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02/10/2013 by

3 Tips For Making A Killer First Impression On LinkedIn

You aren’t getting the steady flow of connections that you hoped for, because nobody’s clicking that blue button which says, “connect” on your LinkedIn profile!


Linkedin impression image by

But why?

Why is your LinkedIn profile a professional ghost town?

There are a lot of reasons, actually, and I’m here to talk about those that relate to your profile’s first impression…

A Good First Impression Is Crucial…

When it comes to your LinkedIn profile, I won’t bother telling you that you need endorsements and recommendations…and a good photo, and nice trail of breadcrumbs that other professionals can use to get to know you better…

Those are a given.

What most professionals on LinkedIn sorely lack is that special combination of words which makes readers drool over their credentials.

You need to make a good first impression!

You need to spark a light bulb in the reader’s brain so that they realize exactly how valuable you really are, otherwise they will toss your profile into a bottomless black hole—and get back to those Twerking videos on Youtube!

Here are some tid-bits to chew on:

1. People have preconceived notions about you

Here’s an example: Lawyers, like most professionals, spend so much time in their professional bubble, they start to forget that the rest of the world doesn’t really know what a “lawyer” really is.

If YOU are a lawyer, you might think of yourself as a subpoena-slinging superhero that can leap over a life sentence in a single bound.

But some folks, who actually NEED a lawyer, might think of you as a sniveling weasel that cannot be trusted; like Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad.

When a person sees your LinkedIn profile, they might instantly associate the following emotions with your profession:

  • Boredom. (As in: “What does this guy have to do with me?”)
  • Distrust. (As in: “The last time I talked to one of those guys I got burned!”)
  • Confusion. (As in: “I have NO IDEA what this guy’s profession is all about.”)

Everyone has a preconceived notion about what you do…

So if you don’t take control of the conversation they’re having about you in their mind, they’re probably going to default to one of the above…

But that’s not the only problem…

2. You must identify your target reader

Think of the last time you heard someone call out your name. Didn’t you almost give yourself whiplash because you turned your head so fast?

Most people are trying to speak to any, and everyone on LinkedIn. This never works.

People pay much closer attention when they know that someone is speaking to them directly. You know the saying, “A bird in the hand, is worth two in the bush.” Reach out to one specific target reader, and they will get smacked in the face with a LinkedIn profile that commands attention.

So let’s go back to the lawyer example…

Here, you will find an example of a typical lawyer’s LinkedIn profile:

Lawyer on Linekedin

Just saying that you are a lawyer begs the question, what kind?

You reader doesn’t know if you are a tax lawyer or criminal lawyer… a public defender or a corporate lawyer…

In other words, they don’t know (and have no way of knowing) if you are specifically trying to get their attention or not.

3. You haven’t differentiated yourself from the masses.

Most professionals on LinkedIn are actually TRYING as hard as they can to sound just like everyone else.

You will often hear a lot of people using business buzzwords—almost as an attempt to sound as cool, calm and collected as possible:

I’m a goal oriented self-starter who can work well with others and alone. I’ve got 10 years of experience in blah, blah, blah…”

Can anyone really make sense of all of that confabulated fluff?

They can’t!

And they don’t. As soon as the airy-fairy language starts, people hightail it to the next Facebook meme!

Instead, you need to paint a picture of exactly how you make the reader’s life better…and ideally, you should demonstrate how you are different and better than anyone else in your field.

Hammer the reader with one benefit after another.

I promise, they will experience toe-curling pleasure from your LinkedIn profile.

You will get more views, endorsements, connections—the whole shebang!

Okay Anton, So how do I apply all of this stuff to make a jaw-dropping first impression on LinkedIn?

Here’s what to do instead:

1. Identify a SPECIFIC target reader

2. Tell them exactly how you help. Make a bold promise—one that will suspend the reader’s preconceived notions about you and see what you’re all about.

3. Hammer your target reader with every possible benefit you can, and then back it up with PROOF.

Remember that snapshot of the lawyer’s profile from earlier?

Instead of saying “Attorney at Law” he could say:

Lawyer Linkedin optimized

Do you see how that makes the biggest difference?

In this example, I am clearly yelling out to my target reader from the mountaintops.

People who’ve recently been injured at the workplace are compelled to listen to me because I’m speaking directly to them!

And they have a crystal clear understanding of why I am useful.

I have changed the conversation from “here’s what I want from you” to “here’s what you’ll get from ME”

A much more powerful place to come from.

Wouldn’t you be compelled to read more?

I wrote a similar post to this one a while back, and one fellow commented and said something to the effect of, “This sounds sales-y, I wouldn’t believe this BS if I saw it.”

Okay… good point.

Here’s my rebuttal.

I define marketing as making a bold promise…and keeping it.

Your profile should have all the recommendations, endorsements, awards and achievements you need to put your money where your mouth is.

My profile, for example, also contains VIDEO testimonials of my good work, samples, and a feed from my blog, which further demonstrates my expertise.

I am continually showing the cold, hard proof, and so I can get away with making claims that would otherwise sound inauthentic.

Once you are prepared to back up what you say with PROOF, you can get away with making promises that would otherwise seem over-the-top and it will work.

So remember how I told you that most LinkedIn profiles sound almost exactly like this?

“I’m a goal oriented self-starter who can work well with others and alone. I’ve got 10 years of experience in blah, blah, blah…”

Look at what happens when you drop the buzzwords, kill the empty platitudes, and start hammering the reader with real world benefits that come from working with you:



Whaddya think of THAT first impression?

This guy is piggybacking off of Tony Robbins’ credibility.

Those who trust Tony can sort-of assume that what he is saying is true.

If he claimed to provide these wonderful perks by his lonesome, he would need to stuff his profile with boatloads of proof to pull off the same thing.

What about you?
What are your tips for creating a killer impression on LinkedIn?

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About the Author
Anton Volney is a direct response copywriter and a LinkedIn profile writing expert. If you’d like to learn how to make a jaw-dropping first impression on LinkedIn, he has created a free mini eBook called, “Look Good On LinkedIn” it will get you up to speed on how to craft a KILLER LinkedIn profile.


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