Using LinkedIn to Build Your Personal Brand
LinkedIn Tips for Entrepreneurs: Mastering the Art of Networking
LinkedIn marketing is important because personal LinkedIn profiles are one of the first places that potential partners will go when they are looking to evaluate if they want to do business with you or not. LinkedIn is an incredible tool for marketing and sales especially for B2B, but really it’s something that every professional needs to understand. Whether you are looking to sell your services to someone or if it’s to get hired by that person, you need to build a personal brand you can be proud of. People buy your company, but more importantly, they buy you.
TL;DR: 3 Tips for Getting Started with LinkedIn Marketing
- Be aware of what your social selling index is on LinkedIn, this is your benchmark for where you began before working on your profile.
- You want to connect with as many people as possible on LinkedIn.
- When your posts receive immediate engagement it tells LinkedIn that your content is valuable and for that reason, LinkedIn will keep it high on the feed.
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Building your personal brand is incredibly important for any business professional. Potential partners will look at who you are, where your skills are and they will also look at who you’re shared connections are. Your shared connections are an incredibly important referral tactic for anyone who wants to dig a little deeper into who you are and it is also a great sales tactic if you are looking to sell into a company and you are connected to someone who is connected to your ultimate target.
Why Does LinkedIn Matter
There are 740 million LinkedIn users across 200 countries around the world. That makes LinkedIn the largest social networking platform for B2B, but even if you are B2C there are a lot of consumers on LinkedIn as well. A large number of recent grads and millennials are also on the platform. And we also have to take into consideration how much more time was spent on social media by professionals during the pandemic.
Top 5 LinkedIn Stats that Matter to Marketers in 2020
- 675 million monthly users
- 57% of users are men ; 43% of users are women
- 30 million companies on LinkedIn
- An ad on LinkedIn can reach 12% of the world’s population
- Sponsored InMail has a 52% open rate, on average
The thing about LinkedIn is, you have a chance to shine if you take the time and optimize your content. Only 3 million users share content on the platform weekly, that’s only 0.3% of users. There is not that much competition out there. About 50% of all traffic to BSB sites comes from social media. This is another reason why, even if you are a B2B company, you want to be on social media.
The most important part about using social media is being consistent. If you can continue to show up on your platforms, you will see results.
What’s Your Score
You want to be aware of what your social selling index is on LinkedIn. If you are going to be working on your profile, you want to have a benchmark for where you began, this is your benchmark. The numbers that are important that you want to look at are on top of your social skill: Industry SSI Rank and Network SSI Rank. Industry SS1 Rank will show you where you rank compared to all other LinkedIn users labeled under your same industry. Network SS1 Rank will show you where you rank among everyone in your LinkedIn network. These two numbers will tell you how you are doing relative to your industry and the people you are connected to. Record these numbers, work on your profile and come back to see how you have improved.
LinkedIn Profile Tips and Tricks
Keep your profile updates to yourself. If you are going to be making changes to your profile, make sure that in your settings you do not share your personal updates with your network. You do not want to spam their feeds.
- Get a professional headshot- at least remove your background from your image to keep the focus on you
- Add a background photo (banner)- give a little insight into who you are
- Add credentials to name (LION)- LION stands for LinkedIn Open Networker and it is self-defined. It shows other users that you are open to connecting with everyone.
- Edit headline- desired job title, add credentials
- Name pronunciation is only available on mobile app- if you have a difficult name to pronounce use the app to add this feature to your profile
- Optimize on both desktop and mobile- most users are usually on mobile
Your “About” Section
We recommend using first person in the About section in LinkedIn . You are telling your elevator story, this is what you are passionate about, this is what you love to do. You also want to make it conversational.
“Your about section is really your opportunity to shine and to differentiate yourself,” said Sheryl Cattell on a #BizHackWebinarLive.
The About session is also a great place to list your core competencies, technical skills and language skills. You can also use this space to list jobs that you don’t have listed in your LinkedIn (do not list anything further than 15 years ago).
Have a LinkedIn Profile For Your Company
If you’re a business owner, even if you’re not going to be very active, we strongly encourage having a company page with your logo as the image because if you don’t you’ll have a greyed out icon next to your company in your personal page’s work experience. No matter the size or type of business you own, you should have a business page on LinkedIn. You do not have to keep up with company pages on LinkedIn. There is not a big expectation for a lot of content there, but it is necessary to make your organization look credible.
Looking for a Job or Contract Position
- Add a new employer and for “company name” write- Looking for new opportunity
- For “current position” write the position you are seeking
- Puts your availability at the top
- Easy for recruiters and hiring companies to find you
- Turn on “Open candidates” feature
LinkedIn Marketing: Growing Your Connections
You want to connect with as many people as possible. Just because you don’t need to connect with someone in a certain industry or career at the moment, doesn’t mean you will never need to connect with them. You never know where your life or your business is going to take you, and you want to be as connected as possible for any situation.
Here are a few more marketing tips:
- Invite everyone you meet
- Use “Find Nearby” (post-COVID-19)
- If you are ever at a conference or seminar where there are a lot of people you would like to connect with.
- Turn on your Bluetooth (will only work with those also on Bluetooth)
- Go to My Network in LinkedIn and click on the blue circle icon that is just floating
- This will turn on “Find Nearby” and anyone close by will show up here and you can connect
- Join groups and add members (be safe and target LIONs)
Give & Get Recommendations
It is very important that you get recommendations. You want to get at least one from every company or volunteer organization that you have listed on your profile. It is much more valuable than asking someone for a letter of recommendation.
And you can also recognize people in your network by giving them “kudos.” LinkedIn loves kudos and giving them improves your social selling score! Kudos are also a great way to use the platform as a place to celebrate and share celebrations.
LinkedIn Post Algorithms: How to Get More Newsfeed Views
Doing an “easy share” link post to an article or blog on LinkedIn signals to LinkedIn that, if somebody reads your post and likes it, they are going to click on the link and leave the platform. They do not want them to leave.
“I would get around a hundred or so views of my post in my feed by doing what I call the easy, lazy share a link post,” said Sheryl.
You need to spend a little bit more time on your post.
Take the following step to increase your post views:
- Input text and image (preferably the same image that is in the article)
- Link to the full article in the first comment
- Tag 3-5 relevant profiles (if possible tag people, companies responsible for the article to catch their attention)
- Use 3 relevant hashtags
- Get 5 comments in the first 30-60 minutes (more on how coming up!)
Highest Return on Investment
Best times to post are:
- Wednesdays 8 – 10am and noon
- Thursdays at 9am and 1 – 2pm
- Fridays at 9am
Best days to post are:
Safest times to post are:
- Tuesday through Friday from 8am – 2pm
Least engagement per day occurs on:
- Everyday from 9pm – 3am
LinkedIn Tips: Engagement Pods
When your posts receive immediate engagement it tells LinkedIn that your content is valuable, likable and is probably keeping their users on the platform. This is the type of content they want users to see and for that reason LinkedIn will keep it high on everyone’s feed.
The easiest way to get those 5 comments on your post in the first 30-60 minutes is LinkedIn Pods. LinkedIn Pods are engagement pods (group message on LinkedIn) and they can form for different purposes. Most pods are created by a group of friends or people who agree to like and comment on each others’ LinkedIn posts. Pods are created in your LinkedIn messages. Compose a new message, name the pod and add members. Ideally the best group size is about 20-30 people who agree to reciprocate the engagement.
We recommend having set days and times to post so that it is easier for everyone to know when they are expected to be on to engage with your posts. When you post, send a message to the pod and let them know your post is ready to receive some love.
It is important to remember that LinkedIn doesn’t care for likes, you want to leave comments that show you have read the content and can comment on it intelligently.
Pros of a Pod:
- Amplifies reach
- Great networking/collaboration within pod
- Best way to engage employees
Cons of a Pod:
- Superficial engagement hurts credibility
- Likes don’t count- comments need to be genuine
- Takes time to do it right- your commitment
- LinkedIn doesn’t endorse pods
- Organic/genuine engagement is best
- But, they will work until your organic engagement kicks in!
LinkedIn Events gives you the ability to go in, set up a meeting and invite your contacts; they make it very easy for you to extend the invitation. If you’ve got thousands of connections on LinkedIn, this can be a pretty powerful tool. It is also very easy for the invitee to accept your invitation.
“They are great for hosting business related events,” said Sheryl.
On LinkedIn Events, you will get recommended events coming up that relate to the things you have shown interest to. Your event can end up on this recommendation list for others which can potentially be an amazing way to get eyes on your event.
If you use LinkedIn Live for your event, everyone who is online when you go live will receive a notification.
Cons of LinkedIn Events:
- Unable to force participants to use registration links
- Need to manually enter info into a 3rd party event site if you are using one (Zoom, Eventbrite)
- No calendar reminders
- Pay attention to permission- true/false (attendees have the option to choose whether you can email them or not)