Three Simple Steps to LinkedIn SuccessMar 29, 2021
This is a guest post by Jade Staiano, Authentic Social
Did you know new members are signing up to LinkedIn in at a rate of nearly 3 new members per second? And yet the vast majority of those people set up a profile but never fully realise the power of LinkedIn to build a profitable network.
It’s always been the go-to place for professionals, but now we’re unable to see each other face to face, LinkedIn’s popularity has gone through the roof!
If you’re providing a service, whether it’s coaching, copywriting or accounting, being on LinkedIn is a must for your business.
So, if you’re one of those new members, or you’ve been staying in the shadows, how can you start using LinkedIn to gain leads and find collaborative partners?
Creating content is the obvious starting point. Spending time creating a content strategy that has a good balance of promotion, problem-solving and positioning yourself as an expert is vital. But there is more to LinkedIn than sharing content.
Let me show you three simple steps to LinkedIn success that have nothing to do with sharing your own posts.
1. Is your LinkedIn Profile working for you?
Think of your profile as prime real estate. You can use it to show your connections more about yourself, and LinkedIn scans your profile when someone uses the search function.
Have a look at your profile and make sure you’ve completed all the sections. LinkedIn is less likely to promote your profile in search if it is incomplete.
Images: Update your profile picture and cover photo if needed. For added brand brownie points make sure you’re using your brand colours. You can find a wide range of templates on Canva (and they keep up to date with LinkedIn recommended image sizes). Look for an image that works well in that horizontal format. Add text to promote your latest event or special offer. This is your billboard – make sure it says something!
Headline: There are lots of different formulas for completing your headline. I like to use the following:
I help (insert your ideal client) to (insert the benefit you bring them) with (insert your method of delivery).
And then follow it with keyworks that your clients will use to search for you. For example, mine says:
Helping local business owners find success on LinkedIn using authentic content and no-nonsense strategy. LinkedIn Training | Social Media Audits | Social Media Management | 1:1 Training
Take some time to research your own keywords and use them throughout your profile.
Featured: As well as your photos and headline, use the ‘Featured’ section to stand out from your competition.
You can add:
- Graphics – testimonials, special offers, events etc
- Video – copy a link from a video you’ve posted to your feed and use that link to add the post to featured. How-to videos, introductions etc.
- Web links – add a link to your website
- Articles – if you’ve written articles on LinkedIn you can feature them here
So now you’ve checked your profile, let’s move on to your network.
2. Get connected with the right people.
It can be so tempting to connect with anyone and anything. But building an engaged network means seeking out your ideal client, or people who are connected with a lot of your ideal clients.
For example, I like to connect with business coaches. Not only are they usually active on LinkedIn, which provides me with good content to share and engage with, they are connected to a lot of business owners. Even better, their clients are familiar with investing in services for their business (investing in coaching for example) which means they may be open to, and even looking for, other ways to outsource.
Other ideal connections for me are other professionals who provide small business services such as copywriters, photographers and graphic designers. I can add value to their networks with my social media tips and insights, and to them personally by liking, commenting and engaging with their content.
So, take a moment to think about who are your super connectors?
Boolean Search You can experiment using LinkedIn search function. Here’s a link to a LinkedIn article which explains it in more details but my favourites are AND and OR:
OR searches: Type the word OR (capital letters) to see results that include one or more items in a list. This typically broadens your search results. For example, "sales OR marketing OR advertising”.
AND searches: AND searches: Type the word AND (capital letters) to see results that include all items in a list. This typically limits your search results. For example, "accountant AND finance AND CPA".
So get creative! Use a term for your super connectors AND the location you’d like to focus on. Or the kind of business you help café AND location or café AND owner, to find the decision makers.
Once you’re happy your search is coming up with positive leads for you, you can save up to three searches on the right-hand side of the page, and LinkedIn will email you to tell you when new profiles meet your criteria.
TOP TIP – Don’t make the search too broad, you’re looking for 100 plus results, not 1000’s!
3. Engage, engage, engage!
While content is important to positioning yourself as an expert in your industry. Engaging with your network is vital to expanding your audience.
Every time you comment on someone else’s post you have a chance to share a bit of yourself with them. Finding content that is relevant to your industry gives you a chance to share your expertise. Congratulating someone on a new book or great testimonial allows you to build a rapport with that person.
But…not only can the comment add value, your name and headline follow you around LinkedIn.
Now here’s the magic!
When you post to LinkedIn, only your 1st connections have a chance to see your content (and it’s unlikely even 10% of them will).
But when you comment on someone else’s post, there is the potential for their 1st connections (your 2nd connections) to see your comment and headline, which will put you in front of a broader audience.
So, when you comment, don’t just leave an emoji! Say something that might add to the debate or shows that you’re interested in building a supportive community.
My last piece of advice is to be yourself. Don’t spend too much time stressing about if your comments, posts and content is ‘professional’ enough for LinkedIn. If you’re looking to build a profitable network you need to give people a personality to engage with. So BE AUTHENTIC!
Jade Staiano helps freelancers and small businesses find success on social media with authentic content and no-nonsense strategy.
As a LinkedIn specialist, she encourages her clients to find their own authentic voice, and build a strong and profitable network on the platform. Plus have a little fun! She offers one to one training sessions, which can cover everything from creating a profile that stands out, to engagement and network building strategy to lead generation.
She's currently developing a 'Freelancers LinkedIn toolkit' which will cover everything you need to know about finding success on LinkedIn.
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