You’re busy! If you have interest in using LinkedIn you most likely work a full time job or are spending your time looking for a job. You don’t want to waste your precious time on something ineffective. You may be asking:
- Why should you devote any of your highly valuable time to LinkedIn?!
- Will your time be worth it?
- Can you really find a job on LinkedIn?
- Do people make posts that are actually helpful for your life and career?
The answer to all of those questions is a big YES! Your follow up question is, “Ok…but where do I even start?” The goal of this blog, and our new LinkedIn Ebook, is to answer that question. We know it seems like a lot but, the payoffs are huge for those that execute a well thought out LinkedIn strategy for their personal profile. Truthfully, you can’t afford not to be doing a great job on LinkedIn these days.
1. Start with your smile
It sounds silly but using the wrong profile picture can hurt your LinkedIn growth! 70% of your profile photo should be your face. People need to be able to recognize your smiling face quickly so when you ask to connect with them they will accept right away.
2. Tell them what you can do, not just your title
Job titles are very common and don’t tell the full story. There are tons of people that have the title “Outside Sales Rep” listed just under their name but, what you do specifically is way more unique. For example, “I connect healthcare teams to software to increase profitability,” this little tweak will make your future connections much more interested in accepting your connection requests. It can also help you show up for certain keywords in LinkedIn’s search feature.
3. Tell your story
Your bio should be a brief summary of who you are as a professional with some references to past work and current passions. This is an easy place to use cliches, but be sure to avoid that trap as much as possible so your true character can shine through. The goal here is to stand out and be authentic. You can even share an offer or action you’d like people to take with you. People are looking to connect with interesting people in, or adjacent, to their industry. The bio is your opportunity to show your audience what you’re all about!
4. Connect with your industry
LinkedIn has said that you should just focus on connecting with people that you actually know in person, but this is actually a very bad recommendation. Hardly anyone follows that guideline. Don’t be afraid to connect with professionals in your industry and adjacent to your industry that you do not know. When someone reaches out to connect with you and you don’t know them, simply check their title and location, if those are good for your network then go ahead accept. You can always disconnect from people if they end up not being the type of person you want in your network. The best practice is to give most people the benefit of the doubt. If you request that someone connect with you, it’s best practice to attach that request with a short but personal message.
5. Engage like you’re at a business luncheon
LinkedIn is not Facebook! It’s important to share content and engage with content in a more professional way. Your connections on LinkedIn did not connect with you so they can see pictures of your dog (at least most of them anyway). They want to keep up with your professional career and discuss things having to do with the work they’re in or general business topics. So be sure to share things like new job updates, cool projects you worked on, and industry insights. It’s certainly acceptable to show your personality but it’s important to keep a healthy balance between professionalism and character.
6. Connect with as many of your competitors as possible.
Following the moves of your competitors on LinkedIn can help inform strategic decisions. Not everything they share will be worth analyzing but they will tip their hand occasionally. It’s always good to keep a pulse on what your competition is doing and LinkedIn is a great place to do this. You cannot only follow employees at companies but, you can actually follow company pages. There are multiple ways to use LinkedIn to track the moves your competitors are making. Don’t miss out on that opportunity!
7. Schedule posting and engagement time
Your LinkedIn efforts will have a positive impact on your business so setting aside time each week to execute your strategy makes a lot of sense. Consistency is key! We find that the best way to set aside time is to add it to the digital calendar you use for scheduling work meetings. When it goes on that calendar, pretend it’s a very important meeting and protect that time each week to stay consistent. It takes time to build up your network and your engagement, so once you build those up you won’t want to disappear for a couple weeks and take steps backwards. When you log on to LinkedIn, use the time to share your thoughts in original posts, comment on relevant and trending content from others, and connect with a few new people.
8. Educate your audience
The people who connect with you on LinkedIn have similar motives to be on LinkedIn as you do. They are looking to learn, make connections, and grow awareness about their work. Giving your audience new insights and sharing information that helps them achieve their goals will keep your engagement high. There are many different ways to do this; you can re-share articles you like, you can share things you’ve learned in your experiences, you can tell stories, you can write your own articles, and you can share posts made by the connections in your own network to your timeline.
9. Be a brand ambassador
LinkedIn is a person to person platform. It’s difficult for business pages to gain strong and impactful followings. Your company page needs your team’s help. The best way to help is to engage with and share your company’s posts from your own profile so that your network sees the content your company would like them to see. Growing your personal network on LinkedIn is not selfish. It’s the fastest way to elevate your company page because you’ll be able to share the company content that you believe in with your audience!
10. Connect with prospects
An added touchpoint in your sales process can be to connect with your prospects on LinkedIn. Doing this gives you the opportunity to engage with them and their content and keep tabs on their most recent needs and interests. It works very well to make these connections just before or after you’ve scheduled a personal meeting with them. LinkedIn gives you another chance to stay top of mind with your prospects as well. If you are regularly active they’ll see your face pop up on their feed often. Keeping in front of your audience will keep you top of mind so that when it’s decision time, they remember you!
LinkedIn is THE digital networking space. It allows you to have one on one conversations with your target audience at scale. If you haven’t gotten started on LinkedIn there is no better time than now! If you are already on LinkedIn, it’s time to level up! If you haven’t downloaded our Ebook titled “LinkedIn Strategies Every Business Leader Needs to Know” make sure to download it today. We give you all the strategies that we are actively putting into practice for ourselves and our clients every day. We have seen our clients take huge jumps and reap great rewards from their LinkedIn efforts, and you can do the same if you apply the strategies we outlined in our ebook. If you haven’t downloaded it, just click the image below!