LinkedIn is such a powerful networking platform and is underutilized by many. In reality, this platform packs a serious punch. We’re going to show you some great tools available on LinkedIn that can help generate quality leads for your business.
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Sarah: Good morning! We want to talk to you today about LinkedIn. LinkedIn has always been that networking platform that a lot of people just don’t get, and they really don’t understand all of its capabilities and it is really a huge lead generating platform and it packs a serious punch and there are so many features to it that can be such a helpful platform for your business. And we are going to show you some great tips to help you, so stay tuned.
Glyna: LinkedIn! Welcome to Marketing Mix everybody. Every week we will highlight different segments and talk about all kinds of digital marketing trends. We may cover some Q and A. We may bring up some reviews. It will all be in the name of Digital Marketing, which we love. So, let’s pull up those social media platforms and show everybody where they can find us.
Sarah: You got it, okay. Every single week, don’t forget we go live on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. And if you haven’t checked it out, you need to check out our podcast’s Marketing and a Mic and don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and Instagram because we are talking about LinkedIn today and if you have not subscribed, you do need to do yourself a favor and subscribe to our YouTube channel. It is fantastic. We are constantly putting out fresh new videos. Like Glyna said, oh, in the name of Digital Marketing to help your business because that is what we’re here for.
Sarah: Yes, okay. We’re talking today about LinkedIn. It is such an amazing platform and it’s constantly putting out new features and a lot of people just don’t understand all of its benefits and it’s really kind of underutilized. It’s got a lot of capabilities and it is, after all, a networking platform and really every social platform has its sort of foundation and LinkedIn is for networking and especially for businesses. We want to talk to you today about everything it’s got, but specifically kind of what we feel are 10 key ways, very simple ways that it can help you to generate some more leads for your business.
Glyna: Yeah, that’s exactly right. We haven’t really talked a lot about LinkedIn on our Marketing Mix, but it’s a very important platform that you really can’t ignore if you’re in business. If you’re a business person, a business owner, you definitely need to be putting yourself out there. This is going to be very high-level, especially if you’ve never even been on LinkedIn. These should be so helpful tips. So first of all, you have to connect. That seems like it’s very simple, but this is one of the most important and simplest ways to take advantage of LinkedIn. You really need to go out there and connect with each person that you meet and build your connections, I guess. Then secondly, quality over quantity. You probably hear that a lot about everything, but it’s not necessarily trying to get as many connections as you possibly can. You really have to make sure that it makes sense and to get good connections for your business. What’s your goal? Sarah and I always talk about what’s your goal? What’s your end game? Think about that first, before you get out there. You don’t need to be connecting with every single friend if it doesn’t make sense for your business. Think along the lines of business and then have a reason for wanting to connect with someone. It could be that they could be someone in your industry. It could be someone that could be a potential client. Again, think along the business lines, not necessarily a personal thing or Facebook. I think Sarah is more, let’s connect with friends. Let’s see what they’re doing. Let’s catch up with them, but business, that’s what we’re down to here on LinkedIn and be professional. You’re going to hear us say, be professional. LinkedIn is the perfect place to show your professionalism, make a first great impression. And one of the ways you can do that is to add a note when you connect. If you’re on someone’s profile and you hit connect, it gives you the opportunity to actually add a note, tell the person why you think it’s important for you to connect. And that way, you’re already starting that relationship even with step one. So, that first impression again is perfect. So take the time, be professional, and add a note when you’re doing all of these things.
Sarah: Very, very true. Number two is to join relevant groups. It’s so true. It’s like “find your tribe” because that’s the key with LinkedIn is it’s got so many different communities and groups. Find those groups that are similar to your industry, your interests, what you’re looking for, your product or services, whatever it is, whatever those commonalities are, go ahead and search them because that’s going to be building on your network. It is a network, but there’s that social aspect to it and that’s kind of how you can build on it. These are the people that you can connect with and build with and it’s a chance to kind of communicate with those like-minded folks and those are the ones that will help kind of generate the leads. It’s no better way to kind of nurture that path of networking than a kind of an organic way, by communicating and building in that little community of people. That is something that is so huge with LinkedIn, is it has all these built-in communities and you know what? Start your own community! If you don’t find the group that you’re looking for, start your own. It’s your best way to kind of allocate your own little group and grow it and if you feel like you’re a leader in this area or this field or whatever industry you’re in, be a pioneer and start it. It’s a natural way to build and generate leads.
Glyna: Yeah. That’s a great thing. I’ll tell you what too, LinkedIn is very helpful along the way. If you put your notifications, make sure you’re getting the notifications from LinkedIn. Almost every week, they will send me a notification saying, “Hey, this conversation is going on over here in this group. You are a professional, you are an expert. You might want to go over there and comment.” So, they’re even helping you say, “Hey, there’s a group over here.” That’s really cool and I love what you said, be a pioneer of everybody needs to be a pioneer or something.
Sarah: Right, yeah.
Glyna: Start your own group, be your own expert! All right. This is a very important thing. We’re going to talk about recommendations. LinkedIn is a really cool platform for having people give you, it’s kind of like a review. It’s kind of like your business or professional review about you in whatever you’ve done for your customers. So, recommendations are everything. Don’t be afraid to ask people if you’ve done a nice job, it’s just like asking for a Google review. “Would you mind giving me a recommendation on LinkedIn?” Because I know Sarah and I have talked about this. A lot of times, people, when they’re buying a product or service, what are they looking at? Reviews. They’re going to look at what other people are saying about that product or service. You are no different. You are really your product and service, your business. So, recommendations are huge. You connect, get out there and say how great you are all day long, but if other people are doing it for you, then that makes it 10 times better. Then this is very important. It’s kind of an unwritten rule, or at least it has been as long as I’ve been on LinkedIn, if someone leaves me a recommendation. if there is any way possible that I can pay it forward and leave them one as well, that’s setting you up for good karma, I think. Good karma. But again, it’s showing how professional you are and how much you appreciate that other person. So kind of give and take.
Sarah: Yes, Givers Gain, as they say.
Glyna: There you go.
Sarah: In BNI, right?
Sarah: Yes. Okay, so let’s move on to fourth on our list, which is publish articles on your page. So think about it this way, if you aren’t a blogger, this is sort of your way to kind of blog. And what do we mean by that? Really, this is something that far too few people are using because this is your way of being a resource. We talk about SEO, up and down, left and right, back and forward. And again, a lot of these social platforms are turning more and more into search engines because people are searching on them and they’re not straight up search engines, but they’ll be cut having these search capabilities. So, it is really good to post articles for a couple of reasons. One it’s building trust and authority and looking at you as an expert in your industry, it’s getting your name out there. You should be publishing these articles. In addition, like I said, it’s like a little mini-blogging. It’s your way of a little mini blogging and it’s a way to kind of add content that’s appealing because a lot of people who are on LinkedIn, they’re looking for content that’s related to their business, business-related, what better than to post industry-specific articles? And don’t forget that just like with blogging, SEO matters. So include important keywords, headings, images, relevant with texts, high-quality links, all that stuff that points them to your site, your industry, all that kind of stuff. It’s so important. Everything needs to lead back to you. And I know that sounds very cool about me, but you got to be smart about it. You really do. So, you really want to improve that user experience, look like you’re the expert look like a trusted resource, and again, it’s a way to kind of naturally cultivate that user experience and build trust with the end-user.
Glyna: Yeah, and a lot of people don’t even know that’s available on LinkedIn. I think it’s been around as long as LinkedIn has, that you can actually post right there on LinkedIn. You can create an article directly on your page and publish it right there. And LinkedIn gives you kudos or kind of more points and I think they tend to show that stuff. I know it gives you maybe a… What am I trying to say? It gets you ahead of the game a little bit if you are publishing directly on LinkedIn because they’re like, “Okay, this person’s a lot more involved. So, we are going to reward them.” So that’s very important, very important tips and again, a way to become the expert. All right, this is a biggie. Doesn’t matter if you’re on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, it doesn’t matter. You need to be consistent. This is one of the most important things on social media period is to post consistently. You have to commit, do it. Silence is not golden on LinkedIn. If you don’t post for a while, your stuff’s going to get lost. That LinkedIn feed goes pretty quickly and there’s so many people out there that you’re going to be buried if you don’t post consistently enough. And you know what? Don’t stress about content. People are like, “Once a day?” That’s what we say, post once a day. You don’t necessarily have to create all of that content, original content yourself, help share the love and share other people’s posts. You may even see something in an article or someone’s post on another platform that you think would be great on LinkedIn and bring it over to LinkedIn. You can use other people’s blog posts, articles, all that kind of stuff. So don’t stress about it. You want to be an expert and do your own original content, but don’t stress about it. Like everything, visuals are huge. If at all possible, you need to use images, pictures, something that catches their eye or a video if possible and don’t forget to make the post pretty. LinkedIn is all business and when people say that, they think, “Oh gosh, that’s a little sludgy or a little starchy,” but people still, you need to draw their attention in. Even if it’s all text and I’ll tell you on LinkedIn, you’re going to find business people that will look at posts that are all texts versus Facebook or someplace else that they would ignore it. So even if you have a lot of texts, space it out, just make it look pretty and make sure that you have some images with if it’s all possible. Another thing as I mentioned previously, LinkedIn helps you. They give you tips and ideas and reminders. Again, every week I’m getting some kind of notification saying, “Hey, 25 people have looked at your posts. Why don’t you go on and start a conversation? Comment on your own post?”
Sarah: Yeah, they nudge it. You they’re like, “Hey, pay attention to this.”
Glyna: I know it’s the coolest thing, whereas on Facebook, I think people are like, “Did you just like your own posts?” Don’t you see people say that before?
Glyna: “Why are you liking? You really think you’re great, don’t you?” LinkedIn’s a little different and they’ll even encourage you to do that. So get it started, a conversation and make things easy on yourself. Obviously in a perfect world, we’d all like to go on there and do our posts by hand on each platform. But you can use a scheduler and there are a lot of schedulers out there to do posts ahead of time to make sure that you’re consistently posting. Our team uses eClincher, which we like a lot. It has a lot of bells and whistles to it though, if you’re not into really having to learn a another platform, that might not be the best, but there’s Hootsuite. There’s some other ones. I can’t even think of the names now, but you could Google scheduling tools for social media. So do that, that way, you’d be able to stay visible and relevant and make sure you’re getting your content out there.
Sarah: Yeah, they’re very helpful and help you stay on track. That’s for sure. Number six, okay. Fill out your profile.
Glyna: For the love of God. I’m just saying, this bugs me!
Sarah: Oh, I know. I was trying to just not pull my hair, but fill out your profile completely. You may think, “Oh, I’ll just put the basic information in there, what a pain or I’ll get to it later. Let me tell you something. If you think it just takes too much time, or it’s not that important, do not do that. Just put in the time and do it. The details matter. If you want to be collecting leads, you need to fill it out as much as possible. Do not leave any stone unturned. It is so important when you fill out your entire page, you have a much better opportunity to optimize it. You have a much better opportunity for so many people to find it and you have such a better opportunity to take your profile to the next level for more eyes to get on it. It is so important. It just looks sloppy, too. If you don’t take the time to fill it out, it just looks sloppy. It just looks like you don’t care. Like I said, LinkedIn is a professional networking site. So, take the time to make yourself look professional, fill it out completely. It’s okay to brag on yourself, put out your volunteer work, put up your accomplishments, put up whatever you’ve done, it’s okay. Put it out there. It’s really important and people want to see it. So, just take the time to fill it out in its entirety. Can’t stress that enough. We do a lot of this stuff for our clients too, because we’re just like, “we got to get this done.”
Glyna: Yeah, there’s a lot of pet peeves. That’s one of our biggies. It’s like, if we’re going to be doing all this posting for you, or you’re going to be doing all this posting, you’re going to have a lot of eyes. Again, that first impression you guys, I’m like, “Gosh, I don’t know how much we can drive that into the ground.” But first impressions are huge especially on a professional. This is a professional platform.
Glyna: People might think this, they look at your profile and if it’s not filled out and you do things half-assed, they may think, “Gosh, is that how they do business?”
Glyna: I can beat that dead horse all day long. All right, let’s move on. Keywords, all right. With LinkedIn, it’s not known as a search engine, but it acts like a search engine. People are looking and searching for businesses, people, industries, all of that. They can search within LinkedIn. So, it’s very important to make sure that you have the keywords that apply to your business in your LinkedIn profile. Make sure you optimize your page. I call it blinging-out your page. You want to bling-out your page, part of what Sarah said is to make sure it’s filled out, but make sure even in the top of your profile, that you have your keywords about what you do. Then when you go down to talk about what you do for your business, that’s a little bit longer, make sure you have your keywords in there. You really want to put them in every situation that they let you on LinkedIn and there’s a lot of different sections that allow you to do that. Now, you don’t want to overstuff. You want to make it natural as always, but again, I’ve had people say after they looked at my LinkedIn profile, “I didn’t know you guys did this, or I didn’t know you did that” because I have almost everything that we do and put yourself in the people, your leads’ shoes. In other words, the people that are looking for, like in our instance, they need a website built. If they put the keyword website in and we don’t come up, then we’re going to miss out on that. So, they want to be able to make it easy to find someone when they’re searching for certain keywords. I didn’t know, a lot of people don’t know that you can do that, but definitely put them in every spot that they allow you or every section that they give you.
Sarah: Yes, that’s so true and that’s what I was trying to stress earlier, is that it’s not a search engine, but in a lot of ways it works like a search engine of how you can pull up what you’re looking for. Okay. Number eight, make sure your posts are public. What do we mean by that? Just like how you can start your own private groups or have your own little private communities, you could even start videos that are private or exclusive, which is great. But your post should be public, so when you post a new update, you have some control over who sees it. For example, you can choose to show it to anyone meaning it’s public, or you can limit it to your connection. You really want make sure that you have everybody seeing it, sharing it out to the masses because if you want to build and you want to generate some more leads, you want to get some more eyes on your stuff. So, just be sure, because again, LinkedIn gives you this feature of private versus public. You want to make sure that you have all your posts set up correctly so that it’s not just going to limited connections. You want to make sure that you’re broadcasting it out so that you can build on the leads and the people that you want to see it. So simple tip and a lot of people don’t know that that’s something that you need to do.
Glyna: No, you’re exactly right. It’s that way on every platform. If you’re in business especially, you should always have it on “public”. We did have some people joining us this morning. We want to say good morning to Steve Johnson of Greystone Publishing. We appreciate you, Steve. We have Kelsi Nicholson, who’s one of ours at Fusion One Marketing, and Mary Beasley with Let’s Be Frank Designs. I want to say hi to all of you early risers! Thanks for joining us this morning. All right, next thing we are going to talk about, and this is a huge pet peeve of mine, your profile picture, and your banner. All right, I have reached the point if they don’t even have a picture on their profile, I just delete. I’m not even going to accept because I don’t even take time to mess around with that. I’m on there to be professional and to make professional connections. Or if you have a picture of your dog or cat and your profile picture, it’s okay if they’re with you and Mary Beasley’s on here with…Now Frank is part of her business. If Mary was down there with Frank, her dog. I would love that, and Frank can be on there, but just random pictures of stupid stuff on your profile picture, please, please, please, please, please. All right, I’ll get off that, but make sure that you are professional or you look professional, I always say to match your industry. We are website people, we do internet marketing, digital marketing and we all work virtually, but we still need to look a little bit professional because we never know who we’re going to be dealing with. So, it’s very important. If you have a landscape lawn care business and you have your shirts on that have your logos and all that, that would be appropriate. So again, look professional according to your industry and what those industry standards are. Now, you might not want to use your logo shirt that has holes in it and it’s 10 years old. I’m reading my comments. And we all love a good selfie now and then, but you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg really to get this done. One of my favorite ones and Rob was laughing, is that somebody that had applied for a job with us, we went on LinkedIn to look at how professional they were and they had their picture of them in a bar and all the beer bottles and the beer signs behind them and all that. We just thought that was funny.
Sarah: I think there was one that I saw too, where it was a woman and she had her leg propped up.I think that we were…
Glyna: It’s like, what profession, first of all? I’m afraid to let go of the profession we’re dealing with here. Oh gosh, come on people. You can do it yourself, Sarah. You don’t have to hire a photographer, even though it’s very important sometimes to go ahead and have a photoshoot and have those really professional pictures. These days, we all have a phone. You can set a timer to take a picture of yourself, dress up a little bit, get in natural lighting. Don’t look like you’re hiding in a closet somewhere and snap a picture of yourself. Take a look at your background, make sure it’s not all messed up. So, all these things seem like common sense, but apparently, common sense has left the building because we see all kinds of stuff out there. All right, your banner and your background image, wow, this is a place that you can really take advantage of that space. You can use it for all kinds of stuff and be really creative. We have our slogan on there, but we also change ours up quite a bit. So you can use that area as kind of your billboard to advertise, or if you even have some cool reviews or testimonials, put them up there. Put your products and services in that banner. Show a picture like Mary does. She does custom design work for people that want her to come into their homes and make it look pretty. So if she had a real pretty picture to show, that would be a perfect place to put it. So, you can customize all of these things depending on what your business is. So I’ll get off my soapbox on that, but just take a little time, that’s why we’re saying. Take a little time, make sure you’re making that good first impression.
Sarah: That’s so true. Make it look nice, professional. Okay. Number 10, and this is something that LinkedIn has done fairly recently, which is the use of hashtags. They work. This wasn’t always there, but they have upped their game.
Glyna: Got into the hashtag game.
Sarah: Yes, hashtags. This is they’ve made hashtags kind of searchable, meaning in the past, hashtags were not even a big deal on LinkedIn. They weren’t even used. Now, you can actually search by hashtags and you can even follow by hashtags and what’s even cool is when you’re setting up your profile, LinkedIn, your business profile, they’ll even ask you, “Tell us some keywords or key tags about your business” And they’ll actually give you suggestions of relevant hashtags to use. So, we’re using Mary a lot here in this example, but they could say for her, #interiordesign is a very popular, relevant hashtag and they’ll suggest that for her to use in LinkedIn, that will help her show up a lot more and because it’s a highly searchable hashtag. So that is what you want. You want to use hashtags that people are searching so that you are found. As with keywords, don’t go crazy. Don’t use as many as you can. It’s not like Instagram. Instagram is the one where you can use like 11 to 30 but you really want to do well-placed hashtags. They go a long way. So like one to three is perfect, so use them and use them wisely. They’re great.
Glyna: Yep, we have a bonus.
Sarah: Yes, we have a quick, quick bonus and this is just a little tidbit. Double-check your profile on mobile and what we mean by that is that even with your banner and even with your profile and all this kind of stuff, when you create it, you want to just make sure that everything looks the same across the board. So, LinkedIn has its own app, you want to make sure that everything, as it looks on desktop, looks the same on all your devices. So just, you don’t want to take the chance that you set it up and it looks wonderful on your desktop, but then on your mobile, it doesn’t. A lot of times it does adjust accordingly, but you just want to hold up your phone, take a look at it and make sure on mobile it looks good, okay? Just a quick little thing. It’s no different than any other platform. Just like everything, if you want to be optimized across the board, so that’s it.
Glyna: That’s exactly right and want to say… Oh, there’s Pari. Pari is joining us this morning from the Shelby County Chamber and we also have Cindy Edmunds this morning with ARC Realty. Hello, everybody. So hopefully all of these things are just some good overall tips. As I said, this is kind of just a real, we were kind of going high-profile on talking about basics for LinkedIn. I think we’re going to dive in a little bit more on some future episodes of Marketing Mix. As always, if you need help with any of these things, we would love to help you. If you want us to take a look at your LinkedIn page and make suggestions, we would love to do that for you, or we can set it up for you. So make sure that you contact us, we have free consultations and we’d love to brainstorm!
Sarah: We sure do. Well, we are off this Friday for the holiday Thanksgiving, so yes, we hope everybody out there has a safe holiday and enjoy your time with your family or wherever you shall be because it’s an interesting time this year, but regardless, we will be back next week and we hope you all enjoy the holiday. Thanks for joining us.