Turn your LinkedIn profile into a winning pitch

Words by Steve Phillip - Linked2Success Words by Steve Phillip - Linked2Success

Many LinkedIn profiles fail to articulate the values you can offer to your target audience. Steve Phillip explains how to turn your profile into a winning pitch.

What value will you add to my business or my life? I've read your LinkedIn profile and all I can see is where you've worked, a list of the skills acquired and apparently you're "passionate" about what you do. But tell me, why should I connect with you?!

Have you ever walked up to a group of people at a networking event and one of them asks what it is you do? How do you respond - do you have a moments panic, where you know you should have some killer pitch but instead you give them your job title or say something bland such as "I run my own business"?

Now take a look at your LinkedIn profile. If you invite me to connect, are you any clearer, from the moment your invitation to connect lands in my inbox, how you can improve my business or my personal life or am I likely to ignore your request?

I'm only interested in me I'm afraid

When networking, if your opening gambit is provide people with your job title, don't be surprised if they don't respond with "Really? Do tell Me more!". Take a look at others' LinkedIn profiles, you're going to find that 9 out of 10 of them lead with a job title in their Professional Headline, which is absolutely fine if they're a career employee but not completely ineffectual if their job or business is to provide solutions to other people's problems and challenges.

Can you solve my problem?

Back to the networking room for a moment. You walk into the room and go up to the first person you meet and ask them what they do and they proudly tell you "I'm an accountant" - end of conversation, unless, of course, you have a particular interest in speaking with an accountant?

Now for an alternative scenario; you meet someone else at the same event and this time, when you ask them what they do, they say "I help save my clients 30% off their annual tax bills". You're about to prepare your accounts for the end of this financial year and this person has peaked your interest - you want to know more, so you say, "How do you achieve that?", to which they respond, "I'm an accountant".

If by saving 30% from your tax bill means you have more money to invest in your business or you can afford that holiday you've had to pass up for the previous 3 years, then this accountant has immediately become of value to you. Are you going to want to learn more about how they might be able to help your business?

How well do you articulate your value to others?

quaestion

Take a look at your own LinkedIn profile, does it inspire others to want to learn more about who you are, what you do and most importantly why you do it? If I received an invitation from you to connect with me, would I immediately see value in that request or would I scratch my head and press the ignore option?

Many LinkedIn profiles that I see fail, spectacularly, to articulate the value those individuals can offer to their target audience. Think about the last time you ignored a request from someone to connect with you, was this because there appeared to be little of no relevance in doing so?

How Jason landed his dream job by changing his LinkedIn profile

A LinkedIn connection, Jason Hardy, contacted me this year and asked if I could provide him with some advice about how he might use LinkedIn to find a new career position. He told me how he had just returned to work from honeymoon, a week earlier, only to be told he no longer had a job! Pretty devastating news and particularly poor timing!

When I viewed Jason's profile - the first thing I saw, was his professional headline 'Looking for new adventures'. Essentially, this told me he was out of work. Next, I thought I'd take a look at his Background & Summary to understand more about who Jason was and what makes him tick, except there was no Summary. In fact, apart from a resume of his most recent and previous work positions, there was little to suggest why anyone would leap at a chance to hire him. His Experience simply listed tasks he was good at with no mention about how these skills had contributed to any performance outcomes at the companies he'd worked for. In short, he was massively under-selling himself and as far as a potential new employer was concerned, his profile did nothing to suggest he would add any significant value to their business.

You might think I'm being a bit harsh on Jason but fortunately he did agree that I could share his story so it might help others. He is also happy for me to share this information because within hours of our conversation, he'd logged into LinkedIn and transformed his profile and within 2 weeks he'd landed his dream job!

Take a look at Jason's LinkedIn profile here. It may not be perfect in your eyes but compared with how it read previously, this is a transformation! Instead of simply listing his skills, he is now selling himself as someone who has a great attitude to life, a person who respects and values his past roles and experiences, which have helped make him who is. I see a business development manager, who will listen to his customers first and who has his eyes fixed firmly on a long-term career with the right company. What do you see?

Jason also added a new profile photograph, a huge improvement on the more casual, almost Facebook style image he had displayed previously, he even requested and received some more personal LinkedIn recommendations, one of which clearly supports what Jason says about himself on his profile.

Whether it's LinkedIn, a written CV, a proposal you're writing for a new or existing customer or a pitch you're about to stand up and deliver next week at your company, how you articulate the value you can add to others, will be the difference, between winning and losing that next client or career position.

Many thanks for viewing my post, I hope you found it useful? If you did, would you share it with your network who might also enjoy it and before you go, would you use the comment section, below, to let me know what you found most interesting about what I had to say – how was it relevant to your own circumstances?

If you need help to improve your sales and marketing skills, particularly using LinkedIn and social media, then please get in touch and check out our website www.linked2success.co.uk. You can also follow me on Twitter at Linked2Steve.