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Secrets to LinkedIn Success: How to Grow Your Influence On the World's Biggest Networking Platform

August 28, 2019

 

In the last month, we've hard three requests for private LinkedIn coaching sessions. We're always happy to share the wealth, but it also seemed like the perfect topic for a blog post. 

 

One professional wanted an overview of LinkedIn's features. Another wanted to understand how to use LinkedIn to stand out to recruiters. And one business leader wanted to know to find top talent. 

 

We've consolidated much of our guidance on each of these topics below. 

 

 

Why You Should Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn has evolved from its humble origins to become a premier B2B social platform. People all over the world use LinkedIn to make invaluable business relationships, connect with prospects, build loyal followings, and recruit top talent. 

 

Fast facts about LinkedIn:

 

  • 500 million members 

  • 260 million monthly users 

  • 104 million daily users

  • 61 million senior-level influencers

  • 40 million users in decision-making positions

  • Generates 50% of all social traffic to B2B websites and blogs

  • Only 3 million users share content each week 

  • Only 1 million users have published an article on LinkedIn 

 

From a leadership position, LinkedIn holds plenty of low-hanging fruit. Two of the most important:

 

  • The high number of engaged users makes it easy to find and contact talent.

  • The low competition in sharing and creating content offers an easy way to stand out. 

 

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a way to grow your business and elevate your professional status, LinkedIn is an easy avenue to take.

 


Complete Your Profile

We see plenty of half-completed profiles on our trips through LinkedIn. Here are some of the biggest faux pas we see: 

 

1. Include a profile picture. It seems obvious, right? But it's a step many users skip. Plus, multiple studies have shown profiles with pictures get more engagement.

 

2. Make your About section match your own character. This is your opportunity to tell a little bit about yourself. Make your About a reflection of yourself. 

 

3. Flesh out your responsibilities for each job title. Many skimp on including responsibilities within this section, but it’s one of the few  opportunities to demonstrate your proficiency in multiple skills. 

 

4. List your licenses & certifications. It’s easy to leave things off. Take a minute to review your profile and check that you’re not forgetting anything. 

 

 

Engagement

 

1. Get to 501 connections. This is the cutoff point for LinkedIn. In other words, it won’t show people an exact number of followers over 500. This is a subtle way of making yourself look like a well-connected professional. 

 

2. Post at least two or three times a week. But take note: LinkedIn rewards profiles that post multiple times a day. So if you post in the morning and the afternoon of the same day, there's a better chance you'll start to see your posts earn more impressions. 

 

In general, the content you put out should lean toward the helpful and informative. Only about 20% should be promotional. That said, types of content you can post: 

 

  • Industry news

  • Personal anecdotes framed as professional teaching moments

  • Promotion for your LinkedIn articles (more on these below)

  • Examples of past work

  • Videos about your industry 

 

PRO TIP: If you're posting a video, post it natively. In other words, don't post with a YouTube or Vimeo link. Instead, upload the video file directly to LinkedIn. LinkedIn will reward you with greater reach.

 

PRO TIP: It may help to use a free scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer to help publish to LinkedIn. Buffer is generally a cleaner interface to work with, but HootSuite has better “listening” tools.

 

3. Engage with other people’s posts. Spend at least 15 minutes a week going through your feed and commenting on/sharing other people’s posts. 

 

4. Give out more recommendations (and ask for them in return). Recommendations boost your authority within your industry. By giving out glowing recommendations, people are inclined to do the same for you. 

 

5. Get (and give) endorsements. Go through your connections’ profiles and endorse them for skills they have. Again, you’re aiming for reciprocity. You could also pick one or two skills you’ve listed and ask people who have seen you use those skills in the past for an endorsement.

 

6. Consider joining more LinkedIn groups. If you do, participate on a regular basis (at least 15 minutes a week). You want to post, comment, and share ideas with other people in the group. Make a name for yourself.


 

Create and Share Content

Start writing LinkedIn articles. Only 0.2% of LinkedIn users write articles. Writing your own original articles:

 

  • Helps you stand out among your peers

  • Shows you’re a thought leader

  • Demonstrates that you’re a subject matter expert

 

You can post as much as you want, but aim to publish at least once a month. 

 

You can use these articles to showcase your business and your own professional abilities. Possible topics include:

 

  • Emerging trends within your industry

  • Common problems seen in your industry (and ways to fix them)

  • Lesson you’ve learned about the industry

 

LinkedIn articles can also be an effective way to attract talent. For example, you can cover:

 

  • Awards your company has recently won

  • Your company’s recent philanthropic effort

  • A unique benefit/perk your business offers

 

All content you publish should be shared as a post in the LinkedIn feed so your connections can see it. 

 

PRO TIP: Aim for your posts to be at least 500 words. You can’t really get too long, but you are probably wasting your time if you devote more than 2,000 words to a single post. 


 

Sourcing Talent

LinkedIn makes it easy to find talented people in your industry and region. You can find and sort talent based on topics like:

 

  • Title

  • Connections

  • Locations

  • Companies

 

PRO TIP: If you’d like to get more information on an individual beyond what you find in their LinkedIn profile, try using a tool like LeadIQ. LeadIQ will scrape their work email and phone number so you can pick and choose your contact method. 

 

PRO TIP: Tools like LinkedIn Recruiter (more on that in a moment) gives you more tools to source great talent through LinkedIn. 


 

LinkedIn Premium

LinkedIn Premium comes at four different tiers:

 

  • Premium Career: $29.99/month

  • Premium Business: $59.99/month

  • Sales Navigator Pro: $79.99/month

  • Recruiter Lite: $119.95/month (a simplified version of LinkedIn Recruiter, a separate tool for finding talent)

 

In general, LinkedIn Premium removes many of the limitations inherent in the unpaid version. For example, big benefits include:

 

  • More search flexibility

  • More InMail opportunities

  • More details on who has viewed your profile

  • Gold badge helps your profile stand out

  • Access to LinkedIn Learning’s courses

 

Bottom line: LinkedIn Premium isn't a necessity, but it's useful if you want to rapidly reach specific goals on the platform. 

 

If you need more help, contact us!

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P.S. Marketing Solutions LLC dba Poetica Marketing  |  patrick@poeticamarketing.com  |  412-522-0647 | 519 Louann St, Pittsburgh, PA 15223