Tips on how to create a great LinkedIn profile

10 Tips to Create a Powerful LinkedIn Profile

I decided to share 10 tips to create a LinkedIn profile that will blow your potential client’s hair back (or at the very least, have them sit back and pay attention).

This past week, I’ve been doing a deep dive into what makes a great online profile. For some reason, there’s been a sudden rush from my clients to revisit their LinkedIn profiles, so it makes sense for me to ensure that I am giving them cutting edge advice.

Research into how potential clients find coaches reveals that LinkedIn is the second most common way that potential clients find us (after word-of-mouth referrals). So we need to show up on LinkedIn in a powerful and professional way.

word of mouth referrals

Here are 10 “best practice” tips for a great LinkedIn profile:

1. Your LinkedIn profile photo

You’ve GOT TO (this is completely and utterly non-negotiable, unless you simply don’t want to attract ANY attention to your profile) have a head-and-shoulders profile picture. Your profile will get SEVEN times more attention with a photo than without.

It doesn’t need to be one of those “corporate” ones where you’re standing, half facing the camera with your arms folded. Get a little bit creative. Play with facial expressions, where and how you use your hands, use colour, and maybe even use an appropriate prop.

If you’d like some more detailed tips on how to create a great LinkedIn profile photo, hop on over to this article

2. Your LinkedIn profile headline

I find that there are two extremes when it comes to the headline (the bit that comes directly under your name).

At the one end of the scale, coaches describe themselves as (for example) a “Transition Coach”. This is stating the obvious, and it makes my hair stand on end! If your coaching doesn’t create a shift or transition for your client, if your client isn’t ready for transition, then there’s no coaching happening. Coaching and transition are intimately intertwined.

If you came to me, saying that you were a “Transition Coach” I would definitely work with you to unpack what you mean by transition: who you help with transitions (e.g. women who are about to become parents for the first time), what kind of transition you largely work with (e.g. particular life stages like retirement)…can you see how it would be much easier for a potential client to match what you do to what their problem or pressing need is?

At the other end of the scale, I see coaches describing themselves using terminology that (probably) only other coaches really understand. They describe themselves as NLP coaches. What does that mean?

In the first place, the average potential coaching client probably doesn’t know what NLP stands for, so your headline is going to make them glaze over (remember: our brains don’t like messages that take too long to decode).

Being NLP-trained means that you can describe yourself as: Creating an awareness of your thinking and behavioural patterns, so that you can do more of what makes you successful, and avoid thinking and behaviour that derails you | Business Coach | NLP practitioner

This is just a suggestion off the top of my head, but can you see how much clearer the second message is? You’ve got a total of 220 characters to play with, so use them all. The example I’ve given only uses 212 characters, including spaces, so you can say quite a lot. Use it.

3. The About section in your LinkedIn profile

Use the first person (I) in the About section in your LinkedIn profile.

WARNING: Personal opinion coming up: I think that you want to be friendly, approachable – as though you were sitting opposite the person reading this section. It’s the start of a conversation where your potential client has clicked on your profile, and is sufficiently interested to click on “see more…” in your About section. Most important: it needs to sound like you speak.

We want the essence of YOU to shine through so that the reader can get a strong sense of the kind of person that you are. Think of it as your chemistry session starting there.

Remember that you need to emotionally engage with your potential client. Here are some emotions that you can spark in this section: optimism, trust, interest, surprise, anticipation, inquisitiveness, inspired,

Oh, and please use spellcheck. Seriously!

4. Work Experience

The more detail you go into here for your current and past work experience, the easier you make it for the LinkedIn algorithm to send other people to your profile and your content. More is more.

Really sweat this section by adding links to website, and media like images, videos, documents, slide presentations – in fact, anything that adds to your portfolio of evidence.

5. Recommendations

You want to have at least three recommendations from other people on your profile to please the LinkedIn algorithm. Don’t be shy to ask. I like to ask someone in person first, and to send them a few questions to spark their thinking.

LinkedIn allows you to request recommendations from other people, and then gives you the option to show the recommendation on your profile.

6. Creating Posts

Ideally, you want to aim for between 1,200 and 2,000 characters in your post. That’s about 350 words. That’s not much. We can actually all manage that quite easily.

Remember to use hashtags wisely on LinkedIn. You want to aim for about five hashtags, two of which can be broad hashtags (like “coaching” or “businesscoach”) and the remainder more specifically relate to the content in your post.

7. Engaging with other people’s content

If you’re sharing someone else’s post, make sure that you accompany it with a 150 word description or opinion, such as: Three things that stood out in this article for me were…

You also want to add your own hashtags when sharing, and use hashtags that are different from those used in the original post.

8. How many times do you need to show up on LinkedIn?

You want to aim to post on LinkedIn about 4x per week.

Try and find a minimum of 10 posts to engage with every week, but ideally you want to work up to about 20 engagements per day.

Aim to connect with 5 new people per day, and ALWAYS send some kind of message with your connection request that shows that you’ve taken the time and trouble to read through their profile, possibly visited their website…

Yes, I know that sounds like a schlepp, but think about how you feel when someone sends you a connection request that you’ve never met before and they don’t accompany it with a short message telling you why they want to connect with you.

Oh, and on that point: DON’T SELL. Connect and show that you are interested in them.

9. Your LinkedIn profile background banner

Use a tool like Canva to create a striking background header to go behind your LinkedIn profile pic.

Think carefully about what “work” you want this header to do for you. This is online real estate that you can sweat. Remember: you can change this header as and when you want to, for example to tell people about a new product/service.

Make sure that you test how the banner looks on your computer and on your phone or other mobile device.

10. Call to action

This needs to become a mantra to you: How can I get my potential client to take some kind of action?

Here are some examples:

  • Invite them to connect with you.
  • Ask them to comment on the content of something that you’ve posted – do they agree or disagree? What would they add?
  • Share the link to a free resource that they can download.

Was this useful? Please leave a comment in the comments section below and don’t hesitate to ask ANY questions.

You’re also welcome to contact me for a free, five point audit on your current LinkedIn profile. Drop a link to your LinkedIn profile in the comments section and your email address.

You can also read a summary of research that underpins a lot of the recommendations that I’ve made in a previous article.

PS: Don’t forget to connect with me on LinkedIn. Drop me a message, letting me know that you’ve read this article.

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