Does your LinkedIn profile need a redesign?

Up until very recently my LinkedIn page read like my resume – interesting that may have been to me but of course but there’s no way it would have piqued the interest of others let alone generate new customers.

I recently started Designus – an on demand graphic for small businesses – and my main concern has been generating new business. A close friend (an amazing marketer) gave me some advice on reading my profile:

stop thinking about your LinkedIn profile as a resume and start thinking about it as a marketing tool.

With this advice I decided I had to make some immediate changes and redesign my profile to support my business.

How would a rework help me find new clients?

Following my friend’s advice I spent a few days researching profiles online and what was apparent was how easy it was to set apart the outstanding profiles to the ordinary.

As many potential customers doing research find you through a search engine or on LinkedIn you shouldn’t risk having a profile that simply highlights your wins and leaves out the context necessary to paint the full picture of who you are.

They want to find out how much you know about their business, how you can solve their problems, and who you are as a person and a professional. (wow I sound like a professional now).

That’s what your profile needs to tell them – and if your profile doesn’t present you as interesting and a well rounded human, it’s an opportunity you’re missing out on.

Of course it’s important to show your professional experience, but there is a definite balance needed in demonstrating your talents and how you will meet your customers needs.

Here’s my guide to how you can improve your LinkedIn profile:

1. Your picture speaks a thousand words

Many profiles pictures are either not great quality or not professional. Remember LinkedIn is a professional social network. If you want to create a good first impression then I’d recommend take a good quality shot of yourself.

You can do this with at work – get a colleague to take a picture of you with their iphone. Make sure the shot is a head shot with an clear or interesting background.

2. How can clients get in touch with you?

I was amazed at how many profiles did not have contact information on their page (yes I was guilty as well I didn’t have my website on my profile – I hang my head in shame).

Don’t forget an email, your website, mobile and include your social media links too.

3.Make sure your headline is current and compelling.

The LinkedIn headline is often ignored but it’s actually the first thing people see when they land on your profile (or see you in a search result) other than your name and photo. It’s that line of text sitting right under your name and is set by default to your current title and company. Make it stand out and roll it all up in one sentence—a pithy, one-line, statement that sums up your personal brand.

4. Be real.

The “summary” section of your profile is where you can talk about your experience and demonstrate why clients should work with you and how you problems. Discuss why you’re motivated to work in your chosen sector.

It’s important to give prospect clients the chance to see how you can provide them with value and  solve their issues.

5. Assets, presentations and images

If you have You Tube videos or presentations that you have recently given why not include them on your page – prove to your audience that you know your stuff.

Adding past work with recent clients or testimonials are a great way to show off your outstanding work – you hope potential clients will visit your site so highlight and give them everything here on your LinkedIn page.

6. Get personal… but not too personal.

It’s important to remember potential clients want to work with people they can relate to, and that means personally as well as professionally. Don’t forget to add a few personal details about you. For example l list my volunteer efforts as and when they come up.

Taking the time to re-design your profile to develop interest and make your stand out from the rest is a real investment in professional positioning that will help you develop your personal brand and help you attract more business or land that next amazing job.

Simon Harris