A website had suits on sale for $100. Sounds too good to be true, right? A closer look at the description reveals the reason for the low price. They were made of polyester and rayon, cheap synthetic fabrics. This affects breathability, shape, and stiffness. And the buttons were a poor plastic.
Would you even spend $250 for a full suit on sale? Exactly.
The difference between a $250 and a $750 suit is enormous. It’s a no-brainer, right?
“The three biggest fashion mistakes are cheap suits, shoes, and shirts. Spend your money on something good.” — Donatella Versace
You can say the same thing about building out your executive LinkedIn profile. For most executives, working on their own LinkedIn profile is much like buying the $100 suit. An effective profile takes much more than entering information about your career. Like a finely-tailored suit, a professionally created LinkedIn profile will boost the results you get from it.
You could try sewing your own suit, but it’s most likely not going to be as sharp and well-tailored as someone who does it for a living. Just like you would invest in a suit, you’d want to do the same for your LinkedIn profile.
Still not convinced?
Here are 5 reasons you need a well-tailored LinkedIn profile.
1. It ranks higher in search engines.
People are researching you before they connect with you. Let’s do a little test here. Do a search for colleague’s name. Where does LinkedIn appear on the search results? For me, LinkedIn is the first entry. I search for five colleagues and their LinkedIn profiles always shows up in the top five.
I’ve yet to see LinkedIn fall below the fold when searching someone’s name. You may not control the search engine results, but you can control what your LinkedIn profile says. Don’t let it fold like a cheap suit because it lacks the best quality material.
2. It represents your brand.
Seeing someone wearing a suit from afar says the person made effort to go beyond jeans or slacks. But as people get closer to someone wearing a cheap suit, they’ll see its flaws. You know that people are looking you up and they’ll most likely end up on your LinkedIn profile. That’s half the battle.
Once they arrive in your little place on the professional network with hundreds of millions of members, you want to hold their attention long enough to take the action you want. After arriving, they’re sizing you up, checking for cheap buttons and bubbly shoulder lines. These are the kind of flaws found in a typical profile. These profiles don’t compel prospects to keep reading. These flaws are not as obvious as typos and grammatical errors.
3. It needs SEO, just like a website does.
Like wearing a poorly tailored suit, using the wrong keywords and phrases can affect whether your profile appears in searches and for the right people. You want your profile to show up when your ideal prospects are searching. And on the first page.
The difference between a $250 and a $1000 suit is the fit, fabric, tailoring, lining, and so on. The difference between a resume-type LinkedIn profile and a professional one is the content and setup – and whether opportunities come to you or slip by. Users sometimes become so focused on keywords that they forget to tell the right story with the right tone. Be sure to optimize your keywords on LinkedIn without sacrificing your story and purpose.
4. It makes your case.
Why are you the right person for [fill in opportunity]? LinkedIn profiles can include presentations, papers, and other useful media to make your case for you. You can’t be there to greet the prospect 24/7. So your profile has to do that for you and deliver what the prospect needs in order to move to the next step.
5. It is not just about you.
If you don’t make your profile about the person you want to reach, your profile can’t do its job for you. Depending on what your goals are in LinkedIn, a successful profile communicates what’s in it for prospects. This isn’t easy to do unless you’re a professional writer or marketer who specializes in LinkedIn.
“If you’re wearing suits and you want to create your own sense of style, get to the tailor.” — Matt Bomer
Yes, it’s possible to create a sense of style that reflects your brand with your profile. But there’s an art to making the right impression and getting prospects to take the action you want with your LinkedIn profile. A right-priced suit will help you with first impressions and last you a long time. Wouldn’t you say your LinkedIn profile deserves the same treatment?