362: Rocking your LinkedIn Profile, with Morgan Hammer

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A stellar LinkedIn Profile contains five key areas: Profile picture, job title, about description, experiences, and endorsements. From picture quality to endorsements representing you, your professional brand is the key to all new opportunities to build your brand and set yourself up for success.

Morgan Hammer, Relationship Manager, Mid Market – Sales Solutions at LinkedIn, joins us from Chicago’s windy city to talk about how to Rock your LinkedIn Profile. Morgan shares how to create a LinkedIn profile that brings your personal career story to life, whether you’re just starting, seeking to advance, or making a career change. Morgan offers tips on tailoring each section, starting with the key insight that a LinkedIn profile is unique and shouldn’t be approached exactly like a resume.

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Morgan has been living in Chicago, IL, for the past 5 years. Her LinkedIn journey was not a typical one, as she was a nontraditional hire coming from a retail background. Prior to LinkedIn, she managed several different shoe departments at Nordstrom throughout the Midwest. This is where she found my passion for working with other people in a sales environment and ‘style flexing’ to learn what makes each person happy. In Morgan’s current role as a Relationship Manager at LinkedIn, she gets to help clients revolutionize their selling process to optimize their time and capitalize on all potential revenue. My priority is to help each client build their process through our leading-edge technology, embedding social selling as part of their sales cultures and processes. She loves learning about her clients’ goals and how they can create a plan in place to achieve them. When she isn’t working, she is trying out new restaurants in Chicago and playing with her adorable 6-month old Covid puppy, Max.

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George: Have you ever wanted to have a better LinkedIn profile? I’m sure you have. And I have searched high and low to come up with an expert on Rocking Your LinkedIn profile, and understanding Sales Navigator. And how the LinkedIn platform could work better for you as a sales professional. So coming up next, the Relationship Manager for Mid-markets out of Chicago, Morgan Hammer from LinkedIn will be joining us on the podcast. I met Morgan about a month ago. We’ve been talking about how we could utilize the LinkedIn platform and Sales Navigator for our organization, and how we could teach our channel partners to utilize it, and then how they could turn around and teach their customers to utilize it. LinkedIn it’s a force to be reckoned with. 690 million users all over the planet. It is the place where people go to do business, unlike other social profiles where you might go to waste time. And we are going to speak to Morgan in a moment about how you can have a better LinkedIn presence and how we can understand the value of LinkedIn Sales Navigator. As we continue with the Conquer Local Podcast. Joining me all the way from the windy city and I don’t mean Winnipeg. From Chicago, Morgan Hammer with LinkedIn. Hey Morgan, thanks for joining us.

Morgan: Hello, George. Thank you so much for having me. Super-excited to be chatting with you today.

George: Morgan and I met about a month back and you are Relationship Manager for Mid-market accounts.

Morgan: I am.

George: But before this, what were you doing before you arrived at LinkedIn?

Morgan: Before I arrived at LinkedIn, I actually managed the shoe department for Nordstrom in several different locations throughout the Midwest. So, made the jump from retail to tech and I have never been happier.

George: So, you’re doing B2C, like consumer-based sales-

Morgan: Yes.

George: And leading teams in various markets and now you are on the B2B side because LinkedIn as a B2B platform, that’s what we’re hoping to really dig into your mind in the time that you’ve been there and the things you’ve been learning-

Morgan: Yeah.

George: Quite a bit of growth on the LinkedIn platform in the last few years. And B2B as you know I just don’t know how somebody would do business with it.

Morgan: Right, absolutely. And especially with this work from home, going into the offices to meet clients meet potential prospects, it’s not happening anymore, right? And so, it’s been so much fun to just be straightforward to watch this sales process evolve and also just how people represent themselves on their virtual profile. So, it’s been such a fun thing to watch during this pandemic, I think that’s one silver lining for me, because LinkedIn is now becoming necessary, right? And how do you represent yourself virtually? So, it’s super fun.

George: One of the things that I’ve been noticing is, and this isn’t just recently, this has been going on for about two, maybe even three years. As I would make a contact with an enterprise type customer, I would have multiple people from that organization come to my LinkedIn profile and pretty much in real time I could see that they were on the profile. And I made a point of doing some learning and realizing that I needed to place more content there, that was speaking to that audience because they’re on the platform. You’re like, “Oh, I’ve got my blog over here.” Okay well, but they’re not on your blog, they’re in LinkedIn.

Morgan: Yup.

George: And how are you speaking to them in LinkedIn to be that authoritative voice that you might be on a website or you might be somewhere else? The other thing that I’ve been noticing is that, some profiles leave a lot to be desired.

Morgan: Yup.

Rock Your LinkedIn Profile

George: And I work every day to make sure mine is not one of those, but you have a program called Rock Your Profile and I’d love to ask some questions about that and understand. I like that, Rocky Profile-

Morgan: Absolutely.

George: Sounds good. So tell us about it.

Morgan: Yeah, absolutely. Rock Your Profile. I also love the professional creeping tag that you made there, that’s what I like to call it. Right? I love that we can see who’s creeping on you on LinkedIn, right? And how can we make that connection? So, really Rock Your Profile, what are some easy steps to make a super-impactful LinkedIn profile, right? Because, I can even speak for myself that five, ten years ago, I had this perception of LinkedIn being a suit and tie kind of platform, right? Where that’s not what it is at all. You need to have a skillset in order to be on there. Right? I mean, Rock Your Profile, I just ran a session with a group of college students about three hours ago. So, what are five things that you can make changes to on your LinkedIn profile? And let’s say it would take you George no more than 20 minutes, in order to have more of a compelling profile, right? And I’ll give you a high five here to make it look more like yours, right?

Profile Picture

Morgan: So, first one that we’re gonna go for is your picture. I mean, the amount of people that I see that have these glamorous and head-shots now is incredible, right? Because of the time that they’re putting into it. So, just having a professional picture, I don’t wanna to see a hat on, it should show truly who you are as a professional. And if you have a professional compelling photo you actually get… I think it’s somewhere up as 11 times more views and more opportunity for people to professionally creep on you, just because people wanna see who you are. Right? So, that’s step number one, as far as how do you Rock Your Profile? You put a good picture up there. You put a good banner photo up there. We put up a generic blue banner for you, but put up a great banner profile to show a little a snippet as far as who you are as a person. Mine right now is the skyline of Chicago. So, what’s yours right now, George? I know it was something great up there.

George: Well, mine is the design crew put together the Top Gun 51 Award that I was fortunate enough to win this year. So, we’re promoting that out with the channel partners. But, I agree, I find that the banner is definitely a missing piece. Producer, Colleen does not like my chosen profile picture right now because she said I could have rolled the video I had to wear I had smile, but I actually was not able to find a smile in the video footage that I pulled that photo from .

Morgan: Okay, I think your photo looks great. I think it looks great.

George: I do have a bit of RBF-

Morgan: No.

George: But I won’t explain that acronym even though I’m trying to outlaw acronyms.

Job Description

George: What about the line underneath, where I see a lot of different things there and I’m wondering what’s best practices when it comes to Rocking the Profile on your descriptor?

Morgan: Yeah, absolutely. So, job description. So, this is gonna go two different ways. If you are actively looking for a new job, you wanna be as straightforward as possible with the role that you’re currently in. So, we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, right? If you’re an Account Executive, you’re not a sales specialist modernizing client sales approach. You’re an Account Executive, right? The reason why I say this is so when recruiters are on the tool, they can just look for you and they can find you as easily as possible. Now, if you’re happily employed and if you’re truly a mover and shaker whenever it comes to your industry, you really wanna showcase what you’re doing outside of maybe your typical nine to five. Shake it up a little bit. Like, are you inspiring others? Right? That’s something that we love to say at LinkedIn is we love to play with our logo. Are you an innovative thinker? There we go George, that’s another pun for you there with the LinkedIn logo. But really whenever it comes to your job description, if you are looking for a new job, be straightforward. If you’re happy growing with where you at, add a little pizazz whenever it comes to your job description. Something that I’ve been loving to see recently is plugging in if you’re a parent, you’re not just let’s say an Account Executive you’re also a mother or father to three. So, love seeing that personal touch in there whenever it comes to people’s job description.

George: I think some people might’ve read some blog from four years ago that said, “Don’t put anything personal on your LinkedIn profile.” I don’t think you’re saying let’s take the pictures on the Gold Coast down on the beach and put that up there. You’re saying, say something that’s relatable and speaks about who you are as an individual.

Morgan: Absolutely. I mean, you still wanna be able to give that personal touch because as we all know people hire, people buy from people that they like, right? And if we’re talking about five years ago, I mean, five years ago we had 360 million people on the platform and now we have 690 million users, right? It’s totally evolving. It’s still a professional platform, grow yourself and expand your network but also add that professional touch, right? Because we wanna work with people and have these kinds of conversations with people that we genuinely like. So, throw in there what you like to do on the side. I mean, I throw in there how I love to travel, I like to attempt cooking sometimes. It just really adds up personal touch more than just, who are you whenever you’re working? Right?

Skills & Endorsements

George: So, we could talk about the About Tab but it’s your resume and written in a way that explains it. But I wanted to talk about where we get into the featured tab, where you can put some content there and then as we get into the experience that’s more about your resume, then we get down here to Skills and Endorsements. Can we talk about how do I get a better rank on featured and how do I get a better rank on Skills and Endorsements?

Morgan: Absolutely. So, whenever it comes to featured, I mean, it’s just going to be purely your activity in there, right? You’ve gotta be active in the platform. And then Skills and Endorsements is something that’s come up more and more recently, because just imagine the confidence that you would have if someone were to come to you and say, “Hey George, do you have a referral?” Or, “Hey George, do you have someone that I can talk to?” And you can say, you know what I do but also go check out my LinkedIn profile. This is what this is becoming. It is the one place, the most trusted network, right? For three years in a row people can go to your LinkedIn profile, know that it’s gonna be the real deal but to your point, right? How do you ask for it? How do you approach that? I mean, this is something that I recommend simply reaching out, In Mailing the person, being straightforward about what you’re asking for, but also being cautious and recognizing who you’re asking this from, right? Is it someone that you worked on a project with at work? Is it a manager that really, really recommended you in the past? Is it a current friend? Right? You’ve gotta just ask. And this is something too that I always tell people, if you’re gonna ask for a recommendation you’ve gotta be willing to give one back. So, just be as prepared.

George: So, I’m underwater there because I have 12 and I’ve only given out five, so, I’ve got to up my game, get karma help me.

Morgan: Now to be fair. Yeah, you gotta make it fair there George.

Sales Navigator

George: So, as we Rock the Profile, I think people are starting to get it and I know that it’s a question that I get asked a lot. Once you build the foundation, it then is you’re just building on that foundation. So, getting the foundation is really the key component, and understanding what’s going to help get you that engagement. Now, let’s go over to Sales Navigator.

Morgan: Yeah.

George: And I would like before we go there quickly though I’d like to talk about the premium part of the platform. So, what happens when I buy premium? And why would I want to consider that as a professional?

Morgan: Absolutely. So number one, let’s go back to it, professional creeping. I can see any time that George looks at my profile through having the premium account, I just call it super low hanging fruit. I can tell you whenever I was a job seeker and I had premium, I mean, I still have it. The ability to see who is looking at my profile is game changing. I mean, low hanging fruit, George, if I see that you’re looking at my profile I’m sending you an In Mail one minute later, right? “Hey George.” Super casual, not bringing up the fact that you just viewed my profile or maybe you’ve looked at it 10 times that day, which I’ll get notifications about. But I mean, that’s a game changer to my clients, to my fellow peers that are looking for new jobs right now, right? That’s the number one reason. Second is gonna be, how do you expand the degree of profiles that you can look at? So premium, I’ll tell you I can speak of myself. Whenever I was a job seeker totally changed the game.

George: So Sales Navigator, I have been working on that platform for a couple of years now. I probably don’t spend as much time as I should but what I’ve noticed here recently in doing recruitment where I ran some queries to try and as we were doing the next 100 and we’re trying to add these sales professionals, it’s been quite powerful. But also I’ve been using it for prospecting and for contact building. What are some of your favorite parts of Sales Navigator and what type of individuals should think about Sales Navigator as part of their tech-stack?

Morgan: Yeah, absolutely. By far my favorite piece of Sales Navigator is going to be the home screen. Every single morning I grab myself my cup of coffee and I pull up Sales Navigator. So, just to give you a snapshot kind of an overview description here of what the home screen looks like. I have the ability to save leads but also save accounts where every morning that I log on my home screen is going to show me alerts that are coming up within that account. So, let’s say a decision-maker changed companies or they changed jobs, it will give me that alert. George, it gives me alerts whenever you’re mentioned in the news. So, I can just easily reach out to you, congratulate you, send you an email, right? And then who needs it in their tech-stack? I mean, if you are looking to prospect, if you’re looking for lead gen, if you’re looking for churn mitigation of current accounts, if you are doing any kind of sales or prospecting in general to grow your business, you need Sales Navigator. There is nothing else out there right now because to be quite honest with you, no one has the professional database that LinkedIn does right now. And I’m not just saying because I work there.

George: Well, I liked that you brought up churn mitigation because it’s something that I’d been thinking about and it just happened here recently. New job posting and that was your champion at one of your largest customers. And you’re like, “Whoa wait Morgan’s not at LinkedIn anymore?”

Morgan: Absolutely.

George: And you’re gonna know about that because what’s the thing we brag about the most, we get a promotion or a new job. The other thing is, what if one of the net detractors in one of your relationships was just promoted to the decision-making position, you’ve got some work to do there. So, by knowing where people could be going inside an organization and the hierarchy, and then knowing when they leave that organization. Now let’s throw this out and let’s not talk about churn for a moment, let’s talk about a referral.

Morgan: Yup.

George: If you see that someone you worked with four years ago who loved you and was a raving fan got promoted, moved to another organization, got a new position, that’s the perfect time to touch that person with. And I love the fact that you said InMail, and I actually expected it because you are at LinkedIn but I find that some people are like, “No I sent them an email.” I’m like, “Okay great, did you send them an InMail?”

Morgan: Yup.

George: And there’s some interesting stats on open rates for InMail inside the LinkedIn platform as compared to email.

Morgan: Yeah, open rates. I mean, and I’m absolutely gonna go back to the churn mitigation and the buyer circle piece. I mean, on average there’s between six to eight people on the buyer circle right now and if you’re connected with one of them who’s gonna sign the contract and they leave, I mean, I don’t know what you’re doing next with that deal. Right? If you don’t have a plan B to go to your deal might be short. But InMail, I mean, this has been a game-changer. People I can speak for myself George and I’m sure you’re the same, the amount of emails that we’re getting right now work from home. You might be stuck in front of your computer, but on average there’s a 2 to 3% InMail or email read rate right now, right? It’s just dropping because of the amount of spam that’s coming through online shopping, I’m sure is at an all-time rise. So, they’re target in me right? Now, InMail response rate though, right now we’re at about an 18% average response rate. Where the next question that I get is, why? I mean, InMail it’s one way more direct, two, way more to the point and three, it’s coming from a credible source. It’s not coming from noreply@whatever.com. You can see exactly who’s sending you this message. So, that’s been just transformative for my clients because these C-level, these decision-makers, are they always checking the junk folder of their email? Probably not. So, what’s your next go to? It’s InMail.

Pre-filled Forms

George: And it’s just a whole new way to communicate. Now, another item, it wasn’t on our list but I know you can handle it. I wanna ask about this-

Morgan: Bring it on.

George: Capturing leads inside the LinkedIn workflow through promoted or downloading a piece of content or something like that, I see it more and more happening. They’re getting me to-

Morgan: Yup.

George: Cause at first I was just, “Oh I wanna try sort of, sign up for this thing that I’ll never even care about again.” But now I’m actually get, I’m like, “Ooh, I care about that, let me sign up for that thing.” And what I love about it is I click the button to accept the download whatever it might be and I don’t have to fill anything else out, I’m completely captured. But when you put that on the flip side, for those of us that are maybe looking to build a more robust demand gen funnel, or we’re looking to capture leads. That everything you have to fill out in a form capture reduces the likelihood that you’re going to move forward, whereas LinkedIn just takes the information on your profile and populates it.

Morgan: Yeah 100%.

George: So, what are the stats behind this? It’s pretty amazing.

Morgan: It is absolutely incredible. So, whenever you kick someone to, let’s say a new site or you kick them to a new form and they have to fill out their own information, there’s a 60% drop-off rate, right? I mean, you don’t wanna fill out your name and your email more times in a day than you already have to. So, that’s the number one reason why we make it so accessible. I mean, as far as overall success rates and what that looks like for companies, that’s gonna vary as far as like, what’s being targeted or what’s the goal of the company right through this form? But that’s simply why we make it so easy because we want as many people to be captured as possible. So, not only do we make it easy for the potential lead gen and the form and the client, but we also make it easy for the member, right? You’re genuinely interested, we don’t want you to have to fill out your email five times in a day. And so, as the client, so you don’t have that drop-off rate, we fill it in for you and send it your way.

George: Are there any things Morgan in the platform that you would recommend to a brand new LinkedIn member? So, maybe I have had a profile for a while but I was not Rocking it, so, I listened to the Conquer Local Podcast, I’m now a Rocker. What other things… Where should I click next to get some cool goodness?

Morgan: Absolutely. The number one thing that I would say even for myself, was underutilized for a while are our free webinars that we offer, and LinkedIn learning courses that are periodically unlocked. I mean, I can speak for myself, I went through an Excel course a couple of years back and it was life-changing. Especially now, again work from home, I feel like we just keep saying it I’m a broken record, but what can you do in the comfort of your home in order to grow yourself? Right? But absolutely LinkedIn learning, free webinars, how can you get that feeling as far as being in the office and growing yourself but still sitting at home in your home office. So, put those up they’re hidden gems.

George: And I gotta ask about groups. Because I get asked to be in all these bloody groups, do I really wanna click that button?

Morgan: Yeah. If you’re interested, click it. You’ve just gotta know that you might be getting alerts about those groups as well. Right? Groups is the other piece though that’s really gonna add a great personal touch to your profile. Because if your interests are shown, if your groups are shown, I mean George, do you know that’s how I learned that you were a part of podcasts? I look at your interests, I look at what groups you’re in. Right? You can learn a lot about people by the groups that they’re in. Just again, be prepared to get alerts and notifications about groups that you’re a part of.


George: Well, we’ve been spending a few moments here with Morgan Hammer, Relationship Manager Mid-market for LinkedIn, teaching us how to Rock our Profile. Teaching us how to utilize Sales Navigator for success. Teaching us about LinkedIn learning and groups. Morgan, thanks for joining us on this edition of Conquer Local and thanks for helping us Rock our Profiles.

Morgan: Absolutely George, thanks for having me.

George: Well, Morgan’s great at telling stories and articulating value, and I’ve enjoyed working with her over the last month or so. You now have your five steps on how to Rock Your Profile and making sure that you have that professional picture, you’re taking advantage of the banner real estate. Have your job title there and a very clear description of what you do? In your About, you’re talking about what you believe in and what your organization or what you are all about. And then, you can get in the experience which basically boom, resume. And then we can find out a little bit more about Activities and Skills and Endorsements. And Activity, as you heard from Morgan is what you’re doing on the platform. It’s the posts, it’s the publications that you’re putting online. And then those Skills are the courses that you’ve taken and the skills that you possess and those Endorsements come from your audience making them very… They have a lot of authority. And when others look to that they trust that user-generated content. Then we got into the Sales Navigator and I completely agree with Morgan’s assessment by using that as your hub and having either your account list in there, or having your list of prospects there, or maybe your list of recruits, you’re able to see when they make changes to their profile on the LinkedIn platform. And then you can reach out using LinkedIn and you may still wanna use email as well or texting or however else you can speak to those folks. But keep in mind that LinkedIn InMail has a much higher open rate than traditional email platforms. So, utilizing all of those tools. there’s a lot more that we could dig into and as the months go by, we’ll continue to bring on more and more LinkedIn experts to teach us about how to utilize this platform. You remember back about a month ago, we had Nina Blankenship come in and talk to us about how you could build viral video loops on LinkedIn, and now Morgan Hammers teaching us today about how we could Rock our Profile and utilize Sales Navigator. And we’ll dig into some of the marketing efforts that you can use on LinkedIn in the weeks to come.

George: If you’d like to speak to Morgan Hammer from LinkedIn or any of our guests like Nina Blankenship, you can do so in the Conquer Local Community. It’s a chance for you to continue the conversation, or maybe I didn’t do a good job of asking a question that you wanted me to ask of Morgan. You can go right into the threads inside the Community and say, “Hey George, missed this important question. Morgan, I’d like to know this.” And she’ll be watching and she will respond. It’s just one more of the great things that producer Colleen and the Conquer Local team have brought to you our listeners in the last 12 months through the Conquer Local Academy, the Community, and the Podcast. So, make sure that you’re logging in to the Conquer Local Community and the Academy, and of course keep listening to the Podcast. My name is George Leith, thanks for joining us. I’ll see you when I see you.


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