LinkedIn is way more than a place for job seekers. If that’s the last time you used it, then you’re missing out on a powerful tool. Having a 100% completed profile with updated information, as well as a company profile page for your business, increases your trust and credibility factor immensely. It helps establish you and your company as experts in your field or industry.
Think of LinkedIn as a global chamber of commerce on steroids. It’s more B2B (business-to-business) than B2C (business-to-consumer), but LinkedIn users are sophisticated consumers! And it’s full of referral sources. They have over 850 million members. Moreover, they continue to see record levels of engagement.
Below are two videos of recent webinars I presented on the 2 aspects of LinkedIn the Company Profile side and the Personal/Individual Profile side. Mastering these will help you unleash its power. Because…
It’s not who you know, it’s who your friends know.
Here’s why you need to use LinkedIn for your business:
Your Company Page…
You need one. Your personal profile is NOT your company page. In that sense, it’s like Facebook — Company Pages are separate. Think of the personal profile as the white pages and the company profile as the Yellow Pages.
- Upload a custom banner. It’s a horizontal graphic. You may have to play with it a bit to make sure that it’s not cut off when you upload it and that it doesn’t look bad. This is your online image. Your online reputation. Furthermore, always use quality graphics. Taking shortcuts or using a less-than-perfect graphic makes visitors assume you provide less-than-perfect service. Use the free graphics tool Canva.com to create the graphic. They may not have an updated template for the LinkedIn banner, but you can create one with custom dimensions.
- An extension of your website. You have a lot of space to tell people about your business. USE IT!
- Add specialties. These are keywords that come up when people are searching for what it is that you have to offer. This gets indexed in Google so it helps with SEO!
- Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons. You can choose from:
- Visit Website – I don’t like this one. It’s boring. Choose…
- Learn More – this is more of a command that makes sense
- Contact Us – Use this one if you have an offer in your cover graphic/banner
- Register &
- Sign Up – these are obvious, but they require some sort of event or offer on the cover graphic.
- Post updates. Share other people’s related and relevant content as well as your own. Moreover, you can add the company page to a scheduling tool like Sendible, to easily share content to your page. You can also pin a promo post to the top. (Don’t forget to take it down after the promotion or event is over.)
- Showcase pages. You can create sub-pages from your company page to highlight products and services.
- Show off. You can now write an article as your page and start a newsletter to which people can subscribe!
- Pick good hashtags. You can have 3 topical hashtags associated with your company page. Play around with them and see which have the greatest number of followers. Yes, people follow hashtags on LinkedIn. Use them regularly and consistently.
Remember, you have only 2 seconds to catch someone attention online!
On Your Personal/Individual Profile…
- Your profile picture. This should be a professional-looking head shot so people can see your face. You wouldn’t go to a networking event with a paper bag over your head, would you? So why don’t you want to put a nice head shot on your professional LinkedIn profile? You may not be looking for a job, but you do want potential customers to buy your product or hire your services, right? You need to look credible.
- Title. This should tell the visitor what you do at a glance. Make sure it’s updated and it doesn’t imply that you’re looking for a job.
- Location. Accurate and updated. I find it frustrating when a person that I’m searching for doesn’t have their location. If I know you’re in Phoenix, then why does it say you’re in Chicago? You can sell worldwide, but if the person I want to connect with is in Phoenix, I want to be able to find them.
- About. It used to be called a “summary”. It’s not your life story. It’s describing what you do and how you can help a potential customer.
- Contact info. Should be current and complete. If you have a company email address, that should be there rather than the one you used when you were looking for a job (your personal email). Here you can also add your website. Choose “Other” when adding your link and add your company name there rather than using “company website” or “personal website”. Add your business Twitter here also, then when you share to LinkedIn, you can also share to Twitter at the same time.
- Skills. Again, you’re not looking for a job, but people are searching for what you do and you want to come up in searches. Think of the skills as keywords for SEO. Talents? Skills? What do you know? These, like the specialties on your company page — keywords that help you come up in searches. Likewise, remove the ones that are not relevant to what you’re doing now.
- Featured. You can feature promos, recent blog posts, and special offers on your personal profile in the “Featured” section. Change it up at least once a month. This also helps with SEO!
Posting to your Personal Profile
Just like on Facebook, you can upload a graphic or video, share a link, add text and hashtags.
Use a scheduling tool like Sendible to share content regularly. Stick to your field or industry. The idea is that people start connecting the topics you post about with your name, picture and industry. This builds credibility. You show off what you know.
Native Videos on LinkedIn
Like on Facebook, you can upload videos directly to LinkedIn on your personal or company profiles. They give more reach to those uploaded directly rather than sharing a link to YouTube.
Write Articles On LinkedIn Weekly
Alright, you’re probably thinking, “I can’t even write for my website weekly!” Yes, I know. But you have to for SEO. What you do on LinkedIn is repurpose the content on your website. You write the blog on your site, then share the link on LinkedIn. A few days later, copy the whole article to LinkedIn. When you copy the text from the blog, it takes the formatting with it. The only things you can’t copy are the pictures. You need to upload those directly.
Always put a link at the bottom linking back to the original post: “This post originally appeared on……(link)” as well as a call-to-action.
Doing this regularly helps drive traffic to your website and helps with SEO. And LinkedIn gives more visibility, aka reach, to articles written on their platform! They want users to stay on their site rather than visit someone else’s website.
Post Events on LinkedIn
LinkedIn Live allows approved members and Pages to broadcast live video content to a LinkedIn profile, LinkedIn Page, or Event.
If you believe you meet this criteria, you can:
Create an event on LinkedIn to generate an automatic check to see whether you are eligible. If you are, you will be able to choose LinkedIn Live in the event format dropdown.
Turn on creator mode on your LinkedIn profile for access to creator tools.LinkedIn help
Connecting and Following on LinkedIn
LinkedIn now has the option to change the “Connect” button to “Follow”. You can follow anyone without connecting to them. I like that better. If you like what I post, the articles I write, then by all means follow me. We don’t have to be connected.
Just because we’re connected doesn’t mean that I’m interested in your product or service. However, if I know someone who needs something, I’m going to go to LinkedIn first and recommend someone in my network — it’s my virtual Rolodex.
Connect with the people you know first
Upload your email list. You’ll get a list of the people on your list who are also on LinkedIn. You can check all and then LinkedIn will send them an invitation. You can’t personalize it, but this saves time and grows your network quickly.
This is a simple feature that will solve a headache. I love it. I keep getting connection invitations from people outside of the U.S. and others who I really don’t feel comfortable connecting with. Plus, it gets annoying. I’ve got over 3600 connections and over 4000 followers.
The next list that comes up are the people on your list who are not on LinkedIn. Skip these. If they do join LinkedIn, you’ll be notified when they do.
Each time you look at your network, LinkedIn will bring up people they think you may know based on your connections and the companies you’ve worked at. If you do know them, by all means, connect with them. The bigger your network is, the more you’ll get out of LinkedIn.
Have you been trying to reach someone with no luck? In the LinkedIn Mobile app, in the chat feature, you can see if any of your connections are on the network and you can start an instant video call or schedule one for later.
Obviously, I didn’t cover everything people do wrong on LinkedIn. This article covers that.