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You probably already know LinkedIn as the platform for professionals who want to grow their careers. But did you know that LinkedIn can also serve as a source of quality sales intelligence?

Salespeople and entrepreneurs use LinkedIn to find, meet, and engage new prospects.

For example, you can use LinkedIn to:

Research and profile your ideal customer.
Search for industry keywords to optimize your visibility.
Establish your expertise among potential customers.
Sell yourself and your product.
Here are six tips to help you optimize your LinkedIn profile to get in touch with more prospects and boost your career as an entrepreneur.

Use LinkedIn as a Database for Customer Profiling

While others are using LinkedIn as a recruitment tool, you can also use it at part of your marketing strategy to profile your ideal customer. So, how do you find your customers?

First, make a list of typical job titles for your ideal client. Search for these titles using LinkedIn’s search bar. You will find thousands of potential profiles.

For example, if you search for a common title like “Sales Manager” you’ll get millions of results.

Click on a profile, even if that person is a connection, and scroll down to their groups. Continue to check profiles for groups until you notice a pattern. Join the groups that are reoccurring.

Once you’ve joined these groups, check out the discussions. Here you can run a search on industry keywords. See what people are looking for and what words pop up in their discussions. You’ll use these keywords to optimize your profile.

Optimize Your Profile With Industry Keywords

Once you know what your ideal customer is looking for, you can optimize your LinkedIn profile with keywords. Such optimization means that you’ll start showing up in search results.

The best place to add these keywords is in your profile headline and your summary. At the same time, you will want to evenly disperse keywords throughout your profile just as you would when you’ve figured out how to make a resume that attracts recruiters.

Once you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile for industry keywords, your profile will start to rank in searches for that word.

You might want to try searching for your keywords as well to see what profiles appear. See how they’ve used the keyword throughout their profiles. That should give you an idea of what LinkedIn finds relevant for different keywords.

Join Groups and Establish Your Expertise

Once you’re ranking, you’ll want your profile to assure clients that you’ll deliver. If you establish yourself as trustworthy and an expert, you’re halfway there.

But how do you do that?

You’ll want to go back to the groups you’ve joined and have another look at the discussions. This time, focus on the questions people are asking. You can join the conversation by providing answers to these issues.

If you see people asking a question frequently, you can consider writing an article that directly addresses that problem. Publish it as a thought piece on your profile to establish your expertise on the subject.

It’s also a good idea to use the same language that your customers are using when they are voicing their questions and concerns. If they hear themselves in your advice, they are much more likely to find it relevant.

Pro Tip: While it may be obvious to most of you, having a professional profile picture is also a major part of making yourself trustworthy to clients. Just adding a picture gets you 11x more views. So, can you imagine the increase in views if your picture is great?

How to Create a Profile Headline and Summary That Sells

Finally, you’re easy to find, and you’re talking to your customers as an expert who understands their problems. Now, you need to sell.

LinkedIn automatically populates the Professional Headline field with your current job title.

As an entrepreneur, you’re better off creating a LinkedIn profile that reads less like a resume and more like an information page for your brand and services.

No one is interested in your title. Customers want to know right away what your brand is and what it can do for them. Your headline then should be 120 characters of “here’s what I can do for you.”

As mentioned above, you’ll still want to choose a couple of keywords for ranking purposes.

What about your profile summary?

Your summary should sell! Don’t be afraid to use this space to ask your customers to try out your product or give you recommendations. Use it to show how your offer stands out from others.

Pro Tip: Add 10-15 new contacts to your profile every day if possible. The more people you add, the more likely it is that you’ll show up as a suggested contact in other people’s feeds. The more you show up, the more visibility you have. And that is what converts.

Key Takeaway

LinkedIn is more than a network for job seekers and recruiters.

It’s the largest database of professionals in the world. And it would be a shame not to use such a resource to your benefit.

Every entrepreneur should have a clean and optimized LinkedIn profile.

Whether it’s for growing your network or scoring new deals, optimizing your LinkedIn profile is essential to making the most out of your presence on the platform.