“I enjoy Facebook, but don’t know how to use LinkedIn, it is all so serious.” I hear this a lot and it makes me sigh. Sure, LinkedIn is a business platform. If you don’t bore yourself to death when running your business, there is no need to act boring on LinkedIn.
Anyone can organically grow their business through LinkedIn. On a free account, without any ad spend. Yet the best strategy is useless if you don’t stick to it. Find out how LinkedIn can be enjoyable (so that you stick to it) and profitable whilst you’re at it.
LinkedIn is a great tool to incorporate into your marketing strategy. I mean, it’s got everything. The narrative of your career shows that YOU are brilliant, experienced and skilled at what you do.
Your contact details, often underutilised or only filled out half-heartedly. I’ll be the first to admit that LinkedIn doesn’t make it intuitive to use this the smart way.
Your network. Every client, supplier or collaborator you need for your business is there. How much easier do you want things to get?
And then we have content and conversations. You can post to share your expertise and add value in comments. Before you know it people start tagging you for your knowhow.
Passive LinkedIn use
Most people will Google you when someone mentions you or before they have a meeting with you. Your LinkedIn profile ranks high in Google. If you do nothing else, make sure you’re profile is set out to convert visitors to prospects. If you do nothing else, that is passive LinkedIn use.
In order for your profile to convert visitors to prospective clients, it needs to be clear what you do and whom for. Back this up by proof that you are fabulous at what you do. First impressions are made in seconds. The top of your profile must be clear and resonate with those you want to work with.
- The big bad banner image that spans across to the top of your profile is the first attention grabber. Make sure it relates to what you do and send a clear message together with your headline.
- The headline is a short pitch (220 characters including spaces). Tell people exactly what you do and whom for. Make sure to use keywords for the search engines and some personality for the human reader. The first 40 characters or so are visible every time you comment on LinkedIn. So put clarity before creativity (my own headline is the exception to prove the rule).
- Cover story. A 30-sec video (portrait mode) where you introduce yourself. You can record straight into the LinkedIn app (you can only add it on mobile) or record and edit it first. This way you can add captions. About 60% of LinkedIn users do so on their phone and 80% of them have the sound off. Also, captions create inclusivity for the hearing impaired. Keep it to 29-sec max as LinkedIn will not allow you to upload if you are 1/1000 of a second over the 30 sec.
- Name pronunciation. LinkedIn allows you (also mobile only) to record the pronunciation of your name. This is invaluable for people who are about to call you, they can make sure they get it right. Mind you, LinkedIn gives us 10 seconds meaning you can actually record a 25-30 word pitch.
Active LinkedIn use
Different strategies work for different business models.
- Using paid advertising campaigns.
- Spray and pray.
- Building relationships & sharing expertise.
Paid advertising is something I know nothing about. When you want to go that way, I suggest you hop onto YouTube. AJ Wilcox is the queen of LinkedIn advertising. If you have a paid LinkedIn account you might also want to look for AJs courses on LinkedIn Learning.
Spray and pray is an ongoing numbers game. It is based on cold calling. You connect with people and pretty much hit them with a sales pitch as soon as they accept. You do this for a while and then work out your numbers. Say that out of 100 invitations 70 people accept and that out of those seventy 2 people buy. You then know that you have a 2% conversion from the invites sent. If you need to sell 10 a month to hit your revenue goals, you need to send 500 invites a month. This is tricky now that LinkedIn has limited the invitations to 100 per week.
Building relationships & sharing expertise
Using LinkedIn to sustainably grow your business means sharing your expertise. Through your own posts and through comments on other posts. Before you get your knickers in a knot about having to be all serious and business-like…
When you meet with a client what do you wear? Suit and tie, a jacket or a hoody? That’s what you wear in your profile picture and videos. How do you communicate with your clients? Do you speak quite formal? Casual? Do you joke? Are you to the point or chatty? There is no right or wrong here. Consider how YOU show up in your business and show up the same on LinkedIn.
- One way to share your expertise is by posting on LinkedIn. Different formats are:
- Record a short video (remember to add captions).
- Create a multi-page PDF which then displays as a carousel.
- Write a text post (max 3000 characters) with or without an image.
Stick to the format you’re comfortable with. When you mix it up you’ll reach more people as some prefer video, others prefer text or an images + text carousel. Even the algothingymebob likes a bit of a mix more than one type of content only. Make sure you reply to every comment on your post. Ask a question to keep the conversation going and slip in some of your expertise.
Commenting on content by others is even more effective. I mean, when you post, you have to hope for the best that someone will see it. When you comment, the person who posted receives a notification. Always add to the post with your comment, don’t try to outshine the bride.
Who to comment on? People who serve the same clients as you, but with a different service. As a book editor, you can engage with illustrators and publishers as you all have authors as clients. This is an easy way to become visible to your target audience.
Create a list of 15 people that you can engage with. People who regularly post on LinkedIn, often get more than 3 comments and who either share your expertise or serve the same clients. Check their recent activity and bookmark this page or save the link in a spreadsheet. Now all you have to do is check 3 of them each day, this means you engage with all of them at least once a week.
Decide on 2-3 types of content that you actually enjoy creating and work out how often you’d like to post. Weekly, monthly, daily, it doesn’t matter. Do what is fun for you and commit to it. LinkedIn may feel like social media, it is part of your marketing strategy and as such needs to be scheduled in your calendar.
When it feels like a chore instead of fun review your strategy!
- How to make your time on LinkedIn enjoyable and profitable - September 22, 2021