At the time of this post’s publishing, LinkedIn® has more than 830 million users. That makes it the largest professional networking platform in the world and that is why I couldn’t be more excited to deliver these LinkedIn tips to help you be more successful using the platform. While this article slants all the messaging toward someone who is selling, hey don’t worry. Even if you’re a job seeker looking out for job opportunities, remember you still have a buyer. Your buyers are all the “hiring managers.” These tips will apply to hiring managers, a job seekers, or if you’re in sales!
With so many active users, many B2B sales companies are beginning to recognize the potential that LinkedIn offers to reach their target customers.
However, to achieve sales success and create more sales conversations with qualified buyers, many organizations still need to improve their techniques. In order to better leverage this platform, they need to help their B2B Sales teams create better profiles, including stronger Headlines, Summary or About Sections.
They need to support sellers with better media to add to their Banner Images, Featured section and LinkedIn posts. They need to provide keywords to add to the skills section, and experience or job descriptions. These key skills will help them become more findable in LinkedIn searches.
And speaking of, they have to teach their sellers how to create better LinkedIn searches within their LinkedIn network to get the best search results. And how to finesse their connection requests, to name a few.
With the relevant skills, right strategies and learning to leverage these tips, your sellers can find, engage, and connect with prospects on this very powerful social network to grow their pipeline. Then, they can continue to nurture prospects to convert those online connections into offline sales conversations.
Keep reading to learn the top tips for the LinkedIn profile that can help your team build more sales pipeline.
23 Best LinkedIn Tips for Sales Success
Social selling is all about finding, engaging, and connecting with your prospects through social media platforms. However, social selling is more than commenting on posts and sending messages to prospects.
It requires you to implement a successful social selling strategy. The goal is to build relationships based on trust, so you can convert social engagements into sales conversations.
There is so much noise out there from trainers and consultants alike selling their LinkedIn training with advice, tips, and tricks that is, frankly, just flat out wrong and bad for our sales community.
With that in mind, we want you Selling with LinkedIn successfully! These tips for a great LinkedIn profile, as well as a few ideas around LinkedIn Search, LinkedIn Engagement, job search and the best way to send a great LinkedIn connection request are just the beginning and will teach you to become a successful social seller and/or successfully complete your job searching and land that job offer.Check out these 23 #LinkedIntips to help you book more #sales meetings 🤑 by our CVO @LinkedinExpert using your #linkedinprofile and #socialselling Click To Tweet
Tip #1: Update Your LinkedIn Profile from Resume to Resource
75% of buyers today look for an informative LinkedIn profile when deciding whether to work with a sales rep or not. This emphasizes the need to optimize your LinkedIn profile to turn it into a resource for buyers.
Your LinkedIn profile acts as a personal website. From your LinkedIn headline to your LinkedIn photo, it should include buyer-centric messaging that shows who you help, how you help, and who you’ve helped in the past.
In this short video, I show you how to update your LinkedIn headline to make it more relevant to your target buyer.
The more value the profile offers that addresses your target buyer’s pain points, the more likely it is that prospects will engage in a sales conversation.
Tip #2: Your LinkedIn Headline on Steroids
Once you have created your LinkedIn Headline focusing on who you help, what their pain is, and how you help them, use that headline as a script for your “mini elevator pitch”. LinkedIn actually has a Name Pronunciation feature that can only be found on your LinkedIn mobile app.
But don’t use it JUST to pronounce your name! You have 10 seconds to engage your audience and let them know why they should be working with you!
Tip #3: Visual Branding Opportunities on Your LinkedIn Profile
In my LinkedIn Learning courses I talk about the importance of your visual brand on the platform. From the cover photo or banner image, to your professional headshot or profile image, to your profile video, there are numerous ways that you can elevate your (and your current company) brand on your LinkedIn profile page.
If you don’t have the visuals you need for your page, then reach out to your marketing team and ask them for some options.
Not One and Done
Actually, ask them for several options as your LinkedIn Page banner doesn’t have to be one and done. You could ask not only for a few default banners with your logos, motto or CTA, to choose from, but also:
- Images that reflect a new product or service offer
- A background that speaks to an upcoming event
- An award your company has won
Banners that showcase your own professional experience or expertise
Optimizing Your LinkedIn Background for Social Selling
Think about it, if your current background banner is the default option, it’s “like an advertising billboard that’s not getting utilized.” Why wouldn’t you promote yourself or your business there?
Here are a few things you may want to include when creating your LinkedIn background image:
- Your tagline or other brand messaging
- Your logo
- Social media handles
- Branded hashtag
Your background photo assists with brand recognition and allows you to visually add a sense of who you are and what you do for your prospects. Don’t neglect the opportunity to make a connection with buyers using this available space.
Tip #4: LinkedIn Profile Video
This is just in! You can now add 30-second profile videos that will play where your professional headshot/profile photo shows up. This video can only be added to your LinkedIn on the mobile app but is worth the effort. And if you know you will never shoot your own video, then ask the marketing team for a vertical video you can add to your own profile.
Tip #5: How to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Stand Out with Media
Needless to say, everything from your profile picture to your job title – your entire profile in fact – should look professional and represent your personal brand.
But beyond that, LinkedIn gives you the option to add rich media to your profile in the Featured section. Adding the right type of content or media (including a few descriptions) strengthens your credibility by showcasing your company’s expertise, sharing how you’ve helped previous clients, promoting your skills, elevating thought leaders in your company, and by positioning your professional brand.
In particular, this content should highlight specific examples of how your company can solve prospects’ business pain points.
Collaborate with marketing to identify the right types of content you should add, such as videos, blogs, case studies, testimonials, and client success stories. You should add this content to the LinkedIn Summary, (now the Featured section) as well as the Experience section, and Projects and Publications sections of your LinkedIn profile.
Doing so will certainly make your LinkedIn profile stand out, and it’s one of the long-lost LinkedIn profile tips that most sellers forget.
Check out this video on what and how to add media to the Featured section.Learn from @linkedinexpert herself how to find new connections on #linkedin, build your personal brand, and many more #linkedintips & tricks 👏 Click To Tweet
Tip #6: Build a LinkedIn About Section (aka LinkedIn Summary)
Your LinkedIn profile should be a RESOURCE for your audience, and the Profile About section becomes the story of how you help your buyers, prospects, employers, etc. I know it’s your LinkedIn Summary, but ironically, it really needs to focus more on your buyer and their needs and wants than your own.
You have 2600 characters to really engage your reader, let them know you understand them, their challenges, and showcase how you (and your product or service) is the solution to their problem!
These profile tips should help:
- Use multiple paragraphs
- USE Emoji’s (especially for contact information)
- Regarding the CALL TO READ
- Your objective is to get their buyer to click “see more” in the About
- You have less than 70 characters on mobile & 200 on desktop
- State your buyer persona’s point of pain, need, desire. They may not know what they don’t know. So you need to tell them!
- Share other individuals or companies that you have helped, and how.
- Bring in some personality: “When not working, I love to consume new knowledge such as books, podcasts, and blogs to grow. I love to spend time with my family going out and enjoying life with them.”
- Include a CTA to contact you, check out media below, book time with me on my calendar in My Contact Info: “Please call or email me to learn how we can help. ✆ xxx-xxx-xxxx
✉ [email protected]“
- Make sure to embed keywords, new skills or search terms where relevant.Specialties: Sales Prospecting | Marketing | Digital Sales | Social Selling Training | Digital Selling | Job Opening | Career Advice | Software Engineer |
And make sure your profile is conversational. You want to write it in first person, not third person!
Tip #7 Customize your URL
If you were to Google “LinkedIn Expert”, my LinkedIn profile would show up pretty high in your search results. Is that because I am the LinkedIn Expert of the world? Yes! Yes it is! Ok, No, no it’s not. It’s because I have the words LinkedIn Expert in my custom URL.
Custom URLs are unique – so there can’t be any other LinkedInExperts, BUT you can certainly add your name, a version of your name (say, add a middle initial) or check to see if your area of expertise is available.
Simply click on the “Edit public profile & URL” link on the top right of your LinkedIn Profile Page. And then on the top right of the page that opens you will be able to customize your url to read: LinkedIn.com/in/whateveryouputhere.
Tip #8: Create a LinkedIn Profile Template
What I have shared up to this point is just the starting point. If you just share this article with your sellers, they are unlikely to fully utilize these LinkedIn Profile tips to upgrade their LinkedIn Profile pages. You have to make it very easy for them to use LinkedIn.
The best way we have found to get our thousands of learners and students (almost all of them B2B Sellers) to upgrade their profile, is to give them a template with a few areas they can customize.
We then run a training and show them how to implement and customize their new LinkedIn profiles, step by step. From a new cover photo to best practices when it comes to a profile picture to the best headlines, About section, media and more, we have 11 sections on LinkedIn that we template and share with our B2B Sellers and other professionals so that they can click “edit profile” and get it done!
Consider creating a template for your LinkedIn users (or hire us!)
Tip #9: Finding New LinkedIn Connections
A big mistake people often make when trying to use LinkedIn, is trying to connect to as many people as possible. There are numerous reasons this can actually hurt your ability to book more sales meetings.
First of all, if you have a free account, LinkedIn lets you only do a limited number of searches. If you blow through those too quickly, then you are stopped dead in your tracks until the next month when your search allowance renews. (Unless you buy a LinkedIn Premium account.)
It’s best when searching for potential connections to use all the available search filters and look for only people who are relevant to you.
An easy way to do this is, when searching on LinkedIn, to sort by first person and second person connections (those people you are already connected to, or friends of friends) because you know you always have a path to communicate through messaging or introductions.
You can also sort by industry, company, title and many more filters. If you spend time on your initial searches, you will get better results and be able to search longer! In fact, one practice you should definitely make use of is creating and saving search strings to use over and over again.
Tip #10: Build Out Solid Search Strings
The core of social selling is engaging with the right people, so finding them first is foundational. Once you’ve identified your ideal buyer, you have to develop targeted LinkedIn Boolean search strings to use when prospecting.
LinkedIn provides many types of searches and shows results based on keywords found on an individual’s profile (another reason why updating your profile is so important!). Therefore, sellers aren’t limited to using basic filters such as demographics, company, or location.
One effective technique is using Boolean Search strings to show targeted results so you know they are the right audience. This is the use of AND, OR, and NOT as well as (parentheses) and “quotes” when building out a search. This might look like som random string of words, but it might actually help you find the exact right LinkedIn profile.
Tip #11: Ask for a Referral to your Prospect on LinkedIn
LinkedIn also allows you to view the shared connections you have with your prospects in your network. All sellers need to do is add a 2nd-degree filter to their search string to quickly identify who in your network can possibly introduce you to the target prospect.
Using this feature allows you to find opportunities to ask for a LinkedIn referral or introduction by asking the mutual connections to introduce you.
If you have a super connected friend on LinkedIn, you can also use the “Connections of” filter on both the Free LinkedIn and Sales Nav accounts. And as we know, referrals are the best way to book a call with a prospect!
To achieve #sales success and create more #salesconversations with qualified #buyers, many organizations still need to improve their techniques to leverage #Linkedin. 💡 Read these 17 #linkedintips from @linkedinexpert Click To Tweet
Tip #12: Make use of the “Social Surround”
One LinkedIn prospecting technique to leverage is to “socially surround” your prospects on LinkedIn. What do I mean by that?
If your prospect is active on LinkedIn and sharing content, you can grab the link to their post, and after you engage with it, share that link with your colleagues and have them engage on the post. Not only that, you can also share the link to your comment, and have your team engage with that.
This social surrounding is sure to get their attention.
Better yet is if you can get one of your shared connections to engage with their content and @mention you, essentially pulling you into the conversation.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator can help you pinpoint ideal prospects in ways no other solution can. Leveraging this tool can guide you in identifying who your clients and networking partners know.
From there, you can quickly ask for introductions to new prospects. Sales Navigator is a great tool, but one mistake many organizations make is that they don’t teach sellers how to properly use it, then they question if it’s truly worth the investment. That’s why Sales Navigator training is imperative to achieving success with the platform.
Tip #14: Engage with New LinkedIn Connections
Once you find your target buying persona, you have an opportunity to develop a relationship with that potential client before even inviting them to become one of your LinkedIn connections.
This helps you “earn the right” to connect with people, which substantially increases the likelihood that:
- They will accept your invitation to connect, and
- They may even at some point be someone who could provide referrals or introductions for you.
So the first thing you must do is engage with their content, if they in fact share media on LinkedIn. You can do this before even sending them a connection request. This will help to build top of mind awareness, as well as increase name/face recognition.
If you have Sales Navigator you can even sort by people who are posting on LinkedIn. If you use that filter then you are sure to have prospects who are active. You know you can engage with them on their LinkedIn feed.
After that, (or if they aren’t sharing content) you will want to take a few minutes to find some real points of interest or connection on their profile. Use that information when sending your connection request.
Tip #15: Continue to Engage with New LinkedIn Connections
After they accept your request, don’t drop the ball! It’s so important to engage with them through direct messages from the moment they become connections.
Having a pre-written Welcome Message template is vital in the social selling process. After all, as your activity increases, your profile views should increase and you should have more LinkedIn connection requests. An easily customizable template helps reps save precious time.
This is a perfect opportunity to follow the PVC Sales Methodology. Sellers should personalize the message, provide value, and end with a soft CTA, such as a question about the content or the biggest struggles in their role. This shows new connections that your sellers are considering their needs and concerns.
You don’t have to be a freelance writer or a content marketing expert along with your current job to create and curate content on LinkedIn. (Mind you, if you are, LinkedIn can become your online portfolio!)
Producing and distributing the right content with social selling tools is crucial to your sales success because these types of tools can provide you with content to share through social accounts, as well as directly with prospects at specific stages of the buying process.
The problem is that, according to CSO Insights, only 21.3% of the content sellers share is created by the sellers themselves. This is a time-consuming task that pulls them away from revenue-generating activities, such as building relationships, asking for referrals, and scheduling calls.
To properly develop a content for sales enablement strategy, you must coordinate with marketing and sales enablement leaders to identify the types of content sellers need to effectively target specific buyer personas at specific stages of the buying process.
Tip #17: Use a Social Sharing Tool
As mentioned, a key element of social selling is regularly sharing content on social media. The key is to make that process as easy as possible so that sellers don’t spend too much time scheduling their social posts.
There are many sales prospecting tools available. Find one that offers the ability to easily schedule posts. Ideally, your company will create an employee advocacy program, which takes simple social sharing to the next level. An employee advocacy program allows sellers to easily find curated 3rd party and company content to post to their social accounts.
LinkedIn Employee Advocacy
One of my favorite LinkedIn tips to share is the use of their own Employee Advocacy tool that is built right into the LinkedIn Company Page. An admin from your company can add “recommended to employee” posts to the Content tab.
They can add:
- and even @Mention employees or companies.
And then all the Seller has to do is jump into the My Company tab on the Company Page, select the content they want to share by clicking “Start a post” and then share it by clicking on Post.
In no more than 3 seconds, LinkedIn gives them the opportunity to share helpful valuable company-curated content to their own LinkedIn feed. How easy is that?
With so many active users, many #B2B #sales companies are beginning to recognize the potential that #LinkedIn offers to reach their target customers 😱 get here @linkedinexpert´s #linkedintips and tricks ✔️ Click To Tweet
Tip #18: Invite Buyers to Connect on LinkedIn
Whether your reps meet prospects through social platforms, at networking events, or at conferences, they should ask to connect on LinkedIn.
After all, that is where sellers are sharing content, engaging on other posts, and connecting with prospects. These types of social selling ideas and activities build thought leadership and your personal brand. As your network continues to grow, you will increase your reach to find even more connections and prospects.
But to stand out from the crowd, you must personalize your connection requests. Here’s an easy way to do it:
Tip #19: How to Natively Post on LinkedIn
Sharing content plays a powerful role in social selling. It drives credibility, thought-leadership, and awareness of individual sellers and your business’ solutions.
However, the key is to understand what type of content to share, with whom, and when. Often, marketing produces top-of-the-funnel content designed to create brand awareness and drive traffic to the website.
This type of content is useful for sellers to share sometimes.
But sellers really need access to much more targeted content specifically designed for a unique buyer persona at each stage of the buying process.
Mix It Up
Another aspect to consider is when to use different types of content. For example, video messaging has proven to increase engagement on social platforms. Teach sellers how to incorporate a video for sales strategy so they understand what types of videos to record, the messaging to use, and when to share it.
To achieve sustained social selling success, sellers should experiment with sharing different types of content to see how your audience responds. Then, focus on the ones that perform the best.
Ninja Trick: Tagging Photos
Anyone who has a Facebook or Instagram account should be familiar with photo tagging by now. The process of tagging another user in a LinkedIn photo is pretty simple. Click anywhere on a photo and start typing the name of the person you want to tag. The individual will, of course, get notified that they were tagged in a photo.
We’re not recommending that you abuse the feature and start tagging prospects in photos that are not relevant to them, but you could tag someone to create awareness. Here are a few other examples of when you may want to tag someone in a photo.
- If the photo is about a scheduled webinar you’re hosting, and you want to let them know about it.
- If you’ve recently launched an eBook or blog post round-up, you can tag people who contributed to the project.
- If a thought leader inspired you to write a blog post or go to an event, you might want to think about tagging them in a related photo.
LinkedIn has also given us the option to add alt text to images. In case you’re not familiar with alt text (a.k.a. alt attributes or alt descriptions), it’s used for accessibility and search engine optimization. Visually impaired users use alt text to understand what an image is about, so you’ll want to use it to describe the photo. In Mario’s example, he used the webinar name and company name.
Tip #20: Make Sure Your Messages Are Professional
How you share on LinkedIn is important. Remember, the reason you’re sharing your message is to build your reputation and add value to your network.
Tips for Sharing on LinkedIn
- Check for spelling and grammar before you click publish.
- Post content that builds and reinforces relationships with your network.
- Focus on these 4 Categories for your LinkedIn status updates.
- Share valuable experiences when attending events
- Share a recent success story
- Recommend someone or a business in an authentic way
- Share articles relevant to your network
- Share photos in your status updates.
- Click upload a photo rather than accepting the default image when pasting a link in a status update
- Tag people in a status update.
- Limit it to tagging people who are in an article, so it’s a legitimate shoutout to them
- Publish articles in the LinkedIn Publishing platform.
- Write original articles
- Re-purpose your articles published elsewhere
Tip #21: LinkedIn Tips for Creating and Finding Events
LinkedIn Events are now accessible on both desktop and mobile applications. You’ll find them on the left-hand side of your LinkedIn homepage. When creating an event, you can add a logo or image, as well as the following information:
- Name of the event
- Date and time
- Event hashtag
- A description of the event
- Ticketing URL
LinkedIn Event’s primary purpose is for in-person events, but it can also be used for webinars. Simply add the webinar URL to your description. When inviting people to your events, create a video about the event and then share the link in your posts and through messages as well. All of these drive traffic and increase visibility.
Events on LinkedIn, especially those that are relevant to your buyer personas, might be a great place to start new relationships with other attendees. Often times events will have chats or comment sections, and this might be the perfect opportunity for you to engage with your professional network and potential clients.
Tip #22: Schedule Time for LinkedIn Activities
Ensure you schedule time in your calendars every single day to work on their LinkedIn activities, such as posting, commenting, and asking for referrals. Have them prioritize that time as if they were with a client with no distractions.
As little as ten minutes a day can help you achieve social selling success by building relationships and gaining new connections. This strategic sales cadence is important as it makes sharing content a part of every seller’s routine, ensuring they are consistently posting new content.
Consistency is key. When you write a LinkedIn post or status update every day, sharing valuable content for your target audience, you will build up an audience of followers. And as you get more engagement from your connections, the LinkedIn algorithm will increase the reach of your posts.
Tip #23: LinkedIn Groups – Pros and Cons
Ahhh. LinkedIn Groups. So much potential. So much noise.
I used to love LinkedIn groups. I had several with several thousand members. I could easily share relevant content with them quickly and easily.
And then the spammers started spamming. It became almost a full-time job to moderate my groups and the ROI dropped from awesome to nope!
Now, as a member, there are still some benefits. The main one is that LinkedIn lets you send private messages to other group members whether you are connected to them or not. It also gives you an excuse to connect with people.
If you find someone you want to message, and you don’t have a Premium account, consider joining a group they are a member of!
How to Measure the Success of Your LinkedIn Prospecting Efforts?
When implementing a social selling strategy, it is essential that you understand the key metrics so that you can clearly define success. This will help secure executive buy-in and ensure that sellers and leadership understand how to measure success.
Some of the most important metrics that determine the success of a social selling program are:
- More Sales Conversations – practicing social selling as explained here results in more conversations with the right people.
- Higher Rates of Conversation to Opportunity – with an increase in social selling activities, reps should experience increased profile views, connections, and relationships with new prospects. By continuing to nurture these connections, they should convert more of them to opportunities.
- Growth in Pipeline – your team should see an increase in the number of leads and pipeline.
- Increase in Sales – the numbers trickle down starting with more sales conversations, more opportunities, more pipeline and therefore, sales should increase as a direct result of the social selling activities.
Achieve Social Selling Success
The LinkedIn tips for salespeople outlined above can help sales reps maximize LinkedIn as a digital lead generation platform. Social selling activities, when properly executed, will increase sales opportunities and fill the pipeline.
Are your sellers effectively leveraging digital selling techniques on LinkedIn for sales prospecting and gaining referrals? We surveyed 862 sales reps to learn how sellers in a variety of industries are using digital selling. Learn how sellers are failing at digital selling and read advice from sales leaders on how to guide your sellers on effective digital selling. Download the State of Digital Selling with LinkedIn today!