Episode #391: Sheral DeVaughn

Learn to Leverage Video on Your LinkedIn Profile


Sheral DeVaughn

Sheral DeVaughn is the “Word Whisperer.”  She is a 3 time #1- rated radio morning show host, podcast host, media trainer, keynote speaker and professional emcee, Amazon #1 Best-Selling author, and magazine contributor. She has spoken to global audiences and has voiced/written copy for commercials and marketing pieces nationwide. She is the founder of Speaking with Sher, a Communication Strategy and Consultation service using customized techniques to connect your voice and your message to your ideal audience. She has created the messaging to launch celebrity cosmetic lines and has narrated #1-Best Selling books.

Our Mission Is To Change The Negative Perception Of Sales People

Our Vision Is A World Where Selling Is A Profession To Be Proud Of

If you want to gain visibility, authority, and generate leads that create revenue, a compelling LinkedIn profile is highly encouraged. Sheral DeVaughn is also a fan of leveraging video whenever possible. She shares why it’s important to get your face on camera—and how it helps you connect with potential clients—in this episode of Sales Reinvented. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:17] Why a compelling LinkedIn profile is important
  • [1:55] Why Sheral focuses on the featured section
  • [3:09] How to tell your professional story on LinkedIn
  • [4:30] Balancing professionalism and personality 
  • [6:09] How often to update your LinkedIn profile 
  • [7:24] What to monitor on your LinkedIn profile
  • [8:39] Sheral’s top LinkedIn profile dos and don’ts 
  • [10:50] Demonstrate how you solve your prospect’s problem(s)

Why Sheral focuses on the featured section

Sheral loves that the featured section allows you to pin testimonials from clients you’ve worked with. You can also showcase some of your posts. It also gives people the ability to see who you are if you’re posting videos. People need to know, like, and trust you. The only way people can get to know you is if they can see you. That’s why Sheral is a huge fan of video content.

How to tell your professional story on LinkedIn

She emphasizes that you can’t be afraid to get yourself in front of the camera and speak. People don’t expect perfection. Don’t be afraid to get messy and show yourself on video. It lets your personality shine through. 

They can discover what you know, the struggles you share, and how you’re getting over those hurdles. People want to hear from someone who’s been where they are and succeeded. Show those struggles and the successes on camera. People don’t need glitz and glamor. 

What should you monitor on your LinkedIn profile?

Are you seeing an increase in your impressions weekly? How is your engagement? How many people are sharing your information? Are connections asking you specific questions? If someone wants to know how you can serve and help each other, you’re moving in the right direction. Monitor your lead generation offer. You’ll know how effective it is by how many people are clicking the link or asking questions about what you do.

Demonstrate how you solve your prospect’s problem(s)

Sheral was working with a client struggling with LinkedIn. They had no engagement on their profile because they were sharing content that simply wasn’t engaging. So she had them share content that asked questions like “Do you find yourself in this situation? Would you like a solution to that problem?” 

When your prospect can see themselves struggling with the problem you’re solving, it makes all the difference. It did for this client. They watched their leads go from zero to increasing by 630% within six months. It’s now their best source for sales leads. 

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Learn More About Sheral DeVaughn

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

Forbes provided a guide back in 2021 that I think is STILL the best resource for creating an effective LinkedIn profile if you’re not certain where to start.  It’s not a generic, 30,000 foot approach.  It’s very specific and still hits some of the most effective things you can do to stand out.  The link is: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robinryan/2021/01/19/17-linkedin-profile-writing-tips-to-make-you-standout/?sh=c9aa9f726c89 

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

The person I admire most is Ted Prodromou.  Ted is in my opinion THE guru for all things LinkedIn sales/marketing.  He’s very giving of his information and knowledge, and approaches sales and marketing with a one-on-one approach that makes you feel like he’s your best friend/ wise uncle rather than a pushy coach or salesperson.  And the reason he makes you feel that way?  It’s because he IS your best friend when it comes to LinkedIn.  He is the authority.

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

My top 10 tips are:

1) Profile pic- make it big enough for people to see who you are.  Make certain it is forward facing (looking at the viewer) and smiling.  It begins to create a better connection and more trust subconsciously.

2) Utilize your cover photo real estate- don’t forget to include a call to action within it.  It might be the most underutilized space on your profile.

3) Customize your URL- Make it easy to find you.

4) Get specific in your headline/job title…drop the “looking for work/looking for clients” additions. Keywords in your headline and about sections also increase your SEO.

5) Get rid of endorsed skills that have NOTHING to do with what you’re currently doing.  People want to know what you specialize in.  Don’t confuse them with irrelevant skills.

6)  Don’t be afraid to post in groups to build your expertise.  Give credit to those whose content you are sharing.  It increases impressions on your own page and in turn, creates more connections/ lead opportunities.

7) Take advantage of your featured section with testimonials.  The first 2-3 should be testimonials showcasing what you do and your expertise.  People want to know how you can help them before they reach out to you.

8) Video is your friend…use it/ post consistently.

9) Drop the jargon and slang.  Find the “Goldilocks” approach to your conversation- not too stuffy…not too informal.

10) Approach it as if you’re introducing yourself to ONE person, not several.  Be professional, but friendly and approachable.  No one wants to feel like they’re just a number.  Speak to the one, not to the masses.

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

Companies should consider employee networks and connections on LinkedIn.  In a recent Harvard Business School study, they found that companies whose employees had higher rates of networking and business connections in the center of their professional communities performed better in their company positions and generated more sales than those that had a weak presence on the platform.

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?

Absolutely!  LinkedIn has proven to be a huge sales lead generator and professional influence platform (see the Harvard study referenced in answer 4).  Companies that train their employees on how to effectively utilize the site can expect increased presence and sales without incurring large training costs.  The ROI for LinkedIn training is ridiculously high and is a no-brainer.

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?

I have a client who left the education sector and entered the corporate realm as a trainer and network facilitator.  She came in at square zero.  Within a year she had increased her connections and revenue by 82%  She is getting keynote speaking opportunities at $10k per stage, and has created two huge women’s networking clubs in the Dallas/Fort Worth region.  Her revenue for this coming year is projected to surpass 100% of what she generated in the last year.

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

LinkedIn live and LinkedIn articles.  It is the easiest way to increase visibility, establish yourself as an authority, and boost your SEO.

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

The easiest way to balance the two is to tell a story tying your hobby into a reflective thought and professional lesson.  People love great stories about things they can relate to.  When you tie in that relatable to a life/professional lesson you create a personal relationship and a professional tip all at the same time.  I’m all about “work smarter, not harder.”  This kills two birds with one stone.

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

I’m easy to find on social media.  You can find me on all profiles by using @speakingwithsher or by searching for Sheral DeVaughn. 

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