I attended a LinkedIn training workshop this week and thought I knew a lot about using LinkedIn. Luckily, I am old enough to know that there is a lot that I don't know.
If you’re active on LinkedIn, you understand the value of building a strong network.
A network of personal connections that can help you find new career opportunities, new clients, or valuable additions to your team.
Here are 4 things I learned this week that will help you be more effective using LinkedIn:
1. I needed a “Network Cleanse”
- My total connections had grown in my 10+ years of being a LinkedIn user and this was actually a bad thing.
But.....More is more - right?
Not really. In fact if your network is bloated with connections that can not help you find a new career opportunity, client, team member, or more importantly aren’t your ideal target client you may want to consider removing them.
If you frequently post or share content for your connections to see, LinkedIn’s process for exposing that content and their algorithm for evaluating that contact can be penalizing you for a lot of connections that don’t engage.
LinkedIn exposes your posts and shares to a small sample of your connections and "gauges" their response. If they didn't do this, just think about how much un-interesting content you would see?
Based on that query, LinkedIn's algorithm determines the quality of your post based on that initial engagement - or lack thereof. Based on this perceived "quality" + engagement from your connections.... your post then is given a ranking that either exposes it to more or less of your connections and connections of your connections....
It's more complex process of ranking your content than I've described, but the point is this - if your network is bloated with connections that aren't relevant to why you're here and the content you share - it could be time to remove some connections and perform a "Network Cleanse". (I removed 1,000+ connections this week)
2. Your LinkedIn Banner is really valuable real estate.
Do you have a custom LinkedIn banner or are you using the default "blue banner" like most users?
If you believe a "picture is worth a thousand words" it may be time to upload an image that visually communicates the products and services your represent. Your profile image and banner are the first thing people see when viewing your profile - make it a strong first impression with a custom banner image. Here's an example of the banner I created:
3. It’s a good idea to include a short message when extending connection requests.
A short message is key, the caution I urge is don't try "selling" in this introduction.
Could you imagine walking into a prospects office and immediately launching into "pitch mode"? Of course you wouldn't, so treat this introduction as a brief opportunity to build rapport and trust. Here's an example of a very short and simple introduction that works for me:
(Caution, don't send any more than 50 connection requests today or you will be "Red Flagged".)
Hi "Name", I just checked out your profile on LinkedIn and it piqued my interest. I would love to connect here and follow your work. Appreciate it, Frank
4. Post content that can actually help solve your target market's problems or pain points.
Are you wondering what makes for a really good LinkedIn post? Ask yourself this question: "how does my post help my target audience"?
Frank Kern shares a lot of really good content on "digital marketing" & I suggest you follow him if digital marketing is an interest of your's. One of Frank's theories that I believe is very true:
"the value of revenue that you can potentially generate is directly proportional to the value you create for your target market." - Frank Kern
Does your current posting pass the test of "creating value"?
If so, chances are you are hitting the mark.
It's also a perfectly good idea to share content from other sources for various reasons, but don't let that be all you "post".
Are you now inspired and ready to start posting?
If so, it's a really good idea to develop multiple pieces of content that you can share over a 4 week period of time. Provided you have a website, start writing blogs, white papers, and other pieces of valuable content that your target market would like to read and learn about. I like to post 3-5x week, but you can start by posting less. The key is to post with consistency. Once you do, you will understand the capabilities that LinkedIn provides us with including video content, pdfs, images, and writing articles with hyperlinks.
Hope you enjoyed these 4 tips on how to use LinkedIn effectively and they help you to achieve your goals.
If we can help you in any other way to grow your business by developing strategy, processes, people, and skills that produce results give us a call or book a free 15 minute strategy session here.
We would love to learn more about you and the challenges you face.
-Frank Niekamp, Principal
Sales Team Development