By Guest Blogger, Gus Bhandal
When I started in business, some great advice I had was to spend 90% of my time (online) where my ideal clients hang out.
For many of us (especially the business-to-business among us), the obvious choice is LinkedIn.
Yes we all still pretend to love Facebook, and we are falling back in love with Twitter, and we are really trying to love Instagram… but LinkedIn is the most likely place to find your ideal clients.
And best of all, most of the best features of this platform are free (for now).
So how do you make the most of LinkedIn? Here are a few top tips to kickstart your LinkedIn profile.
1) Have a professional photo
Sounds so obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of blurry, badly-cropped, cocktail-holding business people there are out there!
2) Write a scroll-killing headline
The headline (the bit under your photo) should follow the Ronseal marketing strategy – it should be able to tell your ideal/potential clients exactly what you do… i.e. “exactly what it says on the tin”. Don’t use words like ‘founder’ or ‘business owner’ – they don’t tell the reader anything about you, and they will just scroll past.
3) Have a consistent plan
Whether you schedule 15 minutes a day or an hour a week, use your diary (written or electronic) to create a plan of engaging on LinkedIn – whether that be writing your own posts or commenting on those of others. A fixed schedule can be interspersed with day-to-day details, so do not focus too much of having to post for the sake of it, which leads me on to…
4) Be engaging
Whether you post once a month or once a day, do not post for the sake of it. If you post quality, engaging or knowledgeable posts, then there is no bad time to post. If you are posting to simply try to beat the algorithms, the short term gain will cause your profile long term pain (and this also applies to ‘engagement pods’ – avoid at all costs). There are over 600 million users on LinkedIn, so do your best to cut through all that noise!
5) Talk to your ideal clients
Do you know who your ideal client is? Like, really know them? If so, that’s great – talk to them directly. Everything you post should be centred around their needs; addressing their pain points. This will make it easier to focus your marketing efforts. And don’t think that you will be excluding other types of client – if someone needs what you offer, and you sound like you know what you are doing, then they will get in touch regardless.
6) Ask for testimonials
Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials (or ‘recommendations’ as LinkedIn calls them). They look good on your profile and an excellent form of social proof, especially for potential clients (and a poke in the eye for your competitors). So if you know you have done a good job for someone, send them a link to your profile and ask for a testimonial.
7) Be social
The key word in ‘Social Media’ is social. Sounds obvious, right? Well, not to everyone. Your LinkedIn activity should be used to create two-way conversations with those around you (whether it be clients, competitors, suppliers or simply business contacts). And if you can provide value, that’s even better – get involved in conversations, answer questions, offer help – all subtle ways of showing off your knowledge while being a good person. That way, you create long-term business relationships, you show authority, and you create a group of brand ambassadors.
8) Be yourself
Do NOT create an online persona that’s different to who you are. Online networking is great, but when you meet people in real life, the last thing you would want them to think is that you have a split personality, which ultimately makes you look untrustworthy. Be kind, be helpful, be friendly. Just like you would when we meet. Simple, eh?
This blog was written for Connexions by Gus Bhandal, the Marketing Guru. For more information about how Gus can help your business to grow online, please visit www.theMGuru.co.uk or follow him at www.facebook.com/mguruuk.