With the power of networking online, I am amazed to see how little some people have invested in their brand on LinkedIn. It’s the Facebook of business and professional networking. Investing in creating the right brand image can make a difference in securing a new client or job. I no longer accept LinkedIn requests from people who don’t have a profile image. If you can’t invest in a $100 professional headshot, then in my opinion, you aren’t that serious about what you do. If you’re not committed to your business or job, then please don’t send me a LinkedIn request to connect. I won’t connect with you, as people may incorrectly make assumptions about me based on our association. Is that fair? Maybe not, but as I was once told early in my career, “Perception is reality.” Now, if you are realizing that you need to boost up your LinkedIn profile but don’t know where to start or aren’t good about talking about yourself, here are three steps to make a more powerful, lasting impact by investing in your LinkedIn brand.
Step #1 – Hire a resume and LinkedIn profile expert.
Many of us are great at what we do, but have a hard time articulating it, let alone write about it within the constraints of LinkedIn’s system. Even if you are a professional writer, you may find it valuable to have an objective outsider listen to your story and help you craft the image you want to project…in a precise manner.
Real life example:
One of my colleagues, Talia Koren, had an incomplete LinkedIn profile when I met her. She was just starting out in her new business as a freelance writer and outreach specialist when I recommended that she invest in building out her LinkedIn profile. I introduced her to Bill Florin with Resu-mazing Services Company, but she wasn’t ready to invest the couple hundred dollars, but thanked me for the advice.
Fast forward one month, Talia sent me a message that she decided to work with Bill and thanked me for the introduction. When I asked, what made her change her mind, she said after talking to him, she knew that having him build out her LinkedIn page would be “incredibly valuable, since it’s something I have had on my mind for a while, but just didn’t know where to start. And the investment wasn’t crazy out of my budget.”
After receiving her final product from Bill, Talia sent me a message that she wanted to share her experience and the value of investing in her LinkedIn profile.
Top 5 lessons learned from outsourcing your LinkedIn profile:
- LinkedIn is one of the top two or three results that comes up when people search for you. If the profile is empty or inaccurate, you are losing an opportunity that you may not even realize.
- Make sure your LinkedIn profile matches your Google profile and Internet presence. People may find you online through your other profiles and articles, but then will cross-check with LinkedIn.
- Sometimes it’s just better to have someone else write about you. It’s that extra pair of eyes that can really help when you are trying to nail down what you do…and how to say it.
- It is a huge timesaver. You receive the draft copy, review it, and paste the final version into the appropriate sections in LinkedIn.
- You get a framework that you can easily update as your business and experience change.
More importantly, Talia got immediate results within two months of her investment, including:
- Confidence using LinkedIn to generate clients. Now, she had a summary section and a reason to promote herself, so she started publishing and sharing articles.
- People started hiring her to write their LinkedIn profiles. Within two months, she secured four clients who hired her to write their articles, as well as their LinkedIn profiles. It wasn’t a service that she had planned on offering, but clients asked for help in creating more powerful LinkedIn profiles because they were impressed with hers. These four gigs more than paid for her investment working with Resu-mazing Services Company.
- Gained 100+ new contacts within two months. Talia shared that she now has over 100 new connections on LinkedIn, putting her over the 1,000 mark. She is even more confident in her ability to secure clients and have a steady flow of income with her business.
Step #2 – Hire a professional photographer.
You should have professional headshots and other poses for your LinkedIn profile and other marketing needs/website. There are lots of articles about what you should or shouldn’t have in your LinkedIn picture. I cringe whenever I see profile pictures where someone has cropped themselves out of a family photo. Create a budget to accomplish the life that you want – invest the $100 – $200 to have a professional photographer take shots that project the right image to your ideal audience, prospective employers, and clients.
Real life example:
Greg Inks, a digital marketing and cloud expert, invested $100 in headshots back in December 2015. Within weeks of uploading his new headshot, he was approached to interview for a CTO position (which would have been a promotion) and noticed that the CEO and other executives had looked him up on LinkedIn. He was very thankful that he had replaced his photo with a more executive-like profile picture.
Fast forward to May 2017, Greg was hired as the Cloud Practice Lead for AKA Enterprise Solutions. The company made a public announcement of his leadership role with a press release that included a headshot. The marketing department loved one of the profile images that his photographer had taken back in 2015, which was not fitting for the job he had back then, but is perfect for the position he has now.
Step #3 – Write and share content.
The easiest way to show others what you can do for their company or their business is to publish articles on LinkedIn. Your content can showcase your expertise, points of view, and often your personality and work style. This step doesn’t cost any money, but does require time to write thoughtful and accurate content. Remember, people will be reading, commenting, and sharing this content, so be make sure to only publish great content.
Real life example:
Prior to my suggestion to Talia Koren to hire someone to help with her LinkedIn profile, she didn’t have any of her articles or content posted on LinkedIn. After working with Resu-mazing Services Company, she realized the value of having her best content with links to her websites for prospective clients to find and learn more about her style of writing. By posting her best work through LinkedIn, she is making it easier for prospective clients to read and determine if she’s the best fit for their needs.
Investing in your brand on LinkedIn can have both immediate and long-term benefits. You will want to:
- Step #1 – Hire a resume and LinkedIn profile expert.
- Step #2 – Hire a professional photographer.
- Step #3 – Write and share content.
The total investment will likely cost $300 – $600 for professional headshots and LinkedIn profile make-over, as well as time to write and publish articles. Prospective employers and clients are researching you on LinkedIn to determine if they want to hire or even contact you. Make this is a priority if you aren’t getting the leads and making the connections that you want and need in your career and business. You may not get a second chance to make a great first impression, so prioritize and invest the money in creating and managing your best brand.
Do you have similar results from investing in having someone help you with a more professional LinkedIn profile and headshot? Or, have you decided not to contact or hire someone based on their LinkedIn profile? If so, please share your thoughts and experience!