1. Profile Your Audience
Before we take you through the 7 different ways to navigate your LinkedIn account, take some time to identify the different customer layers. Your business model will also play a role in the process. Let's say for this example, you have a B2B Decking company. Your customers that you are going to target are other businesses. And let’s be honest, the buying cycle of a business might be a bit longer, however, A business's income is more stable. Marketing to consumers and individuals is a different ball game.
You might already know this but it’s worth the mention, LinkedIn is mainly used for B2B marketing and is also the most effective when it comes to B2B marketing. Check out our LinkedIn Management Services page to find out more.
2. Creating an Effective Content strategy
Content that builds relationships has to be gentle, useful and answer questions. When you're really invested in your customers it's a marriage not a one night stand. What you should be trying to do is create content that makes their life easier. In today's day and age you can create content that helps them manage their lives and business.
So now let’s say in this example a decking company can release an article that is super helpful and informative about “6 ways to make your decking last longer” or “9 ways to modernise a building with decking cost-effectively”. Now that is some helpful stuff, especially for someone considering procuring decking.
Your job is to really understand your customers and curate posts on your Linkedin account that speak to them.
3. Segment Your Audience On Your LinkedIn Account
It is recommended to draw up a table and classify your audience in terms of age, location, job title and needs.
Ask yourself, where are they based? What are their needs? It is quite reasonable to assume their needs are that they seek a reliable, cost-effective, trustworthy and reputable decking company. So this person is willing to spend the money and not willing to cut any costs to sacrifice quality. Emphasise your strength and brand positioning in your content strategy. Where would you position yourself? In this case, As a top-quality provider.
Needs are often more diverse than that, for example, someone might need a decking company that incorporates water features. However, it's important to get a generic view first and then get into details with the technicalities.
Now let's get back to your table. The next column in your table you can use to determine what message you want to convey to your audience. Starts by defining the objective of the content. Do you want to create content that informs, educates, inspires or entertains your audience?
The next thing you might focus on is what are the products you're going to sell compared to what your target market needs. And don't forget the channels they use. The table will form the basis of your LinkedIn marketing strategy. You can always add columns to your table for instance the types of blogs or video content you're pushing out and the influencer you choose to work with.
Once you have established a target market table and content strategy, you will understand that you're trying to reach business and the best platform to use is LinkedIn. The LinkedIn account provides you with an amazing opportunity to showcase your thought leadership.
4. Pay Attention To Your Personal Account
In industry, you have to wear two hats. The first hat is the company and the brand that you represent and the second hat is yourself, an expert in your field and for that, you’ve got a profile page.
You might also have noticed that the profile pages are often way more powerful and cooler than any company page on LinkedIn. One has yet to stumble on a LinkedIn company page and think; “oh wow that’s amazing, it looks incredible”. What really pops and is full of zing is your personal page, this is all thanks to LinkedIn’s great customisation features they offer for personal pages.
The starting point for you as an individual is to spruce up your public personal page. What you have to start separating is your private you that is shared with close friends and family and then there is a public you. This might cook your brain, but it’s like two versions of yourself. You have to determine your public brand persona. The professional you. This is applicable to all social media accounts. Once you determine what you're experts, passions are and where you want to position yourself, go ahead and create professional accounts for yourself on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook. Then remember to craft your Linkedin page to pitch that message. In essence, you're creating a personal brand of yourself.
5. Build Connections on Your LinkedIn Account
Send out invitations to people you relate to and want to be associated with. Particularly folks that work in the same field as you. You should be comfortable with the people you connect with.
Some people only connect with other people that they have physically met, others might only connect with female entrepreneurs. As long as you build your connection based on your position and not just accept invites right and left. You should be able to distinguish yourself just like your company. Ask yourself this question: What do you want to be known for?
As previously mentioned your answer should relate to your expertise, passion, morals and so forth. Your profile page on linkedin is a clear representation of your CV and anyone looking for a job should build their profile in such a way to get the job you want. This can easily be accomplished by making use of tag relevant to your aspiring job
Everyone looking to optimise their LinkedIn account experience should ensure their LinkedIn profiles are updated. Start by writing an about page that really resonates with you and use that template for everyone’s personal profiles working at your company.
6. Thought Leadership For Your LinkedIn Account
Now to reiterate back to your content strategy, you have to keep your audience updated on every webinar, talk, blog, or any other form of thought leadership piece. When you can convince people to listen to you in the space that you're in through thought leadership, Get this right, and they will buy from you.
Let's say you're unhappy with your current job, if you establish yourself as a thought leader, you have created a community for yourself that will follow and support you no matter where you work. Articles are a great way to get noticed on LinkedIn. If you use your LinkedIn account to publish blogs you will get more organic views.
To support your thought leadership pieces, always remember to keep your job titles updated. LinkedIn’s algorithm is the same as Google and if you want to rank for your experience you better add it to your personal page. If you have multiple roles, add in all your job titles.
Let’s revert back to keywords and content. If you for instance have a garage door company you should add all the keywords related to the products and services you offer somewhere on your profile. The more you water the grass the more it will grow. The more effort you put into your profile the more you’ll get in return. You'll see, soon enough like-minded people will connect with you.
7. Selling Yourself And Your Business On Linkedin Globally
For this example let's use the garage door company and you would like to sell your garage doors to storage companies. By this stage, you will discover that LinkedIn is very useful in a lot of aspects. All you have to do is make use of LinkedIn's excellent search functionality.
Type in the keyword “Storage companies” and in seconds a plethora of companies will be listed. To filter out qualified leads, your LinkedIn account allows you to adjust your search to make it more relevant according to company size, location and so on. If you are looking for people you have not connected with on Linkedin you should tick the 2nd and 3rd connections in the search filter.
In the current day and age, if you live in South Africa and sell services it will be very easy to launch yourself on a global scale market since our currency is very favourable and across the world, remote work is booming. Face to face is no longer as effective as digitising your whole company. LinkedIn has equipped you to connect with anyone and any business from around the world. So the location-based filter is up to you, just don’t feel restricted to your local area when using LinkedIn.
Once you have established your list of people, go check out their profile, their connection and whereabouts. Then decide which of those people you would like to connect with. Before jumping to messaging them. Build relationships, after they accept your invite, engage with their content by liking or commenting on it. Make them feel like you're loyal to them and support them. Once a relationship is established, that’s your opportunity to reach out to them. Quickly draft a message and get in touch with the people that really caught your eye.
And that is LinkedIn in a nutshell. Lots of opportunities and a lot of ways to grow and expand your business.
About Dylan Kohlstädt
Dylan Kohlstädt started Shift ONE digital in 2011 and now has a team of top subject matter experts working with her from her offices in Cape Town and Jo’burg, and clients based all over the world.
Shift ONE specialises in getting you customers through authenticity: creating authentic content that builds communities and turns customers into fans. We create believable top-converting websites, that rank on page one of Google SEO, and next-level social media, online advertising, email marketing, graphic design, blogging, press and PR, lead generation, writing, video, animations, and more.