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You know it’s happening. Our LinkedIn profiles are being “checked out” before we walk into a business meeting. If it’s not happening before the meeting, it’s most likely happening after the meeting or even during the meeting.

How does your LinkedIn profile measure up?

How does your professional brand come across on LinkedIn?

What does your LinkedIn profile say about you?

The benefits of using LinkedIn go very deep in the sales process, way beyond prospecting. We use it to engage prospects. We use it to connect the dots. We use it to build influence maps and org charts. We use it to connect with power. We use it to uncover influencers. We use it for referrals. We use it to check brand advocacy. We use to it to endorse brands and executives we love.

Now let’s get super tactical on something that is very material.

I see a lot of LinkedIn profiles everyday. I see good ones and I see not so good ones.

Here is what I’m seeing:

  • No picture or poor picture
  • Boring or bland headlines
  • Profile looks like a resume
  • Outdated or even blank information
  • Too much text
  • No rich media like videos
  • No recommendations

My motivation with this article is to help you “Step Up Your LinkedIn Game” with some minor cosmetic and content adjustments to your profile. It only takes a few minutes to optimize your LinkedIn Profile. So let’s do it.

Making it a priority is material.

LinkedIn Tips To Optimize Your Online Brand

There are many articles written on this topic. Here is a short checklist you can execute immediately:

Background Photo: Give your LinkedIn profile a bit more personality by adding a background photo of your own. Use a background provided by your company or something personal like a cityscape. Click Profile >> Edit Profile in LinkedIn’s top navigation, then click Add a background photo at the top of your page.

Profile Picture (headshot): Use a headshot picture of you. Smile. Scratch the downer pictures. Blurry pictures don’t work. Look professional. No filters. Keep it real. Dress professionally. Avoid using pictures with other people in them. If you upload a picture to your profile that isn’t actually you or isn’t even a headshot, LinkedIn reserves the right to remove it.

Headline: Make the headline tell a story not repeat your job title. Here are a couple good ones from folks I work with:

– > Mary Brigdgen, Area Vice President, Telogis 

Headline > Leading the way to manage your mobile workforce

– > Kelli Lampkin, Sales Manager, Netsuite

Headline – > Making Cloud ERP Fun!

Summary; Your summary should be short and very personalized. It’s not your job description. It’s who you are and what you’re passionate about doing every day.

Media: Use rich media like videos of customer testimonials and product demonstrations. Use videos that are less then two to three minutes in length. Most marketing departments have a rich set of well-produced customer videos, keynote highlights, and, product demonstrations. You can link these assets to your summary and each job position too.

Recommendations: I like the word authenticity (thanks Archana) when we discuss the power of recommendations on a LinkedIn profile. We learn so much about a person’s accomplishments by what people say about them too. Recommendations also give color on an individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

**Tip: don’t forget to uncheck the activity broadcasts button when you make these changes so your network doesn’t get notified every time you make a change.

My friend, and our partner Kurt Shaver, has created a LinkedIn Social Selling channel in SalesHood. It’s designed to walk you and your teams through a step-by-step, team based approach to optimizing LinkedIn profiles. He published four social selling boot camp huddles that are all ready to go right now.

How did you feel the last time you looked at a bland or even out of date LinkedIn profile?  What are some of your LinkedIn tips?

About the Author
Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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