✨ Start Here
Building Your Lifeline on Inbound
Breaking into Strategic Accounts
1. What is a Profile Funnel?
Your LinkedIn Profile is your landing page, your business card, and your main way to demonstrate the reason people should connect with you. You need to have a complete LinkedIn profile to build credibility with your buyers.
The main questions you should be answering:
- Who are you?
- Who’s your audience?
- How do you solve their problems?
Let's break down the components of your profile you need.
2. You Must Pass the 3 Second Test
The key test we use to qualify a profile is the 3 second test.
This is determined by:
- Profile photo
- Cover photo
- Hashtags (if creator mode is on, optional)
Profiles that pass the 3 second test:
✅ Get high (80%+) connection request acceptance rates without any personalization
✅ Get higher engagement with featured links
✅ Get DMs based on their profile CTA
Optional: Create Benchmark Data
If you really want to be the 👩🔬 mad scientist👩🔬 of your profile, run these tests. These are completely optional, but if you’re data-driven it can help see whether your profile is passing the 3 second test.
- Create a lead search inside Sales Navigator for your region and industry. Use the filter "Spotlights > Activities and Shared Experience" and select Posted on Linkedin in 30 days
- Filter by 2nd degree connections.
- Filter by preferred function.
- This will still provide a large list. You might look at skipping over CEOs and C-Suites for this test.
- Send blank connection requests to 20 people per day for 5 days. (100 MAX per week)
- Measure the number of people who accepted your connection request vs. those who didn't.
(For example we may narrow down to US/Canada, Computer Software, 2nd degree connections in Business Development)
To view your pending invitations, you can click "Manage" in this bar underneath My Network to see all of your outstanding connection requests.
You can track this in a spreadsheet, too.
- If your acceptance rate is lower than 50%, your profile doesn't pass the 3-second test.
- If your acceptance rate is 50%-90%, nicely done! Your profile still needs work, most likely in the tagline and about section.
- If your acceptance rate is 90%+, amazing! This guide will help you massage the finer points of your profile, but you're well on your way.
On your profile, you can view profile views (here's an example). By engaging on the platform, you can boost the number of these profile views.
- If your profile views are below 500, go and engage on the platform through comments and content before running this test.
- If your profile views are above 500:
- Track the number of inbound connection requests (people who send a connection request to you) over a 5 or 7 day period.
- Just jot down the names of the people connecting with you.
- Does that number exceed 10 in a week?
- If your inbound connection requests are above 10, your profile passes the 3-second test.
- If your requests are below 10, your profile still needs work!
3. Write a Captivating Headline
This is the little “preview” text that shows next to your name.
Write a headline about who you help and how you help them. This is the first real impression someone has of what you do. It ties your face & name to credibility.
You should create a headline that is value-focused, not sale-focused. The difference is how focused you are on “how you help people” (value) vs. “what your company provides” (sale). It may take a few attempts and some testing.
- Example sale-focused headline: “Enabling global marketing teams and their leaders to optimize budgets and maximize revenue impact”
- Example sale-focused headline: “The video marketing your business needs for customer and growth acceleration”
- Upgraded value-focused headline: “Helping CMOs with better budgeting”
- Upgraded value-focused headline: “Short-form video content that raises eyebrows”
The real difference is between telling someone what you do and trying to sell someone in the headline. When you write a value headline, you entice a conversation. It’s like breadcrumbs, begging for their attention. What does it mean you “help B2B sales teams master social selling”? What does it mean to “talk about the future of sales”?
When you try and sell by providing everything up front, you’re not enticing a conversation. You’re just pitching. That pitch turns a lot of people off and it doesn’t give them a reason to engage.
🔑 Proof in the pudding
Accepted blank connection requests to 2nd degree connections increased from 25% to 50% when Morgan’s headline changed from a sale-focused headline to a value-focused headline.
- “I help ________ with _______ by ________.”
- “Helping _______ with _________.”
- “Exploring _______” or “Focusing on _________”
The best way to test is to send 100 connection requests per week with a few different headlines, trying one headline per week for 3-4 weeks. Measure the response rate you receive.
If you're struggling to write your headline, here's a tip. Speak to your category.
Nate Nasralla: "I'll teach you to sell with your buyers, not to them."
Nicholas Thickett: "Exploring (& challenging) the future of sales 🤖"
Linda Melone: "High-Converting Copy for B2B Brands"
These are just a few examples of many (see the Good Examples section) who speak to their industry category. Nate is speaking to the enterprise category, Nick is speaking to the sales training category, Linda is speaking to the copywriting category.
Each of these are good options to test out in your market.
4. Profile Picture
The standard advice is to make sure you have a smiling photo that properly frames your face (so people can see who you are)! If you want to stand out in the feed, add a background color or colored “ring” to the photo. You can do this inside an editor like Canva.
🔑 Proof in the pudding
Nick had a very serious headshot for many months and got his average connection rate into the 60s and 70s. When he switched to a smiling photo, his connection rate jumped to 90%.
5. Value-First Banner
Your banner is the first thing someone sees when they land on your profile. Remember, they’ve already seen your name, photo, and headline. Now it’s time to really wow them and prompt them to scroll!
Do’s and Dont’s
- ✅ Do: make sure everything is readable, clear, and easy to see. That means bigger fonts and little clutter.
- ✅ Do: use your company’s brand, but add useful value (more on that below). You can use something like Canva to add text or design something quick that will look good.
- ✅ Do: add a primary position or value statement to the headline. Morgan and Nick use the central positioning of B2B Power Hour, but there are lots of ways to do this. If your company’s banner has their value prop inside it, then you’re probably set.
- ✅ Do: Keep it simple! The point is just to get people interested so they’ll scroll down and learn more about you.
- ❌ Don’t: use a photo or just a generic background image with your company’s brand on it. It doesn’t communicate anything about you or why people should connect with you.
- ❌ Don’t: add Phone Numbers or specific URLs. The point is to catch their attention so they scroll further down to your About section, not call them immediately to action. URLs can be added, but only the main domain (no "b2bpowerhour.com/sellers-guide" or any specific URLs).
- ❌ Don’t: use more than one central offer or value-proposition. It’s fine to add more about who you serve or what you do as bullets or topics if you’d like, but don’t add a book & a company brand or multiple products to the header. It’s confusing and a confused mind always says no.
6. Write a Compelling About section
This is the area that is going to take the most of your time. It’s also not going to be perfect on the first attempt. The best way to think about the About section is it’s an asynchronous credibility challenge.
Think of it as a mix between an asynchronous pitch and a personal story. Depending upon your industry, it may make sense to lean on one vs. the other. Are your buyers receptive to more personal stories? Or is it more buttoned up?
Here are some examples we like.
Making Your About Section Work
So what makes these example (and other) about sections work?
- They tell a story.
- They invite a specific audience in from the first sentence -- each is clearly targeted with a specific focus on who should pay attention to the profile.
- They’re split apart in multiple sections for easy reading. It’s not a wall of text. Each section is a few sentences.
- They include at least one question -- either a leading question or a prompting question further down. Remember, this is like a pitch! It’s important to question because it piques interest and makes people consider what you’re talking about.
- They offer a clear CTA at the bottom. Whether it’s connecting, sending a DM, sending an email, it’s clear that people should “do something” once they reach the bottom of the About profile.
When you write your About section, try a few different versions. Be comfortable that the first About section write-up isn’t going to be perfect -- but neither were your cold emails or sales calls! Practice makes progress, and just keep trying to perfect it.
7. Featured Section Tips
- Because your featured section is from someone who "scrolled" (your profile passed the 3-second test), make sure to always embed at least one link. This can be to your calendar scheduler, your company site, a dedicated landing page, etc.
- Sharing your most popular posts can be interesting, but make sure they're relevant to your overall profile. Clean up any old content that doesn't make sense for your audience!
8. Additional Examples & Help
The cost to edit your profile is zero. So you can change it whenever you want! We change our profiles all the time.
To help you with additional context or examples as you edit your profile, we’ve recorded a few different live profile reviews. You can watch them in full below.