In our previous article, we have explored the importance of the profile picture and the banner image and how they concur in building your personal brand on LinkedIn.
It’s time to explore the other two elements on your LinkedIn Profile that you can customize to your advantage and transform profile users into leads.
Your headline and the personal summary.
The headline is the string of text that you can find just below your profile picture which has a 120 character limit, and the summary is the larger body of text underneath the headline, and it has a 2000 character limit.
They offer an excellent opportunity to present yourself and your company and turn a profile viewer into a lead.
Fortunately for you, most people have no idea of the opportunities they are leaving behind.
In this brief article, I will show you how to fit those elements of your personal profile into the effort of building your brand.
First, let’s familiarize with the first concept that will be useful for our purpose.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the practice to make web content easily discoverable on a Serch Engine.
The same principle applies to every platform that has an embedded search feature. If you are looking for something on YouTube, the search engine on the platform will give you back the most relevant results for your query.
But what makes a result more relevant than the other?
Well, that’s one of the best-guarded secrets at Google.
There are plenty of guides out there that tell you how to organize your website and your content, but there is no exact recipe because if everybody ranks first, nobody ranks first.
So, as you can imagine, the same principles apply on LinkedIn, and other social networks, even if in a more simplistic way.
If you want to be found by prospects interested in your “social media marketing” services, you should have those keywords in your headline and other related keywords in your summary.
Other sections, however, have paramount importance when it comes to keyword optimization such as the skills’ section, the recommendation and the endorsements sections.
I wrote more in detail about these sections in THIS article.
But finding the keywords that you want to rank for is the easy part, the real challenge comes when you try to transform those sterile keywords into a text that will convert visitors into leads.
And here comes into play the second concept:
Since the dawn of time, or at least since the first humans were able to structure their guttural noises into words and phrases, stories have been the best method to pass down information from one individual to the other.
The first testimonial of writing dates to circa 3200 BC in Mesopotamia, current day Iraq, while oral communication may have started between 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
So, as you can see, oral tradition has had more time to develop compared to the written one.
At the same time, our brain reacts differently when exposed to stories and reports.
What is the difference between a story and a report?
A story is a cascade of events chained together by causation.
A report is a series of events ordered in a timeline.
When we are exposed to a report, like a presentation, our auditory cortex is active, as we’re listening, as well as the Wernicke’s area of the brain where words are processed. But when we hear a story, other regions of the brain are activated according to the stimuli present in the story.
Which means that you are using more of your brain when you are listening to a story. And because you are having a richer brain event, you enjoy the experience more, you understand the information more deeply, and retain it longer.
And this is perfect for selling your product.
Now that we have established why on-platform SEO and storytelling are important, it’s time to discuss how to frame the information you would like to put into your headline and summary.
- Who are you?
This is the question that people who view your profile ask themselves. And you have to answer this question pretty quickly; otherwise, they will bounce.
Nobody has time to lose on a profile that says “Creative Disrupter,” “Jack of all Trades” or has any suffix such as “Guru,” “Ninja” or “Unicorn.”
Use your official title(s) instead and commonly used keywords in your field. Those will help your prospects understanding what you do in a glance.
2. What do you do?
After realizing who you are, viewers want to know what you do, what you sell and how you can benefit them.
They do not care about you; they only care about what you can provide them and how you can solve their problems. This is the reason why you have to be specific in your claim, and this is the reason why saying “I help SEMs structuring their sales process and create a pipeline of leads by implementing AI and ML tools and best practices ” is better than “I help companies sell more.”
3. Why should I listen to you?
Now you have attracted the viewer attention, but why should s/he pay attention to what else you have to say? Are you different from everybody else? How? How will your product/service help them succeed? And do you have any testimonial to prove your claims?
By answering these 3 questions, you will be able to take a big step forward the establishment of your personal brand.
Of course, this is just a piece of the puzzle. To establish a strong personal brand, you need to put a lot of effort into your content marketing machine. You need to establish yourself as a subject matter expert and to do this; you will have to start releasing content that will help your audience.
Write blog posts, create videos or record a podcast and release them on your favourite publishing platform and then share it on your feed and in LinkedIn groups, which were dead for a while but it seems like they are coming back.
Having an impactful headline and summary might be a small step for you, but is a giant leap for your personal brand.