LinkedIn is my absolute fav of all the social media platforms. That surprises many as many of the small business owners I came across are not going it to the attention and weight that it deserves – they are perhaps still trying to get their head around Facebook and Instagram!
But I hope, by the time you’ve read this, I will have convinced you to love it too!
Remember, and this is a big thing to remember, googling anyone’s name will bring up their LinkedIn profile in the first 2 or so listings on a google search – that’s how powerful a LinkedIn profile can be. Spend all your money on SEO only to be able to rank by having a good LinkedIn profile with keywords! It’s like magic – free magic!
LinkedIn is professional Facebook. No trolls and a heck of a lot more respect and it’s fabulous for connections and even education. If there’s an expert in their field, they’ll be on LinkedIn. HINT: if you’re an expert in your field, better get on it and doing it well!
It’s a great platform for connection with people – it’s like networking but online. So, if you think networking can help grow your business or grow you (because we should always be investing in ourselves) then it’s the platform for you.
Now, confession time, when I say it’s my favourite platform, it wasn’t always like that. When I had my retail shop, it made absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. I did not invest the time or energy to find out or see how it could work for me.
But as I evolved as a business owner and my business evolved, I began to see and harness its power for connections.
One thing I have realised about LinkedIn which has allowed me to have such fantastic growth into my business, if you really do have to give to get!
You should be reaching out on any platform, but this one, in particular, can really love you back if you love it first!
Ok, that’s enough convincing that this should the platform for you, let’s get down to some auditing:
- Your profile picture
Your profile picture should be of you, should be professional and should give the message you want your audience to get. It should look like you, today, not 10 years ago – today.
Looking sexy when you’re a chiropractor, not a good look. Glamour shots – nope. Not looking at the camera – nope! Pets/friends/partners – nope nope nope.
You want to be engaging, you want to give the impression of someone trustworthy, authentic and an authority in whatever their expertise is. They should want to connect with you! If you’re not sure – use this week’s discovery Photofeeler.com
If you can’t afford a professional photo shoot – then find a white wall or through a white sheet over your clothesline, use filters on your phone and ask a friend or partner to take it for you. There’s always tricks to a good photo that will take effort but not money. But remember if you’re not willing to invest in you – will they?
- Your background photo
LinkedIn automatically gives you a blue background to your profile. If you still have it – promise me you’ll fix that as soon as you’ve finished reading this?
When I look at someone’s background, I want to see, in pictures, what they do. If a picture tells a 1000 words, then make this one count!
If you’re a speaker, have a photo or photos of you speaking. If you teach leadership, your picture should show you leading. If you’re in customer service, show yourself giving service. You get the picture right?
Canva.com – my favourite of all my discoveries, has lots of templates to help you play with your background photo. They have the dimensions right – it’s just a matter of you choosing a template and making it work for you. Don’t be afraid to play.
Your background is also a great piece of real estate for advertising your services or upcoming workshops etc. So, don’t be afraid to change it, as the seasons and reasons in your business change.
- Your Bio
So, now you’ve shown them you’ve trustworthy and told them what we do in pictures, it’s time to use our words – your bio.
Your bio, if you look at your profile, sits right below your name.
In your bio, you have just 120 characters to grab your audience’s attention. Make this snippet about your audience and how you can help.
Who do you help and how do you help them? You have 120 characters to answer those two questions. Use emojis or lines to separate words to make it look more engaging.
Your LinkedIn headline is one of the most visible sections of your LinkedIn profile.
It’s also one of the most important fields for LinkedIn’s search algorithm. Not only should your LinkedIn headline portray you as a credible member of your industry, it should also contain strategic keywords that help you appear higher in LinkedIn searches.
Again, you have 120 characters to play with!
- About Section
Your goal with your about section is to::
- Fill it all in! and
- Get leads to call you or connect with you. And by leads I mean, people who will one day do business with you!
To write the about section – be succinct, clear and concise.
Step 1: Write a short sentence about where you work and what you do, including any brands you sell.
Step 2: Include your contact details, website address etc, after the first sentence. You want this stuff above the fold – visible before someone has to click the “see more” button.
Step 3: Answer the following questions
- Who do you serve? Persons/areas/brands and so forth
- What do you do?
- Why should someone choose to buy from you as opposed to everyone else who sells what you sell or does what you do? Include why your brand and why you, your experience and so forth.
(You have 2000 characters in this section).
To make this a bit more actionable, fill in these blanks:
TAP here to discover how I can help you …… (what do you help someone do)
Insert contacts (how do you want to be contacted, website, DM, phone, email etc – this goes next)
Who is your target market?
What is their biggest pain point?
Include a link to schedule a chat or an appointment – if this is how you want to be contacted.
My mission is to help…. (who do you help?)
Why you? Why you do what you do plus something personal or human to human engaging
Any claims to fame (awards etc)
Any links to articles you’ve written, videos you’ve done or lead magnets you want to include
Lastly, again your contact details: To let me assist you with ….., reach out at ……
- Your Contact Information
Utilise the contact info area. When someone visits your profile, is intrigued by your branding, is hooked in by how you can help them, then they will naturally click through that ‘See contact info’ link under your bio.
Make sure the links here are current and valid! Let me repeat that – MAKE SURE THE LINKS THERE ARE CURRENT AND VALID!!
PRO TIP: Your website address doesn’t have to be your home page – think about where you would like a LinkedIn connection to go if they were visiting your website. Think about the type of person you’d like to attract and personalise it for that persona.
- Personalise your URL
You can customise your public profile URL when you change what appears on your public profile. Custom public profile URLs are available on a first come, first served basis. Again, think google ranking when someone is googling you – magic I’m telling you, magic!
If you look at your URL and it’s got numbers and letters after it, it’s really easy to change. To change your public profile URL:
- Click the Me icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.
- Click View profile.
- On your profile page, click Edit public profile & URL on the right rail.
- Under Edit URL in the right rail, click the Edit icon next to your public profile URL.
- It’ll be an address that looks like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname.
- Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
- Click Save.
So now we have an updated profile, engaging headshot, great background that tells a story, our own URL, and headline and an about section to die for – now it’s all about the content you provide. So, let’s quickly have a look at that.
If you’re a regular listener to my podcast you probably know what I’m about to say – if I’ve said it once, I’ve said it often – KNOW WHO YOUR WHO IS.
It’s just not something us marketers say – it really is SUPER important to have a handle on. If you’ve not worked on your client avatar before, maybe head back to episode 25 where I talk at length about getting to know your who.
So, if you know who you want to attract on LinkedIn, it makes creating, curating and designing content for your audience here so much simpler!
Can you repurpose what you’ve put on other social media sites? Yes, to a degree!
If your target audience is the same – YES
BUT, remember this is professional Facebook so sometimes you might be able to deliver the same message, content, idea but the language you use to convey that might be different to other platforms.
Be yourself for sure – but just be aware of the language you are using here and if it’s appropriate.
Here’s an example of what I mean::
LinkedIn is for professionals – business owners. Yes, granted we are all consumers at one time or another, but here we are business owners and therefore nearly everyone on the platform has something to sell. They may not be selling but they definitely have something to sell.
So, going in with a selling mentality like you might on another platform, won’t work here. On all platforms we should have a give, give, give, ask mentality, but here, everyone is selling – so being a big fish in a small pond is harder – so with content it’s has to be value, value, value.
Do you write blogs? If so, repurpose them here. You can repurpose them, for instance, as:
- Articles (LinkedIn’s built in blog platform)
- Short snippet paragraph or video taking 1 point from the blog and then pointing to the blog
- Take quotes from your blog and do “quote” posts and add more text to it – again, linking to the original blog
- Images with stats over them always get engagement!
- Repurpose your blog into an Infographic if you can
If you don’t write blogs, the content you would share would still be of that educational version – never underestimate what you know that others need to know – heck millions of people have built businesses and podcasts on just that premise! I know this – you need to know this – so I’ll tell you – sometimes I’ll tell you for free, sometimes you’ll have to pay me for it!
My podcast is free for everyone to listen too, but my course Facebook Ads for Beginners won’t be!
Other subjects you might post about on LinkedIn might be:
- Industry knowledge
- The latest and greatest trends
- Tips, tricks and how-to’s
- Part of a PowerPoint presentation
- Make industry predictions
- Talk about patterns in your industry
- Lessons you’ve learned
- Hot media stories that relate to your business (or an angle that does!)
- Celebrate company/business triumphs, milestones and wins
- If you have a team – highlight a team member
- Share someone’s content that not in competition to you but complimentary and you know your audience would love to know about X too.
Can I give you a PRO TIP – you might not like it ….
Video, video, video
Facts: Video is 5x more likely than other types of content to start a conversation among members.
LinkedIn members spend almost 3x more time watching video ads compared to time spent with static content.
If you hadn’t heard, LinkedIn just went all in on video.
You could do a short video series – like LinkedIn Marketing Minute or video case studies. Or you can just stand in front of your camera and talk! Captions – remember captions – they are important because people are looking at LinkedIn at work (most than likely) and don’t necessarily have the sound on.
Business Pages on LinkedIn are making a comeback. You’ve been able to build a business page since the platform existed, I think, but they haven’t been all that successful and honestly they have a little way to go – as there’s lots of clicks to get to them. But it’s definitely something to put on your to-do list – it’s on mine. It will be interesting to see 12 months from now what weight and power they hold.
Before I finish up talking about this wonderful platform, I’ll give you the Pro tip to end all pro tips……
- On LinkedIn, if you engage, reach out, give value, connect with people with a personalised message, respond to connect requests with personalised messages, comment, like and give love – it WILL come back to you 10 fold.
That said, this is what I recommend for ALL social media platforms, but they all won’t love you back as much as LinkedIn will because the algorithm hasn’t killed the platform yet. It’s almost algorithm-less (sort of!). Microsoft owns the platform and they are doing great things – follow trends yes but trying to stay different.
Embrace LinkedIn, and if you’re someone who sells physical product, be an early adopter and give this platform a go.
There’s lots of other tips and tricks when it comes to LinkedIn – but I covered them in Episode 20 – so head back there and have a listen. This episode was more of an audit of your account – but Episode 20 is an in depth run down of the platform for sure.
This blog is a transcript of an episode of my podcast Small Business Made Simple – to check that podcast out and listen in go to www.socialmediandmarketing.com.au/podcast