put the most in-demand skills at the top. Even if you pride yourself on your design skills, they probably aren’t more important for a copywriter than, say, content writing. Make sure those essential skills are highlighted.
Here’s a pro tip straight from LinkedIn: if you have at least 5 skills on your profile, you can get up to 17 times more views!
LinkedIn Profile Optimization Tip 6: Get recommendations
If you have a good relationship with an existing client, you can ask them to write you a short LinkedIn recommendation. This will go a long way in showing your prospects that you’re a professional and easy to work with.
Not to mention that recommendations will serve as proof that you’re not a fraud and that you actually have valid references. If your prospects are so inclined, they could even contact your references to get a first-hand recommendation.
Recommendations are an underused tool but they can be very prominent on your LinkedIn profile. So, don’t be afraid to ask clients who are already pleased with your service for a more formal review!
LinkedIn outreach can be an exciting endeavor, and if you’ve already researched some good outreach strategies, there’s no question you’re itching to get started.
But, before you start reaching out and connecting with prospects, take some time to go through these LinkedIn profile optimization tips and get your profile ready. It will only take a day or two, but the effect on your results could be immeasurable.
Stefan Smulders is a SaaS Entrepreneur | Founder of Worlds safest software for LinkedIn Automation / Expandi.io | for more than 5 years Founder of LeadExpress.nl.