How to prove your expertise on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the best place to reach a professional network of prospects, clients and recruiters. But first, you need to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Follow these top tips to demonstrate your skills on LinkedIn, build strong connections, and convert prospects into clients.
A prospect lands on your LinkedIn profile.
Do you think they’ll be convinced of your expertise within the first 10 seconds?
If you answered, “no”, things have to change today.
The good news there are a lot of people who have been in your position before.
And, there are a lot of quick tweaks you can pull off to make sure your LinkedIn profile provides you with a higher conversion rate.
It starts with your LinkedIn profile
Your first step in profile optimization is to recognize your profile shouldn’t be treated as a resume but rather a landing page.
Many of your prospects and potential employers will look at your profile on LinkedIn to see if they find you interesting.
If your profile doesn’t reel them in, it’s a wasted opportunity.
The good news is that there are a lot of things that you can do to optimize your profile and make sure that you don’t lose any potential leads.
Profile optimization tips
You may have heard the term LinkedIn profile optimization. But what does it really mean?
There are lots of optimization strategies depending on what you're optimizing for.
We're going to focus on how to showcase your expertise. Optimize the following sections of your LinkedIn profile, and you'll establish credibility, trust, and authority in your industry or profession on LinkedIn.
Your cover photo is the most significant piece of visual real estate that you have on your profile, and you should make the most of it.
Create a cover photo that includes links to contact you, calls-to-action, and a short phrase that tells visitors who you are and what you do.
Here are a couple of examples for inspiration.
This works well because it uses visuals to deliver the message.
For instance, you can talk about how great of an instructor you are, but if you can show yourself in a classroom, your prospects will know who you the moment they get on your profile.
Don't just give people your occupation along with your company name.
Everyone does that.
It's time for you to stand out a little bit.
What I often advise is to use the "bullet-point" method.
List down 5-7 of the things that define who you are, convert them into phrases, and add a separator in between.
Marketing Specialist | Content Creator |Triathlete | Frustrated Comedian
Remember, your headline is shown everywhere on LinkedIn.
You want people who see you in the search results to be interested in what you do and want to learn more.
Many recruiters and prospects are tired of seeing what you do.
And who can blame them? They spend all day on LinkedIn and see the same thing day in and day out.
Why not switch it up a bit and explain why you do what you do.
This adds an element of storytelling in your about summary and helps hook people in.
Explain who you are briefly but don't list down everything that you do.
Leave that part to your skills and work experience sections.
Here are other rules that you should follow:
- The first sentence should contain your contact information. This will allow a casual visitor to connect with you quickly should they be interested.
- Make sure your paragraphs are not text-heavy; this makes your summary easier to read and helps with mobile optimization.
- Your last two sentences should leave your prospect thinking and explain what you want them to do. Include a proper call-to-action and a related end that wraps your summary up in a compelling ending.
If you're adding skills, make sure you focus on the ones that will help complement the industry that you're in.
After that, it's time for you to get endorsements for the skills you've listed down.
Start by endorsing other people, and don't be shy in asking others to endorse you.
If a client or colleague phones me or emails you with a compliment, ask them if they wouldn't mind sharing that on LinkedIn as an endorsement or recommendation.
This is an important area of your LinkedIn profile to optimize because this is where you showcase the previous work you've done. Be as clear and concise as you can with the notes to your last jobs.
Tell people what your goals were and how you achieved them instead of focusing on your responsibilities.
Also, make sure that you fill out the media attachments section.
Forget about putting in the website of the old company you worked for. Put in examples of your work – if allowed – instead.
Your freelancing work should also be mentioned here and indicate it as an occupation.
Once you complete all these optimization steps, it's time to move on to the other things that can showcase your expertise to other people on the platform.
High-value posts on LinkedIn
You need to focus on one thing.
If your post doesn't provide value, then there's no point in posting it on a professional social network.
Check out every single industry leader out there.
Do you notice how they post?
Every time they release something, it deals with providing value to their followers and connections.
These are people who give advice, share slides, tag others in inspirational ideas, etc.
When you do this, you show prospects that you're a person that provides value for free, and that is a silent indicator of your expertise in a given field.
For instance, since I specialize in growth hacking and marketing, most of my post deal with helping other people get leads. Sometimes I even share our in-house secrets to success.
Make sure you're posting and sharing valuable content that is highly-relevant to your field or industry.
Customers, prospects and recruiters love this.
Tweak the featured area
The "featured" section of your LinkedIn profile is a prime area where you can post examples of your work and tell people about what you do.
It allows you to post general media types such as video, photos, graphics, articles and even links.
To establish credibility, post samples of your work there or even pictures of you in action.
Have an attractive thumbnail set up and a clickable title. Don't worry if you're not a graphic artist. Free design tools like Canva offer thousands of eye-catching templates with zero learning curve.
I use the area to showcase specific landing pages to my site, such as our LinkedIn Influencer Program. This is a great place to add a call to action for people to book an appointment with you too.
I would suggest inserting your Calendly link or other online appointment scheduling tool so that people can contact you quickly.
Engage with people
Now that you're all set up, it's time for you to start engaging with people.
LinkedIn may be a professional platform, but it's social too.
Remember, when you engage with people, it shows in your LinkedIn activity, and people who are active on the platform are a sign that you're friendly and easy to talk to.
Also, here's another thing.
If you're using LinkedIn to bring in prospects, you'll find that engaging with people will help boost your social proof and even open up conversations with people you can collaborate with.
Make sure you're following and are connected with thought and industry leaders in your space.
To build a little engagement momentum, simply comment on posts that interest you and interact with others on the same post.
By doing this, you showcase your knowledge and increase your exposure.
Join relevant groups
Once you've got the hang of engaging with people, then it's time to take it up a notch by joining LinkedIn groups.
You can search for groups on topics, industries and professions. There's something for everyone.
If you're looking for employment, you'll also find that many recruiters lurk inside groups.
Use these groups to share information or even add value to other people through your comments.
Now LinkedIn groups isn't as engaged as Facebook groups by a long shot. But it still serves as a great platform to get yourself heard and build your network.
Other ways to build authority on LinkedIn
- Publish articles on LinkedIn. All members can publish articles about their expertise and interests. Articles are displayed in the activity section of your profile and shared with your network.
- Post consistently. A regular posting schedule of two to three times a week tells LinkedIn that you're serious about giving value, and the algorithm will reward you with visibility. It also confirms to clients, prospects and recruiters that you know what you are talking about and are an expert in your field and have a strong desire to help your network.
- Help people follow you. Consider switching out your "Connect" button with a "Follow" button. This tells people that you are an influencer in your field and will grow your network faster.
- Connect with profile visitors. If you have a Premium account, you can get the names of the people who've visited your profile. You can send a connection request to relevant people or simply follow them. Plus, profile visits are a great way to track your progress. More profile visits mean you're getting noticed and doing an excellent job with your optimizations.
- Start conversations. Gain traction with your posts by encouraging people to comment on them. Ask questions and respond thoughtfully to comments left by visitors. The more traction you get on your post, the more LinkedIn will show it to other people.
- Social Selling Index. Regularly check your social selling index (SSI) score on LinkedIn. It scores performance on four elements: (1) establish your professional brand (2) find the right people (3) engage with insights and (4) build relationships.
LinkedIn is the top professional platforms out there and the best way to establish credibility and showcase your expertise.
You can use it as a lead generation base, a showcase for your resume, or as a way to connect and collaborate with other professionals in your field.
Remember: Optimizations that work for potential influencers are different to those who are looking for work. And some tricks only work for sales and key account management.
Be intentional about your optimization strategy and regularly audit your profile, so it's aligned with your goals.
Find your LinkedIn purpose and there'll be no stopping you.