This article is authored by Kylie Chown, LinkedIn Coach and Trainer, First Certified Social Media Crisis, part of the Career Money Life Supplier Community.
“My first impressions of people are invariably right. right, people” – Oscar WildeToday, the first place we go to learn about people is online. In all industries, now more than ever, we are in a digital-first world. People will learn about you online before they meet you in person. How does this affect your business? The Gartner Future of Sales 2025 report predicts that “by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels”.
People will meet you online before they meet you in person and make decisions based on what they read. Or what your digital footprint looks like. According to an eye-tracking study by The Ladders research, readers spend less than “six seconds”, doing an initial LinkedIn scan. The first six seconds on your profile are crucial. We only have a short time to connect with the right audience. If your profile doesn’t make sense to someone it’s a bit like touching a hot plate. The same as if a hotplate is too hot, the potential client or person reading your profile will bounce right off. You don’t even know the opportunities you could be missing.
To determine if your LinkedIn profile is complimenting or complicating your digital first impression, ask yourself, is it clear from your ideal audience perspective, the following 7 questions:
1) Is it clear to the reader what problem you can solve for them?
Without clearly communicating what problem it is you solve, your audience will feel you may not be able to help. A profile with an outward-facing approach (about the reader) as opposed to an inward-facing profile (all about you) will be more compelling to your ideal audience.
2) Does your profile communicate that you can understand your readers’ world?
Your profile is a bit like a mirror. When people look at your profile, they’re looking to see that you know about their world and its challenges.
3) Can the reader see how you will help achieve their objectives?
You need to articulate how people can benefit from what you have to offer and that will help them achieve their own objectives.
4) Is it clear what results have you been able to achieve?
You need to show the results you have achieved and how. Testimonials can help capture your achievements. Let’s say I’m a coach and I need a graphic designer. You’re a graphic designer and I’m on your LinkedIn profile. If I see a testimonial from another coach, I’m am likely to think: “This person understands what a coach is after.”
5) Can the reader see you through someone else eyes?
This is another reason that recommendations are important because not everybody knows you. But they will get a better understanding of you if you have worked with an organisation they are familiar with. A testimonial gets your reader to see you through somebody else’s eyes – not through your eyes. It helps people get to know you better.
6) Is it clear what makes you different?
This is about differentiation, and it supports positioning. What do you do differently? Do you work with a particular calibre of clients? Do you work with clients in certain industries? Or the differentiation could be in your message. What is it that differentiates you? Does your profile communicate why a potential client should choose to engage with you? If you want to work with a certain industry make sure your testimonials are from people in that industry.
7) Can you reader easily take next steps?
One of the basic things often missing from a LinkedIn profile is the answer to the question: “How do I work with / contact you?” Make it easy for people to understand how they can work with you. Make sure you include your phone number, website, and email address. If you review your own LinkedIn profile is it complimenting or complicating your digital-first impression?
If you are not confident with what your LinkedIn profile says about you, you can join Kylie’s first intake of the LinkedIn Launch Program for 2022. With updated content for 2022, their 5- week small group training will allow you to start the year with LinkedIn working for you and a profile that compliments your digital-first impression! Click here to learn more.