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Social Selling Pillar #1: Move From Resume to Digital Reputation

lineupWhat’s the difference between your resume and your LinkedIn profile? For some people, the two are practically identical. Each lists work history, career accomplishments, notable projects, and perhaps a fun fact or two. Maybe your LinkedIn page has a picture on it, but otherwise, they’re the same.

But there’s a slight problem with this approach. Your LinkedIn profile isn’t an online resume.

My first pillar of social selling is moving “from resume to digital reputation,” and it requires looking at your social profiles from the eyes of the customer you’re trying to earn trust from. If you’re bragging about your quota crushing abilities or merely listing your work experience, that’s not interesting or appealing to potential clients.

Optimize for your buyers and customers, not recruiters. You already have your dream job, right? Well, now you have to keep it.

People buy from people they know, like, and trust. You need to build your personal brand -- online and off -- to serve your customers, and earn their regard.

What does this look like in a practical sense? Revamp your profiles for social selling with these tips.

Post a [professional] picture.

Your profile is far more likely to be viewed if you have a picture than if you don’t. So while a professional picture is ideal, a picture in general is a must have. The professional bit comes into play when a buyer checks out your profile as a way of deciding whether they want to call you back, respond to your email, or accept your meeting request. If you don’t look serious, they’re not going to take you seriously.

Don’t be a Twitter egghead. Get a picture.

Write a vibrant headline (≠ your title).

Your LinkedIn headline is an opportunity to sell people on you and broadcast the value you bring. “Sales rep at [company]” doesn’t cut it. Write a phrase with verbs, in the vein of “helping companies transform their IT landscape” or “determining the perfect blend of on-premise and cloud-based software.”

This also goes for Twitter. What does your Twitter bio say about you to your buyers and customers? Your bio is searchable, so put your marketing hat on and in less than 160 characters instill the essence of your personality and interests. It’s also one of the major factors people take into consideration when deciding whether to follow you, so it should reflect who you are and what you have to offer -- not your quota crushing capabilities.

Get a custom LinkedIn URL.

Everyone’s default LinkedIn URL ends with a gigantic, senseless string of numbers and letters, and that’s not something you would print on your business card. But your LinkedIn URL is something you should have on your card -- so take the time to customize it to www.linkedin.com/in/yourname. You might have to get a little more creative if you have a common name, but it’s worth it.

Your summary is not a freeform resume space.

The experience section lists all your jobs, so no need to do it again in your summary. Instead, use your summary to tell readers what you’re passionate about, what motivates you, and what you stand for. And write it in your own voice -- if you’re a fun person, let that come through in your words. Never use third person; first person only, please.

Give (and get) LinkedIn recommendations.

Personal LinkedIn recommendations establish credibility and earn you trust, but they’re not something you can directly control. I find that writing recommendations for others (see this article for tips) are a good way of getting more yourself.

Connect your Twitter profile to your LinkedIn and vice versa.

If you’re using Twitter for business, I understand the thought process behind adding your company website to your description, but I don’t recommend it. Say a potential client bumps into you on Twitter thanks to a cool tweet you sent. Make it easy for them to get to know more about you and possibly connect with you -- post your LinkedIn URL as your website.

The reverse also stands -- add your Twitter handle to your LinkedIn profile for easy following.


Put visually appealing content on your profiles. 

A picture is worth 1000 words, and I’m a huge fan of videos and infographics. Shoot for content that’s visually appealing, emotionally engaging, and above all, human.

People want to connect and work with people. Your resume is a static document, but your digital reputation should be engaging, personal, and dynamic.  


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