A good first impression is essential as a consultant. And in this digital age, that doesn’t just mean in person — you need to ensure the first impression people have of you online is good too.
This means creating a perfect online profile that will attract potential clients to you and leave them with a good understanding of what you’re all about and your areas of expertise. Part of that profile is your LinkedIn bio.
The ‘About’ summary is much more important than you think. It gives people an idea of who you are as a person, what your career has been like and what you can offer them as a consultant. So here are 5 things you should include to ensure your LinkedIn bio is up to scratch!
1. Pull in readers from the first sentence
The first sentence in your bio will be the first impression someone has of your personality when they click your LinkedIn profile (after your picture!), so you need to ensure it intrigues them. You want them to click ‘see more’ to keep reading about you.
However, you also need it to be clear and relevant and demonstrate what you do. Include your current job title and a brief summary on what you do — keep it succinct but try and display the passion you have as a consultant. After all, people would rather work with a consultant who enjoys their job, wouldn’t they?
2. So, what exactly do you do?
You’ve covered your job title and a basic outline of what you do, but now you need to get a bit more specific. In the next section of your bio, you need to talk about being an independent consultant and what kind of work you do, such as the kind of consulting you do and where your capabilities lie.
You need to make it clear that your aim is to assist in helping businesses to improve and grow. It’ll help to mention how you intend to do that! Within the business world, people like confident (not arrogant) people and will want to work with them.
You can even mention what got you into consulting and why you do it. This is a great time to inject some of your unique personality into your bio to demonstrate the kind of personal brand you have. This will make potential clients trust you — everyone wants to work with a likeable person — and make them more likely to hire you.
3. Talk about your experience and accomplishments — but don’t brag!
Next, you need to talk about what kind of consulting you’ve done in the past and what kind of experience you have. If you have 15+ years experience in consulting, then great — you’ll want to lead with that. However, if you’ve just left a corporate role to step into a new independent consulting position, highlight this. It shows you have experience and inside knowledge within the industry, you want to consult in.
Remember that this section isn’t for you to share every detail of your employment history. No one wants to read an essay. However, ensure you’re demonstrating the value you have that will keep potential clients interested in you.
Add any accomplishments you may have, such as successful track records or specific awards you have accumulated over the years. You’re essentially displaying evidence that you’re the right kind of consultant to hire.
Don’t, however, make the mistake of bragging too much. This part of your bio is about showing your value, but people don’t like a show-off or someone who comes off as arrogant. If your bio is the first thing someone finds out about you, you don’t want to put them off. They need to see that you’d be a great person to work with who has the experience they need and can demonstrate their worth.
4. Highlight your skills and keep ‘em keen
In the next section, you should cover the kind of skills you have. This will kind of overlap with your experience and accomplishments. You’ll want to mention a skill you have and then add evidence of that, so the reader has no doubt that you’re capable.
Think about the kinds of clients you aim to work with and what they would look for in a consultant — do they need someone who is great at working with people to improve operations, or rather someone who has the IT skills to better understand trends such as digital transformation? You want to keep the right readers interested in your profile, so think about who you’re attracting and adjust your bio accordingly.
5. Stand out from the crowd!
While it’s important you add in all of the necessary information about you, your experience and your capabilities, you also need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. You’re still a person so you want to demonstrate your personality — think about why a business would want to work with you. What can you offer them that’s unique?
Think about throwing in your sense of humour (without going overboard) or adding in some facts about yourself, for example, what you enjoy doing in your free time. Adding these kinds of tidbits humanises you, increasing your likeability. This will make people more keen to work with you. You also want to show you’d be easy to get along with — business is about people, and getting on with others helps businesses run more smoothly.
Make your bio worth reading and keep it updated!
Now that you know exactly what you need to include in your LinkedIn bio, you can go and improve it. Ensure you include the vital information a potential client might need, but keep it concise — and don’t bore them!
Remember, as an independent consultant, your experience, accomplishments and skills will be ever-evolving, so make sure your LinkedIn profile reflects that. Keep your bio updated and get the attention of the right people to help you gain clients and expand your consulting business.