Without access to face-to-face training, I have been running some free LinkedIn Masterclasses on how to use LinkedIn to market yourself in today world.
Over three sessions, the number one frustration that over half of the participants identified with LinkedIn was that they did not know where to start.
Next on the frustration list was that it takes much time and that they did not see results.
Recent times have seen a spike in web traffic overall of around 20% with LinkedIn usage reported to be up by approximately 40% which confirms what we thought – more people are spending time online and particularly, on social media.
There has been an increase in people working from home, and it is safe to say that there will be a rise in the number of us that continue to work from home in the future. For me, this cements we are on the path to a digital-first world. People will meet you online first before meeting you in person, and they will form opinions and perceptions and often make decisions based on your online information.
An everyday example of this is when you are talking with a friend or colleague and mention that you are looking for a new service, for example, an accountant. The first thing I find myself doing is searching online for the person or business they have recommended. One of the search results you can expect to see is their LinkedIn profile, and there is your digital first impression.
LinkedIn is an opportunity for you to take control of your digital first impression and to position yourself to your ideal audience. There are five steps to optimising your LinkedIn profile to get results.
With your plan, you need to know what your goals are and what you want to achieve. Think about keywords – what keywords would people be using to find you and the services you provide. Like all good plans, you need a way to measure if you have been successful – so have some KPIs.
Your profile will be your anchor point for your digital first impression, and it must reflect your current business and service offerings. Ask yourself, does your profile talk to your ideal audience and the problems that they have right now?
Positioning yourself goes back to the beginning – what is your goal. To position yourself as a subject matter expert, not only should you share relevant content, but providing commentary around the content is where you add value. Again, you need to assess what is right for you, whether it is creating your content or sharing the content of others to position yourself in your field.
By pursuing, I mean to reach out and connect to your ideal audience and engage with them. Read what they post and comment or if someone comments on one of your posts, engage with them around their comments. You can send invitations to connect with people are in the field of your target audience. If you do, send a personalised note with the invitation and certainly don’t make it sound like you are trying to sell them something.
LinkedIn need not be a time-consuming avenue of social media. Set yourself some essential tasks that you need to do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. This will make managing your LinkedIn workload easier.
It all comes back to planning. If you make a plan, you will know what you want to achieve and how you are going to achieve it. Keep your profile up-to-date, your content current and make the right connections, and soon LinkedIn will be working for you.
Kylie Chown is a LinkedIn Coach and Trainer. She was named #2 LinkedIn Expert in Asia Pacific in 2019 as well as a 2019 Finalist in the Best Use of LinkedIn for the Social Media Marketing Institute Awards across two campaigns.