Okay, so you’ve been using LinkedIn for awhile and you’ve been successful at starting conversations and growing your audience. But now you’re ready to pour fuel on that fire. How can you use LinkedIn to scale your business?
First, remember that as a business owner, founder, or CEO, your personal LinkedIn page is the place to refine your personal brand. You are the face of your company, and here we’re talking about how you can take your personal page to the next level to scale your business.
Also, remember that LinkedIn is a networking platform. What you’re really asking is: How can you scale your business through networking?
Primarily, then, we’re talking about relationship marketing. Relationship marketing is a strategy based on building close relationships with your customers, as opposed to traffic marketing, which focuses on increasing traffic to your website or using digital marketing to bring in a high volume of leads. Especially for service-based businesses, building strong relationships is key to scaling and LinkedIn is a great place to make this happen. Let’s look at how.
Use all of the tools at your disposal
1. Is your profile complete and up to date?
Your LinkedIn profile is so much more dynamic than a resume, so don’t treat it like one. Make it complete and informative (79% of buyers report that they are more likely to buy from someone with an informative LinkedIn page). Your prospects are looking at your profile. It’s valuable online real estate.
Update your profile with the following tips:
- Do some hashtag research to choose the most SEO optimized headline. Change your headline for a week and watch your search appearance number on your dashboard. Experiment until you get the results you’re looking for.
- Fill out your About section (character limit = 2,000) with details about what it’s like to work with you and make sure to show your personality. Including some testimonials won’t hurt either. Speaking of testimonials, make it a practice to ask every client for a LinkedIn recommendation.
- Fill out your featured section with some valuable resources, videos, and your best performing posts. Make it easy for prospects to see what you do and decide whether they are curious enough to hear more.
In need of a profile audit and custom strategy? The LinkedIn Roadmap has you covered.
2. Have you tried LinkedIn Premium?
Confession: I have not taken the plunge yet with Premium because what I’m doing with the free version of LinkedIn is working for me. However, I’m seriously considering going for the 30-day trial. That being said, I think it’s important to have a plan before investing or even doing the free trial. My plan is to use Premium to see who views my profile, strike up a conversation, and invite some of those folks to a one-on-one chat. This is relationship marketing at its finest.
If you give the free trial a shot, make sure you’re ready to use it before signing up and set a reminder to cancel before you get charged.
3. Are you reaching out via DM to prospects?
The private message feature of LinkedIn is a great way to strengthen your weaker connections. Start by coming up with a list of potential prospects. You can use Premium to do this or search your 1st level connections. If you have a clear picture of your ideal prospect, search terms should jump out at you. If it’s fuzzier, take some time to scroll through your connections, find some dream clients, and look for patterns in their industries or keywords that will lead you to search terms.
Once you have a list of 20 or 50 prospects, reach out via DM with a friendly note asking to jump on Zoom to get to know them better. Treat your one-on-one as an open conversation to each share about the work you do and look for clues confirming your belief that they are a good fit. After the call, share some helpful resources or introduce them to someone else they should meet.
Let the sales talk come around naturally. You’ll know when it’s time to make your pitch. By that time, it should feel less like a pitch and more like the next logical step in your relationship.
Don’t forget about the power of networking outside of LinkedIn
LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful networking tool. And because it’s so powerful, once you figure out how to make it work for you, it’s easy to get complacent. LinkedIn works best, though, when combined with other approaches to scaling your business. Remember that networking outside of LinkedIn can also generate leads.
Ask yourself this question: If LinkedIn disappeared tomorrow, what would I do? Would you move your content to another platform like Instagram or Twitter? Would you start writing that blog or look for other places to publish professional articles? Personally, I would seek out more virtual and in-person networking opportunities and schedule many more one-on-one chats with people in my network.
Now, start doing whatever you answered because combining these tools with networking on LinkedIn will help you scale your business even more quickly.
What should I do with my company page?
This is a good question and one that comes up a lot in this conversation. I rarely see much happening with company pages. They don’t come across my newsfeed and none of the folks whose LinkedIn presence I admire do much, if anything, with their company pages. So my usual advice is to set up your company page, use it as a place to park company news and recycle content from your personal page, but don’t worry about creating original content specifically for that page.
Still, just like advice about what to do on LinkedIn, it’s worth experimenting with your company page. Here are some things to keep in mind:
1. If you don’t add content to your company page, of course it will be a ghost town.
“No one does anything with their company pages on LinkedIn,” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When companies don’t create content, audiences have no reason to hang around on company pages. Often, though, if others, especially other competitors, aren’t doing something on LinkedIn, that can be a great opportunity for you. Experiment with consistently posting to your company page for a month to see if you get some content impressions.
One easy way to start is to reuse past content from your personal page. Try posting 3 previous pieces of content per week on your company page. Of course, you’ll need a bank of content to pull this off, but if you’ve been creating content for a while and saving it, this is an easy cut and paste job.
If you get traction with recycled posts, that could provide you with some inspiration to create original posts for your company page. You can always include content like job listings, events, case studies, and big wins. Your company page is also a great place to re-share posts that tag your company (you can find those @ mentions in your page’s activity tab). Go for the low-hanging fruit wherever possible.
2. Stay away from a lot of purely promotional posts.
This is the same advice I give about content for personal pages. Always add value for your audience. While you should definitely use LinkedIn to promote your services, make sure your company page isn’t purely promotional. I like to keep an 80/20 ratio of value added vs. promotion. Here are 9 handy post templates in case you get stuck.
What moves the needle the most on LinkedIn? Dwell time and engagement with your post matters the most. So, for example, if you add a link to your original post, dwell time suffers when readers click through to the link without reading much of the post. Instead, share any links in the first comment. This will increase the likelihood that readers will read your post and then click on the link.
Keep in mind that the magic number is 3 seconds. What can you do to entice people to stick around for 3 seconds? One proven tactic is to ask a question. I often start my post with a question and restate the question at the end. Asking a question is a great way to start conversations and if you’re starting conversations, you’re increasing dwell time.
3. Encourage your team to get involved.
If you have a team of employees who are active on LinkedIn, they can help drive traffic to your company page (when a company posts, 30% of the engagement comes from employees, who are 14x more likely to share that content than other types of content). Ask everyone on your team to link to the company LinkedIn page (or the company page itself) on their personal page in their featured section. This way all of your employees will be driving traffic to your company page.
You can also ask your employees to post on the company page. Posting once per week will increase your page following, but if they post 3 times per week, just think of the reach you could gain. The larger your company, the more opportunity there is for your team to spread the word.
If you’re looking to use LinkedIn to scale your business, The Pocket PhD can help. Contact us today or reach out via LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilycrookston/). We’d love to hear from you!
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