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social media how toDo you want to use your LinkedIn profile to market yourself more effectively?

Have you thought beyond adding a list of jobs and responsibilities?

LinkedIn is the number-one social network for professionals, but that doesn’t mean you have to treat your profile as a traditional, boring resume.

In this article you’ll discover four ways to turn your bland LinkedIn profile into a LinkedIn marketing tool that attracts potential decision makers.

Develop a Plan

Recent studies show that 71% of B2B marketers say relevance to the audience is the most important aspect of any marketing program. That applies to marketing yourself as well. When updating your LinkedIn profile, start by mapping out how you’re going to use every part of your profile to show prospects you are relevant to them.

linkedin profile marketing tool

Find tips for turning your LinkedIn profile into a marketing tool.

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When someone puts up a profile without giving any thought to it, it’s likely to end up as a big mess. These generic profiles have muddled marketing messages and lack of focus.

The result is that it’s hard to tell one consultant from another, which means B2B buyers can’t clearly see how a profile is relevant to them. So how can you fix that?

Read on for four ways you can update your LinkedIn profile to market yourself.

#1: Use Bold Headlines

You’ve probably seen more than a few LinkedIn profiles with headlines that simply state a current employment position. That’s exactly what one would expect to find on a resume, right? But we want to get away from the basic resume.

Your LinkedIn profile should include a bold headline. Instead of telling prospects your position title, give them more. My LinkedIn profile leads with a strong headline that makes people want to keep reading:

linkedin headline

Intriguing headlines pique a prospect’s interest.

I’m inviting people to learn why I’m the best choice for the job, while clearly stating my expertise—and it looks nothing like a traditional resume. I’m more likely to stand out in the sea of consultant profiles.

You can do the same. Ask yourself a few questions: What is your expertise? How can you back that up (e.g., published articles)? Who has endorsed you? What projects show your success?

Now create a confident headline that reflects your answers. You’ll use the rest of your profile to reinforce that statement.

You can start that reinforcement in the Publications section under your Summary. Include a list of your best articles published on respected websites that your audience is familiar with. Under each publication, include a brief teaser summary and an active link to the article.

linkedin publications

Give your prospects a reason to click through and learn more about your expertise.

Move down to the Experience section. Go ahead and name-drop here. Associate yourself with known experts you’ve worked with or who’ve endorsed you to increase your credibility.

#2: Tell Stories

The Experience section of your LinkedIn profile has potential that few business owners and marketers take advantage of. For example, most Experience sections look like a boring laundry list of responsibilities. The information is hard to skim and, if you’re like me, you see an Experience section like this and say, “So what?”

Compare your Experience section to the one below from Jimena Cortes.

linkedin experience

Tell visitors what you do and how you do it via examples and stories.

Jimena spends time telling a story to educate prospects about the problems they’re facing; the reasons their Facebook, SEO and other Internet marketing efforts are failing; and what they should do about it.

Because Jimena took the time to educate her business buyers, a prospect came to her ready and willing to spend at least $36,000 per year.

When you look at your own Experience section, what does it look like? If it leans toward a traditional resume, rewrite your Experience section in a way that’s interesting and shows prospects how you’ve helped other businesses tackle the same issues they’re facing.

#3: Provide Case Studies

Recent studies show that 88% of B2B marketers cite case studies as the most effective form of content marketing, yet it’s not common practice to share those on LinkedIn.

Darrin Fleming, Stratavant’s managing director, uses case studies to show how top B2B brands that offer high-value solutions (with at least a $10K average selling price) are using Stratavant’s tools.

case studies on linkedin profile

Use case studies to show off  your expertise.

Darrin uses both the Projects and Experience sections to share the case studies. In the Projects section (where each title is a clickable link), he provides teasers for case studies found on his blog and drives traffic there. He uses his LinkedIn Experience section to discuss case studies not found on his website.

#4: Include Rich Media

Rich media is a way to quickly convey your expertise and relevance to prospects. With LinkedIn’s Professional Gallery feature, you can add video, SlideShare presentations and other interactive tools to underscore your value. Unfortunately, few marketers or business owners take advantage of the opportunity.

WebAttract President Michael Agron includes videos in his Summary section to describe his webinar management process, along with testimonial videos to back up the case studies he highlights throughout his profile.

videos on linkedin profile

Use video to show off your capabilities and emphasize your expertise.

If you have video, include it. If you don’t, consider sharing presentation slides you’ve used at conferences or creating slides from screenshots of your published articles or those that featured your expertise or quoted you. You could also show the brands you’ve worked with and succinctly state your contribution to their success.

Conclusion

More than a few business owners and marketers have given their LinkedIn profiles a makeover to attract more B2B buyers. So why do most LinkedIn profiles still look like boring resumes? The answer: Because business owners and marketers fail to optimize every section of their profile.

Rather than treating your LinkedIn profile as a traditional resume, make it stand out by making bold statements about your expertise and backing them up with concrete examples, describing how you’ve helped businesses achieve success, sharing case studies relevant to your prospects and including rich media to underscore your abilities.

What do you think? Have you updated your LinkedIn profile lately? Is your profile a resume or a marketing tool? Leave your comments and questions below.

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  • Thanks for sharing Kristina. Great tips and some really going points here.

  • Great post Kristina! It inspired me to update my LinkedIn profile. I’ll leave my changes and review them tomorrow. I’m sure I can make more changes.

  • Mary Phillips

    Thank you.. I’ll update my profile at the earliest.
    What if you are a newbie in the industry and don’t have any case studies or testimonials to show case?

  • Glauber Couto

    One of the best contents I ‘ve ever read here about LinkedIn. Thanks for sharing so useful information.

  • James

    Wow Kristina that was some sweet information. I plan on revamping my entire profile. I know you talked a lot about B2B does these improvements work well with direct consumers just as good? Are their changes that need to be made to your recommendations if your marketing to individual potential clients?

  • All are great tips.
    Adding video or PPT in the profile, is the best way to engage the new person and clearly convey your work or message to others.

  • Meryem Kocabay

    Thank you Kristina, I will review my profile…

  • I’ve always known that there was a better way to use the title (position) section of the profile, but had always put things such as, “Helping businesses to create a leading presence through social media..” or something along those lines, seeing the way that you have created yours has really helped me change my approach here. Great Ideas.

  • Giovanna

    Yep – I’ve got a long way to go with my Linkedin profile that’s for sure. Thanks for this help.

  • Remarkably good content. I made an, on the spot change!

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hi Joe, Glauber,Meryem, Jay and Giovanna – Thank you for your wonderful comments. I’m glad that I was able to gain value from the information I provided

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hi Amandah and Darryl,
    I’m glad that my post inspired you to make immediate changes to your LinkedIn profile. Can you share what changes you have made – and if there are additional changes that you’ll be making?

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hi Mary – If you are a newbie in the industry and don’t have case studies or testimonials and if you’re working for another company then use your company’s case studies and position yourself as an expert that educates X target audience on Y topic. If it’s your own company, then:

    1. Share the challenges your prospects are having – and why you are now focused on helping them

    2. Start creating articles and get them published on top websites and blogs – Notice how on my profile, I have a position that discusses the PR I have received.

    3. Use yourself as a case study – test your strategies on yourself – and share the steps you’ve taken and the results you achieved,

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hi James,
    If you are in B2C – then I suggest tweaking the article for the B2B audiences you can and should be attracting. LinkedIn is a B2B social media platform so you’re less likely to attract B2C customers using LinkedIn. So you want to focus on influencers and potential referral or strategic partners. So you want to show how you’re helping your customers and show how your additional value will help the potential influencer’s or partner’s clients or community. You have to think about the B2B audiences you want to attract and have a LinkedIn strategy on what you should be communicating to them – and how you’re going to attract them.

  • Jason White

    Yes i agree it should inspire to change what lets face it seems a quite outdated way to convey your experience. Your comments come with how did i add value here..

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hi Joe – Thanks for your wonderful comment. What tip did you like the best?

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hi Amandah – I’m so happy to hear that my post inspired you to update your LinkedIn profile. What changes did you make on your profile – and what other changes are you planning to do?

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hi Mary,

    If you’re a newbie and you’re working in sales and marketing for another company, you can use your company’s case studies and position yourself as an expert who educates prospects on how to achieve.

    If you’re a newbie with your own company, then:
    1. Discuss the challenges your prospects are having and why you started your business to help X target audience with Y issue. Tell your story
    2. See how you can connect your prior experience to what you are doing now in some way.
    3. Use yourself as a case study
    4. Write articles and have them posted on top websites – as you see on my profile, I use my published articles everywhere – in my headline, in my summary, in the publications sections, and I even have a media position.

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hi Glauber,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful content. What did you like best about my article?

  • Kristina Jaramillo

    Hi Darryl,
    Thanks for the wonderful compliment. I’m curious to know what on the spot change you made.

  • I added more copy to my Projects. I’d like to rewrite my Summary, again. I’m working on a couple of SlideShare presentations and will add them to my profile. I may change my Professional Headline, again.

  • I changed my header from only reading my business name, to more of a descriptive in the form of a question. It gives an instant clue of what I do at a glance. I don’t have the list of credentials that you are able to put in yours, so my descriptive header might at least cause a second look for potential clients and connections before just moving on.

  • BTW, I think I’ll add cases from my time as a life skills coach (no names of course). Thanks for that tip, I was never going to think of that without some feedback – you provided it.

  • treb072410

    Great post Kristina, it was really a great and informative post.. Thank you for sharing

  • Lauren Martens

    Thank you. I am also a newbie and so this information was very helpful! I will make some changes to my profile and hopefully get some more business.

  • I agree with most of the article, but I’m sorry I don’t agree with the first point you raised. “See why professional service firms…” in the title of the LinkedIn user would completely turn me off. Why? Because that phrasing / content style is related to click-bait content that you’d expect from Upworthy, Viralnova and BuzzFeed – so I would find it hard to take someone seriously when they had something similar in their title.

    Other than that of course – very good points. A fleshed out and content rich LinkedIn profile are very important.

  • its really helpful small and nice tricks…. Bold one is the best and simplest thing which people may not have known,,, but will it not effect serach of your profile ?

  • Sandee Hart

    Thanks for this great article. It has offered me insight for my own profile and my coworkers! Well Done!

  • Sandee Hart

    Thanks for this great article. It has offered me insight for my own profile and my coworkers! Well Done!

  • VielGluck

    Thank you fo this useful tips. I’m also newbie, in this field

  • Isabel

    Great points. I’m still unclear whether this can apply to those whose business involves confidential client information for which they have signed Non-Disclosure Agreements.

  • James

    Thank you for the video Kristina it was very insightful. I do not have as many publications and features as the person in the video but I see I have a work to do in asking for and getting referrals. I did make some changes to my profile based in your article and I will be making more very soon. Thank you for your help I might have to work with you personally in the near future.

  • Carmel

    Hi there, is it possible to set your profile and recommendations for people to be able to see even if they’re not a LinkedIn user?

  • Karina Taugwalder

    Thank you for these great LinkedIn tips. I discovered only recently how powerful LinkedIn is for marketing! I also love Social Media Examiner, great resource, thank you.

  • Just listened to the podcast and have to say it inspired me to do a complete overhaul on my LinkedIn profile. And at a good time as well! Thanks for the insight!

  • Great article! I literally went down the list and updated my LinkedIn page according to your suggestions. Thanks!

  • Great post! I especially love the Sharing Case-Studies suggestion. Brilliant! Thanks!

  • LinkedIn gives me “All-Star” profile strength, but I think that’s just because more of the blanks have been filled in.I will take another pass through it based on your four ideas.

    I switched (some say “transitioned”) from I.T. consulting to blogging a few years ago, so my profile may be bi-polar. Still, we’ll give it a try… to turn a “resume” profile to a marketing tool.

    This month, for the first time, my blog includes a newsletter, “The Work Life Journal”. As a first edition, it has my own blog posts… but the intent is to have no more than one of my own.

    That leaves me looking for readable, relevant content… posts which would be valuable to those job-seekers and career developers. One of the six sections is “Social Networks”, and this post on LinkedIn would work wonderfully…with your permission.

    If you have any interest in that, you can assess the September edition (all my posts) via download from the Newsletter menu at WageScope (dot com). I won’t stick a link in here… this is NOT an attempt to SPAM the good folks at Social Media Examiner!

    Again, if you are interested, I would be pleased to include your photo, profile, and links to the URL of your choice. You can reach me through the contact widget (on the Home page and a few other places).

    Anyway, thanks for considering this, and thank you for sharing the LinkedIn profile tips. I will, as I said, give it a try. Maybe that will boost the profile to some unknown level beyond “All-Star”!