As soon as someone lands on your profile they’ll need to instantly understand the business you are in and the problem you solve. The opening two lines of your summary, and also the first two lines of your current experience entry, need to build upon your LinkedIn headline. Your headline brought the person to your profile, so now you need to build upon their interest and tell them more, by outlining the problem that you solve. Our aim is to lead our audience to want to read more.
A clear well throughout opening paragraph that details the problem you solve and has your prospect sit up and say ‘That’s me!’ is guaranteed to spark their curiosity and have them read on.
To do this we need to focus on the symptoms of the problem you solve, as the large majority of your potential market who hasn’t yet realised they have a problem to come looking for a solution, is more likely to recognise their symptoms than they are the need for your service.
Unfortunately, CV based profiles that talk all about you and your accomplishments won’t entice your prospect to read on. Your visitor isn’t a recruiter therefore won’t take the time to read it.
Instead, we need to set the context of the profile immediately, allowing our visitor to quickly ascertain what you’re about to talk to them about so they want to stay. We want to convey key information about you, your skills, your philosophy and what makes you unique, all while keeping the context very much about your prospect.
Your profile summary needs to inform and educate. It needs to help your prospect go from not knowing they have a problem to need a solution, to realising they definitely have a problem and need to invest in a solution.
If we get this right, we’ll be creating a brand new market place for ourselves – prospects who didn’t previously know they needed a solution and weren’t looking for a solution. This is a powerful position to be in as it’ll position you as their expert.
Your profile needs to build rapport and create that vital ‘know, like and trust’. Some of the most powerful sentences you can write include ‘I believe’, ‘In my opinion’, and ‘In my experience’ (to list a few). Why? Because they replicate having a conversation and give a deeper insight into why you do what you do, creating understanding and loyalty.
As most of your connections won’t be your ideal prospect, it is important to also write your summary so people who aren’t in your industry can also understand what you do.
If they understand the problem you solve there is a much higher chance they will spot people within their own network who need your solution, and thus mention your name as a possible solution and go on to introduce you.
Along with containing the vital elements to pitch your solution and your as their expect, your About Section also wants to wants to tell your prospect what to do next with a compelling call-to-action that they can’t say no to. Here you’ll want to go beyond just giving your contact details by inviting a prospect to speak to you and being very specific about the value you’ll provide if they do.