LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful social media marketing platform and it’s the number one network for professionals. Yet so many people using LinkedIn are doing it the wrong way. Users are making useless connections, don’t know how to properly connect with others, don’t understand quid pro quo, have poorly written profiles, etc. Because of these reasons and more, I’ve created a powerful guide for growth on LinkedIn so you don’t have to make those mistakes. But for the people who get it right, LinkedIn has become a premier destination to meet new professionals in your area or anywhere in the world.
1) Write a Great LinkedIn Profile
Write your profile like you would a resume. Don’t just include company descriptions for your previous jobs. It tells the reader nothing about you and your performance history, regardless of whether you’re looking for a job or not.
The reason this style can be so effective is because other potential partners in business or future clients might want to see a history of success from you. However, without further explanation per job position of yours, they will know nothing about it.
I get a lot of direct referral traffic from my LinkedIn profile and you can too if you do it right.
The best way to enhance each description is to write down the actions you took at the job, how it helped the company (any numbers or % increases are great), and what software/hardware you were using to complete those actions.
In your summary, you have a great opportunity to impress people, as that’s one of the first things they’ll see in your profile.
- Write about what drives and motivates you.
- Write about the things you are best at in business.
- Talk about what your goals and aspirations are.
One of the main reasons people connect with you is based on your profile. I get several connection requests a day and people have asked to mimic how I wrote my profile because of this.
Fill out your entire profile to the best of your ability. LinkedIn will tell you how much more you need to fill out to complete your profile.
Post links to your current project, startup, and/or business in your profile description and your position descriptions so people can find your business easily.
In addition, you should have a headshot of you as your profile picture. The clearer the better.
A lot of people have pictures taken in public with portrait mode, and those photos work great, too.
Wearing professional or business casual attire is usually the best for your profile.
Don’t forget to smile and make good eye contact with the camera!
Take my profile for example in the picture below.
2) Post on the News Feed to Stay Relevant
What can you post?
- Status updates or news that you have to share
- Write short stories with lessons learned. (Break up the text with a space between each sentence for enhanced readability)
- Post a link to an external article whether it’s yours or from a third party
- Share your articles that you wrote on LinkedIn’s article platform.
- Talk about something that’s engaging and relevant to your target audience. Ask questions for extra engagement. Also, tagging one or two people when you do this can help increase engagement.
- You could post small summaries or checklists
3) Automate Your Content Marketing
The single-best way to post consistently is by automating the process with social media management tools and schedule your posts in advance. Post status updates to your company page & personal profile status at least two times a week, but doing so every single day is ideal. The more you do it, the more relevant you become in people’s heads.
If you can’t post every day, then post as often as you can. Maybe you can post every other day instead, but either way, the best practice is creating a content publishing schedule and scheduling your posts in advance to get the most out of your LinkedIn marketing.
The more posts you automate, the more time you’ll have to do direct engagement with others…or other things you need to do.
Moreover, the best way to go about this is by making a LinkedIn marketing plan, which will include your content publishing and content posting schedule among other things.
Your marketing plan will also include who your marketing activities, your key performance indicators (KPIs), your traffic goals, and traffic goals for each piece of original content you market.
Use Stories as Part of Your Content Marketing
Storytelling has become a huge hit on LinkedIn and Facebook.
The art of storytelling through LinkedIn status updates has shattered status updates of old and many of them have gone viral and continue to go viral.
The virality of the posts are, in part, due to individuals with enormous amounts of connections and followers on LinkedIn like the individual below, Josh Fechter. He has the maximum amount of connections, at 30,000, and has more followers than that.
Many of Josh Fechter’s stories were purposely written to be controversial and draw a lot of engagement, but many were not. In fact, on my news feed I’ve been seeing a ton of influencers that have been posting these stories, so it’s not just Josh, and you can mimic their styles too.
The goal of these stories is to portray one theme for each story.
Each story should be powerful in its own way. They should contain “ah-hah” moments, realizations, lessons learned, anecdotes about something compelling, or even controversial content to drive virality. The character limit for posts with spaces is 1200, so make each sentence count!
Try to make your sentences short and to the point. Moreover, put a space in between every few sentences for readability.
4) Increase Engagement
A great method of engagement is by commenting on other people’s status updates and group posts, especially the newest ones. Even commenting on some slightly older posts will boost that post’s ranking and it will be more likely that it could be brought back to life.
And, you can also mention users when you’re commenting on someone else’s post.
You can tag people into the conversation of your status update like you would on Twitter by using the @ symbol and then their name.
By engaging with other relevant users who you’ve tagged, they’re more likely to like, comment, and/or share your status update because it loops that person and their audience into seeing your post. When they do any of the above, it strengthens your post’s ranking position within the LinkedIn algorithm at the same time.
The more comments and likes you get on your post, the more it shows up in other people’s news feeds. Moreover, it’s more likely that your future posts will appear more on the news feeds of same users that engaged with previous posts of yours.
A time-saving tip:
Create a list of the people you would most likely want to engage with so you can save time and energy trying to figure out who to engage with for future posts. Just go through your connections once and create a spreadsheet.
Then mention them by asking what they think on the topic. Getting their insight could go a long way.
5) Join and Participate in Groups
Find & post in industry-specific groups that will drive website visits & email list signups.
Always provide value in some way, whether it’s by a comment, just posting information without a link, or posting a link to a relevant article on your website or someone else’s website.
Many groups require some forms of consistent activity before you post your stuff in there, and most of them are moderated, so your posts will need to get approved by an admin or moderator before it goes live.
If you become friends with the admins of the groups you want to participate in, then along with a hopefully fruitful friendship, you’ll have a much higher likelihood of getting your posts posted, too.
From my experience, I’ve never heard of someone doing really well with their marketing efforts by just focusing on LinkedIn groups.
However, LinkedIn said in January of 2018 that it’s planning on making big changes to their groups to increase engagement within them.
Try experimenting by being very active in one or two groups for a two to three week period of time and see how it works. Comment, like, share, etc.
5) Network With People!
Identify key leaders and influencers in pertinent industries using LinkedIn search. Then engage with them by introducing yourself via a message or inmail and share a tidbit of your business information with them. Ask if there is anything they need help with, share a few ways you can help them, or ask them what their goal is for using LinkedIn or for their work. Try and show value to them and work on creating a relationship in which you both mutually help each other.
LinkedIn is the #1 network for B2B networking. Network with your target target customers, if you’re in the B2B space.
Use your existing network of contacts on LinkedIn and individually contact them and network with new people on LinkedIn.
The content of the messages varies based on what your goal is and who it is that you’re contacting.
Think of your goal:
- Is your goal to find business partners?
- Are you looking to create business relationships?
- Is it to hire new people?
- Are you looking to drive traffic to your website?
- Would you like to get feedback on your product?
LinkedIn is a networking tool first and a marketing tool second.
You want your message to be relevant to them and you should always offer to help them, whether this is setting up an introduction with one of your existing contacts, using your expertise to help them in some way, asking them if they would like to guest blog and put some of their posts on your site, etc.
How People Do It Wrong
A lot of people email and direct message me or request to connect and ask me to do things for them. Rarely do I get people telling me what’s in it for me.
Instead, the polite thing to do if you are requesting something from someone is to offer something in return. And doing so will get you more responses.
If someone asks something from me and it’s something small and it won’t take long, then I’ll try to help them. Your good graces can go a long way, but maybe ask them to share a post or two of yours in return. They probably will.
But meeting requests with every agency and LinkedIn automated lead gen tool service who approaches me is a no-go.
What To Do Instead
Your goal should be to create mutually reciprocal relationships so you both help each other. Always find an angle to help them if you’re approaching others for something you want.
It’s not only about you when you email or approach someone new.
For example, if I’m emailing someone new, I’m going to try and connect over some commonalities and or share something that I can do for them, especially if I’m asking for something in return. Unless you’re somebody everyone wants to connect with, then I’d advise against sending blank connection requests.
Instead, write a note with your request and tell them why you want to connect with them.
Just saying you’d like to connect with them gives you no opener to a conversation — no reason why. Saying you want to explore opportunities to work with each other is still non-committal and a time-waster.
Instead, say you have a few ideas of how you can mutually help each other. Compliment them too. It makes them feel good. Do your best to make people feel good in your life. It will get you places.
If you can’t help them, then politely decline them and wish them good luck. Moreover, now that you understand the best ways to reach out to people, start requesting to add new connections!
6) Lead Prospecting / Lead Generation
50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn when making purchasing decisions. Use LinkedIn to research prospects that would be most likely interested in your product/service.
Contact them through InMail or connect with them and write a short note in the connection request that states your intent. This will work better if you can do something for them, too.
It could be as simple as providing a valuable PDF guide of yours to them or helping them with an aspect of their business. Give them incentive to want to interact with you and check out your service/product.
As a basic member you can get a few free InMail messages, but after that, you must be a LinkedIn premium member to use it.
Chrome Extensions for Lead Generation to Automate Your LinkedIn Marketing
Automating your LinkedIn connecting can make the world’s difference for you and your business. It does what a human cannot do, and will save you incredible amounts of time. But it is at the expense of being less personalized and that does decrease engagement and replies.
For instance, you can auto-invite people to your network which includes a personalized message that would be sent out to all who you invite. This is one of the most coveted aspects of all LinkedIn Chrome extensions.
Check out these chrome extensions below and super-charge your lead generation efforts (make sure to watch their explainer videos):
Octopus – All-in-One LinkedIn Automation – Has a 7-day free trial for all plans. Plan pricing: $19.99/mo, $29.99/mo, $39.99/mo
Linked Helper – Plan pricing: $15/mo, $40 for 3-months, $60 for 6 months, $99 for 12 months.
Linkelead Chrome Extension- 7-day trial with full functionality. After that, it’s $49/mo or $199/year.
Dux-Soup – Free forever starter plan which allows you to auto-invite up to 100 people per day. Then plan pricing is: $14.99 per user per month or $11.25 per user per month billed annually.
7) Publish Articles
Posting articles on your profile is an amazing way to bring traffic back to your website and demonstrate expertise in a domain or on a subject.
You can post projects or slide decks as well, but articles can link back to your content on your website and projects or slide decks cannot. All of the content you publish on your profile continues to establish yourself as a leader in your niche.
You can also market that article from your LinkedIn profile anywhere on the internet, whether it’s marketing in LinkedIn itself, other social media networks, or wherever. That means you’ll be driving traffic to your LinkedIn profile article.
LinkedIn has preference to keeping users on its website within its algorithm. So, if you’re posting status updates with links to your content from within LinkedIn, then you’re going to have more eyes seeing your content.
Growth Hacking Tip:
The best practice is to post the original article headline and the first several paragraphs, or sections, of your article. Then, just create a link leading back to the post on your website that says something like: “Click this link to continue reading” or “Continue reading here”
You get to demonstrate authority on a particular subject by having the post on your profile and it acts as a backlink for your website and your post. This, in turn, increases the post’s ranking on Google. However, instead of posting a direct link, you should be tracking where your traffic comes from.
You can do this by using Google’s URL Campaign Builder, and below, you’ll see what it looks like.
Now think about this: If you perform the above actions for every single article you write — leading readers back to your website, then you’re going to be generating a lot more traffic if you’re active on LinkedIn.
Spread out the article publishing so they don’t all get posted at once. Consistent posting over time will yield you better results.
Recruiting helps businesses grow and if they have good company practices, then their employees will help support a company’s LinkedIn marketing efforts. Whether that’s by connecting with people privately or by posting a job as a status update in the news feed, you’re getting your company out there for more people to see.
I’ve made great use of LinkedIn through its search engine and you can too.
First, you select the area where you want to find someone.
Then, you type in a keyword or two, or a title/position to narrow down the search to find those people. Then simply connect and write a note in the connection request to see if they’re “looking for new employment opportunities for a great position doing…” That’s the free way.
You can use LinkedIn ProFinder to help you find who you need for more advanced functionality, but that costs money.
Additionally, you can pay to post jobs and that will almost always yield applications and get more eyeballs on your company.
9) Use Ads
Creating and using ads are traditionally a good way to get traffic with minimal time investment and maximum scalability. I’ll refer you to Neil Patel to share best practices for using ads on LinkedIn since I’ve never placed ads on LinkedIn before.
Similar to Facebook, you can sponsor posts from your company profile on LinkedIn like you could boost posts from your company page on Facebook.
10) Take Advantage of Your Company Profile
Company profiles of small businesses are some of the least viewed parts of LinkedIn because many people don’t pay attention to growing them.
However, when you’re a startup doing LinkedIn marketing, you should be posting updates on your company profile because you can get more traffic back to it. You want followers, you want clicks on articles, likes, and comments. Anything that enhances your ability to get any of those will be positive for your business.
Some ways to get greater traffic to your company profile are to mention your company in a status update or article of yours and link it to your company profile.
In addition, one of the LinkedIn marketing best practices for company profiles is to post status updates from your company profile containing articles you’ve posted on your profile, which link back to the full post on your website or another blog. It will tell you what your organic reach is and other stats like engagement percent, number of clicks, and the number social actions taken.
You can post other relevant content from trusted third party sites on your company profile, too. Doing this shows you’re willing to provide valuable content even if it isn’t yours.
As mentioned in the last section, you can sponsor posts from your company profile, which brings more traffic and attention back to the company profile. Thus it’s likely that more users will follow your business page if they like your content.
LinkedIn is an excellent social media platform but was designed to be used for business. That’s what makes it so great for business.
Yes — Facebook has 4x the user-base (2 billion), but it wasn’t designed for business. Twitter has more users and more monthly active users than LinkedIn too, but that’s a completely different kind of platform created for quick social interactions.
LinkedIn, on the other hand, has been the king of professional social media. And, it has a lot of great features to back that up. So hopefully you now have a solid understanding of how to harness LinkedIn to grow your business.
What have you found particularly good for achieving growth on and from LinkedIn?