LinkedIn is one of those social media channels that many people struggle to use effectively for their marketing. The corporate tone to LinkedIn can make it seem like the wrong platform for freelancers and small business owners with the focus on work history and employable skills, but in reality, it’s a fantastic place to network and make connections.
I created a blog on getting started with LinkedIn in my “Claire Saxton’s Social Media Basics” series of blogs, which you can check out here.
This blog is for those of you who have been on LinkedIn for a while and maybe not quite got the results you’d hope for, or simply want to tweak your LinkedIn marketing for more opportunities!
As always, this advice is based on my experiences of using LinkedIn for myself and my clients. What works for you may differ and I’d certainly say that LinkedIn is a platform you can experiment on. If you try something and it doesn’t seem to be working out, try something else!
So, without further comment, here are my 7 supercharged tricks for LinkedIn marketing success
1. Create an amazing profile that stands out in LinkedIn search results
While you’re not competing in the job market of the corporate world, you still want to stand out in the LinkedIn search results sea filled with fish of all kinds, from freelancers to SMEs, corporations to government organisations.
Being a business owner gives you a unique edge here – you don’t have to tow the corporate line. That means you can be as original as you like and truly let your authentic self shine through!
One of the best ways to do this is by having great photos on your profile – professional images if you can (or consider using a professional touch up service to remove backgrounds, etc).
Remember that unique doesn’t mean unprofessional. Your personal profile is about introducing the individual behind the business (as people do business with people, after all) so do consider that when writing your profile text. Avoiding anything too controversial, political, etc is a good idea.
So, how can you be unique and stand out with your LinkedIn profile?
Have a bold headline – talk about results rather than what you do, or be creative with the language you use to describe yourself
Craft an interesting summary – again, it’s not about skills and experience but how you do what you do to get the results your target audience are looking for. It’s much better to say, “I can increase your website through organic SEO strategies” than simply saying “I’m an SEO expert”, for example.
Do highlight your experience – what are you most proud of? What would you do a Ted Talk on? These are great ways to highlight how unique you are in your summary.
Don’t forget your company profile
Having a complete company profile is important, even if you’re a freelancer or sole trader.
Your company page is where you can talk about your services and business offerings specifically, and complete pages tend to receive double the traffic of incomplete ones! So, make sure you’ve filled out the following
- Company description
- Website URL
- Company size (yes, even if it’s just you!)
- Company type
It’s important not just from a target audience point of view, but for LinkedIn algorithms too (yeah, sorry, social media marketing is all about the algorithms!). The more information you have here the better LinkedIn can place you in search results.
It also means that when prospective clients search for your business on Google, there’s more than just your website coming through.
2. Look for connections/potential clients through searching
Don’t think of this as being a predator and hunting potential clients or connections through LinkedIn.
We’ve all been on the receiving side of that and it feels, well, terrible! Remember that networking isn’t just about that one person but who they know too, so if you’re giving off creepy vibes you might get a bad reputation that spreads much further than you expect.
LinkedIn is a great place for finding like-minded folk who may compliment what you do, be interested in what you do and may even want to work with you/hire you. Selling isn’t the aim here, you just want to be making connections. Your profile, posts and LinkedIn articles will do the selling for you.
Using the personal touch when sending invitations to connect is key here. This request isn’t about you or what you do but about the individual you want to connect with – what/who do you have in common, have they created helpful content, etc.
Cold email type messages seldom work (remember what I said about that “creepy vibe”) but a simple “Hi, I’m Claire. I loved your article on LinkedIn Marketing and found the advice really helpful, would you like to connect?” can work wonders!
Don’t be afraid to search and invite.
The language LinkedIn uses makes it seem like you must know the person you’ve inviting which isn’t actually the case, they’re just trying to protect users from spammers. Treat LinkedIn as a networking event with most people having the same aim, to make new connections, and you can’t go too far wrong so long as you remember the general rules of networking etiquette.
3. Engage with your LinkedIn connections regularly
Going back to the networking analogy, having a profile and posting occasionally is like being the wallflower at the back of the room. It’s ok to step back and observe what’s going on and who’s saying what sometimes, but you’ve never going to get noticed yourself if you don’t step forward and make yourself heard.
One of the best ways to do that is by engaging with the posts and content other LinkedIn users generate on the platform.
Find the top performing posts in your industry or location by searching relevant hashtags or looking at the “top posts” in your area (or simply perusing your news feed) – then add a useful comment. By useful, something that adds value or a differing perspective, new information on the same topic, etc.
Meaningful comments like these help distinguish you as an expert in your field and someone worth connecting with, especially if you’re able to do this consistently across multiple pieces of content each day.
Yes, it’s a little time-consuming to do (which is why I recommend scheduling your content in advance to free up your time to do this) but it really does work at getting you noticed, improving your credibility and reputation, and getting results from your LinkedIn marketing.
4. Share high-value content to your LinkedIn feed
There’s one trend that works across all social media platforms and the same is true for LinkedIn, posts with photos and video performs better. It’s not just that they attract attention (which they certainly do!) but because they’re often of higher value to the viewer.
LinkedIn marketing isn’t about being salesy (which is why those cold email type message seldom work), it’s about building trust from connections, just like with real life networking. You provide the means for trust to be built through offering value, in this case, helpful information.
This is the same strategy you should be taking with your website by writing blogs as part of your content marketing and SEO strategy, and the same applies here (LinkedIn articles do show up on Google search).
And yes, you absolutely can and should share your website blog posts regularly on LinkedIn.
Everything you create and share on LinkedIn should serve a specific purpose, generally it’ll fall into one of these categories:
- to educate
- to inform
- to guide
- to inspire
- to entertain
By getting your audience to think and question things, you’re starting to build a rapport. The comments section is where you can take things further through conversation.
And don’t think that everything you share on LinkedIn has to be 100% original content created by you. It’s fine to share valuable industry-related information, etc from reputable sources every so often.
5. Encourage others to engage with your content
While we’re talking about boosting your credibility, having others engage with your content is a fantastic way of doing that.
When LinkedIn users see content that others have commented on and liked, they think “there must be something of value there, others have appreciated it“, and so they click that “see more” button and then will like that content themselves or add a comment.
The more likes and comments, the more people see your content and you’re suddenly in front of a whole lot more people.
So, how can you encourage others to engage with your LinkedIn content?
Ask questions – people love to add their opinion and comments, and it’s a great way to get some market/target audience research done too. The more you know about your dream clients, the easier it is to attract, connect and work with them.
Let people know it’s there – dropping links in your email newsletters/other social media can work well. “We’re having an interesting conversation about x topic over at LinkedIn, which do you think is better? Come and see what’s going on”, for example.
Be authentic – talk about mistakes you’ve made and how you’ve corrected them. The lessons you learned early on and things you wish you’d tried sooner. Being the real you on LinkedIn is a great way to show that you’re unique, honest and approachable.
6. Interact on LinkedIn groups
LinkedIn groups are great for finding niche content and audiences pertinent to you and what you do.
These groups have members specifically interested in what your business is about – industry, audience, locality, etc. People join to find out more information and share ideas, which makes them a great place for you to share your thoughts and content and be seen as an expert in that area.
The more specific you can be with what you share on LinkedIn groups the better the results. When people are looking for answers it’s the detailed information that helps them (and who provided it) that gets remembered!
And yes, you might be thinking “well, if everyone is using LinkedIn groups to share high value content and get noticed, surely that trick can’t work for all of us?”. That’s partly true, there is likely to be some competition but that’s where being authentic, unique and standing out to your target audience is important.
But you can find groups with less competition (going local is a good idea for that) or mixed business types where there aren’t quite so many voices competing to be seen as the most helpful. People are more likely to connect and comment when they feel there is a shared connection which is why local groups can work very well for this, and as they tend to be smaller your discussions will stay active for a lot longer.
If that doesn’t work for you, why not create your own LinkedIn group?
7. Ask for feedback from your connections
Ok, this one might sound a little strange, but it is perfectly fine to ask your connections what they think about your content.
Asking questions is a great way to generate engagement on your posts and to figure out why something isn’t working as well as it might. Some good questions to ask include:
What kind of topics would you like to see me post about?
What kind of style posts do you like – how to guides, videos, infographics?
What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to ask me?
Hopefully, that gives you an idea of the kinds of questions you can ask and the purpose to them, you’ll probably be able to think of many more relevant to you and your business.
But you should absolutely be assessing things for yourself too. If you use a social media scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer, there will be some analytics there you can use to spot trends and the best performing posts, etc. What has worked well and what hasn’t? Can you figure out why something gained more comments than usual – was it a different writing style? Did you try something new?
It’s by looking back and examining what we’ve done and how successful it’s been that we can improve our LinkedIn marketing strategy and become more successful with it.
I hope you’ve found this blog useful and you’ll try at least one of those LinkedIn marketing tricks the next time you create some content for the platform. If you need any help with your LinkedIn marketing strategy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me here at Saxton Marketing.