[UPDATED] How To Use LinkedIn To Market Yourself
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful resources online to market yourself.
If you are looking to become influential in your industry or if you seek to sell more products, get more leads, drive traffic to your website, find a killer job, get more clients, build your brand, sell tickets to an event, and so on.
Here is an overview of things you should take advantage of while marketing yourself on LinkedIn. But before I move into that, I want to find out a couple of things from you –
- Does your LinkedIn profile speak to your ideal clients or is it all about you?
- Do you come up in the search results when potential prospects are looking for what you offer?
- And does your profile speak to your ideal clients when they land on it?
Simply having a LinkedIn profile is no longer enough. With over 650 million LinkedIn members, there is a very good chance your prospective clients will never find you. That is unless you take some very proactive steps to ensure that you are:
- Easily found when they search for someone who does what you do and
- Have a compelling profile that makes them want to learn more about you
If you can manage these two things and create a professional and search-optimized LinkedIn profile, you will be well on your way to turning your profile into a lead generation magnet.
With the tactics I will share with you here, you will learn how to use LinkedIn to attract new clients and customers, build referral relationships and position yourself as one of the best service-based or product-oriented businesses or professionals in your industry!
Increased revenue or sales is almost always the ultimate goal, but many steps need to happen along the way to that goal. This is the time.
By starting now, you create an advantage for yourself; you should get involved in LinkedIn and figure out how it can benefit your business. LinkedIn will only become more competitive, so the biggest opportunity is now.
Complete Your LinkedIn Profile
Your profile. It needs to be completed 100% in order to properly market yourself.
Most people do background checks on others whenever we want to buy something from them, bring them in to speak, or do anything with them. We Google people to do our research.
When a prospect arrives on your LinkedIn profile, are they inspired to take action and reach out to you?
For most people, the answer to this question is a resounding NO. Nobody will dispute the value and importance of a first impression but there’s a disconnect in the way many perceive first impressions online.
Let’s be clear…if a random prospect arrives on your LinkedIn profile and they aren’t inspired to take some sort of action, whether it’s connecting with you or going to your website, you’ve failed to make a great first impression.
LinkedIn is usually one of the top five search results that pop up for anyone’s name. First impressions leave lasting perceptions about people, and you don’t want someone to come to your profile and realize that you make spelling mistakes, you don’t have a picture, no one has recommended you, there is no personal story in your summary, and so on.
You need to make sure you complete it 100% and have your profile make you look like a rock star. Doing so will ensure your maximizing your marketing opportunities.
Enrich Your Profile with Visuals
Visual content in digital marketing is huge right now, so if your LinkedIn page doesn’t have any, there’s your first mistake. If you want to get the attention of LinkedIn’s more than 650 million users, you need more than just your headshot or logo on your page.
Your first step should be to include some kind of visual on every update, whether it’s a picture, video, or even a slideshow – and luckily SlideShare makes that very easy. Upload images and videos to your profile so you can easily display any work you’ve done, such as infographics you created or videos you made to promote your brand.
3 Steps to Having a Great LinkedIn Profile
Step 1: Right Keywords! Optimize your profile with the right keywords so you rank at the top of the search results when someone is searching for what you offer.
Step 2: Great Content! Write the content within your profile so that it speaks directly to your ideal client, engages them, and helps them understand exactly how you can help them.
Step 3: Stand Out! There are some applications you can add such as importing your blog or a video into your profile to increase your credibility and stand out.
Don’t miss out on what the #1 business social network has to offer.
Connect With People
You never know where an opportunity or big breakthrough can come from. It is painful to see when people only have fewer than 100 connections, and they think that having a “small trusted network” is the way to go.
Connect to as many people as possible. You will have to decide whether it makes sense to connect only to people that you actually know or to connect to everyone as a “LION” – LinkedIn Open Networker.
Whichever you choose, try to make your network as large as possible. You can do this by looking for coworkers, vendors, clients, employees, friends, classmates, and family members.
If you only share ideas with those you know and don’t branch out to connect with new people, then you will only know about a limited amount of opportunities, and the same people who you talk to on a daily basis will be helping you connect with the same limited network.
It’s a never-ending circle of limitations, and it’s time you breakthrough that mindset if you haven’t already. Once you start receiving 10-20 inbound invitations to connect on a daily basis, then you know you’re doing a good job marketing yourself.
Make Your Interactions Personal
People love human interaction. We don’t want to connect with a business; we want to have relationships with others who we know, like, and trust.
Every time you send an invitation to connect with someone, make it personal. Take out anything generic, and make it as personal as possible. That way the person will remember who you are, and will be more likely to follow up with you if you contact that person in the future.
Your profile should also include a personal element. Instead of making it look like a boring resume with a bunch of bullet point achievements, share your personal voice. Tell people who you are and who you help.
Adding this will make others want to connect with you instead of putting them to sleep with your boring resume.
Build And Contribute To Your Network
Being active on LinkedIn can also help you expand your network. You can invite others who can be a resource for you, or for whom you can be a resource, to be a part of your network.
One of the best ways to do this is to send a personalized invite—as opposed to the default invite—stating the reason you want to connect with them. Mention something you have in common to increase your chances of getting your invite accepted.
Finally, you can communicate your brand and increase your visibility by sharing information with your network.6 Ways to do this include:
- Posting updates and sharing relevant content.
- Writing and publishing useful articles through LinkedIn’s built-in publishing feature.
- Joining and participating in LinkedIn groups.
- Giving recommendations and endorsements to your network.
Following the above steps will help you start experiencing the benefits of the LinkedIn platform—whether you are in a career search or not—and can help you become known for your expertise and make the professional connections you need to reach your professional and career goals.
Get Active In LinkedIn Groups
Get your name out there, raise awareness about your business, and do some good old-fashioned networking by joining a relevant LinkedIn group. Much like Facebook groups, there’s something for everyone.
Use LinkedIn search to find the perfect group for you. A quick search of “video marketing” revealed 769 potential groups.
Building a reputation and forging strong relationships takes time and effort, so be a bit picky when you join a group. Join active groups that have genuine conversations going on and watch out for groups that are just about self-promotion — if the last 10 posts have little engagement, then this group probably won’t help you.
And if you can’t find quite what you’re looking for and are ready to go all-in and build your own community, you can start your very own LinkedIn group.
Grow Your Thought Leadership
Thought leaders, known as influencers, are the knowledgeable opinion leaders and the go-to people who command authority in their field through their savoir-faire and expertise.
Simply put, they are the trusted sources who can transform dreams into reality, motivate and inspire people with innovative ideas, and own the capacity to influence others on how to replicate their success.
Their main strategy is to expose their thoughts which can result from a solid content strategy that has been proven to be impactfully bigger than marketing.
With many leaders out there, you can stand out by sharing content, writing articles and posting frequently. As a matter of fact, your LinkedIn feed will not show you everything your connections are posting by default, but rather it cherry-picks what it needs to show you based on the content it believes is useful and appropriate to you.
Therefore, thought leaders or personal brands who publish research, publications, articles, and fresh ideas on LinkedIn will not only find an interactive audience, but also a supportive algorithm. It is just as much about how engagement as it’s sharing knowledge and content.