LinkedIn is such a misunderstood and under utilized social media platform amongst business owners, and it’s a platform with huge opportunities to help you grow your business. I’ve often heard it referred to as “Facebook for business”, which is not what it is at all.
LinkedIn is the World’s largest online networking site, with over 562 million users, with two new members joining every second. Imagine LinkedIn like a “virtual networking event”, where you have the opportunity to meet new people and open conversations with them.
According to Omnicore, 61 million LinkedIn users are senior level influencers and 40 million are in decision-making positions, with 44% of Linked users earn more than $75,000 in a year. So if you’re a B2B company, this is the place to be connecting online with your target market.
Even though the number of users is high, there is so much opportunity for you to build your network and influence, due to the misunderstanding of how to utilise this platform.
Here are seven ways you can boost your LinkedIn strategy.
Create an outcome driven headline.
You have 120 characters at the top of your profile, and if you use those characters well, your profile will pop.
Don’t: have your title as Owner of ABC Company
Do: use this area to explain who you work with and the outcomes they can expect from working with you. Use your most important search term in your headline – ie. if you’re a Speaker, ensure you include this in the text as this will improve your visibility with your target market.
Use a professional headshot.
Having a professional headshot is extremely important. Not only is your headshot the first thing people see, but they’ll make a decision within 3 seconds of landing on your profile as to whether they trust you can help them. I also highly recommend using the same headshot across all social media platforms to build your authority positioning and brand recognition.
Don’t: use a selfie from last Saturday nights adventures!
Do: have a head & shoulders image, facing the camera, so people can recognise you when you meet in person.
Create a summary, not an online resume.
So many people use the summary section to talk about themself and every position and credential they have.
Instead of talking about yourself (who wants to go to a networking event and listen to someone talking about themself all night?), write about how you can best help your ideal client. Be clear about the problems you can help them overcome, as well as sharing your background and how you got to be where you are today. This way your prospects will be able to relate to you, and start to know, like and trust you.
Don’t: write about yourself in third person, and definitely don’t use fancy industry specific jargon.
Do: write about yourself in the first person, and in an easy to read format.
Add relevant skills to your profile.
Adding skills & endorsements to your profile will help your authority positioning. It will also help your profile to show up in search results, when people are searching for connections.
Don’t: include skills from past occupations that have nothing to do with your current position or business.
Do: include skills relevant to what you’re doing currently.
Remember LinkedIn is an online networking site, so you need to think of it just like an in-person event where you expect to meet new people. When people you don’t know reach out, don’t be shy to connect with them. Use this fabulous platform to meet new people and create new opportunities.
Don’t: be like one of those people who shoves a business card in your hand and does a hard sell (I’m sure you know what I mean…)
Do: get to know your new connection asking questions like you would if they were standing there in front of you.
Publish content that creates authority positioning in your industry.
LinkedIn makes up more than 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs, which makes it a really cost effective way of getting prospects to your website. And with only 3 million of the 500 million users sharing content weekly, and 45% of those readers being in upper-level positions, there is a really big opportunity to be seen.
Don’t: Share cat memes (unless you work with cats)
Do: Share content that is relevant, educates your target market, and solidifies your authority positioning.
Open conversations and move the connection offline as quickly as possible.
As with any professional networking, the gold is in the follow up. Send personal messages via LinkedIn and follow up connection requests or connection invitations. Send personal messages and thank people for engaging with your content, or for posting great content which inspired you. Think about creating relationships, rather than just collecting connections.
Don’t: collect high numbers of connections just to look popular, and then ignore them.
Do: Take the conversation offline as soon as possible, and have real conversations to explore win/win opportunities.
If you use LinkedIn in a strategic way, it’s a fabulous platform with huge opportunity to position your thought leadership, grow your network and build your business.
Would you like some help to review and optimize your LinkedIn strategy, specific to the outcomes you want to achieve in your business? Email me at [email protected] with ‘LinkedIn Strategy’ in the subject line, and I’ll reach out to make a time to chat.