How to Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile to Find Potential Customers
Mitch Meyerson, Speaker, Consultant, and Author
Are you, like many professionals, still not convinced of the power of LinkedIn? Here are some stats that might change your mind:
- LinkedIn is the number-one social network for driving traffic to corporate websites.
- LinkedIn members are 50 percent more likely to engage with a company they engage with on LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn drives more traffic to B2B blogs and sites than Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ combined.
- Ninety-three percent of marketers rate LinkedIn as effective for generating leads.
- Sixty-five percent of companies acquired B2B leads through LinkedIn.
Your first step to attracting prospects on LinkedIn is to create a powerful profile. Start with your Professional Headline — it’s the area right underneath your name, the 120 characters that describe who you are and what you do. Most people just have their “Title” at “Company” (because that’s LinkedIn’s default), but this is a great place for a tagline and a few keywords.
Because your picture, name and Professional Headline are usually what people see in most communications on LinkedIn, whether you’re responding to a group update, sending a message, inviting someone to connect or using the introduction feature, invest the time to make it engaging.
A lot of people skip the description field of their Experience section, but I’d strongly urge you not to. You have 1,000 characters in this area to plant your keywords. As you describe what you do and what your company does, these keywords are going to naturally settle right in. And with LinkedIn’s search algorithm, the description section of your Experience is more important than ever!
In the Background section of your profile, make sure to use the most of the 2,000-character Summary field to expound on who you are and what you do. Keep the Summary section customer-facing, by being clear on how what you do benefits your prospects.
The Interests section, found at the very bottom of your profile under Additional Information, is the only section on LinkedIn into which I recommend you blatantly dump your keywords. You have 1,000 characters to add both personal interests (hiking, biking, walking, judo) as well as the list of the keywords you use for SEO. Just paste in your list, and make sure you separate each keyword or keyword phrase with a comma so the words are searchable.
If you get the right keywords in these four sections, you have a much better chance of your profile showing up when someone does a search on them. Since LinkedIn actually drives more traffic than Google+ and Bing, you need to make sure that you, not your competition, are being found by your prospects.
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