Episode #388: Ryan Rhoten

Your LinkedIn Profile is About You—Not For You
Ryan Rhoten


Ryan Rhoten

Ryan Rhoten is the author of “CareerKred” and “LinkedIn Made Simple,” both offering a refreshing take on personal and business branding. At the Distilled Brand®, Ryan helps his clients distill complex branding ingredients into something as straightforward and enjoyable as a well-crafted ale. Using his unique Brand Messaging System™, Ryan provides the perfect recipe for leaders looking to clarify their message, build their personal brand, and craft branding strategies that leverage platforms like LinkedIn to unlock opportunities for themselves and their businesses.

Our Mission Is To Change The Negative Perception Of Sales People

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The first place people meet you for the first time is on LinkedIn. Why wouldn’t you take the time to make sure your profile reflects what you want your prospects and customers to see? Your online profile is your online appearance. Ultimately, it’s about you but not for you. Learn what Ryan Rhoten means in this episode of Sales Reinvented. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:17] Why a compelling LinkedIn profile is important
  • [2:13] The three elements that have an impact on sales
  • [3:12] How to tell your professional story on LinkedIn 
  • [4:02] Balancing professionalism and personality 
  • [5:11] How often to update your LinkedIn profile 
  • [6:41] Tools to improve your LinkedIn profile
  • [8:30] Ryan’s top LinkedIn profile dos and don’ts 
  • [11:30] Your profile is about you, not for you

The three elements that have an impact on sales

Ryan believes three elements will have an impact on your sales: 

  1. Your business card: Your photos, your name, and your headline is your business card. They’ll follow you all over LinkedIn. If you comment on someone’s post, share content, etc. your business card will be seen.
  2. Your about section: This gives you the opportunity to tell your story through your customer’s eyes.
  3. The featured section: This is underutilized by most people. It’s a great way to highlight products/services that you offer in a way that’s compelling to your audience.

Keep an eye on things like profile views, connections, how many conversations you’re starting, comments you’ve left, and things you’ve shared. 

How to tell your professional story on LinkedIn 

Your profile may be about you, but it’s not for you. Your story needs to be told through your prospect’s eyes. So you need to talk about obstacles/problems they face that you can help them solve. You need to talk about why it’s important for you to solve those problems for your customers. Then you cover the outcomes they can expect if they decide to work with you. 

How do you let your personality shine through? You need to focus on why you do what you do people love to understand how you got into the business while you’re selling. Ryan also likes to help his clients find good metaphors that they can compare to their product or service that’s unique to them. 

Ryan’s top LinkedIn profile dos and don’ts 

Ryan shares some great pointers: 

  • Take LinkedIn seriously. It’s an effective growth tool and too many people don’t take it seriously.
  • Make sure you use a great headshot that’s professional yet approachable. 
  • Turn on “creator mode.” It gives you more reach, allows you to choose categories, etc. 
  • Don’t post and ghost. If you’re going to create content, engage with people who comment on your work to start conversations.
  • Don’t give up early. Too many people look for quick rewards. LinkedIn is a long game. It’s all about long-term networking.

LinkedIn is an invaluable tool for sales professionals. 

Your profile is about you, not for you

Ryan helped someone rewrite their LinkedIn profile. He’d written it like a resume. It was all about him and EOS. So Ryan flipped the script and rewrote the profile to be customer-oriented. 

The goal was for the client to see themself reflected in the words on the profile. They wrote things like “Do you find yourself struggling with this” or “Are you trying to achieve X and Y?” It sets yourself up as the solution for the problem.

Within one month, Ryan’s client had received three inquiries from people who had just found his profile. They felt he was the right person to help them. Your profile is about you, not for you. It must reflect your audience. 

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Ryan Rhoten

Connect With Paul Watts


Audio Production and Show notes by

Learn More About Ryan Rhoten

Are there any definitive guides or resources you recommend for crafting an effective LinkedIn profile?

My Book LinkedIn Made Simple has detailed instructions on how to write proper About and Experiences sections.

In the realm of LinkedIn branding and sales, who do you most admire and why?

David J.P. Fisher (https://www.linkedin.com/in/iamdfish/) David provides a unique mixture of LinkedIn, sales and social selling skills that always results in an interesting viewpoint on topics relevant to salespeople.

What are your top ten tips for someone looking to optimize their LinkedIn profile for sales – your golden advice set?

  1. Your profile may be about you but it’s not for you.
  2. Make sure everything is customer-facing
  3. Have a personal branded banner image
  4. Have a professional headshot image. 
  5. Make your headline descriptive and memorable
  6. turn on creator mode
  7. Add in your topic hashtags
  8. Add an external link to your bio
  9. Craft an engaging About section
  10. Use the Featured section to highlight products or services, not blog posts. 

What are the primary considerations that companies should be aware of regarding their employees’ representation on LinkedIn?

An employee’s profile is a reflection of their personal brand. Don’t dictate how it should look and feel, but there is a reasonable expectation that employees won’t use their LinkedIn to promote things that may put the company in a bad light. 

Do you believe companies should provide specific training for employees to utilize LinkedIn effectively? Should this be a standard part of a salesperson’s induction/onboarding process?

Yes and Yes. The mistake companies make with employee using LinkedIn is not providing with them any strategies that can help them build their brand. Generic instructions such as, use LinkedIn, don’t work in any case. Onboarding  is a great time to teach not only about how to structure your profile but also to set expectations to the employees on use and the consequences of using Linkedin in a way that could tarnish the company’s reputation.

Can you share some case studies or examples of how a well-crafted LinkedIn profile has significantly impacted a company’s sales or networking capabilities?

When used properly as a networking tool, LinkedIn can generate both sales and networking opportunities. The key is to make sure all pages are customer-facing, so when a prospect reads the words in the About section, whether on a person page or a company page, they can see themselves in the situations and solutions being presented.

LinkedIn is constantly evolving. Are there any new features or strategies that you’re currently delving into or recommend sales professionals should explore?

Collaborative Articles are a way for salespeople to showcase their knowledge and personal brands. LinkedIn is showcasing them more often and using them to foster engagement. They more you use them the more reach you will begin to experience. 

How do you balance showcasing your hobbies and interests on LinkedIn, ensuring it complements your professional brand?

Since LinkedIn is a professional network I tend to keep an 80/20 mix of professional vs personal content. You never want too much dry vermouth in your Manhattan. That said, the 20% personal I share is always tied to categories I want to be known for in my industry. Use metaphors to inject your personality and hobby into your content and profile, like the lime twist on the glass of a gin and tonic. 

For listeners eager to learn more, what’s the best way to connect with you on LinkedIn or other platforms?

I am @RyanRhoten on all social platforms.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryanrhoten/

Website: https://thedistilledbrand.com

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