If you met someone at a networking event and they performed a search of your name on Google, what are they likely to find?

Your Linkedin profile will typically show up within the first five results, this gives you the chance to control what they discover about you. If that person is a potential client, it’s important to have an eye-catching profile that will get their attention.

Here are five tips to creating a LinkedIn profile that will make prospects want to stop on your page and reach out to you.

Background photo

LinkedIn’s design has changed over the past couple of years and you now have the ability to add a background picture to your profile. You should include, at the very least, some type of branding image that represents your identity or your company.

You could also opt to address a pain point that your target audience has. This opens the door for you to address how you can solve that pain point in other areas of your profile.

Profile Photo

Your profile photo gives you the opportunity to make a lasting first impression, so it has to be good. Here are a few rules of thumb:

  • Don’t use a headshot of yourself cropped out of another image. (That family holiday photo where the “sun was just right” is not appropriate.)
  • Make sure people can see your face. The best option is a photo cropped from the elbows up.
  • Smile. It’s amazing how much more approachable you become when you lead with a smile!

Headline

By default, your headline takes content from the “experience” section from your Linkedin profile. So, it will list your most recent job title and the company you work for. The problem with this is that no one really cares about you … yet.

If you leave it like this, you are missing an opportunity to address the solution you can provide to your ideal client. Edit this line so those landing on your profile will see you as the answer to their business problems. This section is vital since it’s the only line that shows up under your name in the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” list. You want to ensure that prospects scanning that list immediately see the problems that you can solve for them.

Summary

This section gives you the chance to explain to your visitor who you help, how you help, why they should trust you and how they can find out more information. So make the most of all 2,000 characters available and don’t forget to include your contact information! Make it as easy as possible for someone to get a hold of you, and don’t give anyone an excuse NOT to.

Recommendations

While you need to clearly express on your profile what you do and why you are good at it, a more powerful way to build trust and credibility with your prospects is to have someone else tell the world what you do and why you are good at it (A.K.A getting ‘Recommendations’ from past clients, colleagues and business associates)!

What’s the best way to get recommendations? Give recommendations. When you provide a current client with a flattering (unexpected) recommendation they will certainly feel compelled to reciprocate!