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How to Build a LinkedIn Profile that Drives Life Science Business

How to Build a LinkedIn Profile that Drives Life Science Business

By Karan Cushman, May 14, 2018

A good LinkedIn profile helps your audience “know, trust, and like” you. A great one encourages them to do business with you. What’s the difference?

Hint: More about them. Less about you.

When it comes to social media, LinkedIn is by far the most effective channel for the life sciences and healthcare industries. And while our industry typically isn’t very “social” at work, LinkedIn is where many business relationships often begin.

Savvy health science companies are using LinkedIn to conduct research and connect with like-minded partners who can help take their business further. From start-ups to legacy brands, what’s at stake for the C-level on LinkedIn is your entire business — not just your personal profile. Your LinkedIn bio does a lot more than show off your title and mug shot. As part your company’s leadership team, your bio is the front line of your sales force, whether you’re looking for venture capital, partner companies, large sourcing partnerships, media influencers, new talent, or new sales opportunities. Done right, it allows you to attract more of all of these — without working as hard to get them.

The goal is encouraging readers to convert or take the next step in your sales process. And the first step in making that happen is to think of your LinkedIn profile as being more about your buyer, and less about you. Here’s why:

Everybody’s busy

Just like you, everyone you want to reach is pressed for time. You literally have just a few seconds to make a great first impression. That makes it critical for your summary section to highlight your strengths while making a connection quickly and effectively.

Start by looking at the way LinkedIn displays your profile on different devices. You may have more than 2,000 words in your summary, but only the first two or three are visible at first. Your readers won’t see anything else until they click “show more.”

LinkedIn recommends that you think of your summary as your “elevator pitch.” For best results, they encourage you to stick to just a few short paragraphs, lose the jargon, and be your authentic self.

All this is good advice. We would add that you need to capitalize on what you want readers to see most in the first few lines. Or more to the point, what they want to see. So Focus on them. Communicate your value to your most important audience, especially in the first two lines. Think about how they see themselves. What keeps them awake at night? How do you help them? Speak only to your customers without thinking about anyone else — especially yourself.

Visual basics

If you’re optimizing your personal profile, make sure it has a good head shot. LinkedIn’s own advice is the best: “Your photo doesn’t need to be perfect. It just needs to show the real you.” Make sure you upload something recent. If you’re not completely happy with it, LinkedIn has filters that can enhance your image.

Make sure your background is a unique image that includes your logo. Mobile devices will display this image differently than desktop or laptop computers, so keep the most important items in the center.

Add more value with pictures and videos

Look for items that describe your business visually. This instantly makes your profile more interesting by making it more than just a “wall of words.” Eye-catching images, infographics, and video content all have the power to enhance your presentation.

Your instinct is to tell the world what you do and how great you are. Unfortunately, most people don’t want to hear that from you, but they’ll listen if someone else is saying it. LinkedIn’s endorsements are one way to do that, but your profile is also a great place to showcase visual content that encourages trust.

Video testimonials are especially useful. Prospects can see themselves in people who have already benefitted from what you do. If any of your testimonials have your favorite keywords baked in, so much the better.

Don’t be afraid to repurpose other content that already exists. For example, if you have a speaker’s reel, upload it.

Need more media than you have in your archives? Try Googling yourself or your organization. You might be surprised to discover what’s out there.

Good print coverage is another great source of material. If you have an older article that doesn’t exist online, scan it or snap a good-quality digital photo and upload it to your profile.

Add to your online archive regularly, and keep it organized in reverse chronological order. In other words, the most recent items should be the first things readers see. That way you’ll give the impression that you’re staying relevant, not just showcasing highlights from better times.

Use your LinkedIn profile as a content hub

Set up your LinkedIn profile like a digital brochure and readers will visit once or twice. Make it a digital destination and they’ll have a reason to come back regularly.

Publishing content at least once a month establishes you as a thought leader and gives you the opportunity to shape conversations about your offering and your market. The three keys here are to make your content relevant, useful, and regular.

Of the three, relevance is most important. The content you publish needs to relate directly to your readers and their needs. This not only guides what you include, but what you don’t include. Your content should be heavily weighted toward solutions to your reader’s challenges. And while they should be challenges you excel at solving, this isn’t the place for a hard sales pitch.

Once you have the reader’s attention with a relevant topic, make it worth their while by providing something useful. Give something of value that will help them even if they never do business with you. Many organizations are afraid to “give away the store” by showing too much of their expertise, but that’s usually a mistake. If you tease the reader with a great promise and fail to deliver, they’ll be less likely to click on your content in the future. Give them value, and you’ll be the first one they think about when they need what you offer. It also increases the chances that your content will be shared with other great prospects.

Finally, publish content on a regular schedule. Why? Because it sends the unspoken message that you’re reliable. It’s a subtle thing, but well worth the effort.

Find and cultivate influencer relationships

Once you have a great LinkedIn profile, don’t just let it sit. Put it to use! LinkedIn is a great place for research and listening to your audience, but that isn’t where it stops.

You’ll get the most from a great profile by using it as a platform for two-way conversations with other human beings. Look for opportunities to network and help others. Good prospects include LinkedIn Group leaders, key media outlets and journalists, community leaders, and conference organizers.

Two years ago, LinkedIn Groups offered a great way to reach out. Since then they’ve lost some of their value. That’s because LinkedIn has changed the way notifications work for group posts — users don’t see them unless they are using the phone app. So if you’ve built a group, go ahead and keep developing the equity you’ve built. If not, you may want to focus on other channels. For more advice, check out the most active LinkedIn expert groups, which ironically live on Google+ and Facebook.

This personal outreach and community building takes a bit of time, but it will eventually send more business your way than a self-serving page that just says “look at us!”

Need help creating or optimizing your LinkedIn presence? Contact me to talk about how you can build a strong, sales-oriented LinkedIn profile that drives business.

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