You need a LinkedIn cover story video.
You really do.
They're a quick way for your profile visitors to find out who you are without having to bother with your entire profile.
This can be a gamechanger for both growth marketers and people who are job hunting.
It gives them a chance to stand out from the rest of the competition.
In this guide, we'll go through everything that you'll need to create a LinkedIn cover story video that converts.
A Linked Cover Story Video is a relatively new LinkedIn feature rolled out earlier this year that allows users to upload a video of themselves that plays when people land on their profile.
The video is housed in the profile photo section and it auto plays on mute, after a LinkedIn profile is loaded.
When a visitor happens to click on the profile photo, the video will maximize and start playing with the video.
The LinkedIn Cover Story Video does have its limitations, you can only film 30 seconds of video at a time and a visitor will have to click on your profile photo if they want to hear the audio. Also, it auto plays in such a small section of your profile instead of using the LinkedIn header area for example.
Learn how to create the best LinkedIn cover images and profile photos here!
When you land on a profile that has a LinkedIn cover story video, there will be a gold ring around the profile photo.
In this example, we'll use Ryan Roslansky's profile – the CEO of LinkedIn – because it's a great showcase of all of LinkedIn's new features.
After the profile photo appears for a bit, a preview of the cover story video will also play, then reverting back to the original profile photo.
We like this feature because it shows people who might have missed the golden circle around your profile photo a reminder that you have a video uploaded.
Once a visitor clicks on your LinkedIn cover story video, the video will maximize and play with audio.
It's the same interface as mobile or the app.
People like video.
They really, really do.
It makes it easier for people to consume information in a non-intimidating, engaging sort of way.
A LinkedIn cover story video helps investors, prospects, and even recruiters that are interested in you get to know you without having to go through your entire LinkedIn profile.
And, this gives you so much room to be creative.
Remember, it doesn't have to be limited to just a selfie video of you talking about your skills.
You can add text, show off your personality, do a cartwheel, whatever.
The choice is yours.
Think of it as a teaser.
If you hook them in with your video, they might end up going through your entire profile.
If your profile's been optimized to be a passive lead generation device, then you have a potential conversion on your hands.
Here are a couple of things to pay attention to before you decide to publish a video of yourself.
Just because it’s a video that’s attached to your profile doesn’t mean it has to be a monologue.
You can get as creative as you want with your video.
A great linear approach to a Linked Cover Story Video would be to add actual text in the video that’s added in after recording, you can do everything from flash your handles or even add subtitles!
You can take it a big step further by splitting the video into two parts with one being a monologue and then cutting to graphics or even a video of the products you’re marketing.
The choices are endless – as long as they’re below 30 seconds.
If you’re taking the linear approach – the monologue, you don’t really need a storyboard, but what’s absolutely important is that you have a script.
A script prevents mistakes, helps plan out what you want to stay, and keeps you focused.
We actually advise that you practice your script instead of reading it while shooting the video.
This way it seems more natural.
A video lets you incorporate your personality and personal brand.
So, make sure it shows!
You can crack a joke, be a little serious, or even motivational if you want.
Sneaking in some personality into your video helps you appear to be more human. It also helps visitors figure out how you react in real life.
Don’t be afraid to let a little bit of your persona leak through.
You can wear a T-shirt and jeans.
Think about it.
If you’re laidback and are always casually dressed to meetings, you don’t want to create a fake persona where you’re in business attire in your LinkedIn cover story video.
People will see right through it.
However, the general rule is at least to keep it professional.
Something semi-formal will do.
Make sure you look neat and fix your hair!
Also, a smile always works.
Yes, a smartphone will work.
But, if you have a better camera lying around why not use that instead?
We’re not saying go out and get yourself new equipment, but make sure you maximize what you have.
A better camera will result in better-looking videos and you can play with the footage further using video editing tools.
However, even a good camera can’t create magic, you still need to remember…
Amateur-looking videos that aren’t well thought-off will just ruin the feature for you.
You need to take it to the next level because this could literally be the basis of their first impression of you.
Imagine releasing great content optimizing your profile and then losing the interest of the lead because the video was botched.
Impromptu might work for an elevator pitch, but this is a recorded one, so you have time to prepare for it and edit it.
if you can’t record in a well-lit room, at least consider using a cheap ring light that will illuminate your face or the subject of the video.
Proper lighting does wonders for videos.
Even filming outdoors in the sunshine can post a lot of problems with the lighting.
Take a test video before you get started so that you know how our light will balance out.
We’re clear advocates for shooting indoors because you can control the environment (and you don’t run the risk of ruining a take because of the sound of traffic.)
Make sure you speak clearly and your words are articulated.
If you’re not shooting on a smartphone and are going for a more “professional” setup, get a proper microphone so that you sound clearer.
You can simply just film yourself from the shoulders up portrait-style.
But, don’t limit yourself.
You can always start from the waist-up so that even your hand gestures are recorded.
This makes for a more engaging take on the Linked cover story video.
Remember mobile-first, so you want to take advantage of all the vertical visual real estate that your viewer has on their phone.
It will help if you get someone to help you out.
Alternatively, you can just put your phone on a tripod, but having someone else independent shooting will make it easier for you.
They can provide you with another set of eyes to check if the shoot is going properly.
Make sure you edit your video after you shoot it, you’ll find that there’s a lot that you can do to improve the raw footage even further.
Consider adding some color correction, proper cropping, audio fixes, and maybe even adding some effects or text.
Some people even consider getting their 30-second clips professionally edited.
You can do a lot of the video editing yourself, but it does require that you have some editing software lying around.
Now that you’re done shooting and editing your LinkedIn cover story video, don’t publish it just yet.
You want someone else to review it first so that they can give you some feedback on where you can improve.
Remember, for a lot of people who end up watching the video, it could be a dealbreaker if they decide they want to work with you or not.
You can ask a colleague to take a look, the more eyes the better.
This will allow you a big sample size.
At BAMF, we always emphasize testing, it’s one of the hallmarks of a good LinkedIn marketing agency, and it’s what we teach to all our growth hackers and client-turned-influencers.
Once they give you the green light, now you can upload it.
After all that grueling work, it’s time for you to upload on LinkedIn and wait for the results to trickle in.
Here's how you do it.
On the mobile app, head over to your profile, and click on the "plus" sign next to your profile photo.
This will open a submenu at the bottom where you can "Add a cover story", click on that.
All that's left is for you to pick the video from your gallery and upload it.
Congratulations, you now have an alternative way for people to find out more about you
Not every new feature comes without its quirks.
And, it's the same story with LinkedIn cover story videos.
Here are a couple of problems that people have with the feature (and these are things you should consider as well):
Linkedin cover story videos are great.
They give people who are really interested in what you have to offer an alternative to looking through your entire profile.
This makes getting to know you easier.
And, that's the goal of growth hacking.
Driving a conversion, pushing for brand recognition, and growth, are all dependent on how easy you can make the experience for your prospects.
These types of videos help the overall user experience of your prospect on your LinkedIn profile.
It might seem like a small hack.
But, with LinkedIn, every little thing counts.
Does your business need more awareness, leads, and sales?