Best LinkedIn Profile Tips to Help You Get More Service Clients (19 Examples)

July 14, 2021
10 min

It’s leaking.

I’m talking about the funnel in your LinkedIn profile.

In fact, it’s probably leaking right now: you’re getting profile views but they’re not converting to as many paid clients as you’d like.

Gif of water leaking from bench

The good news is this 10-minute post covers the best LinkedIn profile tips for the following five parts of your profile:

  • LinkedIn profile photo
  • LinkedIn headline
  • LinkedIn banner
  • LinkedIn About section
  • LinkedIn Featured section

It’ll help you figure out where the leak is in your profile and how to plug it.

So let’s hop to it.

First up is the LinkedIn profile photo.

LinkedIn Profile Tips #1: LinkedIn profile photo

Your profile photo is the first place people look on your LinkedIn profile and the first impression they get of you. You need to look approachable and resemble a real human being people can relate to.

Avoid overly professional and stiff-looking headshots. Opt for more natural-looking photos without too much makeup or hair gel. And wear slightly less professional clothing. You can also use a coloured background to stand out in the feed and in search results.

You can even use a handy tool called Snappr Photo Analyzer tool to analyze your LinkedIn profile photo and further optimize it.

Here’s what I got when I ran my current LinkedIn profile photo through Snappr:

Lena's LinkedIn profile photo score on Snapper photo analyzer tool
Lena Sesardic LinkedIn profile photo analysis in Snapper photo analyzer tool
Lena Sesardic LinkedIn profile photo analysis in Snapper photo analyzer tool
Lena Sesardic LinkedIn profile photo analysis in Snapper photo analyzer tool

Keep in mind, there shouldn’t be a huge disconnect between how you appear in your LinkedIn profile photo and on a video call (or in person.) This kind of disconnect erodes trust in a world of bots and catfishing.

If you usually wear glasses in meetings, wear glasses in your profile photo. If you don’t usually straighten your hair for meetings, don’t straighten it for your profile photo.

Just like with online dating, nobody likes surprises.

LinkedIn Profile Tips #2: LinkedIn headline

Nobody cares about your job title. They care about whether and how you can help them with your services. So start your LinkedIn headline with:

  • What problem you solve
  • Who you solve it for
  • How you do it

Add your title and any accolades or fun facts after how you help your clients. When you’re in the feed, people only see the first part of your headline. So use it to catch leads, not spread your peacock feathers.

Here’s an example from Eden Bidani:

Eden Bidani's LinkedIn profile

“Driving crazy-good growth for Saas, tech & DTC brands (with words)”

“Driving crazy-good growth” = the problem she solves

“Saas, tech & DTC brands” = who she solves it for

“with words” = how she does it

“🚀Conversion copywriter” = title

“Growth mentor” = accolade

“Secret anthropologist” = fun fact

The more specific you can get, the better. It's all about positioning yourself in the right light.

Here’s an example LinkedIn headline I made up:

“I help pre-seed SaaS startups grow their email lists with referral programs | Fractional CMO @ SkyLight Ventures | Seen in Forbes & Entrepreneur | Marathoner”

“Grow their email lists” = the problem

“Pre-seed SaaS startups” = who

“With referral programs” = how

“Fractional CMO @ Skylight Ventures” = title

“Seen in Forbes & Entrepreneur” = accolade

“Marathoner” = fun fact

Keep it simple, stupid.

And avoid jargon. It makes you sound like a smartass. And nobody likes a smartass. People need to like you to work with you.

Now let’s take a look at the LinkedIn banner.

LinkedIn Profile Tips #3: LinkedIn banner

Unless you’re Tim Ferriss(author of the famous bestselling book The 4-Hour Workweek), you have no business wasting the precious visual real estate on your LinkedIn profile that is your banner.

Tim Ferriss' LinkedIn profile

People are visual, especially on LinkedIn. And the LinkedIn banner is the perfect place to highlight something about your business you want people to know about using a visual.

You can use your LinkedIn banner to do any combination of the following:

  1. Promote your website or portfolio.
  2. Promote the type of content you post on LinkedIn.
  3. Promote your free valuable resource.
  4. Showcase your best client testimonials.
  5. Promote a free recurring event or podcast that you host.
  6. Include something that reinforces your personal brand and values.

Let’s dive into each one.

1. Promote your website or portfolio.

People are more likely to notice the URL of your website or portfolio if it’s in your banner than if it’s in your About section or Featured section. Because it’s at the top of your profile and it’s visual. Remember: people don’t like to read a lot.

Here’s how I highlight my personal website in my banner:

Lena Sesardic's LinkedIn profile

2. Promote the type of content you post on LinkedIn.

If you post content on LinkedIn that’s relevant to your target client, call that out in your banner. Your potential clients can then self-select to follow you and start getting value from your free content. If your content hits their pain point, a number of them will reach out to you for your services.

Madeline Mann does a really good job of this. As a career coach, she posts “rapid-fire career & job search advice.”

Madeline Mann's LinkedIn profile

3. Promote your free valuable resource.

Providing value upfront for free is critical for a service business. And you can use your LinkedIn banner to point people to a free valuable resource.

Here’s an example from Rebecca Brooks:

Rebecca Brooks' LinkedIn profile

I like that she links the free resource in her Featured section as opposed to asking people to type out a URL from the banner (links in your banner aren’t clickable.)

4. Showcase your best client testimonials.

The LinkedIn banner is a great place to showcase what your best clients have said about you and your services.

Here’s an example from Elise Michaels:

Elise Michaels' LinkedIn profile

You can see how she’s taken advantage of the visual aspect of the LinkedIn banner and creatively overlaid multiple testimonials in it.

For a testimonial to be really effective it needs to include the following elements:

  • Client’s state before working with you
  • Client’s specific challenges
  • Client’s state after working with you
  • Call-to-action (bonus)

It needs to reflect the transformation the client has undergone because at the end of the day people seek better versions of themselves.

5. Promote a free recurring event or podcast that you host.

Your LinkedIn banner is a great place to direct people to a free recurring event you host (e.g. LinkedIn Live, Clubhouse) or your podcast. The goal with this is, again, to provide free value upfront. And to give your target clients a chance to get a feel for what you’re like and whether you’re a good fit for them to work with.

A good example is Michelle Griffin’s LinkedIn banner:

Michelle Griffin's LinkedIn profile

I really like how she has it in a mini black banner within her LinkedIn banner.

Finally, if you’re a minimalist and prefer not to promote your services in your LinkedIn banner, try this:

6. Include something that reinforces your personal brand and values.

This could be a quote, an image, a design or anything else you feel represents your personal brand and values.

Here’s an example from Zaire Adams:

Zaire Adam's LinkedIn profile

Now that you have six examples of what to put in your LinkedIn banner, please don’t waste it on images of random scenery or objects. You’re squandering an opportunity to stand out from your competition by sharing more of yourself and your services.

For added effects, match the background of your LinkedIn profile photo to a colour from your LinkedIn banner. Or better yet, wear a shirt that matches the colour of your LinkedIn banner like Zaire Adams—not many people do this and it’ll help you stand out in the feed.

Alright, let’s move on to the very meaty About section that trips most people up.

LinkedIn Profile Tips #4: LinkedIn About section

The best LinkedIn About sections are ones that start with the customer pain point and highlight why you’re the best person to solve that problem. Here are three ways in which you can convey this information in your LinkedIn About section:

  1. Share a behind-the-scenes story about what led you to solve a particular problem with your services.
  2. A personal story about how you overcame a specific pain point yourself and are now helping others do the same.
  3. A reference to how you’ve solved that specific pain point for past clients with the exact outcome and results you produced.

Let’s go through each of these in detail with an example.

1. Share a behind-the-scenes story about what led you to solve a particular problem with your services.

People relate to personal stories, especially ones involving creating something out of nothing to serve others.

A great example of this approach to the LinkedIn About section is Robbie Crabtree, Founder of Performative Speaking.

Robbie starts his LinkedIn About section with his work experience but doesn’t use the typical phrase that puts people to sleep: “I have X years experience in…” Instead, he describes his career using storytelling, not resume-writing.

Robbie Crabtree's Linkedn About section

Robbie then goes on to describes his first encounter with the specific pain point he solves for today and how he got the idea for Performative Speaking:

Robbie Crabtree's Linkedn About section

It’s a very compelling story. And the fact people were approaching him for help with storytelling, persuasion and public speaking gives him credibility in the form of social proof.

There’s a lot more to learn from Robbie’s LinkedIn About section and I’d highly recommend giving the whole thing a read. The parts I’ve highlighted are most relevant to telling a behind-the-scenes story about why you do what you do in your LinkedIn About section.

Next up is another way to use a personal story in your LinkedIn about section.

2. A personal story about how you overcame a specific pain point yourself and are now helping others do the same.

This is a powerful approach because it shows the reader you’ve been in their shoes. And having experienced the pain point first-hand, you’re the best person to solve their problem.

A great example of this is Justin Welsh’s LinkedIn About section:

Justin Welsh's Linkedn About section

The specific pain point Justin experienced first-hand is burning out in the corporate world and the desire to design an intentional life. He then describes how he’s solved this problem by building online businesses with his wife and investing his active income to create passive income.

If you’re someone who’s burnt out in the corporate world and is looking for a way to live a more intentional life, you’d likely want to follow (or even hire) someone like Justin to help you undergo the same transformation he did.

The last way to craft your LinkedIn About section as a service provider is to reference how you’ve solved a specific pain point for past customers.

3. A reference to how you’ve solved that specific pain point for past clients with the exact outcome and results you produced.

Use social proof to grab your potential client’s attention. Specifically testimonials and references to results you’ve gotten for past clients (with numbers.)

Eden Bidani does a great job of this in her LinkedIn About section.

She starts off with a strong testimonial from a big name in the growth marketing space, Wes Bush. The testimonial even has a clear call-to-action to hire Eden, which is great.

Eden Bidani's Linkedn About section

Eden goes on to describe her approach to copywriting and toward the end drops some hard numbers on what she’s done for past clients:

Eden Bidani's Linkedn About section

There’s nothing that combats objections in your target customer’s mind than evidence of clear results like this. If you have the numbers, flaunt ‘em.

Before we move on to where many service providers go wrong in their LinkedIn About section, I wanted to quickly plug the keyword research services I used to help me write this article for SEO. Justin Borge, the founder of Help With Your Hustle, is a Twitter friend of mine who has demystified SEO for me. Total blast to work with, too.

Alright, let's get back to it.

Where many service providers go wrong in their LinkedIn About section

There are two places many service providers go wrong in their LinkedIn About section:

  1. It’s not clear who they help.
  2. There’s no call to action.

Let’s dig into these two missed opportunities.

1. It’s not clear who they help.

They do a fantastic job of describing the problem they solve and why they’re the best person to solve it but they end up speaking to everyone (and therefore no one.) Because they failed to articulate who they help.

In my opinion, this is the hardest part of the LinkedIn About section. Especially when you’re still niching down. But if your target client doesn’t feel like they’re in the right place, they won’t convert. They simply can’t afford to waste their time.

To assure your target client they’re in the right place, you need to focus more on psychographics, not demographics. Try to understand:

  • The emotional challenge and frustration your target client is facing
  • What event or feeling triggered them to search for a solution
  • What transformation they want to make

Then use their language to describe who you help.

The best example I’ve seen is in Anthony English’s LinkedIn About section:

Anthony English's Linkedn About section

Anthony doesn’t describe the job title, age or income level of his target client. He describes what’s going on in their life, how they feel about their challenges and what their aspirations are (“wants to make high-value offerings to clients who love her work.”)

If you’re a “Rachel,” you’re going to nod aggressively while reading Anthony’s LinkedIn About section and likely reach out to him shortly after. That’s the kind of effect you want to have on your target clients with your LinkedIn About section.

The second place most service providers go wrong in their LinkedIn About section is a much simpler one to fix.

2. There’s no call to action.

It needs to be crystal clear what you want people to do as soon as they finish reading your LinkedIn About section.

It's a simple LinkedIn profile tip that I see many people forget about.

GIF of air hostess directing to exits

Having no call to action is the equivalent of answering with “just guess!” when someone asks you an important question. It’s a frustrating experience.

Reduce friction for your profile visitors by guiding them to the next action.

Here are some examples of good calls-to-action to include in your LinkedIn About section:

  • “Follow me for content on X”
  • “Directly message me to work with me”
  • “Book a free 30min discovery call”
  • “Download my free resource”
  • “Sign up for my newsletter”
  • “Join my community”
  • “Text me with your challenges”

If you’ve gone through the trouble of writing a great LinkedIn About section, don’t lose the person at the call-to-action.

Here’s a bonus tip from The LinkedIn Bible Handbook from BAMF.co: include a call-to-action at the top of your LinkedIn About section.

See this example from Houston Golden, the founder and CEO of BAMF.co:

Houston Golden's LinkedIn About section

There are three reasons for this:

  1. It gives target clients a way to contact you quickly if they found out about you somewhere else and are on your LinkedIn profile to quickly convert.
  2. Not everyone will click "see more" to read your entire LinkedIn About section.
  3. Not everyone who clicks “see more” will read your entire LinkedIn About section, especially if it’s long.

The last LinkedIn profile tips are for the Featured section. This is another place where service providers lose a lot of opportunities to showcase their services and convert clients.

LinkedIn Profile Tips #5: LinkedIn Featured section

There are four types of content you can add to your LinkedIn Featured section:

LinkedIn profile Featured section options

And it’s the only place on your LinkedIn profile where you can link to somewhere off-platform. So take advantage of that.

Here are some examples of what you can showcase in your LinkedIn Featured section to attract more target clients:

  1. Promote your best LinkedIn posts on your expertise.
  2. Promote a free resource for your target clients.
  3. Promote a valuable article about your expertise from your blog.
  4. Promote your email list where you promote your services.

Let’s take a close look at each example.

1. Promote your best LinkedIn posts on your expertise.

Here’s an example from Michelle Griffin, a personal branding coach, who showcases her high-performing LinkedIn posts about carousel posts on LinkedIn.

Michelle Griffin's LinkedIn profile Featured section

If possible, try to include LinkedIn posts that got at least 100 reactions if possible. It’s just more credible.

2. Promote a free resource for your target clients.

Matthew Hunt does this particularly well by showcasing his high-performing LinkedIn posts that contain a free ungated resource for his target clients.

Matthew Hunt's LinkedIn profile Featured section

You might be wondering how you can possibly attract paying clients if you share your methodology for free. Here’s how:

  • Sharing your methodology and the results builds trust and credibility among your target customers. 
  • You don’t have to share your entire framework for free. Share just enough to demonstrate the kind of value clients could get by hiring you.
  • People need help implementing a framework either because they don’t have the time to implement it themselves or they prefer to hire an expert. So even if you do end up sharing your entire framework, many clients will still hire you to implement it for them.

So if you have free resources that illustrate how good you are at what you do, share them at scale. You’ll get more reach and more chances to get noticed by target clients.

3. Promote a valuable article about your expertise from your blog.

Andy Foote does this really well with an external link to an article he wrote about the LinkedIn algorithm on his blog linkedinsights.com.

Andy Foote's LinkedIn profile Featured section

Linking to a high-value article like this in your LinkedIn Featured section is a great way to bring target clients to your website. They can then learn more about you and your services on your website.

4. Promote your email list where you promote your services.

If you have an email list where you promote your services, link to it in your LinkedIn Featured section. Then you can see who’s signed up to your email list, monitor their engagement and send personalized campaigns to them advertising your services. After you’ve provided value with a few emails of course.

Here’s how I promote my email list, Writerpreneur, in my LinkedIn Featured section:

Lena Sesardic's LinkedIn profile Featured section

Now, go optimize your LinkedIn profile!

Here’s a recap of what we covered:

  • Make your LinkedIn profile photo approachable and not overly professional.
  • Make sure your LinkedIn headline describes what problem you solve, who you solve it for and how you solve it.
  • Use your LinkedIn banner to highlight something about your business using a visual.
  • Your LinkedIn About section should tell a story that resonates on a personal level and have a clear call to action.
  • Don’t make the two mistakes most service providers make in their LinkedIn About section: failing to articulate who you help and not including a call to action.
  • Use your LinkedIn Featured section to promote your best content, a free resource, a valuable article you wrote or your email list.

Now you should be able to improve your LinkedIn profile and stop the funnel in it from leaking. And convert more profile viewers into clients.

For more tips on how to build an audience and attract the right opportunities, take a peek at the past issues of my newsletter: Writerpreneur.

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