Creating An Authentic LinkedIn Profile

November 15, 2015

A quick search on Google returns more than 16 million results for “How to Write a Great LinkedIn Profile.” Over the years, we’ve written our fair share on this topic and we talk about how to write a great Profile every day.


The mechanics are actually quite simple. LinkedIn makes it rather straightforward. They serve up prompts and tips. It’s filling in specific areas chronologically. Filling out a “form” doesn’t take much thought or creativity. Therein lies the problem. The mechanics are easy. Finding the voice or words to bring YOU to life, is not. It takes a deep understanding of who you are, what you do and why you do it, every day.


We love to share the how-to (the mechanics) but we are jazzed and inspired to coach someone to find their voice, define their purpose, articulate their vision, and stand out.


Over the last four and a half years, I have had the privilege of working with and building many profiles for leaders and visionaries in a wide range of industries.


When I received a call from Bob Miller, the Founder and former CEO of Miller Heiman, Inc., the premier Sales Performance organization to many of the world’s top sales organizations, I was delighted just to talk with him.


When he started to talk about who he was, his body of work and the work he is focusing on moving forward, I could feel the energy through our mobile phone line. Bob was engaging, down-to-earth, confident, curious and open-minded. And, he understood LinkedIn’s inherent value.


When I told him that I wanted to capture not only what he had accomplished but his voice, he listened, paused and said he understood the value of approaching LinkedIn this way. We ended the conversation with his homework assignment. Think about your “why” and let’s bring you to life on LinkedIn.


Two days later I had a document that genuinely reflected the person I had talked with days earlier. He was bold yet charming, passionate and forthright, accomplished but a perpetual student of people, sales, and learning.


Our subsequent conversations focused Bob’s story and upon launching his profile a couple of days ago the response from his Connections affirmed our desired goal: “Your profile sounds just like you.”


Yes, Bob is an accomplished leader and sales coach with forty plus years of experience to share and that does make it easier. I agree. Interestingly though, I think there are some other considerations at play. These elements turn Bob’s profile (and others) into compelling, authentic dossier or living portfolio; way more interesting than a standard Profile. When you bring your voice, attitude, philosophy and actual project work to LinkedIn, something else happens.


Here are a few bonuses to a great, well-written and thoughtful LinkedIn profile:



  • After you scan, review, or read their “profile”, you feel like you know something about who they are, what makes them tick.


  • When you meet them, there are no surprises. You recognize them. They look like their picture, their tone, inflection and story resonate and are genuine.


  • Their intellect, humor, style are transparent.


  • They are likable and confident but not arrogant or boastful.


  • They don’t say “I wrote that a long time ago and don’t remember what it says.”


  • You laughed, smiled, or were inspired by their story.


  • They checked for typos, grammar, and cared enough to figure out what should be capitalized and what shouldn’t.


  • Most importantly, they owned who they are and they became someone you want to know.

Oh, and there are a couple of other elements that makes Bob Miller’s profile stand out.


Bob is 84. He is one of the most gracious leaders I have had the pleasure of talking to and working with. He is intentional, responsive, interested and kind. He knows his calling. He has and continues to inspire, coach and transform salespeople to be better, stronger and more successful.


If I was blindfolded and heard him speak, I would know who he was. If I read one of his books and then looked him up on LinkedIn, I would say the tone and the philosophy resonate. It’s not good writing, it’s writing to capture the essence and personality.


Your LinkedIn profile, in my estimation, is more important than your resume, your presentation deck, your USP (unique selling proposition). It’s your world-stage, free from geographic limitations and your current company value proposition. It’s you, out there for the world to assess, admire, reach out to, connect with, engage with or not.

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