LinkedIn is easily the most used professional platform online. It’s a powerful tool for finding a job, networking with colleagues, staying in touch with trends, and, of course, prospecting. In fact, 50% of B2B buyers say that they use LinkedIn before deciding on a product or service.
However, if you want to see results, you need to put in the work – and that means optimizing your profile. Lucky for you, we’ve been covering this topic since we opened our metaphorical doors in 2018. We’ve written a lot of in-depth articles about this topic, and today we’re culminating all that knowledge into one article.
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What is Prospecting and Why LinkedIn?
Before we dive into the details, let’s start with the basics. What is prospecting, and why is it important on LinkedIn?
Prospecting is the process of finding potential customers or clients for your business. It’s also one of the most difficult parts of the sales process. In fact, 40% of salespeople say that prospecting is their lead favorite part of their job. Normal prospecting uses a mix of channels, such as cold emails, cold calls, hosting events, marketing campaigns, and LinkedIn outreach.
On LinkedIn specifically, prospecting involves sending outreach messages (also called connection messages). By using an automation tool, *cough, cough* We-Connect, you can cut a significant amount of time on lead-gen.
Frankly, the reason LinkedIn is so popular for lead-gen right now is that it works. It’s a popular place for C-suite executives and decision-makers to spend time – and they often entertain pitches as well.
The Basics of Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile
The first step to tailoring your LinkedIn profile to prospecting is to ensure that your profile is complete and professional-looking. These are the basic first steps, so if nothing else, make sure you’ve completed these:
- Professional Profile Photo: Your profile picture is one of the first things that potential prospects will see when they visit your profile. We recommend a headshot with clear lighting and a simple background.
- Catchy Headline: Your headline is the text that appears below your name on your LinkedIn profile. It’s an excellent opportunity to showcase your expertise and grab the attention of potential prospects. We’ve written this guide to show you how to write an unstoppable headline.
- Add Your Relevant Experience: Prospects and future employers will want to know who you are and what you do. Share resume-style bullets under the experience section to summarize your previous roles. Do the same for volunteer work and internships as well.
- Detailed Summary: Your summary section is where you can provide more details about your professional experience and skills. Use this section to highlight your unique selling points and show potential prospects why they should work with you. Don’t forget to include relevant keywords to help your profile appear in search results. For more tips on your summary, read our full guide.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile – Advanced Techniques
Once you’ve optimized the basic elements of your profile, it’s time to take things to the next level. Here’s what we recommend doing to really make your profile stand out:
- Use Relevant Keywords: LinkedIn-friendly keywords can help boost your visibility in search results. To find relevant keywords, think about common words or phrases in your industry. Don’t overdo it, though; only use keywords where they make sense.
- Customize Your LinkedIn URL: You can (and should) customize your LinkedIn URL. Compared to the original URL LinkedIn gives you (which is probably a string of numbers), a link that says your name will be more professional. It can also make it easier to share your profile with others. Learn how to customize your LinkedIn URL here.
- Add Videos and Images: Images and videos are 24% more likely to be opened in a prospecting message. The same goes for your LinkedIn profile. Post a video or images that highlights your value proposition for contacts to easily view.
- Ask Colleagues for Endorsements and Recommendations: Endorsements and recommendations from others on LinkedIn can help establish your credibility and expertise. Don’t be afraid to ask former colleagues, supervisors, or clients to endorse or recommend you on LinkedIn.
- Join LinkedIn Groups: LinkedIn groups are perfect for expanding your network and connecting with potential prospects in your industry or target market. Use groups to engage in industry-related discussions and highlight your expertise.
Posting Content: What You Need To Know
If you want to stay relevant on LinkedIn – and organically get leads – then you should be posting consistently. Here are some tips on what we recommend doing:
Value Over Everything
It’s simple: share content that educates your audience and showcases your expertise. It doesn’t matter if you’re posting twice per day, if your content isn’t valuable, then you’ll have nothing to show for it. Instead, post less, but make your content high-value.
Some good examples of valuable types of content include: blog posts, infographics, whitepaper studies, and videos. Again, make sure that the content you share is relevant to your target audience and provides value.
Consistency Is Key
If you want organic traffic to your page and company, then posting consistently is important. We’re not saying it needs to be daily, but you should post something valuable at least once per week.
Additionally, using relevant hashtags in your posts can boost engagement and views. And you know what that means… more leads!
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile for prospecting is an essential part of any social selling strategy. By optimizing your profile, creating high-quality content, and using effective prospecting strategies, you can attract potential prospects and convert them into paying customers.
For the best results for your LinkedIn prospecting, you should be using automation tools (like We-Connect). Using We-Connect, you can safely automate mass messaging campaigns, smart prospecting sequences, and track saved lists of leads in one easy-to-manage dashboard. Try our 14-day free trial here.