After someone looks at their LinkedIn profile, most people would like the reader to call them, email them, or send them a LinkedIn connection request. Those are good action steps, but wouldn't it be iStock_000045310570_Smalleven better if they'd buy millions of dollars worth of what you sell, hire you right away, or do something else that's really big?

But what if the reader is not quite ready to take that big step? What if he needs more information about you, your company, or your products/services before he picks up the phone or reaches out to you with an email?

This is where calls to action (CTAs) come in. What is a CTA? Wikipedia says this:

"A call to action, or CTA, is a term used to describe a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click it and continue down a conversion funnel."

Hubspot, one of the world's leaders in designing websites that concentrate on lead generation and inbound marketing, says:

"Calls to action (CTAs) are one of the key lead generation elements, and they should be used in each and every one of your marketing tactics: emails, social media updates, press releases, trade shows..."

What actions might you call people to take?

There are lots of possibilities, depending on your business purpose, but here are a few examples:

  • Download an informational document
  • Watch a video or listen to a podcast
  • Go to your website
  • Read your blog
  • Read a product review
  • Request a quote
  • Pick up the phone and call you

How can you incorporate calls to action in your LinkedIn profile?

Your LinkedIn profile needs to have several CTAs to help move your reader down the conversion funnel and closer to that all-important step of contacting you. And if you have a company page, you'll want to put CTAs there as well.

The best sections on your profile to include your CTAs are:Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 6.44.02 AM

  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Job Experience
  • Contact Info
  • Advice for Contacting
  • Projects
  • Publications
  • Long form Published Posts

Here are examples of CTAs I've included in the Summary section of my profile using the LinkedIn add media feature.

Here is a unique way I've also included a call to action in my Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 5.54.54 AMProjects section.

For examples of other great places to include CTAs (Websites section, Publications, other applications), check out my full LinkedIn profile.

For more specific sales-related ideas, you'll find some great tips in this article from the LinkedIn blog: "Make Sure Your Profile Calls the Prospects to Action."