When it comes to standing out and winning new business on LinkedIn, one of the biggest mistakes people make with their profiles is to try to be all things to all people.
Below are some actionable tactics that will help you focus your LinkedIn profile to maximize the attention of your key audiences - thus enabling you to attract more clients and generate more sales leads from the platform.
1. Big Fish, Small Pond
Because LinkedIn is such a highly visible, trusted social network for professionals, when you can hyper-focus and hyper-concentrate on 2-3 target audiences that you really want to sell to, that's where the magic happens.
Remember - with LinkedIn, the riches are in the niches.
You need to "niche" your profile down to appeal to 2-3 target audiences. Otherwise, by trying to be everything to everyone, you'll be too broad to appeal to individual prospects.
Remember, people want to feel like the products or services you provide were designed specifically for them, and that, more importantly, you "get" them and their professional space.
Your prospects want to work with someone who they believe knows the lay of their professional land, someone who has experience working in the same industry they work in, meaning they'll better understand the unique challenges and opportunities people they're facing.
2. Targeting Your Audience
In order to identify your target audience on LinkedIn, ask yourself these types of questions:
- Where are some of my strongest clients coming from?
- Where do I already have some great testimonials?
- Where do I already have a lot of success, case studies and proof?
Those should become your target audiences and target markets.
For example, when I quit my day job back in 2012 and decided to open my own marketing agency, I could have targeted anyone - after all, who doesn't need marketing help?
However, I looked back at one of my previous jobs (doing marketing and PR for a trade association serving the debt collection industry) and decided to start there.
On LinkedIn, I wrote a professional headline that read: "Debt Collection Marketing Services | Debt Collection Sales Consultant | Debt Collection Marketing."
And, because LinkedIn is one giant professional search engine, I was instantly able to find, connect to and engage with hundreds of debt collection agency CEOs and owners - the exact people I wanted to sell to.
And, when they saw the guy wanting to connect specialized in debt collection marketing, and that he knew the industry, had experience working in the business, etc., they were all ears.
I immediately had a huge leg up on the competition because the debt collectors felt like I "got" them - I knew the industry, I knew the crazy regulations and unique challenges they faced and so on.
Niching down my LinkedIn profile to that one target audience helped me generate more interest, and business, from the network.
The riches were in the niches.
3. Starting Somewhere + Getting Found
Even if you're launching a brand new venture without any proven success, you still need to decide on your target audience, and then create a client-facing, industry-specific profile that will appeal to that specific audience on LinkedIn.
Once you identify what key audience(s) you want serve, you also need to make that very clear on your profile.
For example, here's a basic framework for the top half of your LinkedIn profile summary:
WHAT I DO: I help [MY TARGET AUDIENCE] achieve [THEIR GOAL] by providing [MY PRODUCT OR SERVICE].
WHO I SERVE
- [Audience 1]
- [Audience 2]
- [Audience 3]
First, you're setting the table at the top of your profile by making it clear who you serve, what type of product or service you offer and how it helps that audience achieve their goals.
Second, you are laying out 2-3 key audiences you serve, so anyone scanning your profile quickly can see if they're someone you specialize in helping
4. Focus, Focus, Focus
Remember, your LinkedIn profile title and summary area are very limited in terms of the number of characters you can use - you can't possibly dive deep into all of the different types of buyers, audiences and sales offerings you provide in that limited space.
By going niche and narrow, and focusing on 2-3 key audiences you serve - and how you, specifically, can help them achieve their goals - you'll make it far easier for yourself when it comes to winning new business and generating sales through LinkedIn.