Just because we’ve always done it this way doesn’t mean there isn’t a better way. I hope our last conversation about having all of your eggs in one valuation basket inspires you to strategize how you can augment your 1:1 BVFLS clients with a 1:many BVFLS product. It is the most scalable form of leverage we can implement in our practices.
On to this week. LinkedIn is messing with rolling out changes to our profiles again. You may not have seen the changes to your profile layout yet, but it won’t be long. This week’s conversation will let you in on three significant changes LI is making and how to react to them.
And if you’re new here, welcome aboard. This is what we do!
Read on Twitter last week: If you constantly brag about how busy you are or how little sleep you get, I’m not entirely sure you understand how bragging is supposed to work.
Ripped from this week’s headlines: “All You Need to Know About the New LinkedIn Profile Changes” was posted by Wayne Breitbarth this past Sunday.
Wayne Breitbarth is a significant LI influencer and someone I recommend that all of my coaching clients follow, if for no other reason than to get advance warning of what is happening in the LI world … like the changes highlighted in his article.
All of the changes will occur “above the fold,” i.e., the part LI searchers see when they first land on our profiles before they begin scrolling down (if they scroll down) … which makes that first piece of profile real estate really valuable if we want those searchers to read more about us.
#1 – Headline
What used to be our Summary section will now be called the About section, and that section will now be below the fold. That means the only information LI searchers will initially see about who we are, what we do, and how we can help them will be in our headlines. Because time and attention spans are short, searchers will skip to the next profile if our headlines are not compelling.
What’s compelling? If your headline starts with anything like Partner/Shareholder/ Director/Associate and ends with your firm’s name, it’s not. It will not grab any searcher’s attention because the headline is too focused on you and not who you work with.
Remember, the people who know you and what you do will call or email you directly when they need you. And they already know you are a Partner/Shareholder/ Director/Associate at your firm. Thus, your profile needs to be prepared for the people who don’t know you … and distinguish you from the others who came up in the searchers’ results when they looked for BVFLS professionals like you.
We’ve got 120 cws (characters with spaces) to nail this. You may want to try different versions of your headline and monitor which one gives you the most profile views over some period of time.
#2 – Contact information
Our contact information is moving from the right side of the profile box to the bottom left. Not a big change, but it should be a reminder that all of our contact information needs to be current and professional. Because if people like what they see in your headline, they may head directly to your contact information to get in touch.
I do a lot of LI searches, and it amazes me how many times I open up someone’s contact information and see personal phone numbers and email addresses. How do I know it’s a personal phone number? Because that is the field you completed and LI tells me the number is “(personal).” How do I know it’s a personal email address? Because if the @domain name says gmail, hotmail, or any other name that does not match your firm name, I assume it’s a personal email address.
Worse, sometimes I see NO phone number or email address. So someone has gone through all the trouble of searching for someone like you and finding you, but now there is no way to contact you except via LI messaging. Which may not a bad thing IF you monitor your LI massages AND timely reply to them with the same gravity as you would a business call or email.
#3 – Profile and background photos
So much has been written about using a professionally prepared headshot that I won’t write more about it here … other than to say if you don’t have any photo or a casual one, fix it. As soon as possible. (I spent 2-1/2 hours of this past Saturday with a professional photographer shooting a whole new set of headshots. Cost – under $500.)
But what is often neglected is the rather large rectangular real estate on the “background” image behind the profile picture. When you see a blue background with random lines connecting silly dots that is the LI default setting; it is not captivating.
My background image is a photo I took on my RV travels. And I’ve seen other people use this space as a billboard for the books they’ve written, the clients they’ve served, or the media outlets where their stuff has appeared – all of which is designed to attract a specific target audience.
If you want to see what other people (not just BVFLS practitioners) are doing with this space, do some random LI searches. A graphic designer can create your attention-grabbing image for $50 or less.
For those of you who believe a social media platform like LinkedIn is not important in attracting new clients, you are only hearing from the people who find you despite your lack of presence on that platform.
Imagine what you might be doing with a more robust presence.
In real life
First, I recommend that you perform a LI search so you know what the results of one looks like. In the search box, type “business valuation.” Depending on your LI account, different filters may pop up, e.g., connection level, location, and companies. As you will see, there is a very limited amount of information that will induce a searcher to click on anyone. But the profile picture and headline are the two most important pieces.
Second, test everything you do to your profile to see how it looks on the LI app since almost 60% of LI users are surfing LI on a mobile device.
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– If you think we share common interests, connect with me on LinkedIn.
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