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10 mINUTE mARKETING PODCAST

I'm Sonja — social media and digital marketing trainer, consultant, and strategist. I'm here to help you and your team work smarter.

10 Minute Marketing

Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile for New Clients, New Contracts, and New Jobs

February 9, 2024

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Unlock the untapped potential of your LinkedIn profile with Sonja Crystal Williams as she shares a decade’s worth of insider tips and personal success stories to elevate your professional image! 

If you’ve ever wondered how to turn your LinkedIn presence into a magnet for job offers, connections, and business growth, here is your golden ticket. With a focus on authenticity and strategic engagement, she peels back the curtain on creating a profile that draws the right attention and fosters meaningful relationships within your industry.

This session isn’t just about sprucing up your digital resume; it’s a deep dive into the art of networking and the power of consistency in the LinkedIn realm. From practical guidance on profile optimization to a six-month blueprint for boosting your online visibility, Sonja discusses the intricate rituals of connecting with peers and influencers that can open new doors to success. 

So, get ready to transform your LinkedIn experience with actionable steps that go beyond the basics, and join the conversation by connecting with Sonja!

Watch the episode!

Time Stamps:

  • 00:11 – Welcome
  • 01:37 – Why LinkedIn?
  • 05:16 – Your LinkedIn Profile: Headshot
  • 07:16 – Your LinkedIn Profile: Headline
  • 08:32 – Your LinkedIn Profile: About
  • 09:36 – Your LinkedIn Profile: Featured
  • 10:49 – Your LinkedIn Profile: Banner
  • 11:53 – Your LinkedIn Profile: Recommendations
  • 12:54 – My LinkedIn Profile Optimization Guide
  • 13:50 – Growing Your LinkedIn Network
  • 18:04 – Nurturing Your LinkedIn Community
  • 20:39 – Where To Learn More & Connect With Me
Read The Full Transcript From This Episode (click to expand and read the full interview)
    • Sonja Crystal Williams: 0:11
      Hey friends, I’m Sonja Crystal Williams with 10 Minute Marketing, and here to talk to you today about something that’s been on my mind and this has come up in some of our previous podcasts because if you are a career professional, working professional, busy, entrepreneur and you want to have a very professional presence that you’re displaying online, then sometimes the busyness of networks like TikTok or Instagram may not be as appealing to you and your message might get drowned out there. So where else do you go? And in my world, and in my world, it’s worked for me for gosh well over a decade, maybe even longer than that. I might be coming up on a 20 year anniversary here, but that network is LinkedIn, all right. So I have had a lot of success with LinkedIn throughout the years and I want to tell you why. And I want to tell you why with the encouragement that if that is a network where you’ve wanted to gain more traction, how can you do it? What can you do to be effective on a network like LinkedIn and keep yourself visible and in front of people and get business from it? For me, linkedin has led to some incredibly amazing opportunities, from again, literally jobs what it’s there for to finding projects, clients, and it’s just been an excellent place to stay in front of people even beyond that, people that I’ve met at events, conferences, conventions. It’s that place, and I’ll tell you this. You don’t have to look at your profile and feel like, oh, I posted and I need to. In my feed I saw someone that had 250 likes on their post. And how do I get to that status? And don’t get me wrong, that’s awesome and they rock and get yourself to that status. But also know that just by being consistent and optimizing your profile on LinkedIn and when I say consistent, being on the network consistently and participating in the community that will get lots of eyes on your profile and not everyone hits the like button. I’ve had lots of eyes on my profile throughout the years and those eyes have led to people sending me a message, sliding into the DMs or picking up the phone to call to say hey, I’ve been watching your content and it made me think about X. Would you be interested in doing X? There really is a huge opportunity to me on LinkedIn. I used to call it one of the most underutilized social media networks out there because for many years I feel like people slept on LinkedIn. Now I do feel to some degree like there’s a lot of spam that happens in the inbox. That has shifted a little bit, but there are some huge opportunities that still exist within this network that I want to highlight for you today. I remember a few years ago I first started training teams on how to use LinkedIn and leaders of these teams how to optimize their profile and how teams could work together to really boost the performance of their company page. When I first started doing that, the number of active users on LinkedIn was about 500 to 550 million, and I’m talking about probably four or five years ago. Today, linkedin has over one billion active users. It is a huge platform to have yourself on. Many I’d say probably even most of those users are located either in the US or Europe. Many of them are decision makers, people who are at C-suite level, people who can make decisions, people who can purchase things, people who have budgets. Those are people on LinkedIn. As we know, it’s a highly professional network. I want to share with you just some notes I jotted down about. If I were to look back over my 20-year career, my 20-year highlight of life on LinkedIn, I want to share with you some things that have worked well for me. Here’s what I’m going to say, too. I’m not giving you outdated advice because I keep up with the trends. There are some things that I did a decade ago that don’t work today, and then there’s some stuff vice versa. Let me share with you some good tips for how to optimize your LinkedIn profile that are relevant today that will help you gain more visibility and ultimately, if you remain consistent, get more business. Number one it’s all about the profile. On LinkedIn, you have one profile that you can build personally, and if you are a business owner, you may even have a company profile. Even if you have a company page, I’m going to tell you that the personal profile is where it’s at. If you run a business, focus in on your personal profile. If you are employed and you work on someone’s team, you need to still be branding yourself on LinkedIn, preparing for any opportunities that lie ahead, as well as making yourself visible right now and really branding your area of expertise. So here’s how I want you to think about it. All right. Number one right headshot, okay, and with headshots on LinkedIn. This might sound basic, but think about the basics, right. You know you want to have something from about here or somewhere in that chest, top of your chest up. You want to make sure your face is visible and easy for people to get and smile in your profile picture. Look approachable, because you know that can also have an impact on how people view you. So think about that now. Nowadays there’s all these AI tools out there that you can utilize as well that will take your picture and Make it amazing where you’re wearing a suit and they put a background on it. If you want to take it to that level, go for it. Just make sure you have a really professional picture. And, hey, if you’ve hired someone to take a professional headshot of you, that’s awesome, but you can just do your own photo. If you got a tripod or someone who’s willing to snap a photo of you Stand in front of a window, make sure you are facing the window, so there’s natural light coming in on you, and take that photo and use that as your profile. No one’s standing next to you. You look good, you’re groomed, all that stuff. You’re in a nice professional shirt, suit, dress, whatever you got to wear Then make sure that you are set up in that way, okay? So your profile image next to your profile image is going to be your headline on LinkedIn, and what you say on your headline makes a difference. Now some people will put, you know, marketing director at blank, co-founder at blank, and that’s okay, but it doesn’t really describe what you’re offering. So think about it a little bit differently. Okay, think about what is it you’re offering people. I’m gonna read mine to you really quick. Mine says I train marketing teams on modern digital marketing, social media, paid ad strategies, and then I have a little line digital marketing consultant, and then another line trainer and then another line instructor a Vertical bar to separate those different things that I do. If you’ve been featured in Forbes, or you are an award-winning podcaster or journalist or something like that, put put that stuff in there, put that stuff in your headline, right, and so when someone lands on my profile, though, or when it pops up in Search results, you immediately know what I can offer, and that’s the value of the headline. Okay, now there’s a lot more you need to cover in terms of your work history and things like that. I’m going to bundle that into a nutshell and say key words are still relevant on LinkedIn In my work history, because I focus on social media and digital marketing and I’m a trainer and I’m a consultant. I make sure that I use language related to that as I’m describing my previous work experience and my current work experience without the profile. Rather than only just putting this is where I work from this time to this time and this time to this time. Elaborate on it a little bit. Use key words, describe what you did. You can get real fancy if you want to copy and paste bullet points in or emojis or anything like that, but make it stand out Before you even get to work history. There is right above that, a summary section or an about section, and that is your opportunity to freestyle. That is your opportunity to tell the world, or really your particular audience, what you do and who you help, and maybe even to provide some examples of that. That’s huge. Optimize that part of your profile with key words, with a lot of descriptions about the service that you provide. Make sure that that information is in there and easy to see. I put some details about who I help there as well. Make sure you’re doing that. There is a featured section that you can fill in along your profile and have some calls to action in that feature section. Now, if you have calls to action and when I say calls to action, I mean you might have a free download, a free consultation or something along those lines. But for those of you who you’re like, well, I don’t have anything for people to download then why not link to a video, maybe showing you an action, showing you working, or any demo reel that you have, or highlighting a project? If you’re a graphic designer by trade, use that featured section to showcase some of your work. Where you can do that by uploading a JPEG or taking people maybe to a site where you can show your projects in more detail. That can work for a number of different types of jobs. There’s some key areas that you really want to focus on filling in from your headshot to also that banner that appears behind your headshot, which is valuable real estate space, because when people land on your profile, you want to be able to help them understand exactly what you do. If you’re listening to this podcast, I want to encourage you to. If you’re on the road, don’t stop what you’re doing, but come back later. If you’re at your desk or in a space, I want you to go to my profile: LinkedIn. com/in/ Sonja Crystal. And I want you to look at my banner in the background Because I want you to have a good visual of what kind of banner works, what kind of banner describes what you do and attracts attention, what kind of headline works. Okay, and then from there thinking about what to put in that featured section, about section and work history. The final component that I wanna encourage you to pay a lot of attention to is the recommendations section. Okay, because to me this is like the equivalent of going on a retail website and looking at the reviews. Right before we buy stuff, we often look at the reviews and hopefully you know those are from verified purchasers, and that’s how I think about the recommendations section on LinkedIn. I try to give recommendations, but I also want to receive them and I often send them to people that I’ve worked with in the past, so former coworkers, people I volunteered with, people I even went to college with who can attest, and again, maybe I was in college on a committee, you know, or something along those lines as well as clients. So think about who can you ask for recommendations from and who can you offer them to. If you have a team and people work on your team, ask your staff to provide recommendations as well. Okay, so those are your key areas. And the profile is so critical because, as you do start gaining more visibility on LinkedIn, optimizing your profile is important because people are gonna land there and they’re gonna immediately make a decision, you know, based on kind of browsing or perusing that profile and saying to themselves is this someone I wanna do business with or does it look like they do something that I need or would value? So you really wanna pay close attention to that as well. Okay, so optimize your profile and I’m dropping a guide also on this podcast that you can check out and look at that guide, because in that guide, I give you what I just went over just now about how to optimize your profile. That and more and lots of examples of really great profiles that exist out there that you could model yours after and all the how-tos to do the stuff that I’ve done to get you there. So definitely check that out, okay. Now, the profile was important to me. Okay, that’s always been important to me, and definitely having keywords in the profile has been part of my formula that’s led strangers to contact me on LinkedIn and it’s led to great business opportunities. What also has done that is growing my network. Okay, now I’ll say when I first got on LinkedIn, I grew my network, initially with people I went to college with, because I got on LinkedIn probably shortly after college, somewhere around the time I was in an MBA program, okay, and that was initially my base, and then people I worked with and whatnot. And then eventually I was like, well, how do I connect with more people on LinkedIn? And so I started expanding different ways and I did connect with strangers initially. So this is where you make a decision whether or not you wanna do that. There were a couple of ways I connected with strangers. One was I joined LinkedIn groups and I specifically looked for groups on LinkedIn like alumni groups. So one of the first alumni groups I joined was for the college I went to. I went to a school called Clark Atlanta University and I joined the alumni network for Clark Atlanta and then I individually reached out to people within that group and said, hey, we both went to Clark Atlanta, I wanna stay connected with other alum, so would you be willing to connect with me? And I got a lot of people who were willing to connect, and I would often send some of those people direct messages and just say thanks for connecting. If you ever wanna have a coffee chat or, if they were in Atlanta, meet up in person. I’d love to meet you and get to know more about you. And I didn’t do that with everyone. I did that in select instances where I felt like this is someone where we might have some synergy or this might be a great person to network with. So you might wanna think about that. That’s where, to me, online and offline communication intersect and can be highly valuable. I didn’t rely only on the network to do the work for me, but I knew that I am a person on the other end and I wanna make real connections, and I’m going to make those connections by reaching out and trying to build a relationship. So think about if there are opportunities for you to do that If they’re not in your same city or state. We’ve got Zoom nowadays so you can meet up with someone virtually on Zoom or just do a good old fashioned phone call, all right, so make sure you’re growing your network. That’s one way, and I’ve got some more laid out in that guide that I’m sharing with you all on how you can really fine tune growth on your network, whether that’s to strangers or using those alumni networks to search people that you didn’t connect with right off the cuff former coworkers. I used to work for another large pharmaceutical company that has a group on Facebook, an alumni group of people who have worked there, so that was another way I built up a lot of connections, so think about how that approach works for you. Now I’ll often get the question should I kind of come up with personas and, in a sense, cold call or target people based on the industry? I’ve done that too. What I’ll say, though, is those I found a little bit more challenging to nurture, so you really need a plan in place if you’re gonna take that approach. I think that if you are offering really valuable content, even beyond LinkedIn, if you have a really great email list, a newsletter, anything like that, and you can send that person something of value that creates or kind of continues to shape the connection, that will help, with some of those cold connections that you know, to really foster that relationship. But you’ve got to find a way to foster relationships if you do that. In my experience it’s been 50, 50. Some of those cases I’ve needed to foster those relationships and where I fell short on fostering the relationships, I found that those people were not as likely to interact with my posts and so over time I unfollowed or removed the connection from some of those people because I didn’t do a good job in my follow-up. So you’ve got to do that for yourself if you choose to connect with complete strangers. Now that leads me to my next point, which is being part of the LinkedIn community and being active on LinkedIn. So you know, once you do build up connections, you can’t just like build them or get people to follow you and connect with you and then walk away. You’ve got to participate in the community and the community will reward you for it. Okay, so that means and this is today’s strategy is that you really want to make sure you’re doing. Social media networks really value commenting and participating in other people’s posts, and on LinkedIn, the rule is no different. Get out there and comment, comment, comment, comment. Make that really the first thing you do every day, maybe even before you post something, think about can I comment on or do I have something meaningful to say to posts that are related to the type of work I do or my industry, and that will help you start to also gain more visibility. And, as you’re commenting, the people that you did connect with whether they were warm contacts, people you already knew, or completely cold again, people that maybe you found on LinkedIn and just asked if they would connect with you. Commenting on theirs is going to get again, keep you visible and get you in front of them more so that they’re more likely to respond when you publish something and you post. So these are a lot of tips that have helped me along the way, and what it’s resulted in is getting messages to my inbox of people asking about job opportunities I might be interested in. It’s gotten messages into my inbox from people asking if I’d like to be a speaker on a panel or participate in a conference or things like that that give me the opportunity to gain more visibility. What it’s also resulted in is clients. It’s resulted in people finding me on LinkedIn, hearing what I have to say, liking it and then wanting to schedule a call and learn more about what I do and if I can help them and, lastly, it’s helped me nurture the connections I already have. There are many people within my network that just silently watched I mentioned this earlier. They just silently have watched my post and will emerge from time to time and say, hey, I’ve been following you for a while or I noticed this and that in your post and it made me think about such and such and I’d like to talk to you more about that, and that has led to some opportunities. So I’m giving you a lot of different techniques or strategies, but I have all this written down in a guide that you can download and I want you to check it out, tell me your thoughts. I wanna see if you implement this, if you implement these steps over the next six months. And remember a strategy like this takes time, okay, so your profile isn’t gonna take off. You know day two that you optimize it and you just have a day of going on and commenting and posting. You gotta do this stuff consistently over time, but I wanna know how it turns out for you. So be sure to drop me a message or connect with me on LinkedIn: LinkedIn. com/in/S onja Crystal, and I look forward to hearing your success stories. Thanks for listening until next time. I’ll see you soon.

Strategy

Scaling & Growth

Life & Productivity

Social Media

Categories

Upcoming Training Courses

Access
Free Resources

work with me

Audits, Consulting, Strategy Services

tune in to THE 
10 mINUTE mARKETING PODCAST

I'm Sonja — social media and digital marketing trainer, consultant, and strategist. I'm here to help you and your team work smarter.

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