If your goal is to reach new career heights, get jobs as a freelancer or improve brand awareness, build your network, boost leads & conversions and increase revenue for your small business, then this is the platform for you.
LinkedIn receives about 303 million users monthly. The social app is geared towards career professionals. It is a platform for promoting your home business, finding a job or freelance work and connecting with joint venture partners.
But apart from that, more and more, LinkedIn is becoming a sales and marketing platform in addition to a hiring tool. There are marketing tools available on the platform for every business size and type, from small to large, businesses that cater to other business (B2B) and businesses that cater to consumers (B2C).
LinkedIn can be extremely powerful especially when you are aware of all its hidden features that don’t get nearly as much attention as they deserve.
Setting up a LinkedIn account is as easy as it is when setting up on other social media platforms. You simply have to provide the necessary information to start up.
To start, visit the LinkedIn Pages Section and LinkedIn Marketing Solutions website to create a page. Choose the appropriate category for your business. Fill out your company details; you cannot afford to leave any requested information as it provides visitors with information about your business and improves your ranking in Google search results.
In your company description, you should tell people your vision, mission, values and give a description of your products and services in 3-4 short paragraphs.
Add you store or office location, you are allowed to add multiple locations as would be needed for companies with branches spread across different regions.
Hashtags also work on LinkedIn. You can add up to three hashtags to your profile to make you more searchable. These hashtags should be niche hashtags, that is, hashtags that are commonly used in your industry; you wouldn’t want to show up in search results that are in no way related to what you do.
First impressions are important and your profile is what gives your visitors their first impression about you so it has to be fully optimized.
First thing you should note is that; it is very unprofessional to not have a profile photo. Everyone would want to at least see the face of who they are considering to work with or buy from. Your profile photo is like your brand identity so whatever picture you put up should be professional.
Your headline should read a value proposition; it shouldn’t just be about you and your job titles. It should tell a story and show your ability to solve your prospect’s problems.
This is one part of your profile that tells people why they should patronize you. Let them know what motivates you to do what you do, everything you have to offer them and what they stand to benefit from your business.
Remember to keep it simple, straight to the point and very professional. Write like you would speak if you were physically talking to your customers directly.
This helps build credibility. People will always want to do business with those who have the right skills and knowledge.
In addition, users who list their education appear in searches up to 17 times more often than those who don’t.
Add all the skills and certifications you have to your profile, but do ensure they are all related to your job role as you don’t want to contradict yourself and confuse prospects. Your prospects are likely to notice any slight misalignment in your profile.
For detailed profile optimization, read our article; “how to optimize your LinkedIn profile to boost sales”
In summary, your page should offer ample opportunities for prospective customers to learn about your brand, as well as engage with relevant content.
The biggest advantage of LinkedIn is that it is frequented by many senior-level influencers, decision makers and thought leaders. If you want to want to grab the attention of these top level executives, you should work on developing a very strong LinkedIn strategy.
Once you are all set up on LinkedIn, the next thing to do would be to develop a strategy for LinkedIn. Your strategy is going to be based on the goals you have for your business on LinkedIn. This simply means what you want to gain using the platform.
Are you trying to use LinkedIn for business hiring, social selling, connecting with customers or all of the above? Should your LinkedIn budget include ads?
When you have clearly stated your goals for LinkedIn, the next would be to determine your target audience. This is a prerequisite for developing a solid LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Get to know LinkedIn’s demographics; it would be a good start to set you on the right path. It lets you know who uses the platform and who you can reach. You can outline your audience on the basis of different parameter such as job titles, location, industry, gender, age and much more.
Another way to do this would be to study your competition on the platform. Finding businesses and companies who sell similar products and offer similar services would help a lot here. You simply just have to find them and use their accounts to do a little research.
Find out the kinds of audience that are following them and the ones that interact most with their page. This will give you an insight to the kind of people you should be targeting, what they are interested in and their demographics.
When your goals and target audience are clearly outlined, you can go ahead to map out a LinkedIn content calendar. Create relevant and engaging content, use lots of images and videos. Prepare your content ahead of time.
For starters, you should let people know your LinkedIn page is up and running. Share your profile handle to your followers on other social networks, ask them to connect with you on the platform. Using keywords in your profile gives you a chance to attract people who are looking for what you offer.
If you wish to grow your visibility on LinkedIn, you should work on growing your connections on the platform. As you grow connections, your updates are visible to more people. You can start sending connection requests to people you already know.
You should personalize your connection request. Do not send generic request in the suggestion section. Pick out the ones you’d love to make a connection with, send them a request through their profile. This gives you the chance to send a personal note along with your request.
LinkedIn’s algorithm ranks posts based on the following signals; personal connections, interest relevance and engagement probability. It aims to show people content that will interest and engage them from accounts they connect with. You posts should aim to do the same.
With a consistent and engaging stream of interesting, useful content and with quality connections, you’ll begin to see traffic rushing in on your profile.
Companies and prospects would want to engage more with you, hire you and your services as a result of the authority you have built which shows you are good at what you do.
While it might be tempting to sell your audience on the benefits of your products, “salesy” content doesn’t generally perform well on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn members are generally into fresh ideas. Publish thought leadership content on your page as this is a powerful way to grow your audience. You should also share posts from other users that you find innovative.
Do not forget to be consistent in quality and quantity. It might be difficult at first, it will not all be achieved in a day but, the more you try, the harder you go, the better the results you get.
A lot of people do not realize LinkedIn is also a dynamic resource that is indexed and frequently crawled by Google making it very important to optimize your profile for search engines.
To start off with your SEO optimization, you need to do an extensive keyword research. These keywords are what you’ll use to target your audience. They are the words that your target audience use when describing your kind of business.
These keywords should be used across your tagline, about, experience and skills sections.
LinkedIn allows you to create a custom URL for your LinkedIn profile. A LinkedIn profile or business page with a customized URL will rank higher in organic search results when users are searching for your name or organization.
Backlinks are the core for SEO and Google’s algorithm for page rank. You can create backlinks from your LinkedIn profile by linking it in your blog posts or on your websites in the author section.
LinkedIn has a very lovely paid advertising service you should use once in a while to reach more audience and convert leads. LinkedIn advertising can be done in the following formats; Sponsored Content, Message Ads and Text Ads.
Running paid advertising on LinkedIn allows you access a wide audience which is well targeted with accuracy and increase conversion rates. You should mix things up and try a bit of the different formats.
Engage in groups on the platform to share your expertise, boost your credibility and expand your network further. Pick groups focused around a very specific niche that is related to your industry.
This is by far the easiest way to find your target audience all grouped in one place. In these groups, being active and engaging in quality discussions makes people notice you, again building authority.
Most of these discussions are all focused on problem solving, so the more you help people and the more active contributions you make, the more people are attracted to you.