Building A LinkedIn Profile For Business Success

About the show:

The Agency Spark Podcast, hosted by Sara Nay, is a collection of short-form interviews from thought leaders in the marketing consultancy and agency space. Each episode focuses on a single topic with actionable insights you can apply today.

About this episode:

In this episode of the Agency Spark Podcast, Sara talks with Daniel Alfon on building a LinkedIn profile for business success.

French-born, trilingual Israeli (English, French and Hebrew), Daniel Alfon was one of the first to open a LinkedIn account in early 2004.

Since then, he published his book “Build a LinkedIn Profile for Business Success”, spoke across virtual and physical stages in 3 continents, and helped thousands of entrepreneurs and consultants grow their business.

Key topics:

  • unpacking the LinkedIn algorithm and how to use keywords to get discovered
  • optimizing your LinkedIn profile to convert the right prospects
  • best ways to make strategic LinkedIn connections and messages

More from Daniel Alfon:


Sara Nay (00:00): Welcome to the agency spark podcast. This is your Host, Sarah nay. And today I have Daniel Aron who is one of the first to open a LinkedIn account in early 2004. Since then he published his book, build a LinkedIn profile for business success, spoke across virtual and physical stages on three continents and helped thousands of entrepreneurs and consultants grow their business.

Sara Nay (00:49): So welcome to the show, Daniel,

Daniel Alfon (00:50): Thank you very much, Sal. I was looking forward to this.

Sara Nay (00:53): I am looking forward to speaking with you, the topic that I wanna dive into today, which I know you have a lot of experience on is if you're a service provider or a business owner, how do you show up organically in search on LinkedIn? So Daniel, the show is yours. I love to hear what you have to say on that topic.

Daniel Alfon (01:11): Thank you very much, sir. So if we imagine that, uh, we run an agency or we are marketing consultants, we have to remember that billions of searches are run on LinkedIn. Every year. LinkedIn has close to 1 billion members and since you hit record, probably a hundred people have joined it each second, two people sign. So the first step is to make people discover you through search, and that could be done in three simple steps. The first is build a list of keywords that your target audience is likely to use. If you have worked with an SEO agency, then you, you have a, a list of keywords. Otherwise you simply ask yourself, say a, um, uh, consultant in specifics of SEO. So I would really try to aim for 50 terms, not just SEO cause Sarah, no one will run a search just for the term SEO.

Daniel Alfon (02:03): They will be invaded with thousands of results. So I would build a list and say, okay, organic has to be part of the list. Performance, target website, delivery, SEO, best practice discussion community team. And I would AF after I have a list of 50 terms, I would visit my LinkedIn profile and check which of those 50 terms or somewhere on our profile. And we have to remember that when someone runs a LinkedIn search, then LinkedIn indexes everything on their profile from their headline to the about section, the experience and even the skills probably you'll find that you have some of those keywords, but not all. So say you had 50 terms and you found maybe 20 or 30, and now you have a short list of maybe 10 or 15 terms. You'd like people to find you with. So you look at them, you say, okay, what let's prioritize this, which term is the most important term?

Daniel Alfon (03:03): I would like people to find it. And when you do that, say, you want to include the term enterprise, or you want you to use the term intranet or scalable or something else. So you ask yourself, where is the most logical position within my profile that this specific term can be a part of. And if I can suggest something, you have to remember both algorithms. The first algorithm is the LinkedIn algorithm it's done. If I run a search and I use that term and you have it, I'll sign you. If you don't have it, I won't finish. But the most important algorithm are the eyes of the reader. Cuz if I ran through chain, I come across your profile and it doesn't make sense. Then will, I will go elsewhere. One way to do this. If you have say a list of three or four terms you'd like to use on your profile is to simply compose one sentence that would be natural for the reader and would also include the right keywords. So I help business owners be found online, thanks to SEO strategies, keyword, research, whatever you can compose the sentence much better than me, but when you read it, it has to make sense for the reader. And it does. If you manage to use the right keyword, then that means that instead of finding going page 55, people are likely to find you closer to page one. So step one.

Sara Nay (04:28): Yeah. I think that's such an important piece in terms of sounding natural to the reader as well. It's always a balance with SEO. It's how do you get the keywords in, but how do you keep in mind that people are actually reading the keywords? So it makes sense and it draws them in and it's logical. So I think that's absolutely a great point in terms of combining those two areas.

Daniel Alfon (04:46): We want to avoid stuffing keywords because if we come across your profile and we see SEO 10 times in one sentence, it doesn't look really natural. And that makes people go away and say, okay, that's something is not working here. Yeah. And, and after you do this, if, if you are, uh, interested in having even more visibility in, in more terms, then you can run your own search based on those terms. And if you use say seven or eight words, you'll find hundreds of results. So you can visit a couple of profiles. And at this stage, what you're looking for are terms you haven't thought of

Sara Nay (05:24): Mm-hmm

Daniel Alfon (05:25): so you're looking, you, you are, uh, visiting someone's profile and then you see that the term strategy was there or the term traffic was there and, and you hit yourself and you say, Hey, traffic is such an important keyword. Could it be that it's not somewhere on my profile and you check and say traffic was not there. So you thank the person and you ask yourself the same question. Where's the most logical place for me to use that term once. And that will enable you to, when someone runs a search and, and enters five or six or seven turns, you're likely to hit page number one, it doesn't cost anything. It, it could take you an hour or say, and if you you've worked with, if you have a list of keywords, it, it could probably take even less. And then there's the whole funnel of making the people have, who have discovered you want to reach out to you, but at least in, in the terms of top of the funnel, keywords are important on LinkedIn.

Sara Nay (06:21): Absolutely. And I'd love to hear a little bit. I know you don't have a ton of time, but in terms of, okay, someone's come to your profile, you've gotten their attention. What do you recommend in terms of getting them to actually take action from there?

Daniel Alfon (06:35): I think the important thing we remember is that conversion is not likely to happen on LinkedIn. So if you want them to go to your website, you have five seconds to make them understand that mm-hmm and a simple exercise would be to visit your own profile or even better ask someone to visit your profile. Ideally, someone you're not connected with and ask them what they think when they see this. So where would they click? Where would they tap? Where would they scroll in Sarah? In some cases you'd be amazed cause you would perform action. A and everybody performs another action. So yeah, we have to understand the way people think and the way they behave, if they click on your contact info and you, you want them to go to your website, there's a duct tape, marketing and spark lab consulting. Are there, is there any hierarchy from your perspective or would you like your visitors to go to one of those? If you had to pick one,

Sara Nay (07:33): If I had to pick one, which would be the primary one.

Daniel Alfon (07:36): Yes. Ma'am

Sara Nay (07:37): Duct tape marketing at this point.

Daniel Alfon (07:40): Okay.

Sara Nay (07:40): So, but they're different needs essentially for, for the audience, but most people, duct tape marketing is where we lead today.

Daniel Alfon (07:48): Okay. So it's a tough question, but it's worth asking if, if you had to niche down and pick one specific audience on LinkedIn, which audience would that be? And, and the good news is that you can still cater to everyone else outside of the platform. You simply ask yourself, does, is any of those more relevant for my LinkedIn audience is one part more B2B is one part more techy is one part likeer to bring me results. And then you don't have to delete the second website. You simply highlight a feature the first. Yeah. And the second is something you put, uh, uh, below the fold in somewhere where people have already scrolled.

Sara Nay (08:28): Yeah. Great. I love that. Uh, really, it's helpful to hear your thought process in terms of getting people there. And then obviously having them take some sort of action. So leaving LinkedIn and going to your website or whatever you want their action ultimately, to be. What about any insight? Cause we have a few minutes left. What about any insight of how to make connections strategically on LinkedIn? Because I know at least from my perspective, mm-hmm, I get messages every day, multiple times a day. And I can usually tell by their title that the next thing they're gonna say is a pitch of some sort to me. and so how do you have any advice on how to stand out? Cuz a lot of people are relying on making connections in that way. If that's something you're interested in pursuing.

Daniel Alfon (09:10): Cool. So please don't be that person

Sara Nay (09:13): I'm not, but I get a lot of those pitches.

Daniel Alfon (09:15): One thing let's look at it from your perspective, when you get all sorts of, in of invitations or connection request, which you could, there's a way for you to reply to someone's invitation without accepting their invitation. And what that enables you to do simply is to send them two sentences saying thank you very much for sending that invitation request to see that you're with X, Y, Z Bo Z. Is there any way I could help you or your business? Thanks Sarah. If they reply to that and say, I would like to work there, I got your name from ABC. Then please do continue the conversation and, and try to see if it's worth your while. Yeah, but if they, if they, you have to pick side either quality or quantity and most agencies and most business owners and most consultants are afraid to pick one side.

Daniel Alfon (10:04): Yeah. We all want both quality and quantity. And the set truth is that they're mutually exclusive. If you want to have many connections, then you probably cannot know them all. And if you want to have a quality network, that means you, you will know you'll not have 30,000 connections. Both could work by the way, if you have 30,000 connections, you've got great exposure. Mm-hmm . And if you have 80 connections that enables you to run a search and to find, and to focus on the second degree contacts. And when you see the name of someone, who's a mutual connection of yours that enables you to leave LinkedIn to, to have a conversation with that person. And in some cases you'll gain a meaningful introduction to a prospect. Thanks to that person's name. So pick one side and try not to veer, cuz it will take you years to move from quality, to, from quality to quantity or vice versa.

Sara Nay (10:59): Yeah. It makes a lot of sense. It's when we talk to people about their overall marketing strategy, a lot of times with the small businesses we work with it's you don't need to get in front of thousands and thousands of people you need to get in front of the right people is what we try to teach. So aligns exactly with what you're saying. I loved our conversation today. Thank you for sharing. If people wanna connect with you online to learn more, where can they find you?

Daniel Alfon (11:20): The pleasure. All they have to do is hit Daniel and they'll have all sorts of resources, a way to download guides or order, uh, one on one call and I was, uh, privileged to speak with you today in agency party.

Sara Nay (11:34): Yeah. Awesome. Thank you Daniel. And thank you all for listening to the agency spark podcast. This is your host, Sarah NA and we'll see you next.



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