Whether or not you are able to achieve your goal on LinkedIn is largely dependent on how you have presented yourself to the community.
People will only see you based on the information you have made available to them and how you have set up your LinkedIn profile as a representative of your brand.
There are many things that are worth noting before setting up a LinkedIn profile, giving how the platform is already flooded with all sorts of marketing and competition from other networkers like you.
First is to see your LinkedIn as a place to convey your greatest strength(s) and quality with the people (just like in your resume). You want people to see why you are the right pick among other similar proposition in your industry.
Secondly, your LinkedIn profile should be more about what you can practically do now for clients than any theoretical qualifications you must have attained. You don’t want to leave people into guessing what they should hire you for. A little glimpse at your LinkedIn should be enough to tell prospects what to expect from you.
Also, a good and productive LinkedIn profile must command some amount of recommendations from people who have had the experience of working with you in the past. You are almost certain to win the heart of a prospective client who sees someone he/she trusts recommending you to people. The best way to quickly get LinkedIn recommendations is to give out recommendations yourself.
The fourth one is concerned with the key terms that you have chosen in writing your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn (itself) is a search engine where users rely on its search system to find people they want to connect with. This means there is a ranking algorithm that determines the right profiles to show in searches based on the keyword used by the searcher.
On LinkedIn, the highest ranking factor has remained the “Relevancy” of the profiles to the search terms. Though LinkedIn considers whether the profile is a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd-degree connection to determine its position in searches, but it has to be relevant to what the searcher is looking for. What this suggests is that you should pick your top keywords and sprinkle them all over when writing your LinkedIn profile. I will talk more about this later in this post.
The number five is to make sure your LinkedIn profile is fully filled out with all the required details. LinkedIn provides you with more than enough features to showcase your professional life in styles, make the best of it. Be sure your area of expertise is fully blown out in your profile.
The more complete is your LinkedIn profile the more likely that you have used your most important keywords in several places that will boost your ranking for them in searches. Part of completing your LinkedIn profile is to join relevant groups in your niche to gain instant exposure and build your network.
Now, these are just five of the many areas that are key in building the right LinkedIn for your business and driving the much-desired leads. There are a lot more which you will have to be doing on a consistent basis, but let’s get to see how to implement these important aspects of your LinkedIn marketing strategy.
Create a Goal-oriented Profile
What you intend to achieve with LinkedIn is a primary cause that should decide how you set up your profile. Of course, there are many other heights you have attained in terms of academics and work experience that you want to incorporate into your profile. Your LinkedIn goal should be at the forefront.
You don’t want your LinkedIn profile to read like a job-seeking resume. Ordinarily, this is how your profile will look like if you are to fill it based on LinkedIn default profile set-up. But with a little bit of tweak, you can turn that boring resume into an authority lead funnel for your business.
For instance, your LinkedIn Summary should be about what you are doing presently for your clients, accomplishments, description of your service, who are your ideal clients, and your unique selling proposition. Let us say your Goal on LinkedIn is to get freelance writing opportunity with your prospective clients. You could say in your summary:
Hey, I help businesses to connect their customers using my writing skills. Whether as a freelance writer or as a guest writer, my aim is to write a persuasive web content that compels readers into taking an action. A content-based marketing has shown to be the best method of marketing among today’s internet users, as people are more inclined to buy from a business that enriches them with valuable information. Having known this, I write using practical and persuasive words that tell readers exactly what to do to take the next step with a business.
I have also realized from my 2 years of experience writing that, only the quality content that provides value for readers would the search engines love and then could make the difference for a business. So I aim the bar high in my standards in providing the best content that will satisfy my client need. My services cover several online content series such as Blog Post, Copywriting, Product Reviews, Guest Posting, Article Writing and eBook. This cuts across different topic areas based on what my clients need to capture, convince and convert their audience.
Looking to take your business to the next level with my seductive web copy, hit me on this email address xxx
No better way to write your Summary than making it vocal about what you are intending for business prospects. This way, anybody adding you as connection knows what the relationship is. Even if they are not in any way your potential clients, they are well aware of what you do and could become powerful referrers of clients for your business in future.
Optimize a Profile With right Keywords
The best LinkedIn profile is the one nurtured with your top keywords that you want people to use to find your business. As mentioned earlier, LinkedIn is a search engine where users are using keywords to find one another. The keywords that LinkedIn algorithm ranked your profile with will determine the type of lead coming through searches for your business. You could see why it is important to pick your keywords right and get your profile ranked high for them in searches.
So, how do you go about that,
First thing is to determine the search terms that your ideal clients would most likely type into LinkedIn search system to find you. You may need to vary this to include all possible terms that are related to your business. Now, you need to place them in the right places on your profile that will tell LinkedIn to use them for ranking it in its search engine. The following key areas should be in your first line of consideration:
- Byline – That small line below your profile name is a real estate to include your keywords.
- Summary – As rightly mentioned before, the information in this area will go a long way to influence how visitors respond to your profile. Likewise the LinkedIn search engine, it uses this area to determine the kind of prospects that would match your profile. So your most used terms are given a ranking value.
- Current Position – Of course, this is a critical area to be sure your keywords are present. LinkedIn is a social network primarily meant to enhance the professional life of its users. Means their working portfolios are given a priority than anything else. Most of the suggestions that will get shown to you on LinkedIn are based on the information you have inputted in this area. This is why it is important to get your keywords into the helm. You can bolster it further by writing a detailed description of your job responsibility using these key terms. While writing it is important to focus on how your product or service helped make a difference in a client’s business rather than your personal milestones.
- Past Experience – Though only your present positions are shown in your profile snippet under your name, the entire work experiences are what LinkedIn uses to determine if a particular job opportunity is right for you. You may have done a job or worked in a place before that is totally different from your current niche. That doesn’t stop you from including it as part of your experience. You just find a way to connect the dots and see where you can incorporate your keywords into these experiences.
- Skills – This area is particularly straightforward with your keywords as you get to list your skills from common terms in your niche. You only need to fine-tune your skills to include mainly the key terms that you have targeted in your profile.
These are all important areas of your LinkedIn profile to be sure your keywords are prominently used. You could also go all round to input your keywords in other parts of your profile where appropriate, but these are the first places to thumbprint with your business key terms. Sometimes, it could become very difficult to rank high for a particular term in search due to the competition and the number of more established profiles that have already used up the top spot.
As more and more people are getting wise up to this tactic, there is going to be an increasing competition for places in search results. In this case, you could double up your keywords in these areas to see how it improves your ranking. If you are not seeing any improvement, you can consider adding an extra bit of a text into them.
A long-tailed keyword is your best bet to make sure your profile is getting a visibility in searches. For instance, if your targeted word is “SEO”, you could rephrase that into “Multilingual SEO” if your work covers on different languages of a client search engine service.
Another option is to carry out a background check on these profiles that are holding top spot ahead of you in searches. It could just be a little missing piece in your profile that is giving them the edge. You can also analyze the size of their networks to see where lies their competitive strength. A tool like a LinkedIn Connection Revealer is very powerful, this is a LinkedIn chrome extension that reveals more information about the size of someone’s network to you.
Join up in Groups
This is a quintessential area that you don’t want to miss in your LinkedIn marketing strategy. LinkedIn groups are the best places to be if you want to gain instant exposure and connect with link minds in your industry. Not only that, groups broaden your horizon on LinkedIn as you get found in searches by more people who happen to have you as a co-member in groups.
There is literally a three-tier network on LinkedIn that puts a limit on what you can find in a search result on its platform. This is based on the size of your network and those networks you have connected with. These three-level networks are:
Your Connections Networks
Their First First Level Networks
These networks are what LinkedIn categorize into your 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree or beyond a level of connections. They artificially restrict what you can see when conducting a search on the platform.
But your group exploits can help you break this triangular restriction as you can find more people in searches based on your group membership. Basically, while conducting a search on LinkedIn, your results are ranked in this order:
The first ranking factor (as mentioned earlier) is the RELEVANCY: A profile that will get shown up in search has to be similar to the query being used.
The second factor that LinkedIn considers in ranking a profile in searches is a network-based rank: Your first-degree connections will rank above your second degree. Also, your first-degree connections will rank above your group connections.
The third one is a ranking based on the account type: Quite understandable, LinkedIn ranks premium accounts over free accounts
Although, whether premium or free, the account has to be relevant to what searcher is looking for before it can appear in a search.
The key thing here is that your profile is most likely to rank top in many searches if you are joining the groups that are relevant to your LinkedIn niche. As the members are more like to be using your keywords than any other groups.
This will also increase your network significantly by meeting more like minds through active participation in group discussions.
Now, it all appears your group effort has a far-reaching impact on your LinkedIn marketing than anything else. Let’s see how to get down with that successfully.
Participate in LinkedIn Group
Your group membership is not a guarantee for LinkedIn leads if you don’t take an active part in group discussions and even sometimes start up your own topic of discussion in the community. Taking time to explore the significant amount of lead opportunities in the groups will benefit your LinkedIn goal more than any other strategies I have ever mentioned in this post. Groups are where the real channeling and targeting are done on LinkedIn no matter your business niche or target.
In joining a LinkedIn group, there are things (or rather some rules) that are worth taking note in sending out the right signals. They will also guide you in the course of your activities in the groups as you relate with other members.
LinkedIn group etiquette
Every group has a set of rules that govern its inside activities and other networking experience of its members, make sure to read these before joining. The group owners and/or moderators have a way of controlling what type of content gets posted to a group and the topics of discussion.
Try to introduce yourself to these people and get them to become your connections. This is fairly easy depending on the impression you have given on your visit. This type of people is usually a high-value connection.
Now, you can begin to contribute effectively to group discussions, express opinions to popular topics and let your inner genius flows into the knowledge based conversation. This will make people see you as a thought leader, hence, the eagerness to have you as a connection.
LinkedIn is a social network just like any other ones out there. The only thing is that its activities are a bit formal compared to sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter. Which means the value you get depends on what you can contribute to the platform.
After you have started to receive some sort of interest from fellow group members (maybe in terms of connection requests or any kind of business interest), you can post your first content with a Call to Action, and then watch the level of engagement.
Depending on your content type and the value it adds to the group, this should trigger a number of Likes, Comments, and Clicks to your LinkedIn profile or any of your online presence. The bottom line is that the content has to be relevant to the group. As well, you should avoid spamming the group by posting links too often. The general rule is an average of two links per week
With this in mind, let’s see what types of group to join to fast-track your LinkedIn effort
The Best groups to join
There are many groups on LinkedIn today that could make finding the right groups to join a sort of challenge to users. Even with a set of well-defined criteria, you will still discover that there are too many groups on LinkedIn that tend to address the same problem from a particular niche. And here is you who are trying to maximize the 50 slots that LinkedIn affords you to exploit its group feature. Joining a duplicate group is the last thing you want for your business.
You hope to give your business the highest possible level of exposure it can get through the groups. In this case, the larger a group the better. As large groups will have more activities in them than the smaller ones. Though your choice of a group shouldn’t be only based on its membership size, a large group is more promising to expand your network. LinkedIn itself tends to encourage joining of large groups by showing groups based on the number of member preference list when a search is performed.
Like I said, you shouldn’t decide to join a group solely because of its size, there are other criteria to use. Whether or not the group is meant to serve people from your target geography is one important factor to consider. Niche will always exist in geography, there are many North American groups you will find on LinkedIn that have their regional sub-groups in other continents like Europe.
Your choice of such groups should be based on whether your target audience is from Europe or the United States.
Another key criterion to use is to check the “Need” that a group is set out to meet. Each group has its “Summary Brief” that tells its members or prospective members about its objectives and the ideal business to promote. Don’t be fooled by a group name and assume this is what it should be.
You have to read this area first before taking a step. Whether a group is open or close, its summary brief is always visible to members or non-members. Check to see whether they align with your LinkedIn goal.
Create your own group
This is not a mandatory requirement to be able to generate leads on LinkedIn, but an instance may warrant you to want to own a LinkedIn group. It could be to organize with the people you have established one relationship or the other in your network. Or you may need to create a subgroup to an already existing large group in your niche to absorb leads from a particular geography.
Whatever any reasons you may have to start your own LinkedIn group, there are things I think could help you take off the right way.
There already exists a proliferation of groups on LinkedIn today. In different sizes, you will find these mushroom groups in almost every niche. It is very difficult for someone to come up with a group that someone else has not created something similar already.
What to do is to look for loopholes in these existing groups to see where they can be improved on in your own group. A good opportunity is when you notice some members of a particularly large group in your niche are feeling disenchanted with the way the group is run.
You can start your own group to address the pain points of these people and invite them over to your group.
While setting up a group, the best idea is to invite other people to join you as co-owners. This will bring more activity to your group and boost its credibility as they invite their connections as well. As a group owner, you are automatically inviting anyone that adds you as a connection to join your group.
Owing a group is free on LinkedIn and you will be given access to a number of admin tools to manage your group.
LinkedIn is one of the front-runners of today’s social media world and the un-doubtable leader among the professional networking sites. There is no better place to be to breathe a life into your fledgling business than here.
There are a number of things to start doing if you want to reap the benefits of using LinkedIn. First is to re-engineer your profile to speak only one language, which is? – Your business.
This is a starting point that is also a means to an end for your LinkedIn marketing goal. Your LinkedIn profile has to match your business in every facet possible. The best profile being the one that is configured to serve a single purpose – your LinkedIn goal.
Now, in taking a good job you have done on your profile to the next level, no better place to do that than the groups. In fact, your work on your profile is futile without an active participation in LinkedIn groups.
Groups help to widen your horizon, increase visibility for your profile, and build your network like wild on LinkedIn. So be an active participant of as many groups as you can, and even create your own group if you like.
Now your turn?
What about you? What are the implementation strategies you have adopted for your LinkedIn marketing? How have you been able to achieve results with your profile set up? Care to share your experience or you want to ventilate your view about this post. Let’s do it in the comment below.
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