Here is our basic guide to help you quickly use LinkedIn to build your brand and gain business. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Your LinkedIn Profile
- A clear, up to date professional profile headshot (not in a pub or club) is essential. Commission an experienced photographer and invest in you – you are your personal brand; the better your first impression, the better your chances of starting meaningful business relationships
- Use an eye-catching image on the background banner behind your photograph – preferably one linked to your brand. It can include your logo and any text such as your brand tagline. The bottom left of the banner will be covered by your photo, so ensure your logo and copy can be clearly seen
- Try Canva’s LinkedIn banner templates at www.canva.com to easily design a great banner
- Check how your banner looks on your main page and the summary search page
Headline section of your profile
Ensure your profile reflects what you are trying to achieve. Are you using LinkedIn to look for a new job or are you using it to build your business?
- Don’t state your job title, everyone does this
- Don’t waffle — you have only 240 characters, so write impactfully
- Highlight your USP — what sets you apart from competitors?
- Use buzz words and ask a question?
- Make sure your profile isn’t confusing to read
About section of your profile
- Make sure it’s relevant for today for example your preferred working methods – whether you only work online or are happy to visit in-person.
- Let people know your contact details and how you’re happy to be contacted
Featured section of your profile
- Here you can upload three pieces of great content to connect with your audience
- Upcycle blogs or interesting pieces of information from your website
- Get and give testimonials. Testimonials are one of the key elements on LinkedIn that people look at before engaging with you
Once you have your profile sorted, gaining worthwhile connections is crucial. Think of LinkedIn as your marketing database. The more connections you have, the more people will see your posts as the algorithm shows your posts to your first connections, occasionally to your second connections but third connections will never be shown your content.
- Look down the list that LinkedIn has given you and send invitations and connect to these people
- Whenever possible send a personal message with your request — you will get a far better response and invitation acceptance
- If you are interested in a particular sector — look for people in this area and link with them
- Try to connect with LinkedIn Power users. One comment or ‘like’ from them can make your posts go viral. Search Google for a list of the top 300 LinkedIn creators and then try to build a relationship with them
- Build your own Power User list. Use the search function to identify the key people within your industry who you want to influence and connect with them. You will need to work at this: send a personal invitation message and start a conversation
- When you meet new people, follow up by sending them a LinkedIn invitation
- If you are looking for a certain sort of business or contact — ask your connections to help, the chances are they will, especially if have tried to help them and commented on their posts
Posts and comments
Now you’ve created a great profile and build a list of connections, it’s time to post!
Some people daunted by posting on social media, so if you’re not keen on posting, an easy way to start is to share others’ posts, commenting or ‘liking’ their posts first, before writing your own.
- Post content that is interesting to others — use pictures not just words to get more ‘likes’. For example, add photos of your networking events, take a picture of something in the office which has amused you and post it — but do keep all images and content professional …
- Keep posts short and sweet. Keep the content to under 1,300 characters and include an image or video to attract attention
- LinkedIn doesn’t like you leaving LinkedIn, so try not to write posts attempting to get people to go your website. Instead direct them to an article you’ve posted on LinkedIn — this could be a blog on your website that you’ve abridged and upcycled as a LinkedIn article
- The aim is to show people you are an expert in your field and to help them. This builds confidence and trust in your brand, and anyone looking at your profile will understand you really do know your stuff!
Aim to go on LinkedIn at least twice a day and take some action, posting, liking, sharing to build your presence.
The first steps to using LinkedIn really are as easy as counting to three! As with all social media platforms, the better you understand them the more you can use them to help your business.
If you are looking for further advice or would like to book a personal review of your LinkedIn profile, please contact us and we’ll match you with one of our specialist LinkedIn business coaches.