If you’ve been following my content you know that I like to challenge common thoughts, ideas and practices that do not help business leaders and sales and marketing executives turn LinkedIn leads into revenue. For example, I challenged Jay Baer who says you should be taking a shotgun approach (an approach that has you pushing out content and connecting with anyone and everyone instead of pulling the right prospects in and engaging with them until they’re ready for a sales conversation.) I challenged a Forrester analyst that mentioned in a report that LinkedIn should primarily be used for brand awareness (this brings no ROI for sales and marketing leaders.) And, most recently, I’ve challenged sales and marketing leaders who say they have a LinkedIn strategy when in fact they just have a shopping list of tactics that’s driving lower results.
Now, I’m challenging how LinkedIn profiles are being created for business leaders and sales and marketing executives (whether they are doing it themselves or hiring a social media firm.) As I’m on LinkedIn all day, helping technology companies, professional service firms, and B2B organizations make the right connections, build their niche communities and engage with their prospects (many of which are sales and marketing leaders) – I see hundreds of LinkedIn profiles per day. And, I’d say that 9 out of 10 business leader and sales and marketing executives’ profiles are worthless as sales and marketing tools.
Why Most LinkedIn Profiles Are Worthless…
There’s not enough attention on personal profiles. Organizations are focusing on the company page, which only provides brand awareness. The real engagement should be done on the personal side because B2B buyers are looking for real relationships with experts, not companies. But profiles are merely a resume. Summaries are like cover letters and then you just see a listing of current and past jobs and accomplishments.
In most cases, business owners and sales and marketing leaders do not communicate the business value that “prospects” are looking for. For example, here’s the LinkedIn summary for a CMO within my LinkedIn group – Get Help with Linked Strategies.
As a potential buyer, do I find any “business value” that gives me a reason to connect, ask questions and engage with this CMO? No! And, the boilerplate company information that he puts in the experience section does not give me real insight into the “business value either”.
Here’s the LinkedIn profile summary for the President of Active Fund Strategies:
Now, this profile summary was completed by another social media firm (and I know that because Jeff has come to us for help). It’s not the worst profile summary as it includes testimonials and firms that invited Jeff to speak which gives him credibility. But, I don’t see his story that discusses his first-hand experiences with the challenges that his targeted audiences have. I don’t see his business value and how he is different from others serving the financial advisor industry (except for the fact that his programs are based on fact not opinion, which we see no proof of!) I don’t see exactly “why” financial advisors need Jeff’s help – and exactly how he has helped financial advisors at some of the top firms.
Although part of Jeff’s business is to get more speeches and lectures, his main goal is to get more enterprise level subscribers to his services and then for the enterprises to invest in his trainings. Yet, his LinkedIn profile and presence has done very little for Jeff. His subscribers are few – and so are his firm contacts.
Here’s the LinkedIn profile of a social media firm CEO:
This social media firm CEO forgot that prospects connect with you and your story first – not your company. She put an automatic wall between herself and her prospects because she’s not letting her prospects get to know her with her unique story. I don’t see her unique business value as other social media firms (including GetLinkedInHelp.com) works with tech companies to build relationships. She talks about a unique process but I don’t see this unique process in action with case studies that shows tech firms that she understands their unique challenges – and that she has the solution.
Because the “business value” that prospects are looking for are taken out of the equation in most cases, there’s a big gap between B2B sales and marketing professionals and buyers.
Your profile can be the social “bridge” that has buyers wanting to connect with you, accept your inmail, join your LinkedIn community and most importantly enter into a sales conversation.
To be the “social bridge” your profile needs to:
- Demonstrate that you understand your buyer’s specific business issues and it needs to clearly articulate how to solve them.
- Help the business buyer think differently about how to solve their business problems.
- Share insights not considered before
These are the top 3 things that buyers look for in a sales meeting. Don’t you think if you communicate the “value” buyers are looking for in your LinkedIn profile, then you’ll attract more key decision makers who want to talk to you? This is what Fernando Leon learned after turning his profile into a sales and marketing tool.
Single Point of Contact Case Study:
Fernando VP at Single Point of Contact, was finding it a great challenge to connect with key decision makers and have them wanting to learn more. His LinkedIn profile was written like a resume and cover letter which showcased his skills and work history. But IT buyers don’t care about that! His profile didn’t provide the forum Fernando needed to tell his own unique story of what he has accomplished for his clients, and more importantly, what he can do to help someone who is looking for his expertise, not his job history. He wasn’t communicating his value and showing his prospects how he is relevant.
So here’s what we did:
- We shared Fernando’s unique story in his summary and discussed the results that his clients have gained under his direction. These results include how he helped Shorenstein Realty, the largest, oldest, most respected real estate management firm cut IT OPEx by 43% and how he helped the Ports of America save 41% the 1st year and 48% the following year. And, we discuss how he has helped Google.
- We made Fernando’s profile case study based. You see, marketers mention that case studies are one of their most effective tools, yet most LinkedIn profiles are not result-driven and case study based. By making Fernando’s profile case study based, we show his relevance and how he is in tune with his buyer’s needs. This is extremely important as a Salesforce.com recently completed a study that showed that 82% of sellers are out of sync with buyers. On Fernando’s profile, you’ll find case studies on how he supports enterprises to reduce downtime and avoid multi-million dollar mistakes. He shares in detail how he saves Ditech Networks, Shorenstein Realty and LensVector More Than 40%!
Shortly after getting a LinkedIn profile makeover, Fernando Leon (VP of Business Development for IT Managed Service Provider – Single Point of Contact) attracted a large California real estate management company (a company they tried to target for years!)
The California real estate management firm asked specific questions based on the content found inside Fernando’s LinkedIn profile that dealt with Shorenstein Realty and they asked for a complete case study. This is why it’s important to have LinkedIn profile content that’s relevant to specific audiences you’re targeting – and why you need to have a case study driven LinkedIn profile. Click here see Fernando’s profile makeover video…
Case Study: Stratavant’s Managing Director Now Shows Buyers That He Understands Their Specific Business Issues
When we gave Darrin Fleming, Stratavant’s Managing Director, a LinkedIn profile makeover we started off by sharing his “story” and how he has first-hand experience, with the challenges of homegrown value-selling tools, which make it hard for key decision makers to quickly understand and visualize the business case. He discusses how in his past life, he was an economic evaluator for Dow Corning and he had to rely on data given to him by sales reps in spreadsheets that were often faulty due to wrong calculations, bad values and hidden assumptions. So, Darrin is making an instant connection with his story.
But that’s only the first step we took to showing business buyers that he understands their specific business issues. We then used client stories and case studies throughout his LinkedIn profile. Within Darrin’s profile, you’ll find case studies that shows how top B2B brands (like Honeywell, Nuance, Avaya, IBM and SAP) that offer high value solutions with at least a $10K average selling price are using Stratavant’s assessment calculators, ROI tools, TCO tools and value calculators.
For example, when you read his profile, you’ll learn how:
- A Fortune 100 conglomerate was having challenges convincing pharmaceutical companies that its packaging material delivered more value than the status quo material because it was 5 times as costly as the entrenched material on a per-unit basis. In one case, an account executive was having trouble getting a pharmaceutical company to even consider the material due to its higher cost. However, with the help of a Value Calculator, Stratavant’s client was now able to quantify the value in other areas such as labor savings, less scrap, lower secondary packaging material costs and increased sales from better patient compliance and persistence. The account executive was now able to get the account, close millions of dollars in incremental business and win the Chairman’s Award for closing millions of dollars in incremental business.
- How one of Stratavant’s clients, a $10 million construction management software provider, was unsuccessful in selling an ERP module to approximately 50 percent of its existing customer base. Customers did not recognize the value of the additional solution and were content to remain with the status quo. However, when presented with a business case generated by Stratavant’s Value Calculator, the general contractors’ eyes were opened as to how much money they could save on materials and labor. Plus, they quickly identified how much revenue they were missing out on due to incomplete invoicing and disputes. Within 2 months of deploying the Value Calculator to its sales force, the enterprise had sold its additional module to numerous existing customers.
- Halogen converted 10% more prospects into highly qualified leads, Nuance proved to prospects that the status quo is actually costing them and how Tribute’s prospects are now making buying decisions on the spot.
You see, we helped Darrin speak to unique challenges that B2B organizations with complex solutions and complex sales cycles are experiencing. We’re showing them that he understands their situation and how he has helped other organizations like them generate more leads, drive demand, win against competitors and close more deals. Watch this LinkedIn profile makeover video.
Case Study: President of Wizard Media Communicates Her Value by Educating Business Buyers on Her LinkedIn Profile
When you look at the profile for the President of Wizard Media, you’ll notice that we spent time creating a profile that educates prospects about the problems they’re facing, the reasons their Facebook, SEO and other internet marketing efforts are failing and what they should do instead.
For example, in her experience section, you’ll find a case study that explains why a Neiman Marcus jewelry designer only had 614 fans (after being on Facebook for a number of years) and why she had zero engagement and zero sales even though she was posting several times per day.
We then shared the actions Jimena took to help the designer attract 45,000 fans in 9 months, engage with her new fans where she was able to capture 37% of her fans contact info and increase sales.
Because we took the time to educate her business buyers on Jimena’s profile, a prospect came to her ready and willing to spend at least $36,000 per year – and that was before he joined her LinkedIn group and saw her additional value. Watch this LinkedIn profile video.
Case Study: How a Profile Makeover Helped Web Attract As Told By the Firm’s President
“Although my LinkedIn profile was originally crafted with lots of content, it wasn’t getting me any real traction for finding new prospects to become my clients as it was boring. As Kristina showed me, my profile was written like a resume which showcased my skills and work history. The problem is, like most resumes, they all look alike, some better than others, but they didn’t provide a forum to tell my own unique story of what I’ve accomplished for my clients, and more importantly, what I can do to help someone who is looking for my expertise, not my job history.
Since my “makeover”, I’m able to truly articulate in my own voice what I’ve done for others and how I can help someone looking for a similar solution. What’s happened in a few short months since this makeover, is that my online views in LinkedIn has more than doubled, and that has translated into a lot more requests for company data sheets, website visits and eBook and downloads of other assets. — Mike Agron, President of WebAttract
You see, the 2000 characters that LinkedIn gives you for the summary is not enough to tell your story, communicate your business value, educate prospects and show how you are different. It’s not enough for you to clearly show your relevance. It’s not enough to bridge that gap between what buyer’s are looking for – and what sellers are providing. You need to use the complete LinkedIn profile as a marketing tool. When you look at the profile makeover videos (linked throughout this post), you’ll see that we even use the experience section to talk to different audiences with different needs (instead of using it as a resume.) I haven’t seen any other social media firm (except those that are connected to GetLinkedInHelp.com or have a relationship with us in some way do profile makeovers in the same manner.)
Your Next Actions:
Sign up for our upcoming webinar where we’ll show you how to turn your LinkedIn profile (or your sales, marketing and/or leadership teams LinkedIn profiles) into a complete marketing tool that communicates business value to key decision makers. Click here to register for our profile makeover webinar
If you’d like an honest assessment of your LinkedIn profile and see what needs to be added, changed or tweaked you can also, schedule a Free LinkedIn Strategy session with me.