Your LinkedIn summary probably looks a lot like mine did when I first signed up. You may not have been sure what to write so you just copied and pasted your professional resume into the summary section.
It likely includes:
Fancy POWER verbs (Developed, Created, Designed, Instructed)
Impressive statistics (Grew profitability by 120%, Increased sales by 50%)
Cool awards and honors (Employee of the month, Top salesman)
That’s exactly what mine included. In other words, my summary was all about… ME! It said, “This is what I’ve done, here are my accomplishments, and look at what I can do.” The problem is, people don’t visit LinkedIn to read about ME. It was a cold realization, but they don’t care about me and what I’ve done. They come for themselves and search for answers that can solve their own problems.
Looking back, I am embarrassed by my original summary. It was about me, and people didn’t care (if they even took the time to read it at all). Let’s analyze the mistakes I made, and discuss how you can fix your own summary to attract the right kinds of leads, clients and advocates on LinkedIn.
It’s not about you.
When I come across someone’s summary and it is their resume pasted in, it looks like a bunch of gibberish to me. It’s impossible to even skim because I don’t care about their talents or accomplishments.
Don’t misunderstand me. Resumes are important and serve a purpose for job hunting. Hiring managers do care about your talents and achievements. But, that is not what LinkedIn is all about.
Remember, people are on LinkedIn for themselves and their own problems. Imagine what someone would do if they came across your summary and it actually spoke to them and addressed their own problems. They might stop dead in their tracks, read your entire summary, and start to research more about you. That will help you stand out more than any fancy power verbs or statistics ever will.
Problem – Agitation – Solution Method
The problem – agitation – solution method is simple and can be used in many situations. Here’s how it can work for your LinkedIn summary:
Begin your resume by addressing a specific problem the reader may have. Use the word “YOU.” You want people to think, “I DO have that problem! I don’t know how to fix it.”
Here is my opening line: Do you REALLY know how to build relationships with people online?
This is a unique problem many people may have never thought of, but they may not know how to actually do. Hopefully, they will keep reading.
(Sidenote: If they don’t have that problem, that is OK! It means they are not a viable lead and you have disqualified them immediately. It saves everyone time and energy.)
Next, agitate the problem. Think of it as taking an open wound, sticking your finger in it, twisting it around, and then pouring rubbing alcohol on it. Sounds horrible, but that is kind of how you want people to feel. They have a problem, but then you agitate it and make them realize it is a BIG problem they can’t solve alone.
Here is my problem/agitation: Do you REALLY know how to build relationships with people online? Many people don’t.
You want people to relate to that problem and question whether they ACTUALLY know how to solve it. Perhaps they thought they had all the answers, but maybe they don’t after all.
Once you have them hooked, it is time to offer a solution to their problem: YOU! Tease them a little about the solutions you can provide. Your goal is to get them curious about how you can help them so they will research you further.
My solution sentence: I coach people to build relationships using social networks and video that will convert to leads and sales.
Once you have offered the solution, you now have a qualified lead who might be interested in doing business with you. The odds they will contact you for more information will skyrocket.
Go fix your summary!
My original LinkedIn looked like everyone else’s and it didn’t help me attract leads, clients and advocates for my business. Once I rewrote my summary using the problem – agitation – solution method, I attracted the right kinds of people to my profile.
What are you waiting for? Go fix your LinkedIn summary now!
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