With LinkedIn rising quickly to become one of the largest professional marketplaces in internet history, it is more important than ever to make sure that your presence on it lets you stand out in a positive, professional way.
You never know who is going to stumble upon your profile; and when they do, you want to make sure they leave feeling impressed and inclined to stay connected.
In order to capitalize on your LinkedIn presence, it is necessary to carefully construct your profile in order to show the best of your brand to potential customers and clients.
Here are the 7 things you need to avoid doing on LinkedIn!
No Picture - On the Internet, one of the easiest ways to shoot yourself in the foot is to avoid putting up a picture of yourself or your company logo. The fact is that, in the minds of the masses, no picture means not human, i.e. a robot or fake profile.
Boring Headline - You have 120 characters you can use to describe yourself in your profile headline. Most people either go strictly by the book and use their job title only or describe themselves in superfluous, mellifluous language that nobody understands or cares about. Go for a middle ground approach that represents you not only clearly, but distinctively as well.
Not Updating - Granted, Twitter and Facebook are much more favorable to constant feeds of your activity, but LinkedIn is the perfect place to keep interested clients and customers up to date on what you are up to in a professional sense. News like a colleague’s promotion or a recent article about the company will work perfectly here.
Updating With The Wrong Content - If you choose to update your LinkedIn profile with the same things you would put on your personal Facebook page, you should re-examine your social media strategy. Different social platforms have different purposes; and your content should mesh with the purpose of each platform for the best results.
Not Using Your Company Description Effectively - This 2000-character space might look fine with some general information about your business, but it is too important of an area to simply copy and paste some sales copy into it.
This is the area where search engine algorithms will be looking most intently for keywords, so you want to make sure you add a few, as well as key figures and statistics that reflect your businesses’ success.
Not Connecting With Your Existing Connections - Chances are that the suppliers you work with for your business are also on LinkedIn. Connecting at this level can help to show that your business is both established and active, as well as earn you customers through other relationships those suppliers may have.
Profile Set to Private – This could go without saying, but a “private” profile makes it hard for people to find it. Therefore, when you set yours up, make sure it is set to “public” so that new leads can easily find your business.
One of the more powerful uses for the popular professional social networking site, LinkedIn, is connecting with local with consumers. Whether your business specializes in retail products, a web service or/and intangible goods, your most active followers will almost always be the local community that you build up around the brand.
Since Google picks up any information you post on LinkedIn, you can do a great deal of good for your brand’s presence by maintaining a healthy amount of information geared towards local consumers on your company page. As you will see in the list below, your profile can make a big difference.
Localize Your Personal Profile Data - On a marketplace as large as the Internet, having nearby local access to just about anything is a rarity. For a consumer, it builds trust in the service or brand in question. This is why you should include as much local information as possible when creating or updating your profile.
LinkedIn asks for an enormous amount of information for your profile, and each one of the fields presented can be used to gather local consumers if the right information is made available.
Display Specific Local Connections On Your Company Page - If you already have a healthy number of first-level connections that you have been doing business with, you should prominently display your relationship with them in a way that attracts your local consumer base. Again, this builds trust, by showing you are part of the community.
Make Quality Connections With Local Businesses - The best way to capitalize on your capability of forging new local connections is to benefit from the connections already made by other local businesses. Finding and connecting with them can give you access to a larger network of consumers and companies.
Stay Active & Join Groups – Become the local authority figure in your niche by posting information that your followers will find useful and enjoy. There are many different groups on LinkedIn; find local ones closely related to your industry.
Don’t just join; engage with the group. Give advice and answer questions. Be consistent and make sure your posts are professional and relevant.
Do Not Stop Connecting – Make it a practice to become more and more connected on LinkedIn. Always search for new people and businesses who can bring value to your network. Also, once someone accepts your connection invitation, accept them and consider sending them a personal, short follow-up message (depending on the connection).
This is how meaningful partnerships are built and how LinkedIn provides a platform for business growth in the local sector.
Your network is an important part of your online presence and, if cultivated properly, it will flourish into a healthy following that will sustain your company and keep you in business.
Of course, if you find yourself in need of a little help getting some momentum going on LinkedIn, our Kickstart Toolkit is your go-to guide! It's packed with information the is going to take you from dreamer to doer!
Your LinkedIn Company Page is one of the most important elements of your presence on this social media web service. In order to maximize the benefits of using LinkedIn, it is necessary to have an eye-catching company page that represents you and your business in a meaningful way.
Choose A Recognizable And Eye-Catching Banner - The banner of your company page is the first thing that most customers and business partners will see when they enter your page. For this reason, it is very important that your banner be recognizable and effectively branded.
Customers will associate a professional-looking banner with a high quality page that offers useful information, products and services to them. Color is very important here, as choosing a scheme that matches your company brand, as well as the rest of the page, will create a smooth, pleasant experience for anyone who lands on your page.
Another important tip for creating your banner is to make it different than the one you use on your company Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Examine Your Wording - Two of the greatest pitfalls to an otherwise healthy company page is the overuse of industry buzzwords and standard search terms that every business in the field would use. In order to help your page stand out, it is best to minimize your wordiness as much as possible.
Even though it is tempting to try and prove your company’s worth through a detailed history of your successes on the market, those four paragraphs of information are going to wear out your user’s eyes before they finish reading. Keep your wording short and succinct for the best results.
Include A Video - Customers and potential business partners who land on your page may not have time or may lack the mood to read too much. A quick, 30-second video that summarizes your company, the products or services you offer and your goals will help immensely in completing an attractive company profile.
Keep Your Information Up To Date - This should come off as an obvious tip, but it is an important one, that many people forget about over time. There are quite a few LinkedIn profiles that, despite a very polished, professional look and approach, still display an old address of the company or an industry that does not match the company profile exactly.
Update The Page - One of the most important aspects of using LinkedIn is keeping it active. This means taking advantage of the blog-style news feed format and delivering links to useful information, just like you would on Twitter.
In fact, you can crosslink your posts in order to communicate more easily with your LinkedIn audience through another social media site. This lets you double the effectiveness of any post.
There are many more tips that could help you use LinkedIn to your advantage, you just have to know where to start! Introducing our comprehensive Kickstart Toolkit for LinkedIn.
If you want a solid online presence with more activity on the professional front, LinkedIn is the best place to start.
When you communicate with your followers, you are communicating with the first level connections who serve as a powerful force when it comes to spreading the word about your brand.
You are also likely transmitting to a handful of your own employees, as well as potential employees who are following you on the site.
If you are interested in gaining a larger and more effective social following for your business, LinkedIn has tools that can help you achieve that.
Are you still wondering why LinkedIn is ideal for almost any business looking to gain traction on the internet? Here are some benefits of using LinkedIn for business:
It is worth noting that some of the most advanced search tools are only available for premium members who pay for the privilege. This powerful, efficient indexing, however, can often pay for itself if it is used effectively.
The connections that you make on LinkedIn are noticeably more effective than those that you could get by cold calling or even references. This is thanks to LinkedIn’s meaningful use of information and to the people and brands the service has attracted so far.
If you are like many other small business owners, you may have reservations about using LinkedIn to put your brand on the map online. Using LinkedIn, of course, has its share of advantages that you should be aware of and that you should consider before deciding whether to join or not.
What Do You Want To Achieve Through LinkedIn?
Like any tool, LinkedIn is only as useful as the skill of the person operating it. If you sign up for LinkedIn and immediately expect to see thousands of orders flying in, hundreds of job applicants and a multinational promotional deal on the table, your expectations may be too high for the moment.
When using LinkedIn, you want to clearly identify what the scope of your usage is. That usage can fall into any of the following categories:
• Connecting With New Business Partners - Perhaps you need product distribution in an area where you have no influence. LinkedIn can provide you with the contact information you need to make a presentation to the decision makers in charge there.
• Hiring New Employees - If you have specific needs for new employees to fill, LinkedIn has powerful filters that make it easy to narrow your search down and find exactly the people who carry those set of skills, live in your area and are available to work.
• Communicating With Your Audience - If you are a brand that is fortunate enough to retain a following that you would like to see grow, then LinkedIn offers you a great number of tools that you can use to cater to your audience and give them content and material to share.
After you have identified your goals, it is time to discuss the pros and cons of using LinkedIn.
Clearly, the benefit of using a site like this is that you have a busy web portal readily available to help you raise awareness of your brand, service and products without costing you anything.
You can strengthen the connection with your existing contacts, find new employees and contact potential business partners at the click of a button, maximizing your efficiency and reducing waste.
Disadvantages are hard to come by, but they may appear if LinkedIn is not properly used. For instance, it may be tempting to spend all of your time on the website, sending generic presentations to every person who could possibly benefit from your service. This would hurt more than it helps, since it would feel like spam and associate your brand with that feeling.
It should be pointed out that most LinkedIn users spend only a few hours a week on the site, yet, they enjoy enormous benefits thanks to having built an effective profile that does most of the work for them.
If you approach LinkedIn this way, it is always a good idea to sign up. To make sure you get the most out of your membership, it will not hurt to benefit from the services of an online marketing consultant... at least until you get the hang of it.
We know most people aren't ready to invest in that level of service, so we created a Kickstart Toolkit to help you build an incredible effective LinkedIn presence on your own. Learn more below.
This leaves many people asking themselves: “Which one of these social networks should I focus my energy on?”
The Illusion of Exclusivity
The first important thing for any business representative on social media to understand is that none of these choices are exclusive. Although some businesses have millions of Twitter followers and others get the most action on Facebook, these differences are only surface-level phenomena.
The fact is that your brand needs to be equally active on these social media networks, while keeping carefully in mind the differences between them and the audiences they represent. LinkedIn has a very different audience than Facebook, for instance, and in order to truly benefit from either it is necessary to capitalize on both.
Understanding the Difference in Audience
LinkedIn, being a web service designed for professionals, has a different approach to information and to content; much different than any other social network. Even though it is a social media networking site that, on paper, is not unlike Facebook, in practice, it serves different goals and uses different approaches to attain them.
There are certain benefits to LinkedIn that you can never effectively realize with Facebook or Twitter. These include connecting with potential business partners in an environment that encourages working together to achieve the common goal of success.
Facebook, on the other hand, is a fantastic platform for connecting with consumers and sharing information about your brand on a wide scale. This lets you build your visibility and create a more successful company image. However, very few professionals would look to Facebook for candidates to fill in a vacant position or for potential business partners.
Synchronizing Your Social Media Strategy
It can be helpful to think of LinkedIn as an application that can be used to meet specific goals, and of Facebook as a platform for sharing, communicating, and building other applications on top of. In order to see your business become the runaway smash hit success that you surely want it to be, it is necessary to synchronize the benefits of both in a targeted manner.
That means using LinkedIn to network with business connections, such as suppliers, distributors, potential employees or clients, and using Facebook to maximize your brand visibility and awareness.
If you create enough hyper-sharable content on Facebook, your LinkedIn activity will rise as a result, even though the web service itself has very little support for viral content sharing.
LinkedIn is a social networking site with a slightly different approach than the vast majority - being that it is heavily focused on business-oriented relationships. Therefore, you can easily forge new connections with consumers, colleagues, and other companies.
While LinkedIn is not as popular as Facebook and Twitter (generally speaking), it is the preferred choice for executives and like-minded business professionals.
It’s a place to generate new leads, as well as new business opportunities and partnerships. In addition, you can stay up to date on the latest industry news, as well as share your own news and insights with your followers.
LinkedIn users are signing up at a rate of two new members per second; so it’s steadily gaining popularity as people start to realize just how important it is today.
Serving as an online Rolodex, LinkedIn offers some highly attractive features that you can use to expand your business and gain exposure for your brand:
When it comes to maintaining relationships with distributors, promotional companies, suppliers, and other organizations, LinkedIn provides a platform where they are all immediately accessible from your own profile.
Not only that, but it’s a place that will allow you to build a highly-targeted audience that is interested in your brand, products, and services.
Company Pages & Showcase Pages
A Company Page is a page that allows people to learn more about your business. You can introduce your company, engage with followers, and share great content and industry news.
A Showcase Page is a page off of a Company Page that focuses on a particular area or niche of your business. In other words, it allows you to drill down to certain buyer personas to keep the content extremely targeted.
If both you and your competitors use LinkedIn, you can casually and easily compare your business model and relationships with theirs, at the click of a button.
Using LinkedIn is just as simple as using any other social media site. You need only an attractive profile to explain your business and the connections you would like to make, import whatever existing connections you already work with, and begin to expand.
Once you connected with others through a series of invitations (both those received and sent by you), you have what are called first-level connections. The second level relationships available through the site are determined by degrees: a friend of a friend represents, for instance, a second degree connection.
After you have established your network of primary connections, you can begin the process of establishing secondary and tertiary connections that can bring you additional business opportunities.
There is a famous quote that has been credited to many successful people, from Abraham Lincoln to Steve Jobs. It says ...
"I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is
trying to please everybody."
Regardless what smart or famous person originally rolled out this bit of wisdom, it is worth remembering. You have a target audience. Stick to that audience. Think of one individual that perfectly represents your ideal prospect or customer. Market, communicate and write to that one individual as a single person.
This gives you a great chance of making a personal connection. Sure, you are not writing to just one person. Hopefully you will have thousands or many thousands of people show up on your blog on a regular basis. However, each one of those people is an individual. They are reading your content or watching your video as a single human being.
Approach them as such.
When you spend all of your time trying to please the entire world, you end up running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Your efforts don't come across as genuine or honest. However, when you act as the unique individual that you are, and gear all of your content as if you are speaking to a single person rather than a big group, you will find that connecting with your audience delivers the results you are looking for.
Another fallacy with the "make everyone happy" attitude involves smart back-and-forth communication. Connecting with someone in your target market often means responding to individual comments and emails. This is often the best way to show someone online you care about what they have to say, and you want to cultivate a healthy relationship with them. You don't have enough time in the day to do this effectively when you are constantly trying to reach out to everyone surfing the web.
The bottom line is, you are probably up against a lot of competition in your field. How do you stand out from other bloggers that are also attempting to attract prospects and customers in your niche? The following 4 tips will improve your odds of drawing attention away from your competition.
1 – Be Unique
There is only 1 you in the universe. Even if you think you are "normal" or "average", you are uniquely different from every other man, woman and child on the planet. Address what makes you unique in your blog and social posts. If you cannot find some unique quality or trait you possess, create a unique slant or approach to everything you do concerning your content.
2 – Be Yourself
Don't try to be something you are not. Human beings in the 21st century are excellent at sniffing out copycat garbage. Let your defenses down. Be who you are. Communicate the way you do with your friends. Talk about the things that interest you. Believe it or not, there are a lot of people out there who connect with who you are. You can't make that connection if you are not honest about your personality, likes, dislikes and other personality traits.
3 – Be Original
Look at your niche. Check out the websites of the top 10 or 20 search results for the main keyword you are targeting. What do those sites and blogs look like? How do they "feel", and how do they attempt to connect with your target audience? You can convey the same information as those top ranking sites, even reverse engineer their SEO practices and keywords, but you should do so with an original spin. Make your blog original and you will easily stand out from the crowd.
4 – Don't Publish Average Content
You should never, ever publish a blog post just so you can publish a blog post. It is better to release 1 epic blog post of 2,000 words every month, rather than releasing 5 posts each month which are 400 words in length, and offer very little or no value to your readers. Always make sure every idea you communicate to your audience is of extremely high quality, and solves some big problem your target market is experiencing.