Episode 186: LinkedIn Profile Features All Aspiring Thought Leaders Should Have
Thought leadership is not just about your content and great ideas but also really about leaving an impactful presence across all channels you’re in. Your LinkedIn profile can be used as a powerful tool to help create that traction with the people and industry you want to influence, and setting it up correctly according to your audience can help establish your brand as a thought leader.
Tune in on this episode as the LinkedIn Whisperer Brynne Tillman and LinkedIn Sherpa Bob Woods break down Six main ingredients thought leaders must include in their LinkedIn profiles and use those to gain more traction from their audience, whether inside or outside of LinkedIn.
Bob Woods 00:00
Greetings and welcome one and all to making sales social live brought to you by social sales like I’m Bob woods, the LinkedIn Sherpa and I’m joined by fellow LinkedIn and social selling professional, who is also known as the LinkedIn whisperer, Brynne Tillman sup Brynne.
Brynne Tillman 00:18
Hey Bob! I’m excited to talk about today because we often talk about profiles. But this is specifically for thought leaders or people that are aspiring thought leaders, so it’s gonna be a fun one.
Bob Woods 00:31
Welcome to Making Sales Social Live, as we share LinkedIn, and social selling training strategies and tips that will have an immediate impact on your business join Brynne Tillman, and me Bob Woods every week, making sales social lives. This is the recorded version of our weekly making sales social live show.
Brynne Tillman 00:18
As Brynne said, you may not realize just how important your LinkedIn profile is, to your sales efforts in general. But if your goal is to become the thought leader in your industry, your vertical however you quantify that for yourself.
And by the way, that should be your goal, you need to have a strong LinkedIn profile that attracts, teaches and engages your audience of sales prospects. So we teased it just a little bit. But talk just a little bit more about the importance of the profile. Before we get to the element’s brand.
Brynne Tillman 01:27
Let’s think about your goal here. If your goal is to be a thought leader, it’s not just in your content, it’s really your presence all across everywhere, Right? Like you want to make sure that you are branding yourself in a way that creates your goal that leads towards your goal. You know, Bob and I have kind of put together these areas that we need to focus on so that when we do attract someone to our profile from a thought leadership piece of content, we’re continuing that consistent message across the board.
Bob Woods 02:04
Exactly. And, we talked about LinkedIn here. But if you’re on other socials, obviously you can’t do your profiles on other socials like you can on LinkedIn. But if you are and other socials, obviously do what you can there. One of the things that I like to do though, is on other socials, if you can put a URL in for your LinkedIn profile, do it there so that you’re pushing them over to LinkedIn from those other socials where you can really, really sell your thought leadership there.
And then your content that you have, hopefully, in your featured section, which spoiler that’s one of the areas we’re talking about, we are going to our you will be able to really, really sell your thought leadership there. So there are six main ingredients you need to include in your profile so that you’ll gain more traction with members of that audience, whether that traction comes from more people following you asking to connect with you, or even people calling or emailing you directly from your profile, after they’ve looked at it.
And because your profile is just that chef’s kiss, they will want to do that. So with that in mind, let’s get into number one, which I used to have an objection to. But LinkedIn is changing things. My objection is gone once it propagates throughout and that is creator mode.
Brynne Tillman 03:31
The biggest objection that we’ve had, I believe, is that your button turns from connect to follow, Right? And that really is the one negative of creator mode. But if you’re a thought leader, that means that you’re going to be sharing content on a consistent basis means that you’re going to be out there engaging on a consistent basis, there are a bunch of things that creator mode gives you that really helps you to show up as a creator or a thought leader.
One of them is wherever you’re engaging, there is a Follow button you they don’t have to get although we’re talking about profile you they don’t have to go to your profile to follow you they can do it right from there. You also have access to LinkedIn, live to audio rooms, to newsletters, all kinds of great stuff.
And your profile gets shifted around a little bit so that your thought leadership moves up in the scroll. There are a couple other things like you can add fonts, I think it’s five hashtags about what you talk about.
Bob Woods 04:35
Brynne Tillman 04:36
That helps. And there’s some other stuff too, but you know, talk to me a little bit Bob about who do you recommend has creator mode and why do you think thought leaders should have it.
Bob Woods 04:45
Thought leaders should have it basically for exactly what you mentioned the features that come along with it. And I do want to talk about the objection that I had that is slowly turning into past tense because LinkedIn is rolling out an update, and it’s one of the slow rollouts, but they are now rolling out something to where the Follow button is still there.
But then there’s another box that appears down below that says, if you want to connect directly with this person, you click rolls out. That was that literally that was the only thing that I thought that LinkedIn did not get right.
They are in the process of making it right now, you may or may not have this again, this is one of the slow rollout things for LinkedIn. So you may not be able to see this yet. But once you do, and once everyone has it, I think everyone should be upgraded or mobile.
Brynne Tillman 05:38
I think that’s awesome. Well, let’s everyone in any kind of business development role, Right?
Bob Woods 05:43
Yeah, that’s what I meant.
Brynne Tillman 05:46
I agree with you. The one thing I want to caution you is if you are looking for a job, if you are in job seeking mode, the traditional profile is designed for recruiters to get what they need in a fast scan. If you are in any kind of growth with Bob, any kind of business development mode, I think creator mode is great because people don’t care about your experience or your mission or your passion, yet you want to be able to bring them value. Oh, what does Steven say?
Bob Woods 06:16
Steven says if someone clicks connect with you, and you’re in creator mode, it should show that they really want to connect with you food for thought.
Brynne Tillman 06:24
Yeah, this is currently you can connect with someone in creator mode, you just have to hit the More button. Right? And so, but most people don’t know how to do that.
Bob Woods 06:34
Right. Yeah, Exactly. It’s definitely a hidden kind of thing. And 85 to 90% of the people don’t know that you can connect when someone has the Follow button up there instead of the Connect.
Brynne Tillman 06:45
That stat even though it’s probably made out.
Bob Woods 06:49
Yeah, Exactly 86% of the statistics are, it’s some weird number like that.
Brynne Tillman 06:54
Statistics are made up. Okay, awesome. That’s our next one, the banner.
Bob Woods 07:00
So the big graphic that appears behind your head on your LinkedIn profile is valuable real estate, just like a banner that is just like a billboard on the side of the road. Think of it like that not only just advertising in general, but you can also swap stuff out.
So, if you have an event coming up or something like that, you can temporarily change that banner, how many times you want nothing is ever nothing is ever chiseled in stone. It’s just that it’s so versatile. And yet so few people out there use that banner space effectively.
Brynne Tillman 07:40
Yeah, I mean, what is the message that you’re spreading, whether it’s an event, as Bob mentioned, event coming up, maybe you have a new ebook with a link, maybe you’ve published a new book and you want to drive traffic there. This is your billboard, I do recommend that you have a consistent brand, but that message can change.
Like, our consistent brand is the white brick, Right? We see white bricks everywhere. That you know, yeah, me too, right, we try to get that white brick everywhere. That’s our brand. And so as if you notice, even you know, as I shift out my banner, I typically will have the white brick as the background with some with the logo.
But you know, we have that consistency. But I’m typically driving to something new every time or an announcement of something. So I use it as a billboard. I probably change it out every three or four weeks.
Bob Woods 08:39
Brynne Tillman 08:40
Bob Woods 08:41
And it can’t be that dynamic. It can’t be that dynamic, which is great.
Brynne Tillman 08:44
So easy now with Canva, too. So yeah, if you want to create your own and you go to Canva, they have LinkedIn. I think it’s called LinkedIn background photo is the actual template that you’ll see in Canva. And it’s really a one by four ratio.
So you could go in PowerPoint and do a rectangle that’s 2.5 by 10, or because it’s a one by four ratio, but go into Canva and play because this is a great branding opportunity. And if you’re a thought leader you’re probably doing lives or webinars to draw people there.
Bob Woods 09:21
Billboard thinks of it as a billboard. Would you want on your billboard live current stuff that you can promote? Number three, numero tres is what used to be called the cover story. And now LinkedIn is officially calling it the profile video now so that is the video that still a lot of people don’t even know is available out there.
You can create what LinkedIn says is a 32nd video. We recommend a 29 second video because LinkedIn is goofy. 29 seconds of whatever you want to say you can upload to your profile, so that people can click on it and play it and It’s like a welcome message from you. Or if you want to deliver specific message or whatever that is your way to get in front of people with your voice with your face, talking, you know, one to one is with them in a way that up until a couple years ago, you could never do/
Brynne Tillman 10:16
That video is so humanizing. Right? It really creates this connection. Now, in preparation for today, I spent a couple hours yesterday creating my own LinkedIn profile video. I will be sending it to my team to clean up some, but I really wanted to show you guys how, as a thought leader, you can use this. Right?
So I have a call to action to go join one of our free LinkedIn content libraries. And you know, the goal really is, you know, I want to draw people into more of our thought leadership. Yep. Right? And so you can certainly use this as giving a tip, a strategy, or as a way to draw additional content.
But this really is about connecting and I’d love to hear your thoughts on my new cover story. Again, I edited this not my team, so don’t hold it against them and I will clean it up a little bit. But I’d love to hear your thoughts about that.
Bob Woods 11:21
And I think that it’s important to emphasize that we have a video team, we have a social media team here that we lean on heavily for this type of thing. The thing is, though, you don’t really need that you can just put a camera or put your phone up, where’s my phone, I don’t have the visual.
Anyhow, you can put that right up there and just talk into it. And then just upload, make sure that it’s 29 seconds. So LinkedIn says it’s 30 seconds. But if you go like 30 seconds and three frames in like 30.03, it will reject it. So 29 seconds is like that’s where you can be sure that it’s going to upload because otherwise it’s a holi message.
Brynne Tillman 12:06
And yes, I’ve been there. Today I was 31. Oh, really. And I had to speed it up to now I talk really, really fast. It’s 1.15 speed.
Bob Woods 12:18
Brynne Tillman 12:20
That’s why don’t hold this against me. But I’d love for folks to go check it out and see what they think. Okay, thought leadership representation, are we on number three or four?
Bob Woods 12:30
We’re on number four now. So, number four is the CTA or call to action button. So this is one of the things that you need creator mode enabled for it to happen. But what the CTA button does is you can actually put a website up in what we call the top of the fold area.
So that’s where you have the banner and your headshot and your and your headline, you can actually have a link there that goes to wherever you want to on the web, which is really cool. Because you didn’t used to have that. LinkedIn is now taking pages from IG and the other socials in giving you that availability.
Brynne Tillman 13:10
Yeah, I love this. Right? So this goes to our free content library. As a thought leader, everything you do you want to really bring it back to your content, because that’s the goal, right? The goal is to show up as a thought leader.
Now, you know, one thing I just want to mention, and I know we’re talking about the profile piece side note, because we talked a little bit about this title being as aspiring thought leaders, be careful at what you’re defining thought leadership to be thought leadership leads people to think differently about their current situation, Right? You want to lead them, not push them.
This is not pitch, Right? This is not, hey, buy my stuff. This is really about adding value. Bob and I talk a lot about the Ask offer ratio, Right? We’re asking them to invest their time in order to consume our content, which includes our profile. So we want to make sure that we’ve mastered that. So at the end of their invested time, even if it’s a minute, they feel like it was a good use of their time that it wasn’t a pitch that was valuable and compelling enough that they want to have a conversation with you.
Bob Woods 14:26
So Melanie actually Melanie has a good question. Melanie always asks good questions, but this one is especially good for the topic today. How often should we update our Melanie’s pushing it back to 28 seconds 28 to 29 second profile videos. That’s a really good question.
Brynne Tillman 14:43
Yeah, and you know, I think it depends. There are a couple of things. Number one, I would have one evergreen one that you could always put back in. So a standard evergreen you’re you’re driving maybe to a static landing page that they can download an evergreen ebook or something in that world.
But just like the banner, if you have an event coming up and you want to draw people there, absolutely temporarily, you can switch those out. But I would again stress that, you know, as soon as that event is over, you switch it back to the Evergreen one, because there’s nothing more frustrating. And the same with the banner. If you keep it up five minutes too long, and someone tries to get there and it’s over, it doesn’t feel as professional as we want it to.
Bob Woods 15:31
So, the next one is one that I think is probably the most powerful out of all of the six that we have here. And that is your featured section. And it is more powerful, it’s probably the most powerful because you and this section, you are directly putting the spotlight on the exact content that is building you up as a thought leader.
And it does it in a very visual rank, very visual way, Brynne and I call it the scroll stopper in the profile, because as you’re scrolling down the profile, you get like text, text text, and then all of a sudden, you get this really graphical looking section, you know, that is just going to make people stop and click into the content.
So make sure that the content that’s in there is showing your thought leadership, it satisfies the Ask offer ratio that Brynne was just talking about, except it should really be just 100% thought leadership should be 100% educational so that people are learning and learning a lot from you so that you are building yourself up as a thought leader in their minds.
Brynne Tillman 16:39
I love that. Now my favorite way to use the featured section is to temporarily LinkedIn a recent post. When you link that into your featured section, it will actually show how many reactions you have and how many comments you have. So, thought leadership builds on itself. People see Oh, look how much engagement they’re getting. Right? That adds to that thought leadership.
It just does, right. It’s a subconscious thing when people see all of that. But you can upload ebooks or documents that don’t do things like white boring white papers.
Bob Woods 17:17
Brynne Tillman 17:18
Yeah. But eBooks are really great. And that’s a great source of thought leadership, I would say. Bob and I tried to do this in all of our ebooks, where we said 100% content, there’s Right? there is a back page with a call to action, the call to action could be more content, it could be to schedule a call with you.
You know, and it could be if you’re exploring how to do this for you and your company, let’s chat at the back of a lot of this content. Having just that next step call to action is a great thing. Don’t try to oversell but try to get them to the next step.
Bob Woods 17:57
This is our last one. And this is new. So we’re going to end with the new you can now put in skills specifically in the about section. So these are, you know, like the skills that most everybody puts way down at the bottom of their profile, because you can’t move that stuff anymore in the profile. Most people don’t get down to the skills. Now, though, if you have this function, because I believe this is still a slow rollout. So I am not sure if everyone has this yet. But I know. Okay.
Brynne Tillman 18:27
Yes. Everyone that I’ve talked to in the last few days has it now.
Bob Woods 18:34
Okay, good. So maybe just in case you don’t, if you’re if you don’t have it yet, trust me, you will, it seems like most everyone has it though, you can list up to five skills that you have in the about section. So those are going to be the same skills that are in the bottom, although you can add even new ones up there if you want to.
And I think that that’s kind of important too. But these are like LinkedIn, LinkedIn recommended or LinkedIn suggestion skills, the suggested skills that it starts off with first, but you don’t have to use those you can put in your own, Yeah.
Brynne Tillman 19:07
Yeah, Don’t use those. And I’ll tell you that just for a moment, there’s a lot of value in these skills because they’re up high and people see them as a thought leader, Right? So one of the things I know, you want to put in the topics that you talk about, but you can also put in Keynote speakers or like these top skills.
And it’s only five and that’s part of your 50 but think very carefully about as a thought leader, what is that leading to in business? So you know, is it training? Is it your, you know, what kind of coach Are you and you can customize these you don’t have to pick the ones off of their drop down. It will also repeat in the skills in the skill section too once you add them.
Bob Woods 19:58
Brynne Tillman 19:59
Can I add a bonus One that I just thought of while we were talking, but not when we were planning?
Bob Woods 20:03
Bonus, Bonus I love it.
Brynne Tillman 20:07
Bonus, Recommendations is a great place for you to show up as a thought leader. So we always think of clients that were, you know, that we’re looking for recommendations from but people that have gotten value from webinars we’ve done even the free stuff, Right?
People that have expressed a man that was really amazing. Get a recommendation, you know, participated in Melanie’s webinar, and I really got some clarity around x, y, and z that will help promote you as a thought leader when other people are saying thought leader.
Bob Woods 20:43
Absolutely. So thanks again for joining us today on making sales social live. If you’re with us live on LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook or Twitter right now, we do this every week, so keep an eye out for our live sessions. If you’re listening to us on our podcast right now, that means we’re recorded to you.
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Brynne Tillman 21:36
Social! Bye guys.
Bob Woods 21:37
Thank you guys everybody. Bye bye.
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