I love using LinkedIn. It is such a powerful platform to help anyone that’s targeting people in business. I don’t call it a business to business platform because everything in LinkedIn is all about developing trust between individuals and I think our understanding of what business to business or business to consumer is changing a lot.
LinkedIn has become a really powerful way to connect with the right people for your business. If your target clients/customers tend to be people who are business owners, professionals, work in large organizations, or maybe small business owners, then you need to be on LinkedIn.
If your target market uses Linkedin then you should be on there
It is a beautifully engaged platform, you can build a really lovely sense of community and network with people who have similar values to you. I have found the more I use LinkedIn, I’ve started to create around me a group of people who I really enjoy talking to who I feel will share the same values. I find when I refer people, I’m often now referencing the fact that I can say ‘and they have these values’ because they’ve demonstrated those in their posts. When I’m working with someone, I want them to have values that align with me.
It’s also helped me make better decisions around who I don’t choose to work with. It’s easy to see on LinkedIn the people that fit with what you do.
LinkedIn is a great place for organic reach that doesn’t get throttled the same way it does on other social media platforms. So it’s really good to use LinkedIn if you want to get a bigger reach for your messaging.
The other reason I love LinkedIn as it encourages engagement with a range of people. You get to interact with other people who might be in the same industry or people that you want to talk to and is a really natural way to help yourself build relationships with them. Basically if your target market uses LinkedIn then you should be there. With all that in mind, let’s take a look at what you need to consider.
- Profile Picture
Your profile picture needs to be lovely and clear and demonstrate who you are. Make sure it’s relatively updated. I’ve currently got blonde hair, my profile picture doesn’t but I’m getting new photos done. It doesn’t have to change every time you change your hair but it does need to be something that looks like you so make sure the photos are current. Have a welcoming look on your face, don’t look too stern but do remember it as a business and a professional platform. Keep looking professional and just have a lovely clear picture.
You need to have a great header. Often you’ll see someone and you’ll go and look at their page and they just have a generic blue header. That’s the basic LinkedIn header.
A LinkedIn header is powerful real estate. So make sure you talk about what you do there. Make it really clear. Not too many words but you can have a little call to action, you can demonstrate what you do or you can if you tag line on there so that people can understand exactly what you do when they come and have a look at your profile.
I get around a thousand views a month on my LinkedIn profile which means there’s 1000 people a month looking at my header and seeing what we do.
3. Profile Headline
The next thing is your profile headline. This follows you around wherever you go on LinkedIn.
The first 80 characters of your LinkedIn profile need to tell people what you’re going to give them if they work with you. You can do that directly just by saying ‘marketing strategist’.
I prefer to talk about solutions or the problem that I’m going to solve. So I have on mine you know ‘help you find customers who love you, choose you, buy from you’. You need to have a headline that people understand.
You can have fun later on in the headline (after those first 80 characters) and then describe things, you can use emojis or not use emojis.
But as long as you realize that your headline follows you every time you comment or posts anywhere, you need to make those first 80 characters really important real estate because that’s the bit that people see when it follows you around LinkedIn.
Your headline follows you everywhere on Linkedin. The first 80 characters need to tell people what problem you solve and who needs you to solve it.
4. Linkedin profile summary
Your LinkedIn profile summary is all about talking about who you are. In your profile summary, talk in the first person. This is about you.
This is not about your business, it is about who you are. Share some of your values, share who are. If you’re a funny person, show you;re funny. Make it sound like you!
Make it sound like how you talk. Make it sound like how you’d like to come across in person. Show your personality just as much as your achievements. You can add media so you can have videos like YouTube videos, you can add links, you can add newspaper articles about you.
Use all sorts of different things that tell people who you are, what you believe and how you might be if they worked with you.
You obviously can also put a little bit of history in there but there’s actually room to put like a CV ladder down which people can have a look at so try and make it a summary of skills in a friendly way rather than a bunch of stuff that you’ve done which they can just get later on.
Talk in the FIRST PERSON. Make it sound like you talk and how you’d come across in person. Show your personality as well as your achievements
Make sure that it is really friendly. I make sure that our core values of looking after the customer, following the customer, adding value and keep it simple are threaded through my profile.
I also talk about how I am a mum, I talk about the fact I love my dogs because then people who interact with me will have those touchpoints where they feel like they can connect with me on a range of different levels.
5. Connect with others
Once you’ve done your profile set-up, here’s how we use LinkedIn.
The first thing we want to do is you want to connect with others.
Please don’t sell to them on a first meeting. Please don’t copy and paste a generic comment on posting.
I personally don’t tend to send any messages. I’m not actively going out and finding people to build my profile at the moment but if I was I would add up to 10 people a day.
As long as they fit my general demographic, I would search for people that were seeking connections to the people I already had.
Have a look at their profiles. Go ‘yep that person fits me’ and send a connection request and some most simply reply yes or accept, some won’t but I don’t jump in with a sales message.
Personally, I find even the ones where people say ‘I’ve had a look at your profile and think that would be great to connect’. I find, when you’re getting a lot of them, they do feel quite copy and paste.
So I just prefer not to send anything. There are options to send text messages obviously. And so some people will send one if you’ve got a specific reason for joining up with someone you can send a message about that. I’ll often do that if I’ve been interacting with someone on LinkedIn in a discussion and I want to connect with them afterwards, I’ll often follow it up privately in a text conversation with them on LinkedIn.
You can send audio or video.
Now I find, generally, men tend to say they love doing this. I think maybe because it’s that visual sound action thing. I don’t know! I personally don’t like getting an audio from someone I’ve never met before because I have to trust them enough at that point to play it and unfortunately I have had enough not pleasant ones to not want to do it.
So if someone sends me audio, it will not get listened to.
Again with video, video I have to have my sound on so I rarely play it.
I’m often using Linked In in a workspace and so I’m not going to use video either. Text is for me much friendlier but it does come down to if you’re wanting to have people that do engage that way. Then go for it and do that. Some people say they love it. I personally don’t.
Accept anyone that is in your target demographic or your industry.
I have people that are marketers across the world because it helps me be a better marketer but I tend to have more people in New Zealand or some in Australia that are my target demographic in terms of people that I might work with at some point. So when you’re connecting, think about that. Be proactive.
Do go in and connect up to 10 people a day if you’re building a network as long as they fit your general demographic.
6. Interact with Others
Using LinkedIn as all about changing behaviours.
Using LinkedIn is all about making new habits if you haven’t done it before.
So you need to commit to coming onto LinkedIn every day. I’m not going to ask you to post right from the beginning. What I’d like you to do is just come on to Linkedin, and every day make an effort to add value to people’s posts by commenting on them. Adding value is not selling. Adding value is having a conversation and communicating with them.
Every time you comment people can see what you do and it increases your reach and people will connect with you as they see your comments. Be who you are on LinkedIn, whether you’re a great person or a horrible person, you will find your tribe. Just be who you are and you will find the right people for you. Horrible, or nice!
7. Post to show others what you think
I post 5 times a week. I post Monday to Friday, every day. I take weekends off. I could use weekends. It’s very easy to get good reach on a weekend but I prefer not to use it just because I’m trying to make sure I focus on my family. (that’s one of my values so I need to live by it!)
But I do post 5 times a week.
Think about your posts, do a variety of different things.
TYPE OF POSTS
LinkedIn is the only social media with text only posts work really really well. But do a variety, so do a text only, do a text with image, do a video post, or do a link to a blog. (Don’t do those very often. If you can keep things on the platform it’s better)
It is best to do a variety of different posts to interact with a variety of different people and to mix it up a bit.
If you’re going to use hashtags to help people find you, we suggest a maximum five hashtags and I personally have one which is #RachelKlaver so I can find my posts again or other people can follow my posts if they want to because they can follow a hashtag.The first THREE hashtags help with SEO so use them wisely.
Forget about selling in LinkedIn posts. It’s really important to not sell. Here’s some ideas that I do for different types of posts.
- A mini blog. It’s a long form post with a key idea. I’ll often start with a question as it increases engagement.
- The second thing that I would normally do is I would do a video with me and someone else with commentary. I will often do a video of me and someone else talking about something, I do a podcast called ‘Marketers I Love’ and so I’ll often have a little video of me and that person with a little description of what’s going on and I make sure I subtitle the videos because it’s caring about my community caring, about people who prefer to read it with the sound off or might be in a meeting and trying to keep focused.
- Videos of just yourself. Don’t be afraid of video! Videos are such a great way to engage with your audience and it really helps people who are visual build relationships with you, understand who you are, pick up your mannerisms and learn more about you than a two dimensional version of you.
- You can try tips. Give people tips and ideas of things to do. This is free content that adds value and helps people feel that they can trust you and that you know you’re talking about.
- Posts about your personal values. You can talk about how you are, who you are and how you tick. What is important to you so that people who are like you or share the same values as you will interact with you because we want to work with people who have similar values. It just makes life easier.
- Testimonials. If you’re doing five posts a week, you could do a testimonial a week. I personally like getting them in their raw form, so like if they are on Google My Business, I’ll go and screenshots them and use that as a testimonial. Those are really useful!
- Only do sales post every now and again. If you’re pushing out all the time people just turn off and start passing you in the stream because you’re being too pushy and it’s not a conversation, you’re shouting at them.
- You could do a post about you on the job. A photo of you at the job, a photo of you at your workplace, something like that. Then you can go and do your work in the real world so showing evidence of it in the real world either by maybe a sign
- just you interacting with someone or being out somewhere working. Anything that shows your values, your work and adds value is a good post.
I get a lot of work from Linkedin. But I’m not strategically selling on Linkedin.
My focus is, and always will be to give value, to find my people, and to have fun
The work comes.
And when it does – it’s with people I already have a level of trust and relationship with.
Which makes all the posting, sharing and supporting 100% worth it
If you’ve made it all the way to the end and got something out of this please give me, Rachel Klaver a LinkedIn hello! (and follow/ connect away. 🙂 )