There are four steps to success on LinkedIn. The first is to tackle your personal branding, then your company branding, followed by your content marketing and lastly social selling (which you can only really start once the other three are in place).
One. Your Profile Photo – It’s all about being genuine – people don’t trust people they can’t see. In your photo you should be smiley, have a silvery or red background, be genuine (i.e. don’t post an image of yourself as George Clooney). And definitely don’t post photographs with animals (save that for Facebook), show group pictures (“How do you create a relationship with someone if you don’t who they are?) or be anonymous.
Two. Your Background Picture – The background image should be something bright and shiny that communicates visually what your personal brand is. For example, a city scene, a sunset or a recent award all work well. And definitely don’t do nothing at all, use the blue default option provided by LinkedIn – there are 30 backgrounds to choose from so picking that one just looks lazy!
Three. Profile Headline – LinkedIn is like Google and YouTube and as such can be used as a key search engine to be found. To do this, fill the header and career window with as many keywords as possible. People are more likely to click on someone when they know what their brand is about. And definitely don’t write generic / ambiguous slogans like ‘problem solver’ or provide unnecessary personal information such as, ‘wife of…’. It’s particularly important because your headline appears everywhere – it comes up every time you comment, like, or share – and all these things are marketing your brand. If you can see above, clear keywords are emphasised, such as Digital Marketing, Paid Search & Social Advertising, and Co-founder.
Four. Combine both for maximum employer branding – LinkedIn is all about employer branding, for example, incorporate CSR into branding campaigns using blogs and visuals. Employees can also be used as ambassadors for your brand, but it’s a good idea to have consistent branding whether that’s the use of company logos or mission templates.
Five. Add experience – When writing the summary it’s important to not over mention the current employer as it’s about your career not your current role. It is however acceptable to include information about why you came to work at Ality for example and what attracted you about the role, what awards have you won, what organisations or accreditations you have gained.
Six. Add your personal brand story Write the summary in the first person, if someone walked into a room and started talking in the third person you would probably walk away. And definitely don’t do nothing (and leave a blank), be too generic, for example, ‘I have a lifelong passion for problem solving’ – think of ways to differentiate your personal brand, or post a hardcopy of your CV on LinkedIn – LinkedIn is your CV.
Seven. Add visual content – Pictures tell a thousand words on LinkedIn and video, pictures, images and infographics should be included where applicable.
Eight. Customise the URL – Adjusting the default URL enables your profile to be more easily discovered, shared and remembered.
Nine. Create a content marketing strategy for LinkedIn – A company with a strong content marketing strategy needs the brand itself to have well-established pages and great employee engagement across the site. When you share an update, your message is broadcast to all your network connections, then if any of them ‘likes’ your update it is also shared with their network. Therefore, even if you’re not Richard Branson with 9 million followers on LinkedIn, a blog post or status update can engage a lot of relevant people.
Ten. Develop your company page – Use engaging content to explain what you do and post interesting news content to position yourself as the place to get the facts. For example, L’Oréal posts inspiring posts about how to be a female entrepreneur, or startups around beauty salons, rather than talking about makeup.
Now that you’ve got your personal branding, company branding and content marketing in place, it’s time to start social selling. You can use content marketing to sell your services, to engage with customers/clients, to find investors, build a network of active people, share content with them, become an influencer to do content marketing in groups. And definitely don’t do nothing at all, put a blog up with a link that doesn’t work, or bring religion into posts or pages.
LinkedIn will market your blog for you, whether that’s through EDMs or giving you data about who actually sees your pages and posts. This data changes every day, including showing who is viewing your content. Stay up-to-date and involved, the more you do the more you succeed!