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Many professionals turn to LinkedIn to connect with other professionals, engage in thought leadership and meet potential clients. LinkedIn can be an outstanding source of information, networking connections and business referrals. It can also be a way to increase awareness of your firm and grow your business.
There are ways to set up your LinkedIn profile so you can be found in more searches, which further increases your reach. Here are some tips to setting up a professional LinkedIn profile that will attract your target clients.
LinkedIn URLs automatically come with a combination of your name plus some numbers. So your profile URL might be JaneSmith4033121. Your URL is actually searchable, and you want it to be something memorable so it’s easy to share. Choose a URL that includes your name or your business name, your speciality and an identifying feature (such as location, niche, or special service). Separate all the words by a hyphen so they can be read as different words by the search engines.
For example, you could use Jane-Smith-Toronto-Accountant or Jane-Smith-accounting-for-doctors or even Jane-Smith-healthcare-accountant
You’ll be redirected to the Public profile settings page.
It’ll be an address that looks like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
Read more about your LinkedIn URL here.
People are on LinkedIn to connect with others and they like to see a person’s face to foster that connection. Make sure you use a professional-looking profile photo. It doesn’t have to be taken by a photographer –you can take a decent photo with your smartphone if you like. But make sure your full face is clearly visible, including your eyes, and close enough that viewers can see your features.
The banner is the top section of your profile, just behind your profile photo. It’s tempting to leave it blank but it’s actually a great space to give important information about you without them having to scroll through your profile. Create a banner that shares your contact information (your website, email address and phone number). That way, even people who don’t have access to your profile can see how to get in touch with you.
You can create a custom LinkedIn banner using a free account on Canva. Go to Canva, search for LinkedIn banner templates and create your banner there. Put your contact information on the right, opposite to where your profile photo is. Once it looks the way you want it to, download it to your computer.
The headline is the line underneath your name in your profile. This section is searchable, so you want to include words that your ideal clients or people you want to network with would use to find you. This can include your services, your speciality or your niche. While it’s tempting to be clever here (such as using phrases like “I sweat over your numbers”) if your clients wouldn’t use those words to search you, then it’s ultimately not helpful.
Separate each of the keywords with a vertical line | to break them up for searches. You might use Accountant | Toronto | Healthcare | Legal | Professional services or Financial planning | Estate planning | Retirement planning.
You can also write it as a sentence if you can keep the sentence short and specific. For example, “My accounting services help doctors in Toronto better manage their practice.”
Don’t use too many keywords here. You want your headline to be fully visible to anyone scanning it, so keep it to two lines at the most. Try to be specific, as well. If a lot of other people would use the exact same keywords, add something more specific. For example, a lot of people might have Accountant | Toronto. Fewer would have Accountant | Medical practices | Toronto.
Note that this same editing form can be used to change your industry, position and contact information.
Your summary section is where you get to talk about you, what you do and who you help. When you’re writing this, focus on the results you provide. Do you help your clients cut costs? Increase profitability? Stay up-to-date on their accounting? Achieve specific financial goals. Where possible, talk about your clients and how you’ve helped them.
Avoid just writing a list of your services. Instead, relate your services to your clients’ needs. For example, “After conducting an audit of a hospitality clients’ financial procedures, I was able to identify areas where spending could be reduced, saving them 20% within the first two weeks of implementation.”
The more you write about your clients and how you help them, the more engaging your summary will be.