and the question that can change everything
by Brittany Taylor
published november 21, 2017
updated May 30, 2018
¶ More views! More connections! More job opportunities!
When I write a LinkedIn profile, I always ask my clients what they want their new bio to do for them. I don’t expect an answer that deviates from these three—and honestly, I’ve never gotten one that’s surprised me.
Just because I can guess the answer, though, doesn’t make this a throwaway question. In fact, whichever one my client picks guides the strategy I use to craft their new LinkedIn profile. The differences are subtle, but they’re there all the same.
Here’s how each answer to my “What do you want your LinkedIn profile to do for you, professionally?” question affects the end result.
More on my process: This is how I write a blog post for my clients.
I write LinkedIn profiles that are driven by my clients’ stories, experience, and expertise as professional people. But it’s not all about story. I’m not creating a book or a journal, after all. I’m building a bio that will be a marketing asset for my client.
Effective content marketing is based on strategy. You can’t strategize without first having goals in mind that you want to achieve. So that’s where I start: with my clients’ goals for their LinkedIn profile.
Here’s how I translate three different goals into an effective end result as I write a LinkedIn profile:
Profile clicks tend to come from a few different places: search, engagement, and status updates. A LinkedIn profile can directly impact where you show up in search while the last two options require a continued content marketing strategy. The user needs to comment on LinkedIn Pulse posts or others’ status updates. They need to join groups and interact with others there.
Keywords are the secret sauce to showing up in search. Just as I optimize blog posts and website copy for search, so, too, do I bring SEO fundamentals to my clients’ LinkedIn profiles. You can find keywords in a variety of places. I turn to job ads, competitor profiles, and national industry databases for keyword research.
Building a network and nurturing your professional relationships is what LinkedIn is for. That’s why the platform has given us Pulse posts and groups: so that we can get to know each other better.
To entice people to connect with you, you have to stand out. Your LinkedIn profile needs to show that you’re more than a resume. You have to be more than your work history. You have to shine. That’s where your story comes in. Focus on a singular achievement or a moment of growth or triumph over adversity. Highlight it. Make users feel what you felt at the time, and you’ll forge an emotional connection with them—one that inspires them to initiate a relationship on the platform.
If you’re planning on using LinkedIn to further your content marketing efforts, consider placing a call-to-action or CTA at the bottom of your LinkedIn profile. Ask users to connect with you (or to follow you) to for new blog posts, job opportunities, inspiring articles—whatever you intend to share on the platform.
Think of your LinkedIn profile as a chocolate-covered resume or a resume glitter bomb or a resume delivered by a singing unicorn. It’s a resume, but better.
To get recruiters and hiring managers sliding into your InMail, you need to tailor your LinkedIn profile to the types of jobs your interested in. Spend time looking at ads for jobs you’d kill to get and take note of the responsibilities and skills they mention. If you tick those boxes, highlight it on your profile using the wording you see in advertisements. Mention it in your profile summary, in your experience sections, and, if appropriate, in the skills section.
This is what keyword optimization looks like. A decade ago, you would have listed these keywords in a big jumble. Today, you want to weave them in to your profile so that they flow naturally as a part of your story.
Not sure about your mission? I can help you with that.
My name is Brittany, but my friends and clients call me "Britt." Online small business owners hire me to create content strategies and write their blog posts, email newsletters, and social media updates. I work with bosses around the world from the marshes of Charleston, S.C.