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How to Build a Professional LinkedIn Profile

9 Tips on How to Build a Professional LinkedIn Profile for Social Selling

As a sales professional in science and technology, it’s likely your company uses LinkedIn to market its products and services. But have you considered how your personal LinkedIn profile and activity could bolster your selling activities?

The process of leveraging social networks to develop and nurture relationships with potential customers, leading to increased sales and business growth, is known as social selling. And at the heart of social selling is a well-curated profile.

In this blog, we will explore the essential elements to curate your LinkedIn profile effectively for social selling success in the science and technology marketplace.

 

An Impactful Headline

Your LinkedIn headline is the first thing that catches the attention of visitors to your profile. Make it clear, concise, and attention-grabbing. Instead of using a generic job title, focus on your value proposition and how you solve your target audience's problems. For example, if you’re a sales professional selling PCR reagents to academics, instead of "Sales Representative," consider something like "Sales Representative | Helping labs amplify their PCR success”.

 

Use the Right Profile Photo

Your profile picture is your virtual first impression. And since we all know “people buy from people” it’s important you put a friendly face to your name. Indeed, just having a picture makes your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed by others.

Your profile picture should reflect your personality – or in more marketing-speak, your personal brand. We’re not saying a photo cuddled up to your beloved pet or down the pub with all your friends is appropriate but a friendly smile and eye contact can go a long way in building trust.

As a sales professional you still want to look... well, professional. While it’s possible to take a decent profile photo with your smart phone, a professional headshot photographer will know how to help you look good and convey the right message.

 

Craft a Compelling Summary

What’s your unique selling proposition? What value do you bring to potential customers? Your summary should embody this! Write a concise, engaging and well-structured summary that not only highlights your skills but most importantly, shows what value you offer. Bullet points, keywords and a clear call to action to encourage visitors to connect or reach out to you are all key elements of a compelling summary.

 

Showcase Your Experience

When listing your experience, don’t focus on your duties or responsibilities. Instead, focus on the results and impact you had. So what if you won an award for the best sales person in your company three years running? Tell me why and how you earned that award! Crafting a narrative, and where possible, quantifying your achievements helps people truly appreciate your expertise and value.

 

Highlight Your Skills and Endorsements

LinkedIn's skills section provides another opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and credibility. Carefully select relevant skills that align with your potential customers' needs. Then, reach out to colleagues and connections to endorse your skills to provide social proof and increase your credibility.

 

Use Social Proof

As well as endorsing your skills, recommendations from customers and colleagues can also provide social proof. If you’ve done a great job with a customer, ask them to provide a quick testimonial you can use on your LinkedIn profile. Customer testimonials serve as powerful social proof and influence potential clients.

 

Grow Your Network Strategically

Social selling thrives on a robust network. Connect with relevant professionals and potential customers and personalise your connection requests to foster meaningful relationships. People are becoming less discerning about their connection requests but a curated and targeted network is an engaged one - and one where rewarding conversations are more likely to happen.

Simply having a network is not enough. You need to regularly engage with them. Comment on their posts, congratulate them on their achievements, and offer advice. You’ll present yourself as helpful, likeable, and valuable; an image that will help you sell.

 

Share Engaging Content

Regularly sharing valuable content is key to establishing yourself as a thought leader and building a strong network. But you don’t need to spend hours labouring over an original blog or article. You can simply share articles, industry insights, tips or success stories that resonate with your network and potential customers. Just make sure to add a comment or two about your own thoughts, insights or opinions.  

It’s worth noting that not everything you share, comment on or post on LinkedIn has to be rigid and corporate. In fact, LinkedIn has become less corporate and more social over the years. This helps people and potential customers get to know you. Think coffee break chat rather than stuffy business meeting.

 

Be Active & Consistent

‘Consistency is key’ is a saying we’re all used to hearing and it rings particularly loud when it comes to LinkedIn. Social selling is a long-term strategy that requires ongoing effort. So stay active, regularly share content and engage with your network – but don’t get overwhelmed. 

LinkedIn can be a time drain if you let it be. Small but regular investment is enough to reap the benefits of social selling so schedule some time every week to avoid time wastage but also stay consistent!

 

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