My friend Tom Skotidas and I are at it again and this time we talked about how anyone, but especially B2B sales pros, can use their LinkedIn profile to attract inbound leads. Tom calls this inbound social selling. He is the founder of Skotidas, Asia Pacific’s leader in B2B Social Media Lead Generation. We have been talking about the intersection of sales and content marketing for B2B companies. A lot of people call this social selling, but there is more to it than just that.
1. Re-Think the Purpose of Your Profile
Rather than just create a profile that shows your job history and qualifications, create a profile that shows how you can solve your target audience’s problems and serve their needs. Think of your profile as a piece content that reflects your company’s capabilities, rather than your resume.
2. Use the Right Keywords
Throughout your LinkedIn profile you should use keywords that are related to your products and services. Not just any keywords, but ones that your prospects commonly use. One way to determine those keywords is by using Google’s Keyword Ad Planner Tool. It is designed to help determine keywords for Google ads, so you need an AdWords account (connected to a regular Google account), but you don’t need to place any ads to use the tool.
3. View Your LinkedIn Profile as a Web Page to be Indexed
As you are re-thinking about your LinkedIn profile and using the appropriate keywords, remember that this is a web page that is indexed by Google and other search engines. LinkedIn is a high-ranking domain and can show up as a top result in searches for your keywords.
4. Don’t Forget About LinkedIn Search
Active LinkedIn users use the search functions within LinkedIn to find what they are looking for, beyond people’s names and companies.
5. Optimize These 9 Fields in Your LinkedIn Profile
Once you have your keywords to attract your prospects, what do you do with them? There are several fields in your LinkedIn profile that Tom identified as the most relevant.
- Headline: The default is your current job at your current company. This is the most important thing to change to appeal to prospects.
- Contact Information: This should include the best ways to contact you, plus a website or landing page that includes information to your target prospects
- Summary: This is where you can really speak to the prospect about how you and your company can solve their business problems, using a good selection of keywords.
- Experience: What you do in your job is another opportunity to tell the story of your success helping customers solve problems.
- Marketing Assets: Work with your marketing team to get Powerpoints and PDFs to add to your LinkedIn profile and use your keywords in the title of the pieces.
- Skills & Endorsements: Have others endorse you for skills that are most relevant to your target prospects. You have the ability to edit your list of skils.
- Publications: Relevant blog posts, ebooks or articles quoting you can be listed here. If you don’t have any, this is a good time see if you can collaborate with someone to create some things to list.
- Recommendations: Ask your customers for recommendations. They will use the terms that others in your industry use, and they will also validate your position as someone who is helpful.
- Groups Joined: The Groups you join show on your profile, so make sure you join relevant Groups with names that look and sound good.
What have you done on your LinkedIn profile to attract B2B prospects?