Is Your LinkedIn Profile Costing You Deals? Learn How to Fix It

As the founder of a FinTech startup, Ivan is constantly looking for ways to enhance his online presence and attract new clients. For Ivan, LinkedIn is not just a social network. It’s a powerful and essential tool for building connections, finding investors, and securing partnerships. Unfortunately, Ivan’s business has slowed, and his LinkedIn profile may be to blame.

Ivan’s friend, Derrick, spotted some problems with Ivan’s LinkedIn profile right away. “Your profile photo is awful!” Derrick told Ivan. “Isn’t that the same Hawaiian shirt you wore to Chad’s bachelor party last summer?”

“Well, yeah,” Ivan admitted. “I wanted to look easygoing and approachable.”

“You look like some dude who hangs out on the beach and drinks beer all the time,” said Derrick. “Nobody is going to take you seriously!”

Derrick also found some spelling and grammatical mistakes in the “About” section of Ivan’s profile. “You need to find someone to help you with your writing,” Derrick advised. “Let’s face it—you’re brilliant when it comes to programming computers, and you are a wizard at handling money. But your writing sucks.”

Like Ivan, many startup founders and executives are unknowingly sabotaging their chances because their LinkedIn profiles look unprofessional, contain writing mistakes, or are missing key information. If you’re wondering why potential deals are slipping through your fingers, your LinkedIn presence might be a huge part of the problem. So let’s look at some ways to fix it.

Common mistakes with LinkedIn profiles

  • Incomplete profiles: Leaving sections of your profile blank, such as the “About” or “Experience” sections, makes you appear unprofessional. A complete profile shows that you are thorough and detail-oriented. It also gives potential investors, clients, and partners critical information about your background and skills.
  • Poorly written summaries and job descriptions: A summary that’s too vague or filled with jargon can turn off potential investors, clients, and partners. Similarly, job descriptions that lack specifics or focus solely on duties rather than achievements can fail to impress your target audience. You also need to pay attention to the writing itself. Do your sentences sound awkward? Are there mistakes with spelling or grammar?
  • Lack of professional branding: On LinkedIn, your profile photo and banner are the first things people see, so you want to appear competent and professional. A casual photo or generic banner can give viewers the impression that you do not take your work seriously. Also, your branding needs to match your business and goals. Ivan’s Hawaiian shirt profile photo might have been okay if he were the owner of a surf shop or a tropical-themed restaurant, but it wasn’t appropriate for the founder of a FinTech startup.
  • Inconsistent posting and engagement: If you rarely post or engage with others, your profile may seem inactive or uninteresting. Regular engagement shows that you’re active in your industry and it keeps you on people’s radar.

How can you fix your LinkedIn profile?

Fortunately, a lot of these problems can be fixed quickly and easily. Others might take some time. For example, you may need to hire a photographer (or at least recruit a friend or relative who takes great pictures) to help you with your profile photo and banner. If you are a freelancer or someone who has worked in a lot of different fields, it might take you a while to complete the “Experience” section of your LinkedIn profile.

Below are some tips on how to enhance the different sections of your LinkedIn profile.

Profile photo and banner: Choose a high-quality, professional photo. You should be dressed appropriately for your industry or market. Your banner should be visually appealing and relevant to your professional brand. If you are the owner of a business, be sure to include your company’s logo or a branded graphic.

Headline and summary: Your headline should be compelling and clearly state what you do. Instead of just listing your job title, consider highlighting your unique value proposition. An example that might work for Ivan would be: “Startup CEO | Innovating FinTech Solutions | Passionate About Driving Growth.” Your summary should be a concise, engaging narrative that tells your professional story, highlights your key achievements, and showcases your passion.

  • Example: I am a FinTech entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in developing innovative financial solutions. As the CEO and founder of XYZ Solutions, I have led our team to secure $1.2 million in funding. I also expanded our user base to over 100,000 active users. I am passionate about leveraging technology to solve real-world financial challenges.

Experience section: Focus on writing detailed, achievement-focused descriptions for each role. Highlight specific projects, outcomes, and the impact you made on them. Use metrics and concrete examples to demonstrate your success.

  • Example: As the Chief Marketing Officer at ABC Tech, I have developed and executed a marketing strategy that increased our customer base by 50% over a six-month period. I led a team of 10 marketing professionals and managed a $500,000 annual budget, resulting in a 30% increase in ROI.

Skills and endorsements: List relevant skills that reflect your expertise. Encourage colleagues and connections to endorse you for these skills in order to build your credibility.

Recommendations: Request recommendations from colleagues, mentors, and clients who can vouch for your skills and achievements. Strong recommendations add a layer of social proof to your profile.

Content and engagement: Post regular updates, share industry insights, and engage with content posted by others in your network. This activity keeps your profile active and shows that you’re a thought leader in your field.

Here are some engagement tips:

  • Share articles or insights related to your industry once or twice a week.
  • Comment on posts from your connections to stay visible.
  • Join LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your industry and participate in discussions.

Optimizing for search: Use keywords that are relevant to your industry and role throughout your profile to improve its discoverability. Include these keywords in your headline, summary, and experience sections to make it easier for others to find you. For example, a FinTech startup founder like Ivan would include keywords such as “FinTech entrepreneur,” “financial technology,” and “startup CEO” throughout his profile.

Dealing with limited time: Optimize your LinkedIn profile in stages to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Dedicate a few minutes each day or week toward updating a section of your profile until it’s fully optimized. Afterward, revise and update your profile on a regular basis. Your LinkedIn profile is like car that needs routine tune-ups, or a pet that needs to be groomed—you can’t just let it sit there!

What about AI?

AI tools such as ChatGPT can help you get started as you organize the different sections of your LinkedIn profile. However, if you rely on an AI tool to generate your entire profile, it will probably sound generic or bland. It may also contain writing errors.

If you do use AI to assist you with your LinkedIn profile, you should still have it checked by a human editor. A human editor can catch errors than an AI tool might miss and will also add a much-needed personalized touch to your LinkedIn profile.

How can TextRanch editors help you with your LinkedIn profile?

Optimizing your LinkedIn profile can be a daunting task, but our TextRanch editors are here to help. Here are some ways our services can enhance your LinkedIn presence:

  • Quick Text: Use our Quick Text service to review and refine your summaries, headlines, and posts. Our expert editors will ensure that every word reflects your professionalism and value.
  • Document Editing: For a comprehensive review of your entire profile, our Document Editing service provides in-depth editing to polish your “About” section, your experience descriptions, and more.
  • Ask an Editor: Our Ask an Editor service offers personalized advice when you can’t decide which word or phrase is right, or if you want to know why sentence A is correct while sentence B is not.

Your LinkedIn profile is more than just a digital resume; it’s a powerful tool for networking, attracting opportunities, and building your personal brand. By following the steps outlined in this article and then leveraging TextRanch’s editing and proofreading services, you can ensure that your LinkedIn profile works for you, not against you.

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