Do you wonder what people say about you on LinkedIn?
I do. I’m currently working on re-evaluating my message, my profile, my social networks. Phew! It’s a lot of work!
But, if there’s one thing I could convey to other business owners and business development and sales professionals, it’s that industry competitors, buyers and influencers are making judgements about you all day, everyday, whether you know it or not. Did you know your LinkedIn profile ranks very high on Google when someone searches your name? What does it say?
If you’re not findable or viewable at all, you are at risk of being judged negatively. Luddite? Afraid? Inexperienced? Old? Buyers expect you to be found online if they’re going to do business with you.
My mission is to help sales professionals understand how this reality can positively or negatively impact their business success, make sure they present their best selves online and to act strategically and intelligently in ways that will help them meet their business goals.
This is an article about your willingness to investigate. It’s an article about evaluating whether the impression you think you’re giving is really how the other person sees it.
3-Step Quick Reality-Check to Think About What People are Really Saying about You on LinkedIn
1. What does your prospective buyer say about you after seeing your LinkedIn PHOTO?
Step 1: Take out a pen and paper and draw a line down the middle. At the top of the left column write Me, and at the top of the right column write Them.
Step 2: In the left column under Me, write down 2-3 things you want your buyer to think about you when they look at your LinkedIn picture. (eg. friendly, smart, trustworthy)
Step 3: Think of 2-3 people you trust who also understand your industry. Ask them “What words would you use to describe me when you look at my LinkedIn profile picture?” Write down their answers in the right column, under Them.
Step 4: Compare the words in the left and right columns to see if they are the same or similar. If they don’t match up, you probably need a new photo.
2. What would a prospective buyer say about you after reading your LinkedIn HEADLINE?
As a sales professional your LinkedIn profile is not a resume. It’s a platform to communicate to your buyer that you are someone who understands their unique problem and adds value to their decision-making process.
Your headline should include your industry, who you help and how you help them. It’s important to remember it’s the first thing people read on your profile, it’s above the fold (top of the page before scrolling), and it’s the text that appears next to your name and photo when participating on LinkedIn groups. It’s also ideal to include keywords your buyer would use to find someone like yourself in your headline so you can increase your search rankings.
Step 1: Write down your existing headline.
Step 2: Does it use at minimum 2 primary keywords in your industry? (Eg. clean energy, software)
Step 3: Is there a verb? (Eg. help, provide, deliver, strategize, find, want, customize)
Step 4: Think of 2-3 people you trust that also understand your industry. Ask them, “By reading these 120 characters, do you know how I help people? Who would you say I help?”
Step 5: If they say no, go back and edit it until your people can tell you, accurately, how you help and who you help.
Tip: For additional help writing your LinkedIn headline, click here.
3. What would a prospective buyer say about you after reading your LinkedIn RECOMMENDATIONS?
If you don’t have LinkedIn recommendations, people won’t have an opportunity to know how good you are at what you do, and what value you offer. LinkedIn recommendations are invaluable peer reviews for your professional work.
Step 1: Do you have recommendations for your current job?
Step 2: If you don’t have recommendations at all or for your current position, write down a list of vendors, colleagues, superiors, clients that know your work in your current position. (They must be on LinkedIn, and a 1st connection to recommend you.)
Step 3: Go to your profile and click Edit Profile. Scroll down to the Recommendations section and click the blue pencil. To the right click on Ask to be Recommended.
Step 4: Type in the name of each person you want to ask for a recommendation. Write a personalized note to ask each person to recommend you. And of course, it’s always better if you call or email them outside of LinkedIn ahead of time. Who knows? It could open up an opportunity to do business.
Step 5: Recommend them in return or recommend at least the same number of people who have recommended you.
Tip: To find out more about who should be writing your LinkedIn recommendations, click here.
Celina Guerrero is founder of Los Angeles-based social sales strategy and training company, Social to Sales. We provide social sales strategy, training, playbooks, and enablement.
Interested in learning more? Please contact me at 310-994-8099, email me at email@example.com, or sign up for our weekly e-news and blog updates by clicking HERE.
If you have a social selling question, you can just ask! Tweet your question and include the hashtag #AskSocialtoSales. I’ll reply and the top questions are answered by me on my YouTube Channel.