Given LinkedIn’s central importance to B2B sales, it may surprise you to find that your company profile, your profile, and your team’s personal profiles, are outdated and underutilized.
For most of us in the B2B sales space, LinkedIn is a vital primary source for information about potential customers, vendors, partners, and new hires. But LinkedIn is not only a social tool—it is a proven business generator. According to OnmiCore, LinkedIn makes up more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs, and 79% of B2B marketers see LinkedIn as an effective source of lead generation.
With the new year upon us, and certainly no end in sight to all-virtual business development activities, it’s the perfect time to upgrade these profiles. Here are eight LinkedIn profile best practices to get you started.
8 Best Practices for LinkedIn Optimization
- Identify Your Audience. Every aspect of a LinkedIn profile—whether personal or corporate—is an opportunity to target your ideal audience. Clearly identify your audience before you make any alterations to your profile. This will give you a north star for positioning yourself on LinkedIn.
- Ensure Your Profile Picture Aligns With Your Brand. Profile pictures are an effective tool to communicate company culture. Be sure your photo clearly shows your face, which should be straight on and fill around 65% of the photo circle. Dress for the clients you want to attract.
- A Short, Clear Headline Helps You Stand Out. Distinguish yourself among the sea of LinkedIn professionals with an effective headline. Limit the headline to 10 words or less while striking a balance between your professional and personal values. Consider using characters (dashes, lines, bullet points) to separate elements of your headline to make it more readable and polished. For example: “Effective Team Builder | Proven Sales Generator | Inclusivity & Diversity Enthusiast”
- Your “About Section” is Your Elevator Pitch. The About Section—whether for a company or a personal profile—is where clients will come to understand who you are, and more importantly, how you show it. This section should reflect shared professional and personal values with the company or type of companies you aim to attract. Include data-driven points to prove your accomplishments.
- Make Time for Meaningful Sharing and Commenting. Schedule time every week to interact with content on LinkedIn. Share content relevant to your ideal audience, and like or comment on content that you support. This will show that you are actively engaged with and adding value to the platform, and help expand your network.
- Tailor Job Descriptions for Relevance to Your Ideal Audience. Similar to the about section, your job descriptions should not repeat what is listed on your resume or CV. This section establishes the chronology of your career but should only include information relevant to your ideal client. Effective use of this section includes a brief one- to two-sentence description of the company in your own words, followed by three to five bullet points detailing what you accomplished at that position.
- Simple, Common Language Improves Searchability. Many people try to inflate the language they use when writing about their career or titles to make it sound more intriguing or impressive. Ultimately, this hurts your chances of appearing in searches. The rarer the keywords, the less likely LinkedIn is to sort your profile in the appropriate searches. Try to find simple, common language that communicates the core of your position or idea. Let LinkedIn’s algorithm work for you.
- Bonus Tip: Utilize Company Showcase Pages for Focused Positioning. A highly underutilized element on the company side of LinkedIn, these customizable subpages allow you to highlight specific elements of your company. The options range from representing your community endeavors to tracking your activity in different industries. By generating followers on each of these pages, your company can zero in on, and share curated content with, contacts in those industries. The key is to post regularly from these pages.
If you want to discuss your LinkedIn personal or company optimization plans, or any and all things revenue generation-related, please feel free to reach out directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.