How To Use LinkedIn To Promote Your Business
LinkedIn is not a repository of CVs anymore. Many businesses use it to promote their product and services and get exposure to their brand. Here we will examine how you can leverage this social media channel to promote your business.
Understanding your social media visitors
Many Sales and Marketing professionals treat LinkedIn as a CV repository. But only a few fully capitalise on the power to convey your sales and marketing messages. A good starting point is to erase the perception of Linkedin. It is no longer a platform for job seekers and recruiters (at least from the marketing or sales perspective), but a place to engage with your buyers.
Your buyers probably do not want to know about your professional achievements, education or if you hit your sales targets. They are not a recruiter. Instead they need to know what it is in for them, what value you can bring to their busienss and how you can help to solve their problems.
When they review your profile it needs to convey trust and align with their experience. So, instead of writing about how good you're in digital marketing, put a line about how you solve your customers problems. You need to use the keywords that catch attention of your buyers.
A good starting point if to identify a dozen of LinkedIn personal and company profiles and analyse what keywords and type of language they use. By using the keywords of your buyers' you can tap into their experience and use the langage they can instantly recognise. So look at your LinkedIn profile and start editing.
When editing your profile try to keep your copy simple and compelling. Start with the top of the page, where your cover and profile image, and headline are. These are the first information on your profile that your visitor see.
Use a professional Profile and Cover images
Profile and cover images are the first two elements your visitors notice. They are also the most crucial things in building initial trust. Almost immediately people can decide if they want to do business with you - an assumption many folks may be inclined to make.
Make sure you have a clear and professional profile picture. Do not use selfies or pictures from a gig. Keep it professional and appropriate to your ideal buyer. When uploading a profile image, LinkedIn will display it as 400 x 400 pixels. So make sure you do not use any smaller size or the image quality will be low.
Your cover image is another medium to make a good first impression and convey a message. A good practice is to incorporate your branding in the cover image. Depending on the divice size and resolution, this graphic will be cropped. Thus, try to distribute you messages around the middle section of your graphic. Always double check the key parts are visible after you upload your cover image.
Create a compelling headline
The most common mistake marketers and sales people make is to place their current job title in the headline. Once again treat LinkedIn as a selling platform or lead generation but not a CV repository. Put yourself into your buyers shoes: are they interested to know your job role?
Instead of listing your job title, write a value statement that cathces the eye of your buyers and keeps them wanting to explore your profile.
Bad example of the headline: "Digital Marketing Executive" or "Sales and Business Development Manager".
Social selling ready headline: "Proven success in Strategy Execution, Operational Excellence and Business Transformation".
The latter will resonate with strategy execution professionals. It will also become a SEO bonus helping buyers who search those keywords find your profile and improve your organic search on Google.
Put those keywords in a value statement to make your headline compelling.
Write value adding call-to-action summary
After looking at your profile image and reading your headling the next logical place you vistors will move is the summary section.
With 2000 characters at your disposal you can provide a descriptiong of your business value statement. Don't leave it blank or focus your copy on recruiters. Put yourself into your buyers shoes. What is it in for your buyers?
Example of a bad summary:
Rule number one - use the keywords that appeal to your buyer and help optimise your profile for search engines. And number two - demonstrate value to your buyers. You can do it in a number of ways. Instead of writing a value summary you may choose a short video or a presentation that conscisely convey you value. Video is the most effective medium on the web.
If you choose to write you summary, make sure you include a value statement, customer you helped, Call to Action and a list of keywords at the bottom of your copy. Let's have a look at the example below.
In this example, the summary section taps into the buyers' experience and talks from their perspective. It conveys value, plus the summary section provides an additional SEO benefits with injected keywords.
Use keywords in your skill set
Typically placed at the bottom of the page, your skills section is another way to communicate value and get the SEO juice. Many of us marketers put here skills like email marketing, lead generation, online marketing or SEO. But is it what our buyers are looking for?
Once again, look at the list of keywords you have identify or open profiles of your target buyers and scan for keywords they use on their page. Incorporate those keywords into your skills section.
Always think of the keywords your buyer cares about.
Ask for recommendations
Recommendations and endorsements have the power to influence buyers. They are a social proof of your value statement. It is a building element of trust.
LinkedIn has a build-in functionality to ask for recommendations. Simply go to your profile page, click on the arrow ˅ next to the "View profile as" and select "Ask to be recommended".
When asking for a recommendation think from your buyers perspective. This is a great change for you to add value to your profile. Ask your customers for a recommendation that describe the problem you helped them to solve. Ask them directly after a succesfully completed project while theirs and your memory is fresh.
Get a personilised LinkedIn URL
By default your profile will have a randomly genereted generic LinkedIn URL. Think of your LinkedIn profile as a brand. You probably want people to find your profile online and learn about the great value your company provides. But if you're using a generic LinkedIn URL, any changes you make to your profile will change your URL. For search engines like Google it is difficult to index constantly changing URLs.
To change your generic URL log in on LinkedIn and:
- Move your cursor over Profile at the top of your homepage and select Edit Profile.
- You'll see a URL link under your profile photo like www.linkedin.com/in/yourname. Move your cursor over the link and click the Settings icon next to it.
- Note: "Update your public profile settings" will show up if you don't have a public profile. Learn how to enable your public profile.
- Under the Your public profile URL section on the right, click the Edit icon next to your URL.
- Type the last part of your new custom URL in the text box.
- Click Save.
The aim here is to capture your name in the URL. Keep it short. If the desired URL name is taken look for variations.
Important point to remember. To keep you profile public, so the content of it can be accessible to your online visitors, make sure to check the relevant sections of your content in the "Public Profile Settings."
Now you have a LinkedIn profile that communicates directly to your buyer, provides SEO benefits and illustrates the value of your business. Happy social selling.