As an IT/Software CEO or marketer, you’re not on LinkedIn to find a job; but chances are great your profile reads like a resume. Why? Because LinkedIn started as a job networking site and it’s profile setup wizard is stuck in that era.
For successful marketing on LinkedIn, your profile needs to tell your story in a way that makes potential buyers, partners, and VARs want to connect with you. And seriously, when was the last time a prospect became interested in your product because of a job title you held somewhere in the past?
A recent study from Forrester confirms that IT buyers use LinkedIn to help them make purchase decisions. They’re there to learn from trust-worthy peers and experts. They view LinkedIn as a place to find relevant info quickly.
Your profile is your introduction to these IT buyers, and profiles based strictly on the LinkedIn setup wizard are just not relevant. They don’t care what jobs you’ve held, what leadership skills you possess or where you went to school (unless, maybe, they went there too). They want to know how you can help them. They want to see you as a person and as an expert who can help solve their problem.
An example of LinkedIn’s misdirected setup wizard
Here’s a real example of an IT CEO’s profile currently showing on LinkedIn. Like many of you reading this article, this CEO (or his social media “expert”) probably diligently followed the LinkedIn wizard to set up his profile, and it’s acceptable by conventional standards. It looks like this:
If you’re still awake, let’s look at the downside of this profile. There is nothing to tell you:
- What types of people he wants to connect with
- What problems he can solve
- What kind of guy he is
- Why you should give him the time of day
In fact, there’s no reason why anyone other than an accounting recruiter would want to connect with him.
Note: if you recognize this as your profile summary, my apologies. Nothing personal intended. At least you have a summary, which is better than a lot of profiles out there. Contact me and I’ll brainstorm with you for free about how to make your profile work better for you.
An example of a good marketing profile
For contrast let’s look at the updated profile of one of our clients. Brad is the CEO of an independent software vendor that makes a popular document management add-on for Microsoft Dynamics. His objective for being on LinkedIn is to meet as many Microsoft Dynamics users and VARs as he can and eventually turn them into customers.
Here’s his profile summary:
This profile summary works because, after reading it, you kind of feel like you know Brad; as if you’d actually met him. You know exactly what types of people he wants to connect with and why those people should be interested.
Which summary do you think attracts the most qualified connections?
LinkedIn is an awesome, powerful place to make and develop new business contacts. But you have to approach it as a marketer – not as a job hunter. Think around the setup wizard. Don’t let it lull you into a deadly boring profile.
Failing to create a summary that resonates with potential end users, VARs and the media is just one of the mistakes that I reveal in my FREE LinkedIn Marketing Mistakes Report. Click here to download my report.