LinkedIn profiles are much more than just electronic résumés for professionals seeking employment. When carefully crafted, they also provide a useful platform for promoting brands – your personal brand, and by association, the brand of the company you work for.

If you’re responsible for any aspect of the sales funnel for your organization and haven’t leveraged your LinkedIn profile for social selling, you’re likely missing out on one of the most effective new trends in lead generation. Leveraging your social network – and that of your colleagues and/or employees – is a strategic way to build relationships with potential new customers and boost your company’s image.

Why? Because great companies employ great people.

With that in mind, here are 10 tips to share with employees:

  1. Make a good first impression: Your profile picture is the first thing people see on your LinkedIn profile. While it needs to be professional, it shouldn’t be too formal. Choose a headshot that is engaging and warm. Make sure the picture is current and high-quality, with no distracting background.
  2. Set the stage: A picture is worth a thousand words. Customize your LinkedIn profile with a background photo that reflects your area of specialty or interest. Choose a high-quality image without text and make sure it fits the space provided (1536 by 768px).
  3. Share what you do best: By default, LinkedIn uses your current job title as your profile’s headline. But you don’t have to settle for that. Instead, use those 120 characters wisely to craft a catchy tagline that summarizes what you do. The headline shows up in search results, so be sure to include keywords targeting your industry and products.
  4. Customize your URL: Nobody likes to be just a number. Change your URL to linkedin.com/yourname for easy searching and sharing. If you have a common name, include a middle initial.
  5. Give us details: In your summary, describe what you do and why you do it. You have 2,000 characters to wow us. Write in first-person and make it personable and engaging. You can also include professional testimonials and success stories. Don’t forget to include all your contact information, such as email, phone number, website URL and Twitter handle (if applicable). As with the headline, include keywords where appropriate.
  6. Engage with the community: All of your latest activity on LinkedIn (e.g., liking or sharing an article or endorsements) and all your LinkedIn posts will automatically appear in the Activities and Media section of your profile.
  7. Showcase your career: List all your relevant employment history and education, focusing on your responsibilities and the results you generated in each position. A good rule of thumb is to include 2-3 sentences summarizing your position and then add 3-4 bullets underneath that, describing specific responsibilities and results. Remember to include media where relevant, such as presentations, videos, photos, links and PDFs.
  8. What makes you special? Make sure you list all your relevant skills in the Skills and Endorsements section. Unlike the old LinkedIn profile, you can now rearrange skills manually, so ensure that your most relevant skills are on top. Once all your skills are added, ask for endorsements from your 1st-degree connections.
  9. Don’t be shy: If applicable, request recommendations from past and current clients rather than from co-workers or management. Recommendations from clients will drive up your credibility and authority, and will help social selling efforts.
  10. A little bragging goes a long way: In the Accomplishments section, list any relevant projects, honors, awards and patents.

 

If you work in sales for a B2B company and haven’t engaged in social selling practices, you may be missing out on one of the hottest new ways to gain new business. Read our latest whitepaper to learn more.