Most people are still using LinkedIn wrong.  You might be one of them.  Here is how you know you are doing it wrong.

If you use LinkedIn as a “resume hosting website” then you, my friend, are doing it wrong.

This LinkedIn marketing blueprint will work wonders for Professionals, CPAs, Financial Planners, Financial Advisors, Financial Consultants or anyone else who helps individuals or organizations manage their business.

It will also work for anyone who serves in a consulting-type role and wants to generate more leads and clients using LinkedIn.

In a nutshell, it will work for you.

Disclaimer: If you work in the financial services industries YOU MAY HAVE regulations about what you can (or cannot) share or publish online. Please keep that in mind when you apply this advice to your own LinkedIn profile.

Tip #1: Make Your Profile Client-Facing!

It’s easy when you spend all your days inside the work world bubble to assume that everybody knows the unique lingo, jargon, and buzzwords your industry members use.

This is a big mistake.

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, you must simplify things and talk as if the reader were new to your industry. The reader has already shown enough interest to read your LinkedIn profile. Use words and phrases they will understand when describing the type of services or products you offer.

Above all else, your LinkedIn profile must help potential clients understand exactly what it is you do and how you help clients achieve their goals as a result.

Case Study: A Professional Accountant Gets it Right

For a good example of a client-facing LinkedIn profile, check out Leigh Sherry‘s.

There are many simple things that you should note. Leigh uses ALL CAPS and catchphrases like “WHAT I DO” and “WHO I WORK WITH” to help break up long blocks of text. At the time of this writing, LinkedIn doesn’t allow you to bold or italicize your body text on your profile page. Using all caps and quick, punchy headlines works well to catch someone’s attention as they scan profiles.

It’s also important in this area to utilize testimonials from real clients or businesses that you’ve worked with. Nothing makes your profile “social proof” quite like a happy customer, right? This is especially true based on the niche or audience type you serve. Testimonials can be a game-changer for your profile and your business.

Also, be human! Work in a little bit about whom you are away from work so prospects can get to know and like you.

In the example, Leigh Sherry adds in this nugget near the bottom of his LinkedIn summary area:

DID YOU KNOW: I’m a HUGE Patriots fan.  I love spending time with my wife of 35 years and my wonderful grandchildren.  I know more about Princess and Disney movies than most men should ever know! LoL

Leigh is doing something important here – he’s sharing potential passions, life stages, and hobbies that a prospect can relate to, or talk about, to break the ice. For instance, if you’re a grandparent, you’ll immediately realize Leigh is somebody who can relate to your world. This immediately makes him more likeable and builds empathy before you even speak to him in person!

Tip #2: The Riches are in the Niches!

One big mistake we see many  professionals make is trying to be all things to all people.

On LinkedIn, it works far better to cater to a targeted niche audience whenever you can. Sure, you’d love to help anyone and everyone with your services but it’s much more appealing to a potential client when he or she feels like you only work with someone just like them.

You probably work with many different types of professionals but find the one niche you want to grow your practice in. Make it clear in your LinkedIn profile summary that this is a key audience you serve and lay out how you can help them.

Want More Tips Like This?

LJS & Associates Consulting Inc. has helped countless professionals utilize LinkedIn to generate more clients and business for themselves.

If you’d like to do the same, participate in the intensive 3-hour training program on November 17th that will help you turn profile views into profits.

This blog was written by guest author Trevor Cherewka of Smashing Pixels Inc.