4 steps to make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the pack
LinkedIn expert Nathanial Bibby shares his insights on how to make your LinkedIn profile stand out in a competitive market to attract new leads and convert more sales.
LinkedIn is the world’s biggest professional network for job-seeking, B2B sales, or just making new connections.
But are you using this tool to its fullest?
Making the most of your profile
Nathanial Bibby, Managing Director of Bibby Consulting Group is a digital marketing strategist who has built up an impressive client list including the world’s largest hedge funds, banks, B2B sales companies and management consultants.
He says the key to LinkedIn is your profile, because the information you present about yourself, the tone of your summary and even the photo you choose will influence people in the real world.
“The mistake most professionals make is they’ve duplicated their CV on their LinkedIn profile,” Nathanial says.
“One of the biggest trends in digital marketing is the move towards people-to-people marketing as opposed to just business-to-consumer and business-to-business. People want to know who they’re doing business with and what better social proof than to see who’s already in your network.
In the US last year there were over a billion searches for professionals’ personal names which is increasing steadily. By now, we’ve all used Google to research people we may be having a meeting with for the first time.”
He added that you must control what people see when they search for your name. “This is crucial. Forget everything you’ve learned about how to create a first impression when you meet someone because in business over 70% of the time, it’s happening online.”
Nathanial suggests joining LinkedIn groups that attract your customers and already contain qualified leads. “Posting relevant and appealing content in these groups can quickly position you as a leader and add credibility to your brand,” he said.
“A word of advice; focus on posting quality content not click-bait or self-promotional marketing - spam will work only against you. Rule number 1 when it comes to social media is always add value, and always add disproportionate value compared to your competitors. I’ve posted articles on LinkedIn that show the exact intellectual property we use to construct an optimised profile, and we give away a free, 22 step check-list. Many would argue that this decreases the value of our service because they don’t need our expertise anymore but we do it anyway. We add more value than anyone else and when someone needs a solution, we’re at the top of their list.”
Keep it personal
Nathanial says many people write their profile in the third person, which comes across as distant – writing in the first person, on the other hand, is more relatable.
“So rather than writing ‘John has…’ write ‘I have’ so you are speaking directly to the reader.
“Another thing that really engages people is when you talk about your passion and why you love to do what you do, rather than just listing your achievements” explains Nathanial. “Showing personality helps you stand out but in saying that it’s also important to list quantifiable results where you can.“
Making sure the skills and qualifications listed on your profile are endorsed is also important. “The great thing about social media is you can get your clients to do a lot of your selling for you by getting their recommendations and endorsements. This is very important to help you stand out from the crowd,” Nathanial says.
“I recently presented to a young professionals group at Westpac. There were 150 people in the room and I asked them to put their hand up if they had a recommendation on their LinkedIn profile.
There were only three of them who did, and only one person had more than one recommendation. It’s an easy way to stand out, but most of these young bankers hadn’t taken the time to enhance their profiles.”
The impact of your profile picture
A picture is worth a thousand words, and Nathanial says choosing one that speaks for you is important. His own LinkedIn profile image is black and white and shows him in a casual jacket standing in front of a wall with artwork on it.
“That photo was taken in St Kilda, Melbourne” he said. “When I went through my personal branding exercise, defining who I was and what I was passionate about, I wanted to get across the Melbourne coffee culture and the fact that I am into hip hop music so we included some graffiti-covered walls which many locals will recognise.”
Over the past few years many professionals choose black and white because it’s been proven to stand out when people look through search results.
Looking ’industry appropriate’ in your photo is important, but Nathanial says showing individuality is what attracts people.
“I interviewed a group of people who had won an award from LinkedIn for having the most profile views. One of the common responses when I asked why they got more views than others was they had a photograph that was a little bit quirky, a bit different.”
Making connections is all-important
Once you find someone you want to connect to, the next step is to send a customised connection request.
“When you send someone a message on LinkedIn, it’s not like making a phone call, where you have to explain who you are and what you do. They can just click on your name and if your profile is good, that will explain what you do.
“So in your message if you don’t say anything at all about yourself it will be more effective. For example: ‘I see you’re interested in live music – I’d like to find out more about that.’”
Turning that focus away from you and onto the other person is important, Nathanial says.
“When I present my seminars I say that if I can give people one piece of information to take away, it’s that it’s not about you. It’s always about the other person.”
So in a nutshell; these four tips will make your LinkedIn profile stand out from the pack and attract more leads and sales:
- Make the most of your profile – customise it to count all of your experience and don’t make it read like a text book. Join industry groups relevant to your market and post relevant and organically appealing content but stay-away from self-promotional marketing and click-bait.
- Keep it personal – make sure your personality and your personal brand shines through – it’s what sets you apart.
- Pick a profile picture that stands out and conveys your personal brand – consistently communicating your personal brand and being congruent across all fronts is important for people to trust you enough to do business with you.
- Make connections by turning the focus to the other person
Connect with Nathanial Bibby on LinkedIn: