When you’re doing your “due diligence” and meeting a new prospective client, what’s the first thing you do? You probably take a look at who they are, what they do (and what they look like) on LinkedIn, right?

Guess what?

Your prospective clients are doing the same research on you too.

LinkedIn is much more than just a job prospecting tool; it’s the world’s largest business networking site where your prospects are vetting you before they decide whether or not they want to work with you.

Did you know that 75 to 90 percent of the decision is made BEFORE your clients even pick up the phone or reach out to you via email?

When prospects check you out on LinkedIn, and your presence isn’t up-to-date they are (consciously or subconsciously) going to think that you aren’t trustworthy or simply aren’t capable of helping them.

At one point (a long time ago) you may have simply cut & paste copy from an old resume or cover letter. (Or worse, you don’t have any copy at all!)

You may have every intention of revisiting your LinkedIn presence at some point but you either don’t know where to start, or you are waiting to be inspired with the “perfect” copy.

My advice: Don’t put it off any longer. Every day you have a stale, outdated presence is another day you’re missing out on opportunities – whether it’s an opportunity to meet a new client, a new job or even as your organization’s brand ambassador!

Think about how fast Social Media has grown this past decade, and think about where you will be in just a few years if you invest in your presence RIGHT NOW.

You absolutely need an up-to-date professional looking headshot – no photos of Brad Pitt or George Clooney please (and yes, I’ve seen profiles like this)!

Within your LinkedIn Summary, YOU are the “hero” of the story. Write the content as as a gentle elevator pitch, but be sure you write to fascinate and “wow” the reader (aka your target audience). Get on the same side of the table so you see yourself as they see you:

  • What’s in it for them?
  • Why should they care?
  • Can you prove your value (statistics, client testimonials, brands you’ve worked with, awards you’ve won)?

As a part of my services, I write and optimize LinkedIn profiles for sales professionals, financial advisors and executives. Almost everyone I’ve interviewed has confessed that they don’t want to brag about their accomplishments online. They worry that people will think they are “full of themselves”.

I completely understand why people feel this way (we’re raised to be modest, and quite frankly, no one likes a braggart), but you are truly doing our target audience a disservice if you don’t let them know who you are, what you do, and how you can help them.

On LinkedIn you are SUPPOSED include your accomplishments. One way to mitigate “bragging” is to frame your proudest moments in positive emotional language:

  • “I’m honoured to have received this award, which shows my commitment to my clients and my industry”.
  • “I’m proud to have been recognized…”
  • “I’m driven to produce results for my clients and have achieved the following….”

If you’re afraid of making a mistake on LinkedIn, rest assured that your profile is a “living document”; you can change it at at any time.

Remember to own your value and that no one knows what YOU know from your perspective. Your prospects and clients want to work with the person who is the best in the business.

LinkedIn is not going away. Every day you hold yourself back from having a powerful professional presence is one more day you’re missing out on opportunities.

So…what are you waiting for?

Check out these quick tips above to get you motivated and inspired to tell your story.

Don’t have the time to write it yourself? Message me at leslie@punchmedia.ca for a quote.

———————-

Leslie 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

Get your free LinkedIn Time Management tip sheet at www.punchmedia.ca