As consultants, we need to leverage our relationships, contacts and online profiles to maximize our ability to attract the right clients.
Over the last few years, we’ve helped a number of people with their LinkedIn profiles by showing them how to improve the search performance.
Why LinkedIn? Many people find that LinkedIn helps them to shortcut the new vendor evaluation process. LinkedIn profiles highlight a prospective consultant’s experience, endorsements and level of influence based on the size of their network and make finding new vendors simple and easy.
What to Optimize
The method for optimizing a LinkedIn profile is in many ways the same way as optimizing a web page. In both cases, knowing the page elements that influence the search process is important.
Let’s start by searching for “Social Media Consultant” and then dissecting the search result.
Figure 1. LinkedIn Profile in LinkedIn’s Advanced Search for “Social Media Consultant”
The image above shows a search result in LinkedIn’s Advanced Search feature.
The results display the name, headline, category and number of connections. If this profile did not contain the phrase “Social Media Consultant,” the results may not have included this result.
The headline, just below the name, is where we inserted related keywords into this listing.
This headline is the first place to insert keywords, and we need to decide the best keyword changes that will create the most impact.
Optimizing with Keywords
Potential clients are just like everyone else when it comes to search behavior.
They will start with shorter keywords and focus on the skills and/or services they need to hire.
In the example above, the keywords center around social media, SEO, digital strategist, etc. This process works the same for landscape architects, software engineering consultants or babysitters.
The principles are the same since the focus is on the search term, not the actual work experience.
The owner of the profile must put themselves into the position of potential client. What words would this person search? These are the terms that should be included in the headline.
Once the proper keyword phrases are selected and entered into the headline, the same keyword phrases should be used within the summary and various job descriptions.
The use of keywords should be as frequent as possible without sounding “spammy.” See the example below.
Figure 2. Profile with Keyword Phrase “Social Media Consultant”
By spending a little time thinking about the phrases a potential client may use to find suitable vendor candidates, a LinkedIn profile can be easily improved.
Follow the simple instructions above and get more LinkedIn leads today!