How to Convert Your LinkedIn Profile into a Lead Generation Tool

by Nitin Malik October 27, 2017
LinkedIn Profile

One question I am asked all the time by my prospects and clients – ‘Which one is a better lead generation tool – SEO, Social Ads, E-mailers, Buying Leads, Google Ads, or Affiliate Marketing?

My usual answer is – “Start with tools which can give you leads at zero cost.

Social media is one of those tools which can help you generate leads without spending anything.

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Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumbler, Snap chat and YouTube are few of the most popular social media channels around the world.

However, LinkedIn is my favorite social media channel among all others.

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Being a marketer myself, I am aware of one thing – If I am on LinkedIn, I am marketing myself by default.

That’s the power of LinkedIn.

“ The simple act of being on LinkedIn is marketing. Don’t be lazy and cut-and-paste your resume and expect people to be interested. Spend a little time and tell a story. It’s well worth your time and those reading your profile will appreciate the effort”  says Mark Amtower

Especially, when it comes to B2B lead generation – LinkedIn works best.

Do you know that LinkedIn alone generates more than 80% of social media leads!

Rest of the social media channels put together only amount to 19.67% of leads!

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                                                            Source: Image from Business2Community.

Why LinkedIn is Important for B2B Lead generation?

I’m sure you know this.

It’s business specific.

Whoever logs on to LinkedIn, they have business on their mind.

They are enthusiastic to expanding their professional network, learning new things and improve their career prospects.

For a present-day marketer, business networking is a critical aspect of lead generation.

And LinkedIn provides this opportunity in abundance.

LinkedIn is the B2B Version of Facebook. – Neil Patel

Your all potential customers are available on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn provides you millions of professionals and companies in one place to connect and grow your business.

The key point is: LinkedIn works best for B2B lead generation.

And the better part is – You can do it FREE.

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But still, there are many people out there who use LinkedIn to just connect and stay in touch with their professional network.

Forget about B2B lead generation, they don’t even use LinkedIn for their individual brand visibility.

This becomes much more tragic in case of modern marketers.

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They would spend huge budget on Trade shows, Facebook ads, Pay Per Click, and Paid Ads on other platforms.

At times, they even spend money on LinkedIn ads which I must agree, are very expensive.

My point is – why to spend money on LinkedIn when you can generate leads without spending a single penny.

Are you too one of them?

If answer is ‘Yes’, it’s time to change that.

You may ask – ‘How?

In return, I will ask –

Are you leveraging your LinkedIn profile to generate new leads for your business?

If not, you are leaving lots of money on the table for others to pick.

Overlooking your LinkedIn profile could be costing you not only advantageous networking opportunities but also big sales possibilities.

In this article, I am going to show you a simple 5-step process to optimize and leverage your LinkedIn profile for generating more leads than you can imagine.

STEP 1: Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Headline

First begin with the basics.

Let’s treat LinkedIn a non-stop marketing event where people come to your stall (your profile page) to see what you are about.

I am sure you would like to be at your best.

Right?

If so, then why your profile headline looks like this?

Look at an average example of LinkedIn profile heading:

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Nitin Malik Linkdin on Profile

It tells my designation and the company I work with. (Having a professional photo is given.)

Nothing less, nothing more.

Do you think I should be saying only this much?

Does it tell my core area of expertise?

Does it convey how can I help my prospects?

No prize for guessing the answer – a BIG no.

After all, there is more to all of us than just our decorative designations.

I strongly believe that.

Your profile page is the first touch point for your network/prospects on LinkedIn.

It’s your visiting card for the strangers who want to connect with you on LinkedIn.

Make sure it plays to your strengths.

Now imagine if you see a headline something like this:

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Nitin Malik Linkdin on Profile

Which one is better?

You got it right – the second one.

This profile headline not only tells my designation and the company but also showcase what can I do for my prospects.

And that’s what my prospects need to know.

In a way, you’re not only telling who you are but also what you can do for your network.

Also, I have used keywords relevant to my profile.

Don’t forget that these keywords used in profile headline will also help me appear in LinkedIn profile search.

This is important since many of your prospects may find you through LinkedIn search.

So, a good headline will help you make the most of LinkedIn search results.

Here is another great example of a very well-written LinkedIn Profile headline:

LinkedIn is marketing

Another one:

Digital marketing Goals

So, now you understand the difference of using a better profile headline, I advise you to think of a summarized version of your expertise.

Think through it properly.

Don’t forget that this headline will appear in search results too so make it keywords-focused.

Find out the keywords that highlight your expertise or area of interest.

Use those keywords and craft an engaging headline for yourself.

Think from prospects’ perspective.

What would they be searching for related to your area of expertise?

Your headline should revolve around the benefit you can provide to your network / prospects.

Are you ready with you profile headline? Let’s put it to good use.

Go to your profile page and click on the pencil icon to the right of your profile picture.

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Once you click on this ‘pencil‘ icon, an overlay pop up will appear on your screen.

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Edit your headline in the highlighted section and don’t forget to keep the ‘Share profile changes’ tab YES / ON.

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We should make the most of this tab as it will help us tell our existing network about out enhanced profile page.

Keep in mind that the character limit for this headline is 120 (with space). So, make the most of these 120 characters.

Once done with the headline updation, it’s time to take the next step.

STEP 2: Re-visit Your Profile Summary

Your Profile Summary is Second Most Element. The first most important was your profile headline.

You have grabbed prospect’s attention with a contextual and appealing profile headline.

Now it’s time to dig deeper.

Enhance your profile summary section.

In a way, it’s the extension of your profile headline.

You can edit your profile summary in the same pop up you opened for updating your profile headline.

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Many people write a great summary in lengthy para graphs but they forget to focus on the beginning of the summary section.

You know why?

Have a close look at the actual summary display at first view.

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You will see a curtailed view of the profile summary.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter how good your profile summary is in the middle and at the end.

What matters is the first two lines that will be shown to your network / prospects.

Hence, write first two lines in such manner that they inspire the user to click on ‘See More’ link to read it in detail.

Don’t forget to optimize the Appearance of Your Summary for desktop or mobile.

It’s an age of multiple devices.

Even LinkedIn summary can’t escape them.

  • On desktop, the first 220 characters will be seen with ‘See More’ option.
  • On mobile, the first 92 characters will be seen with ‘See More’ option.

So ensure that these first 220 characters for desktop and 92 characters for mobile should be great enough for readers to click on ‘See More’ link.

Try to summarize your profile summary in these many characters.

Talk about who you are and what are your core expertise.

That’s all.

Have a look at my first two lines of my profile summary. You will get an idea.

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The goal is to tell your profile visitors who you are and how you can help them.

You can even use creative call-to-actions (CTAs) in your profile summary to get visitors’ attention.

The best CTAs examples can be taken from SAAS based products which invite users to go for free trial or sign up for demo.

Here are some of the good CTA examples that tells what they do in minimal words without any fuss.

 

Digital marketing Goals

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All these CTAs tells in plain and simple terms what benefits user may have.

And, that’s enough for a user to click on them to explore more.

Detailed Summary Enhancement

Let’s do a quick recap.

  1. You created an engaging profile headline.
  2. You wrote an above average two lines to get your profile visitors click on ‘See more’.

Now what?

Wait.

Battle is not won yet.

Now it’s time to leverage your detailed summary to create a lasting impression on your profile visitors.

But don’t try to make it your personal memoir which doesn’t end till eternity. It’s summary section for a reason.

Follow the KISS principle.

KISS – Keep it simple and short.

Any personal stuff that doesn’t add value to your professional persona, keep that for Facebook Twitter or Instagram.

On the contrary, there are people who takes ‘summary’ too seriously.

They simply try to finish their profile summary in just 2-3 lines.

Here are two examples of ‘very small’ summary section:

KISS Pinciple

The next one don’t even need ‘See More’ and ‘See Less’ Option. An opportunity wasted.

KISS Principle

Treat your profile summary as an opportunity to convert the prospect.

It’s more of a landing page.

A landing page covers apt description of your capabilities, the benefits you can provide to your prospects with some catchy CTAs.

But even landing pages can be boring.

We all come across so many of them daily.

Same mistake we make with our summary section too.

Where to start’, you ask!

First focus on the aesthetics.

Stop putting your summary in big paragraphs.

Large paras always succeed in putting off your prospects.

It’s time to do some editing.

It’s always smart to put large amount of text in small chunks.

People love to scan the information quickly. So, use bullet points just like you would on your resume.

It’ll ensure that anything important will not miss your prospects’ eyes.

In this example, the LinkedIn user have tried to segregate his profile summary in bulleted section.

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Though personally, I am not a big fan of too many bullets but still they are easier to scan the long text compared to huge paragraphs.

It’s your opportunity to tell a story of yourself.

Be to the point as much as possible when describing your role and accomplishments.

Don’t be shy to demonstration a bit of your persona.

Make it personal. Make it count.

But avoid using corporate / technical jargon or self-indulgent words.

When J.T. O’Donnell shared with the readers of the Careerealism blog what she dubbed “The Worst LinkedIn Summary”, it read like this:

A dynamic leader with the ability to drive change and proven track record of high accomplishments in various areas. Highly organized individual, believes in empowerment and team work, highly adaptable, strong business sense, effective communicator, result-oriented, and can-do attitude.

Did you notice the problem?

Yes, you’re bang on the target.

It’s full of claims (Dynamic leader, proven track record of high accomplishments, highly organized, highly adaptable, result-oriented, can-do attitude) which are decidedly subjective and unsubstantiated with facts.

This summary is full of catchwords and hollow phrases.

Instead, talk about who you are, what you are really good at and how you can add value for your prospects.

Make it a point to double-check your summary with the most overused empty buzzwords like ‘motivated, driven’ etc. and get rid of them immediately.

Use keywords which help you get searched by your specialties.

Write in first person.

Write your summary like you’re talking to a person face to face.

According to J. T. O’Donnell, a good summary should be all about facts, facts and more facts – nothing else.

She tried to re-write the above mentioned summary in her own words:

“15+ years of experience leading teams of 10-200 staff members. Managed 30+ projects ranging from $100K-$1.7M in budget. 200+ hours of presenting and training on a wide variety of subjects including innovation, teamwork and project management.”

Saw the difference?

This summary substantiates the claims with factual data.

I am sure now it’s clear what your summary should look like.

The below example is one of the best one for a LinkedIn profile summary.

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The reasons are:

·   Sharp intro.

·   One idea per line.

·   Asking questions to prospects like a landing page heading.

·   Conversational lingo.

·   Use of CTAs

Here is my summary snapshot for your view. I’ve tried to keep a balance between very small paras and bullets.

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I start with a concise intro of myself and then move on to my specialties.

Then I talk about a modern marketer’s wish list and how I can help them fulfill that wish list.

This is followed by my specific area of expertise along with call to action.

I have added my contact details, a link to my website landing page and my blog URL for them to reach out to me and my content.

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I end my summary with an apt call-to-action.

As I understand, there is no set formula for a winning profile summary.

Try to cover the key points of your profile and present them in a prospect-centric style.

And yes, make it easy to read on their eyes.

STEP 3: Customize Your LinkedIn URL

Anything that has a URL – it should be SEO friendly.

Your LinkedIn profile is no exception.

How to do that?

Don’t worry. It’s not complex.

In fact, it’s as easy as saying 1, 2, 3.

When you create your LinkedIn profile first time, you get a typically LONG UGLY URL that doesn’t make any sense to human eyes/mind.

It works okay as a URL but it’s not personalized to your name.

You can easily tell the difference.

What would you prefer –

https://www.linkedin.com/in/aditya-kohli

Or

https://www.linkedin.com/in/1asd098-aditya-1ab829/

No need to answer. We both know it. 🙂

So, it’s high time that you claim your personal URL from LinkedIn.

Here’s how to do it in 3 easy steps:

1.   Click on ‘Edit Your Public Profile’

Linkdin Profile

This will open a new window. Click on the ‘pencil’ icon as shown in the red box below.

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Edit your URL name as per your choice and click on “Save’.

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Congratulations.

You just got your self-branded LinkedIn profile URL.

It’s done.

STEP 4: Filter Through Your Skills and Endorsements

People love to get recommendations from their professional network on LinkedIn.

But think twice before you click ‘add’ to every recommendation you get.

Recommendations are good but an irrelevant endorsement or recommendation can harm your profile.

There are some recommendations which only talk about how good or kind / easy person you are to deal with.

There is no harm in being an easy going and kind person but it doesn’t show what sort of professional you are.

My advice to you – Avoid such recommendations which heaps praise on you as a person but don’t discuss your professional capabilities.

Treat skill endorsements in the same manner.

For example, people endorsing you for internal communications and PR strategy both. This looks little contradictory.

You might be MS Office expert but this is not something to boast for.

So, avoid showcasing skills and endorsements which belittle your skills and profile credibility.

The point is – ensure that your key skills are highlighted properly in your profile.

On LinkedIn, it’s like you against the world while being with the world. 🙂

So be at your best with earnestness.

STEP 5: Create your Public Profile Badge

Once your LinkedIn profile is ready, it’s time to show it to the world.

You can do that by creating a LinkedIn profile badge.

This badge can be used on your personal website, Management team section, blog and email to let others see your profile instantly and connect with you on LinkedIn.

Just imagine – all visitors coming to your website, blog or viewing your email will be able to view a quick snapshot of your LinkedIn profile and can connect with you promptly.

To activate your badge, you need to follow these steps:

First click on the ‘Edit Your Public Profile’ on your profile view home page.

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This will open a new window for enabling you to edit your profile. Just scroll down a bit and you will see a link titled ‘Create a public profile badge’.

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To create and install your badge on your website/blog/email, you can copy and paste code into your online properties’ text editor.

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If you find it confusing, then your website administrator can do this job for you.

You share this code with him/her and he/she can do it within a few seconds.

You can choose the badge based on the position where you want to sue it.

The below example shows that this badge can be used somewhere in the middle of the web page.

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The below example shows that this badge can be used on the side bar of the web page.

I will recommend using side bar position to show your LinkedIn badge.

Your LinkedIn badge can be used anywhere as a LinkedIn profile link.

It can also appear at the end of all your blog posts.

You can even add this in your HTML Email signature.

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You can choose a specific badge and its respective code to be copy pasted on your website or blog.

Select the badge you like and copy the corresponding code.

When you click in the code box, all the code will highlight.

Right click on your mouse and choose Copy.

Keep in mind that the color combination of your badge should match with the color theme of your website or blog.

Creating and using a personalized LinkedIn badge across online touch points can give your LinkedIn profile enormous visibility to your target audience – that too without spending even a dollar.

Summing Up

Your LinkedIn profile is your best chance to connect with the right people.

And don’t forget that LinkedIn works both ways.

People who want to hire you and people who want to work with/for you – both types will see your profile.

Thus, ensure that they are inspired to connect with you after seeing your LinkedIn profile.

They should feel that they are connecting with someone who can help them realize their goals (business or career).

You Should Try These Tactics

We have discussed some specific tactics which can help you grow your LinkedIn profile views and connect with right people to generate more leads for you.

These proven tactics can convert a mostly invisible LinkedIn profile into a profile that gets abundant marketing reach and sales or career networking opportunities.

I hope you have learned some of the good tips from this article to generate more leads with your LinkedIn profile page.

You just need to try these strategies to empower your LinkedIn profile for better LinkedIn reach and hence, more leads.

Therefore, let your profile get to do real smart work for you even when you’re sleeping!

What Next?

Are you now ready to implement these tactics and optimize your LinkedIn profile page for better lead generation?

Share your experience after implementing these tactics and how did it improve your lead generation with your LinkedIn profile page?

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Partner with me to more successfully sell yourself as an individual brand and you’re your businesses.

Few Question for You Before You Sign-off:

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So now I have few questions for you:

Do you think your LinkedIn profile is fully optimized?

What are your thoughts on the lead generation from your LinkedIn profile tips shared in this article.

Do you have any tips to share?

Share your thoughts with me in the comments below or tweet me @iamnitinmalik.

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Nitin Malik

Nitin Malik – Director Marketing @ Evercoast Communications – is a digital marketing consultant and Digital Marketing Trainer. Being a full-stack digital marketer and Guest Faculty / Speaker, Nitin works with Fortune 500 companies and start-ups. A digital marketer by the day and a blogger by the night, Nitin is passionate about helping individuals and brands transform their digital presence. He has led 70+ SEO and PPC seminars and webinars.

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