Seek out. Engage. Connect. Publish. Improving your LinkedIn performance to enhance your networking.
That was the topic of conversation between B2B LinkedIn Expert Charlie Whyman and Bradley Hatchett at our Club-Wide Online Meetup!
Charlie shared information about how to leverage the relationship between LinkedIn and networking, striking the best balance of content, how often to post and much more.
Thank you to meetup sponsor Bon Insight.
Charlie is hosting a 5-Day Lift-Off on LinkedIn event! Discover how to get the most out of LinkedIn to help you win more clients and increase profits in your business. Book your ticket here.
How do you feel that LinkedIn and networking go hand in hand? How can people leverage that relationship?
That’s how I starting using LinkedIn when I worked for a company that sold laser scanning equipment.
I’d go exhibitions and trade shows around the world trying to get people excited about what we were doing. I was at one in Cape Town, South Africa that took place every 4 years. I didn’t want to wait 4 years to speak to these people again or be spamming them on LinkedIn.
I knew networking is a long term investment that takes years to create relationships. But using LinkedIn to connect with people after the event with no sales intention and purely to keep the conversation going. Over the years I attribute millions of pounds of sales through the relationships I built on LinkedIn. The networking potential is massive.
Everyone thinks LinkedIn as a social media tool. It’s not. If you use it like that it wont work for you. If you use it as a social networking tool and behave online as you would in person, that’s where you’ll see results.
How can people enhance their LinkedIn profile as a landing page?
The actual networking event you attend is the easy bit. If you want to make it work, it’s the before and after that makes the difference. Your LinkedIn profile is your landing page and billboard; who you work with, how you help them and how you’re different.
It’s place you can demonstrate your credibility and authority. Use your content and marketing activity to create curiosity. Use your profile to covert that curiosity into action.
Your LinkedIn profile is not your CV.
What’s the best balance between posting informational and sales content?
Before you start thinking about content, think about your overall strategy. What are you using LinkedIn for and what are your objectives. And potentially most importantly, who are you wanting to start conversations with. Who are you going to get the best return on investment from.
Think of LinkedIn in four areas:
Seek out the people you want to speak to. Don’t just rely on in-bound leads. Be actively growing your audience and network. Be proactive and intentional.
Engage. It’s just as important as posting your own content. Send people direct messages. Comment on other peoples posts. Look for content relevant for you using hashtags.
Connect. Make sure you’re constantly connecting with people. You can follow them if you just want to keep an eye on them. Connect with people you want to have conversations with.
Publish. A basic content rule: on one side there’s content you want your market to know. The other side is the content your market is interested in. You need to bring the two together. That’ll be the zone of engagement. It needs to be more about your ideal client.
It can be an overwhelming experience landing on LinkedIn and there being so many people offering advice. How do you know who to listen to?
Reputation is really important. Your content needs you to help build that. Don’t try and copy other people. Anything you have an opinion don’t be afraid to share.
We’re living in a space where lots of people are overnight LinkedIn experts. Some people are very good at collecting followers and building massive audiences.
So it comes back to your objectives and what you want to achieve on LinkedIn. If you’re wanting to build a massive following through content, you’re going to be wanting to work with someone in that particular space.
But also, a lot of people have massive audiences but aren’t able to generate business from that. It’s important to see beyond the hype sometimes.
I unfollowed over 6,500 people in my network last year. My post engagement has dropped off cliff, however the amount of inbound leads has massively increased.
Make sure you explore what’s right for you and your business. Be curious. There’s hundreds of marketing disciplines you can use on LinkedIn.
How often should you publish posts and articles?
It depends on the behaviour of your audience. When are they online? What content will suit them? If you’re targeting an audience that aren’t on LinkedIn often, you can do it less regularly.
LinkedIn have a new feature called ‘Newsletter’ that they’re slowly rolling out, which is similar to building up an email subscriber list.
Majority of people like to consume fast and short content. Posts will always perform better than articles, but they’ll only last a couple of weeks.
You don’t need to post more than once a day. Quality trumps quantity every single day.
If you’ve hit a brick wall creatively, comment and engage on other people posts instead!
What’s the optimum number of hashtags per post?
If you use any more than 9 the algorithm doesn’t like it. Use them at your end of the post. Don’t just include random hashtags in the post unless its specifically relevant.
Before you publish, run the ‘So what?’ test. If you were your target audience, would you engage with it?
Should people post on the company page and then share on personal page, or keep content of each separate?
LinkedIn are investing in company pages at the moment. Every single business needs a company page linked to their personal profile.
Unless you have a full time marketing person, invest 80% of effort on your personal and 20% on your company. Your company page is still a landing page.
Don’t duplicate content either! Ultimately, focus your energy on the place you’ll get biggest return.
Do you have any tips on elements of a good LinkedIn banner?
If you have a particular campaign, webinar or event then use that banner to drive. If not, you could just point it out for things you want to be known for.