Most professionals have a LinkedIn profile now, but are they making LinkedIn matter when it comes to their marketing? Often they are not effectively utilising the 2 key areas that are searched by Google, being the title section and the summary. That is incredibly valuable online real estate….provided for free…so let’s have a quick look at how they could be used best.
In the title (the 120 character space immediately under your name on your profile page) we could put in words and terms that mean something to us, such as:
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”.
Given that this is searchable content why would you put words, acronyms and terms in there that potential clients do not use?
The key to remaining unknown 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!)
Get your positioning statement in there. Let the market know who you specialise in helping.
Get some key “search” words in there. They types of words that your ideal prospects use to find out about people like you.
Talk to your audience about what you can achieve for them….
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.
The other key area on LinkedIn as far as search is concerned is the summary section…but I will keep that for another time. Suffice to say, you have a 2,000 character limit there to REALLY differentiate and tell your story, so use it for something better than re-hasing your work history or the exams that you’ve done.
With a bit of thought though your LinkedIn profile can become incredibly valuable marketing…or not. It all depends on how you use that space, doesn’t it?
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