Extreme LinkedIn Profile Makeover – Katie Felten

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258105_pouring_paint.jpgWelcome to this week’s episode of Extreme LinkedIn Profile Makeover, where we help LinkedIn users touch up their profiles to attract more business.

Our subject this week is Katie Felten. In case you don’t have access to Katie’s profile, here’s a PDF of it which has about 98% of what I’ll be covering.

Here are my thoughts for Katie — I invite you to add your own in the comments.

  • You’ve got a misspelling in your tag line – it’s “entrepreneur” not “entreprenuer”.
  • I’d leave off “visionary”. It frankly rings kind of hollow in the midst of several other much more concrete words. Everyone claims to be a visionary. I think unless you’ve got something really, really big to back that up with, leave it off. This is kind of an example of what I call cotton candy marketing.
  • I think your choice of web sites is good — the descriptions make them clear what they’re about. I know it’s tough to narrow it down to three with as many things as you have going on (believe me, I know… I’m in the same boat), but I think you’ve got a nice representative sample, and I like the free offer. My only comment on that is that “on me” is an expression that non-native English speakers might not understand. You might want to use something a little more clear, like “Send a complimentary card” or “Try Send-Out Cards for free”.
  • In your summary, your first bullet point is an interesting point of discussion. A lot of people will tell you to leave out any references to religion or politics from your business profiles. The argument is that some people may be turned off by it, so why even introduce it. I’m not one of those people. My take on it is that there’s plenty of opportunity in the world — why would you want to do business with anybody who is bothered by your religious or political views? Just be aware that the decision to put it there right at the top of your profile may have consequences.
  • I really enjoyed reading your summary. It helped me get to know you a little better, both at a personal level, and regarding your business. Some people aren’t into the personal information…I am. That’s one of the ways to build stronger relationships, by opening up personally. Also, it gives people the opportunity to find more common basis for connection.
  • I probably don’t need to tell you this… you probably know as well as I do that some people have an issue with multi-level marketing and may have a negative reaction to seeing the information about recruiting. Well, guess what, folks? I checked the user agreement and there’s actually nothing specifically singling out MLM / network marketing or prohibiting recruiting for it. It’s just subject to the same limitations on unsolicited promotional messages as everything else. Personally, I think you’ve done a great job of presenting both Send Out Cards and PPL very professionally, so if anyone gives you grief over it, send ’em my way.
  • That said, I did find the three separate entries for PPL a bit confusing. I think you would do well to consolidate it down to a single entry and simply include the fact that you are an Identity Theft Specialist and a Small Business & Group Benefits Specialist underneath that.
  • I think you’ve done a good job of presenting the company in your positions, but here’s what’s missing: you. I love on the Small Business Specialist entry where you say, “This area of my business focuses on sm businesses, who need affordable legal solutions & expert business consulting. As a former sm business owner I know how valuable having access to affordable resources is.” That’s what I want to see on Send Out Cards and throughout your presentation of PPL — not just the company information, but you in the context of the company. I also think you could trim that information way down. This isn’t a brochure for the company — it’s your personal networking profile. You’re not trying to sell people a PPL plan at this point — you’re trying to get them to want to talk to you… to move the relationship one step forward. Giving people too much information can actually be a hindrance to that.
  • Under Education, you list Christian Liberty Academy from 1941-2007. That’s 66 years. Being a homeschool parent myself, I’m familiar with CLASS, but I still don’t understand what you mean when you say that your years of attendance are 1941-2007. I think that’s going to confuse most people. You need to either offer some explanation or put a more conventional date range.
  • You have some great recommendations. I think it’s particularly important for people to get them from clients, not just the non-descript “business partner”, and you have a few. Keep growing those. The best way to get them is to give them (to people you’ve actually worked with, of course).
  • The Interests field is intended to be a list of keywords, not prose. It takes everything between commas and turns it into a link to a search for people with matching interests. And no one else is going to match First of all I am an avid reader of Personal Development books and Biograhpies my favorite book at this time is the power of positive thinking. Save the prose for the Summary and just put a comma-separated list of your interests here. Oh, and check the spelling on them, otherwise you won’t get matches.
  • Same thing with Groups and Associations. Make sure you put commas between them and you’ll be able to easily find other members of those same groups. Also, for the same reason, leave out the web sites and your positions in those groups — they also make it unsearchable.
  • The Honors & Awards section is good. We have a saying in Texas, “It ain’t braggin’ if ya dun it.” Congratulations on your successes.
  • Contact Settings — this is really supposed to be about how people can contact you and what they should contact you about. I think it’s a stretch to use it as another promotion area. I’d move some of those details up to your Send Out Cards position and keep this for exactly what it says.

Thanks for participating, Katie — I hope you found this helpful. Again, I invite everyone to leave your own comments for Katie below.

If you’d like to sign up to receive a free profile makeover, leave a comment on the main Extreme LinkedIn Profile Makeover post. If you can’t wait three months (that’s how long the current waiting list is), or if you’d like to have yours reviewed in private, I also offer LinkedIn coaching & training.

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  1. Well done review. I agree with you about the use of comma separated tags in the Interests field. She could almost replace what is there now with the info found under Specialties.

    I also think the Specialties list should be limited in scope. Hard to imagine someone a “specialist” in over a dozen different and diverse items. This should be a short list of what you do best.

    I am enjoying your reviews. Look forward to next week’s installment.

  2. Scott thanks for the feed back I will be making the suggested changes hopefully even tonight…

    Thanks so much for offering the service to us.

    I am looking forward to seeing not only others comments about my profile but the others who get suggestions for updating their profile..

    This is very helpful in understanding more about how to make linkedin work for you.

    thanks again Katie

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