Written by Michelle Kane
If you missed our June 14 webinar with social media and branding expert Irene Koehler, we’ve got you covered. During our hour together, she shared how we can get more out of LinkedIn and leverage it to attract our ideal clients. You can view the webinar replay here.
Why Should We Care about LinkedIn?
LinkedIn can help us brand ourselves and craft our best story through online search results.
- 75% of B2B decision-makers use social media to research vendors before deciding whether to do business with them. This includes LinkedIn.
- Your LinkedIn profile will rank in a Google search of yourself. The more complete your LinkedIn profile, the better it shares your expertise, especially in this short entry.
- Your search results are telling a story about you. Make sure you’re contributing to it.
LinkedIn has its own internal SEO, so it’s important to choose the right keywords for your LinkedIn profile. Use the same logic you apply to your client work, choose keywords that are meaningful to your prospects. What are the one-to-three words that your ideal client has on his/her mind when using LinkedIn to search for a communications professional? Identify those words through the lens of your prospects.
- Think like your target audience. What is the problem they’re trying to solve?
- Not all fields of a LinkedIn profile have the same weight. Place your keywords in the Headline, Summary, and Job Title fields.
- Don’t “optimize” by packing your content with keywords.
Your Profile: What is Your Purpose?
The key is to create a profile that a potential client or networking contact wants to click through to read. Here are a few ways to achieve the results you desire:
Your LinkedIn headline holds a lot of weight. It’s a key component of LinkedIn’s search results and is a huge opportunity to draw people in. Think of it as your personal billboard. Customize it in a way to make it work for you, to lay a trail of cyber breadcrumbs for prospects to follow.
The LinkedIn character limit on the desktop version is 120 characters, but if you edit it using the mobile app, you can use up to 220 characters.
What your LinkedIn Summary isn’t is a literal summary of your career to date. We create narratives for a living, create one for yourself but keep in mind that only the first two-to-three lines are visible before clicking to see more, so write for that impact.
- Summary Purpose: To have prospects engage and read your profile
- Speak to your target audience
- White space is your friend. Write in two-to-three-sentence paragraphs, keeping it easily-readable on mobile devices.
Connections: What is Your Strategy?
Be purposeful with your LinkedIn engagement. Who is in your network? Just as with an in-person networking event, who in your current network can introduce you to other professionals or prospects?
How large should your LinkedIn network be? Ideally, aim for 500 connections, making sure that whoever is in your offline network is part of your LinkedIn online network.
Be active in the newsfeed. Like, comment on, and share posts. It shows you’re investing time in what others have to say and that you aren’t on LinkedIn merely to collect connections.
Be magnetic. How compelling is the content you’re sharing? Leverage your uniqueness, your niche, your personality.
Be of service. Nurture your LinkedIn relationships. Even the birthday and anniversary prompts are
opportunities to touch base in a more meaningful way.
Don’t browse anonymously. Yes, you can place your LinkedIn profile settings on “anonymous.” Browsing this way could remove you from a potential networking equation because if others can see you’re looking at their profile, they might touch base with you.
Along those lines, you might consider turning off the “people also viewed…” setting on your profile, so visitors to your profile aren’t also greeted by prompts to click on profiles of your competitors.
Offer value. Don’t send a cold pitch after connection. Instead, send occasional helpful items. Offer to make introductions.
Join LinkedIn Groups. And not only groups of your peers. Seek out target audience groups.
Write positive recommendations for your contacts, but never do so with the expectation that the person will, or should, reciprocate. Instead, look at your network, and choose someone you’d like to recognize unsolicited. In doing so, you’ll likely be remembered well.
Some have had success with increasing visibility by posting links in the first comment rather than in the post box. As an option, you can use this method to publish, and later edit the post to include the link in the traditional way.
Personal Profiles, Company Pages.
Should you have a company page in addition to a personal profile? If you’re a solo consultant, it’s best to focus on your personal brand. You may want to set up a company page, however, for no other reason than to be able to include your company within your personal profile.
Ready to become a LinkedIn powerhouse? Check out Irene's MVP – Magnetic Visible Presence Program.
We'd love to hear from you. How do you get the most out of LinkedIn? Share in the comments below or on social media using #solopr.