How to Make LinkedIn Work For You

LinkedIn can have so much power in promoting your brand. Known as the most “professional” among the major social networking websites, it’s used by over 2.5 billion business professionals. It may be hard to believe, but at its current pace, LinkedIn is predicted to surpass Facebook in the next few years. 

Think of LinkedIn as a business-to-business social platform. And when leveraged correctly, this platform has many possibilities than just being your digital resume! So, if you’re looking for ways to utilize LinkedIn to help your business grow, you came to the right place! I’ll go into detail and guide you on how to harness the power of LinkedIn for marketing.

Before deep-diving into how to use LinkedIn to promote your brand, let’s talk about its capabilities.

What Makes LinkedIn So Special?

LinkedIn was primarily created and designed to connect job seekers with employers. However, LinkedIn has grown to be so much more. Here’s why. 

  1. LinkedIn Is Steadily Growing – LinkedIn is home to approximately 2.5 billion users, and more than 7 million companies have their business registered on it. On top of that, two new people sign up to the site every second, making it quite popular among users.
  1. LinkedIn’s User-Base is Active – There are more than 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups, 40% of LinkedIn users log in to the platform daily, and there are more than 1 billion LinkedIn endorsements, making it the most active yet purposeful platform for marketers.
  1. Mobile Users Love LinkedIn – 41% of LinkedIn visits are made via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
  1. LinkedIn Sends Traffic – Recent studies show that LinkedIn referrals were responsible for 2/3 of all social media traffic to business home pages (64%); Facebook followed with 17% and Twitter with 14%, becoming a huge traffic generating source for businesses.
  1. LinkedIn is Well-liked by its Users – 70% of LinkedIn users give it a 4 or 5 star rating.
  1. You Can Advertise On LinkedIn – LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions made $101.8 million in the first quarter of 2014 solely through their advertising plans and relations.
  1. Top Level Executives Use LinkedIn – 2.8 MILLION businesses have a LinkedIn company page. Many executives say they use LinkedIn for networking with people and to promote their businesses.
  1. Hiring Managers Can Find Employees On LinkedIn – A large amount of LinkedIn users are entry level employees using the service for job searches. This creates a free and easily used index of capable employees, ideal for human resources managers.
  1. LinkedIn Is Great For B2B Marketing – B2B companies historically thrive here! 

If all this data still doesn’t have you convinced on LinkedIn, I hear you – I was once skeptical, too. But trust me, there are many benefits to utilizing LinkedIn. When done right, it’s a great place to promote your brand, soft-sell your products and services, and even hire the professionals you need to keep your business afloat.

Where Do I Start on LinkedIn 

In my opinion, every business professional looking to grow their business should have a LinkedIn profile. In fact, I offer a service that is dedicated to optimizing your LinkedIn presence. We make sure you have an engaging headshot, headline, title, summary, and even past experience. I also spend a lot of time making sure your company page is well-optimized. There’s a reason for this. JEMSU can give you great SEO, advertising and even social media results. But people will still search for the humans behind the brand on LinkedIn, mostly for legitimacy. If your profile or brand are nowhere to be found, then you lose credibility. 

Below are five ways you can optimize your LinkedIn profile yourself to position your brand and business for greater success:

  • Customize Business URL

A LinkedIn profile could be designed and developed to look professional and appealing to viewers that would compel them to make repeated visits or follow the brand and marketer. There is an easy approach to claim the LinkedIn vanity URL – your name or your company’s name work great here.

  • Use a Well-lit, Clear Profile Photo

People are divided on this one, but I personally believe adding a photo helps humanize a brand. A professional photograph speaks volumes about the individual, especially when a smiling photo exudes warmth and friendliness. A good profile photo communicates enthusiasm, sincerity and vibrancy.

I advise my clients to use a recent, well-lit, clear and  professional image to attract the right types of business prospects.

  • Attention-Grabbing Headline

Can you grab the attention of potential connections in just 120 characters? Of course you can! And that’s what this part is for. 

The LinkedIn search feature allows its users to search via keywords, so don’t make a bad headline a missed opportunity for you to be discovered! Those succeeding on LinkedIn have optimized their headlines to be rich in keywords.

  • Promote Successful Work Samples

One of the cool LinkedIn marketing features is displaying work samples. This is an extremely powerful marketing tool that I recommend everyone to take advantage of!

LinkedIn permits the adding of different media like videos and images, text documents and even slide presentations! 

Displayed work samples on the profile page can make business connections that much easier to convert.  Your unique strengths and skills should be shared, however, make sure you’re not giving away any of your trademarks.

  • Fill Out Your Profile Completely

Let’s start with the summary. The summary section is sort of like your personal sales pitch. An outstanding LinkedIn profile summary would help potential business leads to make an immediate decision to connect with you. In the Summary section, LinkedIn allows you to give users a reason to connect in 2000 characters – which honestly, is way too much. I think five sentences is good; 10 is plenty! 

This is the best section for you to communicate any potential business value or proposition. I like to include a call-to-action here, giving your audience yet another way to connect.

Aside from the summary, be sure to include your full work experience, educational background, volunteer experience, skills, accomplishments and personal interests. Do not skimp out on any of these sections – you never know which section of your LinkedIn made someone want to connect.

How to See Growth on LinkedIn 

LinkedIn has created an easier, budget-friendly way for professionals to network with like-minded humans.  Not to mention, LinkedIn offers opportunities and marketing tools for companies to promote themselves and attract consumers.

So, if you’re STILL here, then you’re sold on leveraging LinkedIn. Here’s some things to keep in mind. 

Step 1 – Establish Foundation – Your Page

First things first, creating a beautiful, informative LinkedIn Page. The key here is to ensure that the reader gets your elevator pitch, mission and values right off the bat. This will help you stand out from the competition and encourage users to follow your page. Personally, I love starting off with a hook – usually a summary line that describes your brand’s purpose. Then, I include a concise (but powerful!) summary of a company’s services/products in a captivating manner. 

When writing anything, always imagine yourself as the reader. You want to consider *who* your target audience is (personas are super helpful here, because your LinkedIn target audience may not be the same audience elsewhere), and target your content to them specifically. For instance, if you’re mainly targeting investors, then you may want to include details about your growth, potential, vision, success stories, etc.

  • Step 2 – Step up Networking Connections

LinkedIn is a social networking site that draws people from all over the world to share and exchange ideas and news freely. Therefore, connecting or engaging with people is crucial to the success of LinkedIn marketing, especially if you’re looking to generate web traffic to your website.

Similar to Twitter and Instagram, sharing, liking and commenting on other users’ posts work will not only build and grow relationships, but also establish trust and confidence in your company. LinkedIn even offers a SalesNavigator tool that is pretty effective for sales professionals. Although it’s a paid service, it comes with many benefits that will show direct results in sales leads or business contacts.

  • Step 3 – Personalized Communication

It’s important to note that good connections will not magically happen. Like all other social media channels, effort is required. Remember, if you’re not putting out engaging content AND engaging with others’ content, you are more than likely not going to see the results you’re hoping for. It’s time-consuming, sure – and that’s why people hire us! (Thank you, by the way.)  But it’s necessary for growth and results.

If you’re looking for a place to start, LinkedIn does offer pre-populated forms that can inspire you to start a conversation. However, I strongly recommend you personalize them rather than sending everyone the same bland message. You know what I’m talking about, your LinkedIn inbox is full of them. 

Outreach to other users doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Really, there is no reason to overthink LinkedIn as if its a job interview or business meeting. It’s actually a pretty laid-back space. 

  • Step 4 – Create Engaging Content – Yes, We’re Saying it Again!

I will briefly go over the basics here, because I think every single post of mine has gone into detail on how to create engaging content. To summarize, always include media in your posts. Text-only posts are simply not captivating, and to be frank, they’re kind of boring. Second, make sure your copy has a hook, asks questions or offers an incentive. Lastly, take advantage of the engagement tools that LinkedIn offers! Here’s what you can work with: 

Here are some of the new LinkedIn features that are perfect for growing your following:

  • Polls
  • Reactions
  • LinkedIn Live
  • LinkedIn Stories
  • Step 5 – Take Advantage of  the Pulse Platform

LinkedIn’s Pulse publishing platform is pretty unique, and honestly, I love it. It allows you to share long-form articles with the people of LinkedIn. If this scares you, don’t let it! Surely, there are some topics you can write more than a few words about. You can even recycle content that you already have. For instance, I will publish this exact post onto my LinkedIn using Pulse. See? Easy peasy. 

Pulse helps you reach people in a wider market AND establishes leadership within your industry.

Final Words

LinkedIn should not be intimidating, and ignoring it could mean missing out on potential leads and connections. If you’re overwhelmed, we’re here to help. Let’s work together!