With the increasing popularity of the LinkedIn, when did you last update your LinkedIn profile, review your connection or content strategy? If you want to make an impact in 2020, use LinkedIn to enhance your visibility, establish your authority and earn influence with your network.
Having a half-complete profile is a missed opportunity to stand out and make an impact. Take the time to establish your current position, share your back story, and infuse your future aspirations and impact you want to make into your profile. You cannot have influence if you cannot be seen.
- Add in new achievements, professional development, qualifications, skills volunteering, new roles, and new services.
- Does your profile photo look like you today? Having a photo makes your profile 21 times more likely to be viewed and provides a visual reference. Be sure you match the person who shows up for that first meeting.
- Check your contact info is up to date.
Allocate time each month to ensure your profile is a current reflection of who you are, who you help and how you help your ideal clients and community.
Be Active & Engaged
Having a well-positioned up-to-date profile is only half of the equation. Increase your visibility, authority and influence through being active on a regular basis so that you have the chance to be seen.
- Create an action plan to create and curate content, and engage with other people’s content. Don’t aim to be the person sharing the most content, aim to be adding value to your network. Talk WITH not AT your network.
- Each week share helpful updates to establish your authority. Not all content has to be created from scratch. Mix it up by publishing original content, and curated content with your thoughts and insights. Always @Mention those who’s content you are sharing to acknowledge and invite into the conversation. Never try to pass off someone else’s content as your own. Content can be text, images, video, audio or documents. Whatever type you choose to use, be sure to consider all communication consumptions styles. For instance, if you choose video as the primary content, consider adding captions for those who choose to watch rather than listen and add text to explain what the content is about and give people the opportunity to read.
🔥Text can be up to 1300 characters long.
🔥Add white space to break it up
🔥Include a question
🔥@mention people or companies you are referencing
🔥End with 2- 3 hashtags
LINKS – If sharing a link, make sure it has a feature image, or better still add your own image. If you don’t want the post indexed by LinkedIn as an external linked post, edit your post after publishing and add the link. There is evidence that LinkedIn prefers native content keeping the viewer on the platform, plus users are seeing your content in the feed and are less likely to click and go elsewhere. So make it easy for them to get the value from the link by making your post about the content.
VIDEO – In the feed video can be up to 10 minutes long, unless it is a Live stream video which can be much longer. Consider your ideal viewer. Most are scrolling through the feed and won’t stop to watch if it is too long. The shorter the better.
AUDIO – Can you share audio grabs to highlight your podcast or interview. Audio can be shared as an audiogram, which is essentially a video.
DOCUMENTS – To create a carousel of content, upload a document with your post. Create in Powerpoint or Keynote, or share a PDF document. The trick is to make the text larger enough to see, so avoid too much detail. You could put photos into a slideshow for a clever way to use images.
IMAGES – Share a single image or up to 9 images per post. Note that only 5 will be shown as a collage in the post, with more being available when images are viewed.
- Once a quarter or month publish a long-form article. This could be content created specifically for your LinkedIn audience, or repurposed from your website / blog. Articles are featured in their own feed within your Articles and Activity section, with the most recent showing up on your Profile. They generally don’t appear in the homefeed, and require a post to promote the article. Multiple posts over a period of time can be used to promote your article, each with a different focus point. Not everyone will click to the read the article, so be sure to add enough value into the post to start a conversation.
- Interact with your network, by adding relevant comments to their posts. This gives you visibility not only with your connections, but with your network, which consists of the connections of your connections (2 degrees away) and their connections (3 degrees away).
The strategy that I teach is that for every post published, engage with 9 pieces of other people’s content. Gary Vee speaks about his $1.80 strategy, which is adding your ‘2c’ to 90 conversations every day. Rather than just adding ‘2c’ I teach clients to go deeper and add ‘20c’ to the right conversations. This will help you build relationships and leverage the network of your circle of influence.
- Interact in relevant engaged groups, by joining discussions and where relevant starting your own discussions. This gives you exposure to people you aren’t yet connected to. Side note, Groups are not as visible as they used to be, so do your research before investing time and energy into this activity.
Display it, rather than just say it. Add visual aspects to your profile to communicate with your connections who prefer visual communications, with branded images, video, links to your portfolio, published content, interviews, your brochures, bio or resume.
- Add a background image to communicate what you do visually. This could be through a branded message, an image showing you in action, showing the industry you are in, or it could be used to add personality to your profile.
- Your profile photo along with your name and headline is the first things people see, so make sure it stands out for the right reasons. Do something different by using a bold branded background (colour or branding), add context by being on location, or include a tool of your trade to communicate exactly what you do.
- Leverage the rich media sections of your About and Experience sections to showcase your work, what you do, where you speak, and what you have achieved. Upload documents and images, or link to blogs, online articles, videos, podcasts and images.
- Share your ebooks, print books, articles and interviews in the Publications section of Accomplishments at the bottom of your profile. The bonus of this section is the ability to link directly to the content, giving opportunity for your viewer to download or purchase.
- Share relevant projects you have been involved in and add team members to connect yourself to other influential and well-respected people in your industry.
The power of LinkedIn is in the networking, which is done through connecting and interacting with people. The more first-level connections you have, the more reach you have to 2nd and 3rd level connections in your network. But do keep your network relevant, as it is about quality, not quantity. Go for value over volume when building your network.
- STRATEGY – Review your connection strategy and create one aligned to your business goals. Decide which categories of people you want to have in your network, the criteria for accepting new connections, and for outreach. Also, consider who is outside those criteria that you won’t accept as a connection.
🔥Consider location, industry, position, relationship, and purpose.
🔥Connect to people who are your target market.
🔥Connect to those who may know and influence your target market.
🔥Connect to people you physically meet at events.
🔥Have a plan to consistently build your network.
- PROCESS – Create a connection process. Rather than just hitting connect, consider how you will personalise and follow up the acceptance. Do this to stand out, start a relationship and anchor into the message history how you know a person.
- TIME – Allocate time to process connection requests and set reminders for follow up. Use your calendar to manage your tasks, and possibly a CRM to manage relationships. I recommend creating a Google Calendar specifically for your LinkedIn tasks, and a CRM such as Nimble to make notes about the contact and set reminders to follow up.
People connect with people. In connection, we look for things in common or things we admire.
- Use your About section to invite conversation by sharing your story. Give an insight into who you are, how you work and what you are passionate about.
- Use conversational language rather than corporate-speak and write as if you are having a conversation with your ideal client rather than spouting a list of achievements and services.
- Talk WITH rather than AT your network. Ask questions in your profile and in updates to engage your audience. Give people permission to share opinion and ideas.
- Infuse your personality into your profile and presence without oversharing and stepping into the TMI zone. Share causes you care about, volunteer work or projects that excite you and infuse a few out of work interests and passions. It’s not just about paid work.
- Video adds another layer to your profile and allows people to connect through your personality. Create a short intro video to add to your About section for those who prefer to watch and listen than reading. Words only make up 7% of our communication, and video allows us to access some of the other 93%.
If you would like to get strategic in your approach to LinkedIn and build a professional personal brand to enhance your visibility, establish your authority and earn more influence, get in touch.
Jo Saunders, known as the LinkedIn Demystifier, is an award-winning LinkedIn expert based in Perth, Western Australia. She advises Digital Solutions clients and can be booked for LinkedIn training, workshops and webinars. Check out her profile here for more details.