Social selling is part activity and part reputation. If you're writing insightful comments on your prospects' blogs, responding to their tweets, and liking their shared content, you've got the activity bit down pat. But if your LinkedIn profile is three jobs behind and features a picture of you from prom, you can't really call yourself a social seller.

If you'd like to start a social selling initiative in earnest, you should begin by revamping your LinkedIn profile. Just as you're finding prospects on LinkedIn and learning more about them, they're looking at your profile to judge if they'd like to do business with you. Don't ruin great messaging and positive interactions with an outdated, sparse, or mistake-riddled LinkedIn profile.

So what should your LinkedIn profile look like? I put together an infographic that breaks down the ideal social selling LinkedIn profile, section by section. More of a visual learner? Skip straight to the infographic here.

LinkedIn Profile Tips for Sales

In social selling, you want your LinkedIn profile to be about your buyer's achievements and how you enabled them, instead of about you and your achievements. Here's how to optimize your LinkedIn profile for prospects.

Headline

Don't just write your title. Answer two questions: Who do you help and how do you help them? Craft your headline to be a mini value proposition packed with verbs and other active language.

For example: I've helped 200+ B2B companies save over $2 million through outsourcing solutions.

Picture

Profiles with pictures elicit a 40% InMail response rate. Strive for professional without being stiff. Choose a current, high-resolution photo that makes your buyer feel confident in trusting you with their business.

Contact Information

List your email address, phone number, Twitter handle, and blog or company website to make it easy for prospects to get in touch.

LinkedIn URL

Customize your URL to: www.linkedin.com/yourname for easy searching, linking, and printing on business cards. If you have a common name, insert your middle initial or a number to set yourself apart.

Connections

Build your network with an eye to quantity and quality. Send customized invitations to anyone you've interacted with, either in person or online. It's alright to request someone you've never met, but make sure to personalize the invitation with a reason you'd like to connect that's relevant to them.

For example: "Hello, Paul. I also work in the outsourcing industry and have admired your work in the Denver area. I'd love to connect here. Thanks, Emma"

Summary

Shoot for a summary of around three paragraphs with three or less sentences each. As you're writing, make sure to include keywords your buyers might search for. Here's how to break down your summary:

  • First paragraph: Reiterate your purpose from your headline
  • Second paragraph: Get more specific about your work, the projects you've taken on, results you've driven, and companies you've worked with. Elaborate on how you've achieved the mission statement set out in your header.
  • Third paragraph: Include a clear call-to-action that communicates why and how a buyer should get in touch with you.

For example:

I'm passionate about helping business leaders adopt strategic outsourcing to make their business and workforces healthier and more productive.

Through a customized company productivity assessment, I identify areas of opportunity where outsourcing could dramatically impact results. For example, I helped implement an outsourcing program at [Company name] that resulted in a 25% cost reduction and 30% increase in productivity.

I'm dedicated to partnering with leaders to discover if and how outsourcing can benefit their businesses. Contact me anytime at emma@outsourcingsolutions.com, or call me at 555-123-4567.

Content

Display two to four pieces of visual content in your summary. Post eye-catching pieces that will be helpful to your buyer.

For example: You might add a blog post announcing your company's win of an industry award for "Most Satisfied Customers" and a case study from a big-name client.

Experience

This section most closely resembles a resume, but you should still keep your buyer in mind as you're filling it out. List your professional positions and titles and include a few sentences to summarize your role at each job.

It's also important to bullet three to five major job duties under each role's paragraph. Mention your quota attainment but keep the spotlight on the results you helped clients achieve along with the methods and tactics you used.

For example:

Sales Representative
Outsourcing Solutions
July 2013 - Present

I work with B2B executives to implement innovative outsourcing programs that drive results. While I've worked with companies of all sizes and verticals, my focus is on the manufacturing industry.

  • Help clients identify outsourcing opportunities
  • Work alongside support team to ensure proper program implementation
  • Consistently achieve 100-150% of quota

Honors and awards

List any work-related awards you've won with a brief description.

For example: Rookie of the Year, 2018: I was named Outsourcing Solutions' rookie sales rep of the year for driving outstanding results for clients and my exceptional social selling presence.

Publications

Do you blog? Post any articles published on third-party sites here.

Education

Don't just write your formal degrees. Also include relevant online courses or certifications you've completed.

Groups

Show buyers you care about what they do by joining the groups you know they're in -- and engaging with those groups in regular, meaningful ways.

Recommendations

You can't write your own, but you can request them. Don't ask for a recommendation until you've worked with someone for at least six months.

And while a glowing review from your boss is great, one from a client is even better. Their testimony will drive up your credibility with other buyers and provide you with a valuable reference.

Click image to enlarge:

LinkedIn_profile_template

Perfecting your LinkedIn profile is crucial in the sales profession -- especially if you're a social seller. Invest time in yours and see if you're able to source more leads with your new-and-improved profile.

HubSpot Free Sales Training

Originally published Aug 29, 2018 3:26:00 PM, updated August 29 2018

Topics:

Social Selling on LinkedIn