5 Steps to Stand Out From the Crowd on LinkedIn

How to Avoid Being Just Another LinkedIn Profile

by Gerry Moran

If your LinkedIn profile was a book in a bookstore, would someone pull it off the shelf?

LinkedIn has over 660 million users in more than 200 countries and territories across the world. So, there are many ‘books’ on their bookshelf!

Your LinkedIn Profile needs to be like a book on the New York Times Best Seller List. It should read like a best-selling self-help book for you to be successful. But, don’t write it like a biography. Craft your profile in a customer-centric way. This approach helps your readers understand how your background can help them! Writing it this way will help both you and your potential contact!

Your customers, prospects, and connections are guilty of judging a ‘book’ by its cover.  At times, we are all guilty of that. They HAVE to pass quick judgment. There are many sales professionals, self-proclaimed experts, and alternative-sources biding for their attention. You have to break through to show what you have to offer. By wordsmithing your social media profile in this customer-centric way, clients will find you. They will want to ‘read’ more about you. And finally ‘buy’ you!

With over 1 billion annual searches on LinkedIn, you need to be on the top of the stack of Google searches to break through the clutter.

How to See Your LinkedIn Profile As A Best-selling Book

1. Transform the top of your profile into your book’s cover.

One of the main reasons people stop to pick up a new book is because of its cover. The title. The words. The design. The art or picture. The reader-centric value. These features of a book cover can stop readers in their tracks and encourage them to pick it up!

The top of your LinkedIn profile is like the cover of a book. It needs to sum up your value proposition. It needs to capture a reader’s attention in under five seconds—otherwise, they will move on to the next. Make sure you have a clear and professional-like close-up photo! Use a descriptive background photo. And, write a compelling headline to help members pick you out of the crowd.

PRO TIP: Use keywords when possible. Your audience can find you via search and will emotionally connect to you.

2. Think of your LinkedIn “Headline” as the title of your book. 

The role and responsibility of your LinkedIn headline are to be the title of your book. It’s the book of you! Use this 220-character space to sum up your value proposition. It’s the WIIFM for the reader. We want them to read it and want to learn more about you. Your goal is to get the reader to look at your About, Activity, Featured, and Experience sections.

PRO TIP: Your headline will show up in a Google search. Make sure it’s catchy and descriptive enough to encourage further investigation.

3. Your LinkedIn “About” section mimics the inside of a book cover.

If you are a book buyer, you value the inside book cover or the digital abstract. You may not make it past the cover if it doesn’t deliver an exciting synopsis. Your About section needs to summarize your experience with an engaging and customer-centric focus. This summary literally helps you connect those dots for them — from your background to what it means to the reader. For instance, if you are a sales professional, your summary needs to show how you can help your customer. They need to understand how your experience can help them instead of selling them!

PRO TIP: Write your About section in the first-person. It will be more personal for the reader.

Your LinkedIn Profile needs to be like a book on the New York Times Best Seller List. It should read like a best-selling self-help book for you to be successful.

Gerry Moran

4. A complete LinkedIn profile tells your whole story. 

Dates, details, accomplishments, associations, recommendations, endorsements, and contact information are data points that help tell your story. They offer information to shape your perception. They provide potential commonality with the searcher. Make sure you have a finished profile to increase your chances of being chosen. If you are a part of the 49.5% of LinkedIn users who do not have a complete profile, you are working at a disadvantage. It’s time to get a LinkedIn makeover!

PRO TIP: Getting to All-Star status is a start to ensure you have a complete profile, but the better check is to use LinkedIn’s SSI (social selling index). The ‘Establish your personal branding score’ helps you understand your profile’s completeness.

5. LinkedIn Recommendations and Endorsements are your personal brand’s review.

People buy popular books. Recommendations are why the bestseller lists are top-rated. These reviews inform readers about a book’s highlights. Endorsements and recommendations provide the same career and personal branding coverage for you, so make sure you have as many endorsements and recommendations as possible. Yes, even if they are all from your fans!

PRO TIP:  List ten skills and endorsements using keywords and phrases representing your personal branding ‘superpowers.’  This way, you can start to collect network endorsements.

Can you identify another way your LinkedIn profile needs to read like a bestselling book? If so, then please share below. Or, reach out to me at gerry@marketingthink.com.

Many books make the best-selling lists because they are attractive, easy-to-read, relevant to the reader, and come with many recommendations. Use this post’s analogy to model your LinkedIn profile after a best-selling book, and you might become one of the best-sellers in your company!

Gerry Moran is a social media and content marketing strategist who's worked for large global brands and digital agencies. He's spent significant time in hands-on marketing leadership roles with HBO, IKEA, Ralston Purina, Kodak, and numerous digital agencies. He spent his last ten years working at SAP and Cognizant, where he built their content marketing operating models, developed social media training programs, and helped thousands with their LinkedIn makeovers and personal branding strategies.

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