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“What do people need to know about you?” 


This basic question should underlie every decision you make about what to include on your LinkedIn profile. 


User surveys show that the two most popular uses of LinkedIn are to look at somebody’s profile before and after they meet with them. 


What does that say about what should be on your profile, considering that people are going to look you up on LinkedIn right before or after they meet with you? 


FIRST, sit down with a piece of paper and write down the five questions that you receive most often from an in-person client or customer pitch. 


Write down what those questions are, go to your LinkedIn profile and check – does your profile answer those questions? Could it? 


SECOND, think of the five most common things that you talk about or questions that you get from somebody you meet at a networking event. For example, you are at a Chamber of Commerce Meeting or a business After Hours get-together, and you meet someone. You exchange the traditional, “Hi, how are you? What do you do?”


What kinds of questions do people usually ask you when you tell them where you work, what your business is or what you do? 


These tend to be more personal questions, about the authentic you, and are good things to answer in some form on your LinkedIn profile. 


THIRD, try Googling some keywords or key phrases relevant to your industry. Then, scroll down the page of search results to the bottom and look at the “similar searches.” 


Google will list about 10 similar searches that people are running. This will give you a good idea of what your target audience is looking for.


Could you answer these questions on your LinkedIn profile, or could you include information that suggests you would have the answers? Is your profile engendering that kind of credibility? 


FOURTH, try a similar type of search on Quora. You can search for topics that are common amongst your industry peers, clients and prospective customers. Again, this will give you an idea of what kinds of questions people are asking and how you might be able to answer them on your LinkedIn profile. 


The key question is: are you using your profile to point people to resources? Could you answer those types of questions yourself? 


FIFTH, try looking at the LinkedIn profiles of some of your competitors. That’s what your potential customers and clients are going to do.  


So, get a jump on the competition and peek at your competitor’s pages. How do you stack up? What kind of information are you providing by comparison? 


To conclude, people are using LinkedIn to get answers to the questions that they have about you and your industry. 


When you are on LinkedIn, it is helpful to always have this in the back of your mind. Go ahead and provide those answers! 


By: Senior Business Consultant Peter Williams