Of all the social media platforms people fear LinkedIn the most and there are lots of us out there who don't really understand the more 'serious’ of the social media platforms.
Once you get over the fear and dip your toe in, you’ll find LinkedIn an extremely useful tool. You can build strong business networks, gain informative insights from leaders in your industry and it’s a wonderful place to generate sales and collaborations organically.
As part of our Boost My Business tips for businesses Fiona Alston asked Studio 93’s Creative Director Darren Doyle for some tips to help remove our fears and get us connecting better on the business platform.
Doyle runs his creative agency from Moate, in Co Westmeath and is a familiar face on the LinkedIn platform.
Just get on LinkedIn – it doesn’t matter if you have completed your profile or don’t have content ready to go, just get on the platform, observe it for a couple of weeks and see what people post and what language they use.
Get your profile picture right - LinkedIn is all about business, the mindset of people on LinkedIn is different to the mindset of people who are on Instagram. Ideally a headshot of you looking business-like. Imagine you're going to a meeting with an important client, how would you dress? That's how you should come across in your profile picture on LinkedIn – not a picture of you taken on a night out or social occasion - make sure that picture is professional.
Fill out your profile - There’s a perception that LinkedIn is just a place for your online CV, that may have been the case in the past but things have moved on. Fill out the summary on yourself, add images, if they are relevant add videos. Check out what other people in your industry are adding to their profiles and if it looks good, follow suit. Also, don’t be afraid to ask people to endorse you, it’s common place now and if you have provided a great service, or added value to someone’s business, it’s the least they can do.
Share content relevant to the platform – if people are looking to be entertained, they’ll use Instagram, people go on LinkedIn content to be informed and educated. You can share content in many ways - images, short articles, short updates, videos, Power Point presentations and PDFs. LinkedIn has recently introduced live video too.
Three examples of quality content are:
- Short video snippets – stick to below two minutes for these and talk about a subject relevant to your industry, perhaps your opinion on a current issue businesses are facing.
- Share a decent article that you’ve read, and think would be of interest or helpful to your customers/connections. Don’t forget to give your opinion on why you think it’s good/relevant when you post.
- Write your own short article and publish it on LinkedIn – something relevant to your industry where you can show your personal knowledge and skills – stick to one article a week.
Comment on other people’s posts – interact with people’s content, give your two cents on the topic, or if you just think it’s a great piece, say so and thank the person for posting it. Commenting on posts will get you noticed by a wider audience.
Use hashtags – add relevant hash tags to your posts as people use hashtags to filter the content relevant to them. Three will suffice – always add them to the bottom of the post.
Don’t just hit connect – If you are sending a request to connect add a message. Why do you want to connect? If you met already at a networking event, recall that in your message. Let the person know why you are interested in their profile and why you think the connection is a good fit.
Don’t try to sell on LinkedIn - people buy from people, show your personality, explain what you do and that you have a great knowledge in your chosen field but don’t try to sell your wares on the platform, that should happen organically. People come for the business connections and then will hopefully invite you for the sales pitch.
Have a business page – use this page to explain what your business does and share any media coverage and mentions your business gets. The main bulk of your LinkedIn content should come from your personal profile.
And finally remember, it isn’t Facebook - if you’re about to share a weekend trip or photos of your kids then don’t, save them for Facebook and no doubt someone will comment and tell you just that!