If you're going to use LinkedIn to generate business for yourself, you'll want to make sure your LinkedIn profile isn't inadvertently scaring prospects away.

The world's largest social network for professionals is vast, and, if you're like many others on LinkedIn, your profile might read like a virtual résumé, telling the world where you work and what your job duties are.

There's just one problem - nobody is interested in you!

Instead, they are interested in themselves, and when they scan your LinkedIn profile, they are looking to quickly ascertain whether or not you can help solve their key professional problems or challenges.

Creating a Client-Facing LinkedIn Profile

As a result, you must create what I call a "client-facing" LinkedIn profile.

This approach is especially critical with your LinkedIn Profile Summary, which is typically the first text that anyone will read when they're scrolling through dozens of LinkedIn profiles looking for the right fit for their business needs.

Your goal is to stop that scroll!

So rather than lead with a list of your accolades and titles, you want your LinkedIn profile to be formatted around this concept: How can I quickly and simply explain who it is I serve, how I help them achieve their goals and the products or services I provide to make it happen?

The more quickly, simply and accurately you can lay out the key audiences you serve and how you help those audiences achieve their goals by providing a specific type of product or service, the easier it is to win new business on LinkedIn.

Make This the First Sentence of LinkedIn Profile

Having helped rewrite hundreds of LinkedIn profiles for clients over the past five years, I've created a specific, fill-in-the-blank template that anyone can use to immediately turn their profile from virtual résumé into client-attracting content.

Here's the first sentence you'll want to use: "WHAT I DO: I help [my target audience] achieve [their top goal] by providing [my product or service]."

Now, the reason you put "WHAT I DO" in all-caps is that, to this point, LinkedIn doesn't let you format the text on your summary page. You can't use bold or italics or certain fonts; it's all plain text.

Using ALL CAPS to highlight key phrases within your profile catches the attention of online readers long enough to stop the scroll and get them engaging with your text.

Using this approach, the first sentence of your LinkedIn summary instantly identifies your target audience, tells that audience how you help them achieve their goals or solve their problems, and it explains how you do it (the service or product you provide).

It's that simple! And you should carry this same formula throughout the rest of your summary, answering other questions like "WHO I SERVE" and "WHAT MAKES ME UNIQUE" as you help potential clients understand who you work with and what makes you better, unique or different when compared to the competition.

You can also uses phrases like "WHAT OTHERS SAY" to insert client testimonials directly into the text of your profile page.

With LinkedIn, the Riches are in the Niches

With nearly 500 million members in 200 countries, and with two new members joining every second, LinkedIn is the best "professional" search engine on the planet.

Case in point: LinkedIn's internal search engine allows you to create targeted lists of thousands of professionals based on their job title, industry type, company name, physical location, where they attended school and much more.

Think about how powerful and targeted your approach can be as a result!

If you know, for example, that hospital CFOs are one of your top audiences, you can set up a LinkedIn profile that reads like this: "WHAT I DO: I help Hospital CFOs increase revenue and reduce expenses by providing industry-specific healthcare accounting software."

See how "niche" and specific that is?

Now, imagine reaching out and connecting with thousands of hospital CFOs, all of whom are looking for ways to increase revenue and reduce expenses. If they read the first sentence of your profile and see how you solve one of their top challenges, they're going to want to connect and talk more!

So, if you haven't already, download this template and reformat your LinkedIn profile so that it becomes client-facing. Make sure as well to identify and appeal to a handful of targeted, niche audiences.

Once you do, it's going to get way easier to win new business on the world's largest social network for professionals!

Published on: Jan 12, 2017