Everybody knows how important first impressions are.
But not everybody knows that the “first impression” is actually only a seven-second window upon first meeting someone or in this case seeing someone’s profile.
In a world where people’s attention spans are low, you need to make an impact on people immediately. Here is how to optimize all of your online profiles for searchability, impact, trust, and better business.
Before we dive in, it would be worthwhile to list out who your target customer is – age, interests, behaviors, role etc. The below sections are all going to be framed around who the perfect customer for you is.
Let’s get started.
Profile 1: LinkedIn Optimization
1) Update your banner image and profile – header
Like all of your public profiles, the first thing people are going to find is your banner and headshot. A professional headshot will separate you from the remainder of the pack and only set you back $50 – You’re 14 times more likely to have your profile viewed on LinkedIn when you have a photo so make sure you do this!
The second part is your banner this is 1584px x 396px as the optimal dimensions. A great banner photo should have you speaking in public or alternatively in front of an audience of some kind. If you don’t have any photos like this get a group of four other friends together and put some intelligent content on a whiteboard with your standing in front of it and separate these people into 4 seats in a row.
Take a landscape photo that only shows the backs of those people’s heads and voilà you’re now a thought leader and teacher.
Perceiving as important as receiving in this scenario.
2) Update your headline
This part of your profile is made for two things. The first is to appear in search results for companies that are looking for people on LinkedIn. The second is to instill trust and a bit of wow factor on the reader and tell them what it is that you actually do.
If you’re looking for a job in the publishing industry you may want to put “award-winning journalist” or “most shared writer”. The job title is the searchable aspect for potential employers on LinkedIn and the adjectives beforehand are there to intrigue profile viewers make sure you have both. If you work across multiple industries have multiple titles in your headline.
Again feel free to check out my profile here for guidance.
3) Write an interesting full bio that begins with a “two sentence wow factor”
When people continue to scroll they are meet with the first three lines of your bio and then any other selected media you want to share. Here is another opportunity to impress people and tell them about yourself.
Start with a one-sentence bio of exactly what you do as a person or business. With your second sentence then name drop some of the people, companies or projects you’ve worked on that have some public credibility.
Once they’ve read these two sentences make sure you have uploaded two live links that talk about you or the business you’re involved in. Feel free to scope out my own profile for some more guidance.
4) Listing Your Work Experience
Now that people are reading your profile you want to organise the remainder of your profile in order of priority of how you want people to see you and your work.
Go through and list all of your previous work experiences. If you’re short on work experience put up anything you’ve done in the past that other people look at kindly: – Student groups – Volunteering roles – Clubs you’ve managed. Anything like this gives you the credibility and diversity to let people know that you’ve done more than just go to school and get a job.
If you’re self-employed and have a no image company (which means you haven’t listed your company on LinkedIn) you need to set up your company on LinkedIn to make it look professional. Follow this guide from LinkedIn to show you how to do this.
Lastly, list your roles in the order that you want people to see your work. Choose your most credible role first or if you’re trying to grow your own company place that at the top.
Essentially these can be added and tweaked as you like but as you’ve probably guessed the more endorsements you have the better. When you’re starting to optimise your profile you want to put the top three things skills you want people to look at that are relevant to your industry.
Your goal is to get into double digits for each of the skills on there. Here is the message that I sent to my friends on Facebook who I knew would respond quickly if I asked them for help for both endorsements and recommendations.
“Hey (first name), How are you?
I want to ask a favour of you. I’m trying to optimise my LinkedIn profile and would love it if you get the chance to endorse me for my top 3 skills on the platform and possibly leave the recommendation about (insert whatever skills you’re good at).
It would mean a lot and very happy to do the same if you want. Here is my profile: (insert direct link to your profile) If it doesn’t fit I completely understand!
That’s everything for optimising your profile if you want to check out our full 52-page guide on how I connected with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, 5000+ GM’s, CEO’s and thought leaders you can check it out on our blog here.
Profile 2: Instagram
People are visiting your Instagram for a visual journey. Your story, your successes, and your inspiration is what will keep them engaged. Think about how you feel when you visit someone else’s profile? What do you immediately look for?
Make your profile picture intriguing.
Make people wish they could zoom in, especially if you use a private profile.
The goal here is to make them feel like you’re waiting for them to follow you.
Even if it has to be a zoomed out picture – create intrigue. You’ll notice that many female profiles use a bikini picture – but it’s tiny/zoomed out. However, in the rest of their profile, they don’t have bikini pics. That means they’re drawing you in with a provocative picture simply to get your follow. Same can work for anyone – tease them with a provocative or edgy photo so they’re inclined to see more. Of course, respect yourself and your brand and be picky in what you choose.
For private profiles, your bio and image are even more important in creating intrigue. Leave them hanging, thinking of what could be, by describing what they’ll see if they tap follow. See the description section for more on creating intrigue.
How to copywrite a catchy description / Call to action with trust builders / achievements
The most readable and digestible format for your Instagram description is to do your main highlights & a call to action. It’s succinct, and gets right to the value. And use Emojis!
It’s best to list with bullet points: your career summary, any recognitions/press, product/service offering, then call to action. For example:
- Top 100 Menswear Blogger
- Featured in Forbes, Huffpo, Men’s Health
- Crafting custom suits for NYC Execs
- Download my free guide “5 Menswear Staples Every Man Needs”
Be brief, witty and have a clear source of value for the reader.
Add a tracked link in bio (like Bit.ly) that points to a larger marketing goal – and make sure the landing page is mobile optimized
This is your only source for gaining traffic from Instagram (unless you have Swipe Up – which is more rare). So, treat your link in bio as the most valuable tool for gaining traffic/sales.
Make your link dynamic – switch it every few weeks or according to your marketing campaigns, so that people feel like you’re always putting out new content and creating. If they expect you’re going to be releasing new content, they’ll feel urgency to see what’s behind the link now, but also be subconsciously awaiting what comes up next. That’s a true follower.
Some call to actions that can work well:
- eBook download (that links to an email list)
- free consultation
- free trial
- apply to work with me
- latest press coverage link
Some call to actions that DON’T work well:
- your website home page
- any link that’s been there more than a month
- someone else’s site or company that doesn’t drive you traffic/sales
- any site that’s not optimized for mobile
- Unused / no link (unless you need to get DMs to get business done)
Unify the look/feel of your posts and pages
Mock up your feed layout before selecting your pictures to post. That makes it cohesive and visually pleasing for people who have just seen your page. You can do this on a 9 square grid, or larger. Adobe Illustrator is a good app for this.
Make your tone, color, hue and more all have a unified feel. That looks more professional, and is easier on the eyes. People are drawn to what’s familiar, so don’t go and rattle their cage if you don’t need to.
Use the Stories Feature!
If you don’t know what your followers want to see, use the Poll feature – and ask them about the top 2 topics they’re interested in and adjust content accordingly
Use “Questions” function to drive new content – you can use their questions/answers as new story posts, while gaining better insight of what people care about.
Feature your friends, link to their profiles and encourage people to follow. Then ask the same favor of your friends.
Add highlight badges – little icons to describe your Story Highlights. It’s recommended these Highlights have a call to action at the end, that way your product/services are always there – even if you don’t have a live story up.
Profile 3: Facebook (Personal)
Change your profile from private to public
Facebook is as much a professional networking platform as it is for social purposes.
You want to make your role and offering known to people who friend you.
It’s especially important if you’re active in groups, so that when people tag for you sales leads, the contact can check you out a little and DM you.
Be ready to direct message people after they post a status revealing a product need
List credibility factors in your summary section
Job achievements, press features, awards, writing credentials
Optimise profile pic to resonate with target audience
Banner photo: Ideally an image of you speaking in front of an audience. This instantly frames you as a thought leader in your category, offering trust, recognition and positivity. Or, any promotions you have going. Like your link in bio, this should change from time to time to stay fresh/relevant.
If you don’t have a speaking picture, you can list press logos for past coverage, a call to action (e.g. download our free eBook) or a video that summarizes your business. Anything that’s going to inform the viewer, or produce more trust.
Whatever you choose for your banner, just make sure it guides them to the next step in their interaction with you, by using either a call to action or leaving them wanting more.
Put a title under your personal name
If possible, make your summary / title one that is differentiated. Crunch the numbers, crosscut the data – do what you have to do to set yourself apart.
For example, “Top 10 Fitness app” “Forbes featured fitness app founder” “Founder of Vea Fitness: A community of 25K runners”
Use this section to establish who you are to the viewer – this is your main shot at explaining your most high impact role in the world.
Make your last three post regarding business interest of target audience
Before going on a spree of adding friends who you will eventually convert to customers, make sure your profile and feed reflect their interests. This is the most effective way to drive engagement and conversion.
If you’re targeting fitness trainers, you might post a resource on how to manage their training business, a story about a big change in the industry, and then a text status telling a gripping story about a client or personal transformation.
Once you get to 100+ people following you turn on the follow symbol
This allows you to keep your feed clean of strangers while providing many more the ability to follow your inspiration without having to wait for a friend confirmation.
Users can follow you without friend requesting you, similar to Instagram.
However, if you have a lot of people in your feed who aren’t relevant, you can unfollow them while staying their friend.
Add an informative bio
This is your section to share your story. It’s long form, and people are going there to be moved. They want to hear something that will give them goosebumps.
Everyone has a unique and powerful story, so dig for what makes it unique! Then factor that in.
Make it witty, brief and powerful by using hard hitting words, emojis and anything that sets you apart.
Profile 5: Quora
Quora for those of you who don’t know is a Q&A platform that has some of the world’s best thinkers and doer’s on it answering questions that you want to be answered. With a user base of over 300 M+ active monthly users, it’s one of the fastest growing social media platforms for driving organic and useful traffic to your website. Here’s how to make sure your profile is geared to do just that:
Like all your other social profiles you’re going to want to optimise your headshot. This needs to be professional or at least feature you in a professional scenario if you’re going to generate leads from this channel.
Your main header bio that lies underneath your name needs to relate to the type of questions you’re answering. In my case, I focused on answering questions in my area of expertise which are digital, personal training and editing and this is reflected in my bio header.
The next phase of your profile needs to build your credibility while subtly promoting yourself and your business. To do this layer your copy in 1 – 3 line sentences with spaces between them. Here are some good examples of how to do this:
- Community manager at “insert link to your business”
- Noteworthy task and here is the proof “insert link to a downloadable case study on your website”
- As seen in “insert trust builders”
- Published, Written, Viewed in “insert more examples of your work”
Lastly, your credentials and highlights need to portray all of the academic and professional roles that you’ve held in your lifetime. Think long and hard on this put any experiences that you’ve had that may allow you to answer a particular type of question.
A good example I’ve seen often is people who were boy scouts using this as a credential to give in-depth answers regarding camping, hunting, and orienteering. Two people may write two great answers but the person with a better credential often gains precedence in the reader’s mind and as a result will receive more traffic.