With so many voices on LinkedIn, from college students to big brand marketers, it’s easy to disappear in all the noise. So how do you create your own unique presence that attracts the right people to your LinkedIn profile?
Because if you are a promotional machine on LinkedIn, you drive your connections away. And if you share irrelevant content, your connections become numb to your message. Both are damaging to your LinkedIn relationships. The right mix of what you share on LinkedIn is important.
It all starts with being truly thoughtful about the content you post, and how you choose to share it. Remember, it’s not just about getting you noticed on LinkedIn once—it’s about getting people to want to engage with you to experience the real connection and value YOU offer…you want to create a relationship with them, so they get to know, like and trust you. And they’ll do this when they resonate with you, your expertise and your insights.
Since much of my coaching and training revolves around LinkedIn, let’s explore what effective updates look like for the world’s largest online professional network. Below are three habits you should put into practice to get noticed on LinkedIn by your ideal market and build trust, rapport, and long-term client relationships (and that means more revenues too!).
HABIT 1: Offer useful content along with promotion
If all you do is offer useful information, that’s great and you’ll build a network, but you may suddenly find your business bank account balance less than you'd prefer. But if you promote yourself all the time, you’ll annoy your contacts. The key is to develop a effective mix of content and building relationships along the way, so your network will be happy to hear about what you have to offer.
Over time, I have developed a simple schedule to post great free resources, helpful articles, and information…along with making sure I am continually promoting the valuable courses and programs I have to offer those starting or growing their marketing. Here’s what a typical week’s LinkedIn update schedule looks like for me:
Helpful Business Article or Interesting News Item – 5-7 posts per week
Inspirational/Motivational Quote – 5-7 posts per week
Notifications of New Blog Posts and Articles – 1-2 posts per week
Promote Free “Top 10 LinkedIn Success Secrets” report – 5-7 posts per week
Promote Spotlighted Product or Program – 1-2 posts per day, depending if there’s a special offer, deadline, or time-sensitive event happening
And don't worry, you don't have to come up with all the content youself!
You can create some of your own content or you can also use it from other sources. Regardless of the source, it needs to be relevant to your connections. This means that your content must have context.
Context means you understand your audience and know what’s of most interest to them. Content and context work together to provide premium value to your connections. When done correctly, content and context feel helpful, not salesy. Think of context marketing as content marketing, but smarter.
Also, content doesn’t always have to be specific to only what you offer. Determine what your clients find of interest, and deliver. Notice which of your posts generate the most “likes” and comments and examine these posts for commonalities.
HABIT 2: Share relatable stories or images
If appropriate, it’s important to let your customers, clients, and community see who you are as a person, beyond your brand. When I share about what I'm doing…an awe-inspiring moment like seeing wildlife during my day or an amazing experience, or even a solution I'm looking for, my audience responds with encouragement, their similar experiences or even disagreement (which can still be good if it gets conversation going and draws even more notice to your profile).
Sharing these moments gives people a chance to see what moves you deeply and personally. It lets people see you as a unique individual, who shares their hobbies, interests and perspectives. Remember, people will buy from you again and again because something about your voice, your unique way of presenting yourself, resonates with them. So don’t be shy about sharing some natural, candid…yet still appropriate posts to add a little personality to your page.
Images tend to engage more than words, and they’re also a fabulous option when you’re busy or traveling and don’t have time to write. It’s a quick yet highly effective way to “touch” your audience. For example, whenever I'm travelling I love to share the experience with a picture. Sometimes, a snapshot is all you need to share your personality.
If your business isn’t personal or a personal brand, or you’re a more private person, look for stories or images your followers can relate to in some way, and preferably related to what you offer or do. As an example, success stories from happy clients or customers are always effective.
So sharing your personal side on LinkedIn is actually a good thing, no matter what you hear otherwise. It gives a pulse to your professional persona on LinkedIn. People are able to relate with you when you present yourself as a real person.
HABIT 3: Respond and participate when you can
If you receive a response on something you’ve shared, it’s always great to comment back to the person and acknowledge them. A simple “Thank You” or “I’m so glad you liked it!” goes a long way toward building your community, and it only takes a matter of seconds. Every day or so, I go into LinkedIn to post a few comments of appreciation and acknowledgement. It helps me stay connected, and it’s one of the best ways to keep my ear close to the ground so I know what my customers want and need.
Sharing your opinion on your connections’ posts is another way to use your updates to bring your network to life. Don’t believe me? Try commenting on your connection’s posts for two weeks. Not only will it make you top of mind with them, but watch their responsiveness to your updates grow. If you let them know you are listening, they will reciprocate.
So it’s important to show that you’re not just feeding information to your LinkedIn account, but that you’re also absorbing other knowledge being shared. That’s when you truly become an active participant in your LinkedIn network. No successful entrepreneur has all the answers. It’s great to get out of your bubble and take some time each day to browse your community member’s updates and engage with them as well.
This is especially important when you are getting started and looking to gain ground by expanding your LinkedIn network. Look in groups for other users who also interact within your industry or with your target market. Comment thoughtfully in groups and, when you're connected with the person, on their posts. Offer insightful add-ons and responses. Be a contributor. Feel free to disagree in a respectful manner to encourage dialogue and increase your visibility.
QUESTION: How do you use LinkedIn to keep your community coming back for more? I’d love to hear your strategies. Please join in the conversation below!
© 2013 ChristineHueber.com
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