How To Look Exceedingly Ordinary On LinkedIn.  Or Not. (You Choose!)
Best Practice Advice & Sales & Marketing for Professional Services & Sales Tips

How To Look Exceedingly Ordinary On LinkedIn. Or Not. (You Choose!)

October 26, 2015

by Tony Vidler

FINALLY most professionals are starting to figure out that LinkedIn might be handy for their business, but are still trying to figure out how to stand out.

Well, maybe we should begin with some observations on “How To Look Exceedingly Ordinary“.  If that was our objective we would totally waste the 2 key areas that are searched by Google, being the title section and the summary.

In the title (the 120 character space immediately under your name on your profile page) we could put in words and terms that no prospect ever searches, such as:

  • director
  • owner
  • partner
  • company name
  • licensing status

Generally speaking nobody searches for a potential professional by those sorts of words or titles.  They go looking for professionals with particular skills or areas of expertise, or perhaps those who specialise in working with certain types of clients.  Prospects search for an “insurance broker”, or a “tax accountant”, or a “retirement planning specialist” as opposed to a “director” of “XYZ Ltd”.

The key to remaining exceedingly ordinary is to use the same words and approach as all of your competitors, and to totally waste this valuable online real estate.

If on the other hand you actually want to improve the possibility of getting found by search engines that prospects are using, and then giving yourself a very good chance of making the shortlist of possible professional advisers that the prospects should be talking to, then you would do these 3 things (if possible in your limited space of just 120 characters!)

  1. Get your positioning statement in there.  Let the market know who you specialise in helping.
  2. Get some key “search” words in there.  They types of words that your ideal prospects use to find out about people like you.
  3. Talk to your audience about what you can achieve for them….

As usual, I am completely ignoring the grammar-nazi’s because using limited space to be effective with your messaging is what matters. We aren’t trying to get top grades on a high school english exam here.  So, in the part where we try to talk to our audience about what we can achieve (or what outcomes they can expect from working with us) I want to try and get in at least one adjective and one verb.  For anyone who has forgotten what they, I remember my early english teachers explaining them this way:

Verb: is a “doing” word

Adjective: is a “describing” word

By adding an adjective and a verb into this short and punchy outcome-focussed statement you bring it to life. It turns it from being a “promise-of-what-might-be” (or just another advertising slogan) into a statement of “what-I-am-doing-all-the-time-for-people-like-this…” (or a description of what I am working on all the time).  This structure shifts the emphasis from a vague promise to an expression of immediate value.

It’s your space to play with and use of course. You can decide to look exceedingly ordinary, or use the searchable content area as an opportunity to differentiate and stand out.  You can also use it as the opening of a conversation with potential prospects….you can do a lot with 120 characters if you think about it strategically.

It’s your choice.

You may also find this post useful: 20 Lessons In The Evolution Of A LinkedIn User

© 2015 Tony Vidler.  All rights reserved.
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