How much are you using LinkedIn at the moment? LinkedIn in 2020 is a world away from what it seemed like a few years ago, and is managing to morph from stuffy and corporate, into somewhere with personality that’s full of opportunities. As such, small businesses can really benefit from having a well-done profile, being active and representing themselves regularly to potential customers.
Before you get going though, there are a few things to think about, so that you’re always targeting the people you want to attract, and creating content that resonates with them.
What are you trying to achieve? Decide on your LinkedIn goals, and bear them in mind with each person you connect with, and each post you create. If it’s sales, leads, expanding your network or adding people to your mailing list, make sure you’re not wasting time on things that don’t align with your big-picture plans.
As with all marketing, you can’t target everyone, as you end up targeting no one. Who is your ideal client or customer? What do they like, what is their business, what do they do in their spare time? The more you know about who you’re talking to, the more you can tailor your profile and content to resonate with them.
Every so often I perform the ‘Alien Test’ on my social media profiles, and LinkedIn is the ideal place to do this. Open your profile and pretend you’re an alien, who’s just landed there (I know, bear with me). Would you know what the business does? Who it’s targeting? How to get in touch? It’s surprising how many business owners don’t include this info – give yours a rejig if necessary, making all the above really clear.
Social proof/testimonials are important for clients/customers to see, as it proves you are who you say, and will deliver what you promise. If you give out a few recommendations to other businesses/contacts, chances are you’ll get a few back. Even if not, it’s a nice way to reconnect with former colleagues, among others, and remind them what your business is about.
LinkedIn gives you space in your profile to enhance it with photos, links, graphics of testimonials, and anything else that shows what you’ve done and how you help people.It’s not just about what you say, imagery and other media builds a better picture. If you have articles you can link to, photos of events you’ve done, links to reviews of your products or anything that might add depth to what you’re saying.
Once you’ve made your profile a bit more juicy, go back to your ideal client or customer who you’ve already identified, and start adding them as connections. Start using job titles, locations and 2nd/3rd connections and add up to 10 per day to your network. Your audience will grow and will become full of people who are the ideal people to buy your product or service.
Regularly posting well-thought-out content is key to showing your audience that you know your stuff, and that your product or service is right for them. Keep it consistent and varied, for example showcasing your USPs, showing your staff in action behind the scenes, and making sure you’re offering value, not just broadcasting your own sales messages.
Keeping an eye on your stats is a great way to measure progress, and will show you’re going in the right direction even if there are not yet any direct leads. Keep an eye on profile views, search appearances and the performance of each post, and you’ll get a feel for what works best, and what’s getting you that engagement.