Start here to begin designing a strategy to grow your brand on LinkedIn, whether that’s as a business or as a professional.
LinkedIn is regarded as the most effective business social network. It’s the professional area for more than 774 million members in more than 200 countries around the world.
It also has a huge potential to help grow your brand because it provides direct access to potential customers, competitors, investors and potential new hires.
Key benefits of growing a brand on LinkedIn:
Grow awareness of your product or services
Develop authority in areas of expertise
Find new partners, mentors and suppliers
LinkedIn is a professional social space that enables people easy access to your career history, to read your biography and to see what your business is about, explained Leanne Berry, community relationship manager for Partners at MYOB and owner of bookkeeping firm Love Your Numbers.
Being active on LinkedIn has brought her many professional opportunities over the years, including being offered the chance to be part of a podcast, to be invited to be a Microsoft ambassador and to be recognised as a credible source in articles such as this one.
A LinkedIn profile for a business can help a potential client quickly identify what their business does and what they stand for, she said.
While growing your network is important, Berry reminds small businesses to make sure that they think about quality over quantity when it comes to connections, carefully curating who you accept into your network.
“LinkedIn is so much more than a jobs network, which has become increasingly valuable over the years as it’s been improved and tweaked,” Berry said.
“It’s about creating conversations and then investing your time in those conversations to carry them along.”
For example, there’s a LinkedIn badge, which is a graphic representation of your LinkedIn profile. You can create it from your LinkedIn account and then paste a special code into your website or blog so that visitors can click on it to visit your LinkedIn profile.
So whether you’re a bookkeeper, a barrister — and even a barista — there’s real value to be seen in managing to grow a brand on LinkedIn. Read on to find out how to get started.
Complete your LinkedIn profile first
Your company profile gives LinkedIn users an overview of what you stand for, and what you offer.
Be sure to complete 100 percent of your profile, make sure your logo is visible and be sure to include any industry awards in the profile. Use the description to sell yourself, and make sure you include a link to your company website.
This means your profile will be found in online searches, and gives you social credibility.
Also keep your personal profile up to date by adding new skills, training, achievements and examples of your latest projects and work. You should also update your profile when you make a career move. Some suggest you think of it as a living resume.
Grow your brand by growing your network
As explained in this LinkedIn post, the platform enables you to either invite people to follow you, similar to other social media platforms, which allows them to be a part of your network without you having to approve the request.
The other option is a connection, similar to the way Facebook friendships work. The connection is completed when the recipient approves the request.
Designing a content strategy for LinkedIn
Once you’ve begun to develop your network, you should consider ways to engage and interact with them in LinkedIn, and this means developing a content strategy.
In some cases, it may mean including LinkedIn as a platform or channel in an existing content strategy, if you already have one in motion.
You don’t have to be a marketing specialist to create and execute a content strategy (although having career experience makes it easier) — something very simple with low labour input is likely to be more effective than a very complex, expensive campaign if the strategy is sound.
Before you begin developing your own strategy, be sure to consider the following insights:
1. Make the commitment
Building your brand on LinkedIn takes ongoing engagement. It’s about making the commitment for the long haul to keep at it to stay relevant and top of mind with your audience.
LinkedIn suggests setting engagement targets, setting an engagement goal and then track your progress over time using the Analytics page.
There is a Premium Business service for $60/month that allows you to see potential connections who have clicked on your profile, provides you with unlimited people searches and you can send a limited number of InMail messages each month to.
However, Berry isn’t convinced it’s necessary to have this service.
“I’ve tried it, and I don’t think it gives you much extra, to be honest.
“As long as you’re committed to posting, the free version will give you everything you need to grow your network,” she said.
If you don’t have the time to commit to building your LinkedIn page, you might want to consider hiring a freelancer to get the ball rolling for you, and to populate your page.
2. Post content that offers real value at the right time
You’re going to want to provide value by posting regularly, whether that’s updates or articles to your brand page. Either way, mix up your content and make sure it’s on brand, remembering your audience’s needs.
Start by mapping out a content strategy that provides value to your audience and that considers their own schedule. LinkedIn suggests a post a day, with the highest engagement in the morning, and a slight bump against after business hours. Be sure to cater to your audience’s pain points and business needs.
LinkedIn recommends experimenting to see what works best for your company. Every audience will be different, including the times they consume content.
Rather than text-only updates, try embedding media such as photos and videos to make your posts stand out, and make sure to add captions, LinkedIn also recommends.
3. Drive activity by promoting interaction
You don’t need a huge amount of engagement to be successful, you are going to want to be actively engaging with your audience on LinkedIn, responding to comments, making comments and creating a two-way conversation in this space.
A case study provided by LinkedIn on Lenovo revealed that the technology company used sponsored content to engage its audience across brand, thought leadership, products and external trends, which has lifted brand engagement on the platform.
LinkedIn also recommends making the most of the opportunity by including a call to action, regardless of whether you’re trying to drive downloads, leads or revenue.
Brand building 101: Put your audience’s interests first
Kaleb uses LinkedIn to post content of interest to his connections, and also to seek valuable information from their posts, which he can use in his accounting practice.
Many of his connections are leading Australian accountants and tax specialists who regularly like, share and comment on his posts.
“It’s also a good way to gain credibility among your peers.
“Around 95 percent of my connections are practising accountants and tax specialists in Australia, ranging from employees and partners in small accounting forms through to partners/directors in second-tier and the Big 4 firms,” he said.
Don’t use the platform as a selling tool, but rather, post regular content that connections will benefit from, and hopefully share with their connections.
“It’s very important not to simply chase connections with everyone, particularly as there’s a set limit on the number of invites you can send each week. Instead, focus on your target audience – quality over quantity is the key.”
Also, don’t expect overnight success in terms of gaining lots of connections, Kaleb said.
“It takes many months of posting and time and effort to get noticed on the platform, and to gain quality connections.
“You need to be patient, and the rewards will come.”
Source: MYOB September 2021
Reproduced with the permission of MYOB. This article by Nina Hendy was originally published at https://www.myob.com/au/blog/how-to-grow-your-brand-on-linkedin/
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