Wait – haven’t you read this LinkedIn blog post before?
Yep, but I’ve now updated it with a few more tips that’ll make you stand out. I’m not LinkedIn’s bitch. They’re not paying me a wedge of cash to promote them (if only) but if you have a business and you’re not on LinkedIn, you’re missing out.
How LinkedIn Benefits Your Business.
You may have signed up years ago, put your work experience on there, then barely touched it.
Yeah, we’ve all done it. However, it’s time to use LinkedIn correctly.
Using it in the right way can:
- Promote Your Business
- Showcase Your Expertise, and
- Attract Clients
It won’t happen overnight. It takes hard work. And it takes dedication, but if you put in the hours, you can become the oracle everybody goes to when they need your services.
Whether you’re a copywriter, designer, solicitor or something else – YOU should be the one people go to first.
How To Use LinkedIn Like A Flippin’ Pro.
Right, so you want to start using LinkedIn like a professional?
Here are seven tips to get you those all-important connections that’ll stand you in good stead.
1. Make Your Profile Header Clear
So, what makes it stand out?
A. It has a clear picture of me and my business logo.
B. It tells people what I do. I’m a Copywriter, Author and Educational Workshop Presenter. No fluff, just concise wording that says what I do.
C. It has my website address. You’re supposed to put your school in that section, but nobody gives a rats arse that I went to St Matthews between 1993 and 1998.
D. The start of my profile tells people straight away the benefits my writing brings to a business.
E. I include my e-mail address in the opening blurb to give people another way to contact me.
Be clear about who you are and what you do to make a great first impression.
You can make your picture one of you in a Spider-man mask, but nobody will take you seriously, not even The Avengers.
2. Use Emoji and Subheadings In The Body Of Your Profile
Using emoji breaks up your written content and draws the eye. Anyone can use the standard bullet point, but by using an emoji in their place, it adds colour and makes you stand out.
Also, rather than writing a wall of text, use subheadings. I capitalise my subheaders, but you could add a colourful emoji at the start and end of your subheader. Whatever you do, make it stand out.
Here’s mine with my emoji use and subheadings marked in red:
You’ll notice I also added a testimonial.
Yes, there’s already a referral section (see below), but there’s nothing wrong with added as many pieces of positive feedback as you can.
3. Show Your Skills
Want people to know what you specialise in?
Go to your profile page, add your skills then ask your clients and colleagues to endorse you.
The more you get, the more impressive you look.
See, even somebody who uses it every day has to work at building their profile.
The best way to boost your endorsements is to connect with everyone you know on LinkedIn.
- Current colleagues
- Past colleagues
- Carol who you see at the bus stop every day and ignores you as she’s too busy reading a book
I haven’t added the bullet points as their own separate tip because, well, you’re likely to add anyone you know already.
4. Ask Clients For Referrals
If you’ve worked with a client, ask them to add a reference on LinkedIn – and just as importantly, add one for them too (see my blog post Why Testimonials Are For Everyone for more thoughts on this).
What better way to showcase you’re bloomin’ brilliant at what you do than a thumbs-up from a real-life client?
I did, here’s mine:
5. Build Connections By Commenting On Peoples Posts
You may have a significant following just from those you know. But what about people you don’t?
Don’t take a scattergun approach and add every Tom, Dick, Harry and Sally.
Some random person adding anyone is bad practice. Search for people in your field. Search for people in a sector who could make a handy future client.
However, before you click connect, do something straightforward – check out their profile and posts.
Yep. Look them up. See who they are. Are their posts of value to you? Could your posts be of benefit to them?
Then comment on their posts.
Tell them how helpful their post is, it opens a dialogue.
Also, if somebody replies to your post, take the time to reply there too.
6. Like Your Own Posts And Comments
But on Facebook that looks like I’m big headed.
Balls to Facebook.
Liking your own posts and comments makes your more visible to those you connect with.
7. Put Links In Your Comments, Not In The Post
LinkedIn changes its algorithm as often as the tides.
However, one staple seems to be is it hating links in the main body of posts. If you’re linking to your website or something else, pop the link in the comments as soon as you post.
LinkedIn’s crazy algorithm won’t penalise you for this.
8. Reuse Blog Posts In The Articles Section
Written a fab blog post on your website?
Reuse it in the ‘Articles’ section on LinkedIn, and link to your website.
This can drive traffic to your page and get more eyes on the amazing stuff you’re writing on your blog.
9. Customise Your Connection
When connecting, don’t just click connect, there’s an ‘Add A Note‘ section. Fill this in.
Tell the person how you found them, how their post engaged you and how you’d love to connect with somebody who can add value to your business.
10. Write Engaging Posts Of Your Own
If you want to post pictures of yourself eating pizza in a dark restaurant with a wine stain down your front, stick it on Facebook.
LinkedIn is a place for you to show what you and your business can do.
When you post an update, think: “How can I add value?“
Now, what do I mean by that?
It could be you want to share your knowledge with others in your line of business. Or it could be a post that tells somebody looking for your services how much you can help them.
Veer aware from the hard sell.
Nobody is interested in reading long-winded posts about how amazing you are. Honestly, they’re not. People are interested in one thing: themselves.
However, posting how your service benefits another is a smart way of talking about yourself without annoying the hell out of people.
Make the post about them.
Notice how I use ‘You‘ and ‘Your‘ more than ‘Me‘ and ‘I‘?
I ask for people to tell me about their experiences to up the engagement in my post.
And yes, at the end I explain I know not all people enjoy writing and give them the option of hiring me. I tell them to do it themselves but entice them with the possibility of letting me take care of everything.
Isn’t that much better than ramming the hard sell down their throats?
Until next time,
PS. Once you’ve got your LinkedIn sorted, the next step is to make sure everybody sees your business. Read my blog, How To Make Your Business Kick Ass, for some useful hints and tips!