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Founder @ #samsales Consulting l Sales + LinkedIn + Sequence Expert l Keynote Speaker
Sales and marketing professionals – it’s time to optimize your LinkedIn profile. With over 900+ million users and 4/5 of them being decision-makers, it’s more important than ever to utilize LinkedIn to its fullest potential.
In this episode of Closing Time, Sam McKenna of #samsales Consulting dives into a few of the latest components of LinkedIn profile optimization, the logic and structure of the Linkedin algorithm, and even a few things that might be limiting your success on LinkedIn (like sharing a link in your posts, writing a boring About section, or restricting your profile photo visibility).
LinkedIn is the top social platform for business professionals and is a crucial lead-generation tool for many B2B salespeople and marketers today. Learn how to optimize your profile and leverage LinkedIn to build relationships, drive sales, and set yourself up for social selling success.
Let’s start with the “about section,” which can be one of the toughest parts to write. Here’s a quick guide to help you out.
1. Start with a story. As salespeople, we know that stories work. Share why you’re in sales, what you love about your business, your role, and your customers. Explain how you got into sales, and what you love about working with your clients.
2. Focus on your core competencies and expertise. What do you and your company do, and what challenges do you solve for your customers? Think about what you talk to your buyers about all day, and what you discuss in demos and discovery calls.
3. Talk about who you are outside of the office. Even if you’re not an open book, think about a few things that would make you comfortable if you were on the cover of The New York Times. Do you love to read, coach soccer, scuba dive, travel, or speak languages? Sharing a few personal details can help humanize you and make you more relatable to potential buyers.
By incorporating these three sections into your “about” section, you can create a more meaningful connection with potential buyers. Remember, people buy from people they like and trust, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.
It’s important not to overlook your profile picture. Your profile picture should be modern, professional, recent, and show your head, neck, and shoulders. Make sure it’s a solo picture and avoid pictures with family or friends.
Also, ensure that the picture reflects you professionally and is appropriate. It’s important to check your picture settings to ensure that it’s visible to either the public or all LinkedIn network. A common mistake made by sellers is having their picture visible only to their network, which can hinder their ability to connect with potential buyers.
LinkedIn has introduced several new features that can be useful for salespeople. One of the most notable is the ability to click on a bell icon on a person’s profile to receive notifications every time they post content. This feature can help salespeople keep up with their prospects and engage with them more effectively.
Another new feature is the ability to list a website or promote an event on your LinkedIn profile. However, it is important to remove any non-evergreen links, such as those promoting a one-time event, after the event has passed.
The character count limit for headlines has also been expanded, making it more important than ever to craft a strong and attention-grabbing headline. Instead of simply listing your job title and company, consider highlighting the challenges you solve and the value you bring to potential buyers.
Sales people looking to master the LinkedIn algorithm, and increase visibility and engagement need to keep several things in mind:
1. Avoid using auto-sharing technology, which can negatively impact the visibility of your content. This is because auto-sharing eliminates the need for users to log in to the platform and may take viewers away to a third-party site, such as a company’s website. Instead, salespeople should focus on teaching their teams how to share original content on the platform.
2. Salespeople should avoid hitting the “share” button on other people’s posts. This is because LinkedIn values fresh and original content, and the platform may throttle posts that are shared too often. Instead, salespeople should focus on creating their own content that encourages engagement and clicks.
3. Avoid putting links in posts. LinkedIn prefers to keep viewers on their platform, and posts that include links may be throttled. Instead, paste your link in the comments and direct viewers there (e.g. “Download the e-book at the link in comments”)
4. Encourage comments on your posts, as these can increase the visibility of your content. To do this, you should structure your posts to encourage users to click the “see more” button, increasing the reader’s dwell time. LinkedIn rewards this behavior with increased exposure for the post.
When it comes to sharing and writing content for LinkedIn, it’s important to remember that your goal is to provide value to your audience and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
A good rule of thumb is to share marketing or company-related content roughly 20% of the time and original content that demonstrates thought leadership or expertise 80% of the time. For marketing content, be sure to include the link in the comments section and focus on conversation rather than directing marketing attribution.
Here are some additional tips for the best type of content to share on LinkedIn:
1. Share your own original content, such as articles, blog posts, or videos, that showcase your expertise and thought leadership.
2. Share industry news and trends that are relevant to your audience. This shows that you are up-to-date with the latest developments and can provide valuable insights.
3. Share customer success stories and case studies that demonstrate how your product or service has helped others. This can help establish credibility and build trust with potential customers.
4. Share insights from events or conferences that you attend, such as key takeaways or interesting discussions. This can help your audience stay informed about important industry events and also show that you are an active participant in your industry.
5. Share your own experiences, challenges, or successes as you navigate your day-to-day tasks. What tools are you using? What challenges did you overcome recently? What did a colleague teach you?
Want to get even more of Sam’s tips for maximizing your LinkedIn presence? Check out #samshorts to gain access to the LinkedIn Masterclass Series and LinkedIn Influencer Playbook!
What could possibly be new in your LinkedIn profile and what to do about it to get the best results? You’ll be surprised in today’s episode of Closing Time. Hi, i’m Chip House CMO at Insightly and you’re watching Closing Time the show for go-to-market leaders. Today. I’m joined by Sam McKenna, CEO of #samsales Consulting, an award winning sales leader, speaker and brand ambassador for LinkedIn. Welcome to the show, Sam. Thanks, Chip. So nice to be here. I am so excited to talk to you about LinkedIn because I know you are such an expert and I think salespeople everywhere are wondering what do I need to do to optimize my LinkedIn profile? You know, it’s a funny thing.. One, I could talk about this for 100 years, but two, every time we start to unpack the profile with sellers, one of the first things we hear is feedback is: What could you possibly tell me that’s new about my profile, right? Just like you said. But there’s so much here to optimize your presence as a potential employee and to optimize your presence as a seller or as an executive that it has been untouched. And I think now and the day and age we’re in, it’s really time to optimize our profile, to make sure it reflects our best selves for who we are and for where we work. You know, it’s unbelievable. I just heard that. LinkedIn has been around for 20 years and you know, it really seems like it has a head of steam now, probably more powerful than ever, especially in the B2B world in which I play. Right. Super, super important. And as I understand it, you know, four of the five people on LinkedIn today are business decision makers. Does that sound right? Yeah, I think, you know, there’s so many people who come here to learn and to read and educate themselves. So you think about that, how many decision makers we have or key influencers to those decision makers we have, I think there’s just nearly over 800 million members globally on LinkedIn. It’s a whole heck of a lot of people and access to those decision makers right at our fingertips. So there’s kind of two things to think about, I would assume when optimizing your profile. First, if you’re looking for a job and second, if you’re trying to sell something. So let’s, let’s hit the latter one first. If I’m a sales pro and I’m trying to make my LinkedIn profile really appealing to potential buyers, what do I need to do? I think there’s a couple of things we want to focus on, but let’s even just think about that kind of center section first, which is our about section. And I think, you know,. I can almost hear everybody listening groaning already because it’s one of the toughest sections to write. What do I even put in there?. Should I be braggy? Do I talk about myself, my company?. What do I do? And here’s a quick guide for your about section. So what you want to think about is this broken down into three sections. We want to start with a story, right? We’re in sales. We know that stories work, so start with the story. Why are you here?. What do you love about your business? What do you love about the sales role?. How did you fall into sales? What do you love about working with your customers? Tell us a little bit about how you got here. If you look at mine, it talks about my journey into sales, starting with raising money for the Leukemia. Lymphoma Society when I was in sixth grade and how I won second place in raising money. And I still have the small television that I won to remind me that I never want to get second again. Then, we think about your core competencies and your expertise. So what do you and your organization do? What can you be relied upon?. What do you know how to do well? What’s the challenge that you solve for your customers? If you struggle with that, just think about what you talk to your buyers about all day. What do you talk about in your demos, your discovery call? What’s the challenge you solve? And then the third part, which might even be the toughest of all, is who you are outside of the office. Now, I’m a super extroverted open book. If you follow me on social media, you know when to rob my house because I will tell you when I’m out and about and doing something at a restaurant. But even if you are not like me, just think about a couple of things that would make you comfortable even knowing that they were splashed cover across the cover of The New York Times. So do you love to read? Do you coach soccer, you know, on the weekends? Are you a scuba diver? Do you like to travel?. Do you speak languages? What are some things that you can do to talk about who you are outside of the office that can help humanize you? And these three sections really go a long way to describe who you are and have your buyers connect with you in a more meaningful way. Yeah, makes a ton of sense. I think it’s a good tip. I think, for everybody to blend in a bit of their personality into their LinkedIn profile so they come off as more human. Is there a piece of the profile Sam, that you think is most often overlooked? Yeah, I talk about a couple of other parts of the profile, really important. So let’s even just start with your picture. Think about your picture. Like you might think about a dating profile picture, even if you haven’t been dating for 25 years. Think about what that picture should be. Modern, professional, recent. Right? Let’s also think about something that shows your head, your neck and your shoulders, right? So sometimes some people just get this and you just look like a bobbing head, which isn’t very attractive. So let’s just get this top part. Let’s also make sure it’s something where you’re solo. I see lots of people that are, you know, with their bridesmaids and things like that. We’re like, Which one are you? And then again, make sure that it’s professional. So no pictures, you know, with your whole families, no pictures of you chugging beer. We’ve seen that before. Just think about this is something that reflects on you professionally and make sure that it’s appropriate. Now, the thing you do want to check about that picture, though, is make sure that you’ve got your settings set to either be public or for all LinkedIn network. You can just click on your picture, click on the visibility, and you can update it there. But that’s a mistake a lot of sellers make is that their pictures only visible to their network, which means if you’re out there connecting with people or commenting on content, all anybody is going to see is that kind of greyed out cartoon which doesn’t actually show who you are. And help connect buyers with who you are visually. Yeah, I didn’t know that tip for sure. That’s that’s something that I hope. I haven’t gotten wrong, so I’m pretty sure I got it right, but I’m not 100% sure. Is there anything else that’s new in LinkedIn,. Sam, that we should be aware of? Yeah, a couple of really great things. So even thinking about the above the fold section. So if you’re familiar with that newspaper term, right, it’s what’s really on the cover of that front page of the newspaper that a couple of really cool things on there. So one, if you go to people’s profiles on desktop now, you’ll see a little bell. It’s over on the right hand side of the top and you can click on that bell, and you can be notified any time that person posts content. So it’s one of the most frustrating things for people because they say, I love your content, I want to be notified,. I don’t want to miss a thing, hit that bell on that person’s profile and you’ll see anything they post. You also have the opportunity now to list your website. So if you have a website, if you have an event, you’re promoting a webinar or something like that, throw it up on your LinkedIn profile. Just be cognizant if it’s not an evergreen link, meaning if it’s a webinar this Friday take the link down on Saturday. And then the other cool thing is we’ve expanded the character count that we have available to us now in our headline. And I think even more important than our about section is our headline that draws somebody into our profile. So if you say sales at Insightly, what does that mean? What does Insightly do? I’m not familiar with it. What kind of challenge do you solve? So instead, just think about that. What do you do? What’s the challenge you solve? How do we get our buyers to notice you? Look at your headline and what’s in there, and then click on your profile and start to go down that rabbit hole of who you are. Great tips in there that are new to me. The little bell on the side I’m going to just start doing that one right away. So it seems kind of like a black box,. I think, to most of us. Sam, exactly how the algorithm works to give us exposure when we post something or we update our profile. You know what do sales leaders need to most know about relative to the LinkedIn algorithm? So, so important that we figure out how to master the algorithm. And even if we look at a couple of pieces, these are going to be really helpful to you. So the last thing we want to do is get our teams to start investing in social selling and posting content when they don’t know how the algorithm works and they’re not going to get the right exposure. I always say it’s like going to the gym, leaving and then eating a pint of Haagen-Dazs. If only I had known that I wasn’t supposed to do that, I’d get better results. So a couple of things to keep in mind:. Number one, the biggest enemy that you have to yourself is auto sharing technology. If you are in a marketing role or if you are in a sales enablement role and you’re using auto sharing technology, which basically means you can surface content for your sellers that can hit auto share and can go to the platform that visibility doesn’t exist for that content. The reason for that is, is it eliminates you logging into the platform that day, and you’re also sharing content that takes the viewers away to a third party site. Probably your website. LinkedIn doesn’t like either of those things. The other thing to think about with auto sharing, it’s not really teaching our sellers how to social sell. We’re just teaching them to hit a button to do something when instead, we should be teaching them how to go on and share content. Now, the other thing to think about is hitting that share button is actually one of your worst enemies as well. So, Chip, if you go and see a post that I make today and you’re like, This is great and you hit share, it’s the ultimate honor to me, but unfortunately no one will see it almost no one will see it. About 10-15% of your audience will see it, because what LinkedIn really values is fresh, original content. Imagine if I was the only person to post and then everybody hit share on mine. The platform would be filled with #samsales, which sounds lovely to me, but probably not great for that buyer to come in and then read all that content because it’s all the same. A couple more things. One, the link in your post.. Now, I think this is a pretty commonly known one, but if I say, Hey,. LinkedIn Network, we’re having a webinar this Friday, come join us, click the link below to register. If I put that in my post again,. LinkedIn will throttle that post because it’s like, no, you’re taking away our, you know, our viewers and everybody that we worked so hard to bring into our platform away from it, where we really value LinkedIn, really values that dwell time that that viewer has. So instead, put that link in your comments and you’ll be far better off. And the final thing I’ll say on the algorithm, the comments are really valuable right? To get exposure for our content. We want those comments to happen. Those do take time. But the thing that you can do to help increase your visibility out of the gate is structure your post in a way that encourages people to click that, “see more” in your post. So if you don’t have a picture in your post or a video post, and you just have a normal text post, you’ve got five lines of content that you can write before that “see more” comes up. You don’t want to do it in a clickbaity way, right? So you don’t want to say it was the worst day of my life. Dot, dot, dot. And then people have to click on that. Instead, do it in an organic way, give a good teaser, right, get that headline front and center, and then start to talk about whatever that point is. Encourage people to click “see more” and that will up your visibility. Why? Because what you’re doing is you’re increasing the dwell time of that reader, which is exactly what LinkedIn wants. So they will reward you by getting exposure and hopefully increasing the dwell time of everybody who reads your post. There’s a lot there that I assumed was true and had heard was true, and you’re just kind of confirming it for me. So no, just straight sharing, right? But so if I’m working with my marketing team and they’ve produced an awesome new blog or e-book or something, what would you say is the best way for me to show the world that I’ve read this thing and I understand it because I’m an awesome sales leader. What you want to be just cognizant of is those eBooks and those content pieces that your wonderful marketing team is putting together. Those are really important, but they should only fill up about 20% of the content that your sellers are putting out. Your sellers should actually be posting things around thought leadership, thinking about the things you talk to your buyers about, that you educate them on, thinking about how to be a strong voice and what it is that Insightly can help with, without ever actually directly marketing Insightly. Now the other 20% can be a Hey, we put together this great e-book, we’ve got an awesome whitepaper, we have a webinar coming up, advertise it, even load a picture of it. LinkedIn loves pictures, but again, advertise it with the link in the comments. What we really do want that click. We want to get that marketing attribution, but even more than that, we want the conversation and thought leadership to be happening and for the exposure to happen with the other 80%, that’s even more valuable, even if we don’t have that connection and attribution. It’s called dark social that’s been widely talked about these days. So many of the tips that you have,. Sam, again, it’s the salesperson doing some work, right? And then taking that knowledge and actually putting it into some original content in LinkedIn as content rather than, hey, here’s this e-book, you know, actually sort of dissecting. Here’s some of the key points from what I’m going to share with you that I want you to know about. You bet. So think about this, right? At #samsales, we do so much training on social selling. So I have two options on LinkedIn. I can either advertise that we do that or I can educate you. I can add 10, 20, 30 tips over the course of 90 days, 120 days and I can get you to think, huh? She knows a lot about social selling. I wonder if I should go to her website and if this is something she teaches, that’s how I’m going to get that conversion. by teaching you and giving that thought leadership versus strictly advertising, which will get me no engagement at all. Well, Sam, so much great stuff there. And, do you have any final comments? The final comment is just to say thank you so much for having me, Chip. It’s a joy to get to talk about this platform that I love so much. Much appreciated. I think this is probably not the last time we’re going to talk about LinkedIn with you, Sam. So thanks again for joining us today. My pleasure, Chip. And thanks to all of you at home for joining us today. On this episode of Closing Time, the show for go-to-market leaders. Make sure you subscribe, like, and tick the bell and we’ll see you next time on Closing Time.