There is a big huge disconnect for many sales professionals and other company employees about the value of their LinkedIn profile and how specifically to make it work for them.
When I talk about how an online document can “work for you” I mean that it is a lot like inbound marketing – it is a way for you to promote your awesome self, your incredible products, services, and company without interacting (yet). It is a professional representation of you to get others interested in wanting to connect.
We are so engrained in the resume value of our LinkedIn profiles – for years that has been all many folks have done with LinkedIn – keep their job skills up-to-date in hopes that an incredible recruiter or two will come along and tell them about the perfect new career. That is so yesterday with LinkedIn – now there is so much more you can do.
We have talked before about creating a great profile. I tell clients that if you do nothing else, make sure you have a professional head shot (or at least a very quality photo of you) and a professional overview of who you are up at all times through your LinkedIn profile.
The “power step” that can really set you apart and help you attract partners and even clients your way is the next step:
Make a Business-focused Summary
Create a business-focused summary about the company you work for. Yep, not all about YOU and all your SKILLS, but the skills, value and differentiators your company brings to the market – right in the summary section of your LinkedIn profile.
This is important for several reasons, but the top two are:
Unless you ARE searching for your next position, you should be focused on the company you work for, not you and your skills. In other words, since all of LinkedIn is searchable, professionals are already on and looking at content, people, tips, and updates. If you share the good work your company is doing by helping other organizations, this becomes interesting and people will see it. People search with search terms on search engines and right in LinkedIn. Your summary can catch someone’s attention.
Who’s Attention Might You Catch?
For starters, your boss and company you work for will appreciate that you are spending time on LinkedIn and that your profile, while all about you, also talks about key company offerings, strengths and differentiators in the market. Consider it a smart move professionally.
Secondly, you could attract the eye of a strategic partner or a great referrer – someone who can refer you to many new customers. See Winning Teammates (get your free download here) if you want to learn more about how to build business through strategic connections – it is very powerful.
So how is your summary looking? Have you maximized it for the current position? Unless you are really looking for the next gig, you owe it to yourself to update the summary, and know that you can always change it . Next we’ll talk about the power of updates.
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the “Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012″ and one of “20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management”. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling.