If you’re already on LinkedIn, when you set up your profile you probably took one look at the Summary section and either cut & paste your resume into the blocks or you felt stuck or challenged with what you should write about yourself. Am I right?

You may have even sat at the computer, with the blinking cursor taunting you to take the next step. Instead, you became overwhelmed and may have promised yourself: “I”ll just do this later”.

Over the past few years, I’ve been writing profiles for executives, financial advisors (and even a former Federal Minister of Canada! Woot!), and one thing I’ve learned is that it doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re a student or a CEO: Very few people like to have the spotlight shone upon themselves and most people find writing their own bio very challenging.

I have audited hundreds of LinkedIn profiles to look at “the good, the bad and the ugly” and most professionals haven’t completed their profile to the best of their ability.

There are a lot of fears and frustrations that come with writing about ourselves including:

  • What if people think I’m bragging?
  • I don’t even know where to start.
  • I’m not very good at writing copy.

Instead, we procrastinate and our incomplete and unappealing LinkedIn profiles sit waiting for us to have a brilliant moment of inspiration.

In the meantime, before most business meetings, you probably go online to do your “due diligence’ and research the person you’re meeting with, right?

Guess, what; they’re looking at you too.

LinkedIn is one of the highest ranked sites when someone Googles your name. If you have profile that isn’t up-to-date, or is missing crucial elements about your accomplishments, not only does it seem like you don’t care about your professional presence, but you’re also missing out on a ton of opportunities.

I get it. LinkedIn isn’t “sexy”. The site isn’t all that user-friendly, and completing all the sections takes a lot of time (which takes you away from your “real” work).

Could you write your profile yourself? Sure, but there are also reasons you should consider investing in outsourcing your profile development:

The Top 4 Reasons You Should Hire a LinkedIn Profile Writer

  1. Time & Money: How much time would it take you to put pen to paper to construct a thorough story about yourself? What is the cost of your time? Would converting at least one client cover the cost of the optimized profile?
  2. Writing or marketing “know how”: You may have heard the phrase “hire your weaknesses”. If writing and/or marketing not your forte, it’s best to find a seasoned professional who can optimize your story for you. (Did you know that “typos” are the biggest professional faux pas?!) LinkedIn profile writers know how to focus on the proper way to position you as the expert within your niche and also know how to frame the story so that it fascinates your target audience (and provides you with more inbound leads and/or builds your thought leadership).
  3. Having an outsider’s perspective: We are so close to ourselves that it’s almost impossible to be objective. Most people don’t want to brag about ourselves, so instead we say nothing at all. There are key ways to let yourself shine without bragging. One way is to frame your “brags” in emotional language so that you say how “proud” or “honoured” you are for being acknowledged for certain awards. Everyone wants to work with the person who is best in class! A LinkedIn profile writer will encourage you to let yourself shine without making you sound like you’re bragging. Also, an experienced profile writer will know how to ask you the right questions to elicit the right kinds of information to frame your entire story.
  4. Understanding how to navigate through LinkedIn: To maximize yourself in “search” and SEO, there are certain keywords and sections you should be focusing on. LinkedIn suggests you stay away from “overused” generic buzzwords such as: motivated, passionate, creative, driven, extensive experience, responsible, strategic, track record, organizational, and expert. (I’ll admit, it’s quite challenging NOT to use these words.) You’ll want to be more focused on defining your UNIQUE abilities and core competencies.You can also add various “icebreakers” into your profile, but you’ll want to be sure they will resonate with the reader.Remember that LinkedIn is NOT your resume. I like to refer to it as “your resume with personality”.

The Process Of Crafting Your LinkedIn Profile:

When I work with my clients, it can take between 8 to 10 hours to complete an entire LinkedIn profile. Typically the process includes an hour-long discovery session/interview. (It’s much more like a conversation than an interrogation.) During this call, I ask about your goals and understand the needs/wants/challenges of your target audience.

In addition to the one-on-one conversation, I also conduct a thorough Google search to see if I can gather any additional information you may have forgotten to include. I complete a thorough audit of your Company’s website, and any other marketing material.

Once the entire profile has been written, you review and approve the content to make sure it “sounds” like you and you can fill in any gaps that may have been missed during the discovery call.

After all approvals have been made (if you’re in a compliance-based industry, you know there’s an additional step here), then I can upload the content on your behalf.

It’s completely turnkey and is meant to be as painless as possible. This is an investment in your first online impression.

As you may know, I teach overarching Social Media strategy, but LinkedIn is my favourite “channel of choice”. I believe that if you have a business card, and your target audience is using LinkedIn, a stale and incomplete profile may tell your prospects that you don’t care about your online presence.

Here are some top LinkedIn statistics that showcase why it’s such a powerful channel:

  • up to 94% of the time people Google you before they pick up the phone to buy (LinkedIn ranks higher than other channels when people Google your name).
  • LinkedIn is 277% more effective at converting business than Facebook or Twitter.
  • 40% of LinkedIn users check in daily.
  • 64% agree that LinkedIn helps develop relationships and grow new business.
  • People are 2x more confident in the information found on LinkedIn than any other social media site.
  • 41% of millionaires use LinkedIn and 7 million C-level Executives, Presidents and Vice Presidents are members.

Your first impression speaks volumes. Whether you work for an organization, are self employed, a student or in transition — you are a brand.

Create a strong first impression that WOWs and fascinates your prospective client before they reach out to meet you.

 


Leslie HughesLeslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Trainer, Principal of PUNCH!media and author of the book “CREATE. CONNECT. CONVERT.”

Leslie was called a “Social Media Guru” by CBC Radio and was featured on CTV’s “The Social” discussing how to manage your digital identity. Leslie has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009.

PUNCH!media clients include Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, Investment Planning Counsel, and RBC.

Whether it’s through LinkedIn training or profile optimization, PUNCH!media’s goal is to empower executives with a powerful online presence so they can brand their business properly and convert higher-paying clients.

www.punchmedia.ca
leslie@punchmedia.ca

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