If I had a pound for every business person I’ve met who tells me that ‘LinkedIn doesn’t work’ I would be rich and wouldn’t need to work (that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t, I love what I do!)
When I look at these people’s profile, I understand why LinkedIn doesn’t work for them. Their summary and experience is usually bland, corporate, lifeless and, often, set up more like a CV than a marketing pitch.
Just because LinkedIn is a business platform that doesn’t mean you need to write boring content.
Let’s be honest, people are on LinkedIn to make the connections that, eventually, will lead to finding new clients. You don’t want to bore people to death, you want to be memorable. So what will make you stand out?
The answer is not rocket science. Your profile needs to be written to engage people who visit it quickly and effectively.
Don’t follow LinkedIn’s advice!
The LinkedIn structure points you down the employment street. The whole profile has been set up like a CV. However, if you’re a business owner, or you are the person in your organisation responsible for marketing, business development or extending reach, you don’t want a profile that sounds like you’re trying to impress a potential employer.
The key differences:
- Instead of your job title under your name – use the 120 characters to write something that helps visitors to self-identify.
- Instead of a ‘welcome to my profile’ message in your summary – write something that explains the benefits of your business to potential clients.
- Instead of corporate copy under your current job role in the Experience section – write something interesting about why you love your role and how what you do helps customers.
Messages written with life and energy will make you stand out from most people on LinkedIn who major on bland and boring!
What about the company page?
If you’re a big multi-national then the company page is important, because that’s where people will go who want to connect with your business. If you’re a one man band or a small consultancy, the likelihood is that people will look for YOU.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a company page, but don’t get in a knot if you only have a handful of followers.
The same applies to your company page as to your personal profile. It needs to be interesting, energetic and as far as possible from a bland, corporate message as possible.
Making messages memorable
If you travel on the London Underground regularly – or even irregularly – you may read the ads on the carriage walls, for something to do. How many of them stick in your mind past the trip out of your destination station?
A couple of years ago a mattress maker – Eve – came up with some really amazing ads, with compelling copy. Not what you would expect from a mattress maker (which isn’t the most exciting of products) – but innovative (I wish I’d written it) and quirky.
Not only were people talking about the ads on social media, but many months after the ads ended people remember the ad – AND the name of the company.
That’s the result you are aiming for – engaging your reader to the point where they don’t forget you.