With some 300 million users in 200 countries, LinkedIn is the go-to platform for growing your network and marketing your business. ShortPress spoke to Yvette Adams, founder and CEO of creative agency The Creative Collective and its sister business The Training Collective, an organisation that offers training on digital skilling topics (including LinkedIn), about how to do it well.
First things first
You wouldn’t go to a job interview or networking event without considering what first impression you gave; the same rules apply online. Adams offers these five tips for a professional-looking profile:
Get a good professional image: Crop it in, get the lighting right, look friendly but professional.
Outline your description carefully: This indexes in Google, so keywords are essential.
Use the summary: This is the first thing people read so give them a summary of what makes you special, why they should connect, and your preferred method of connection.
Use the features to bring your profile to life: For example, the ability to upload images and files, and embed videos generally gives your profile some colour.
Share a little bit about yourself personally: List interests and any charitable involvement. While Linkedin is all about business, it’s nice to know people on a personal level too.
You wouldn’t go to a job interview or networking event without considering what first impression you gave; the same rules apply online.
Notes on networking
Think quality over quantity when connecting on LinkedIn. Adams’ suggests “only letting people become your connections if you see an obvious or potential business synergy”. If you’re the one looking to connect she advises writing a personalised cover note and being specific about why you wish to connect.
Using LinkedIn to market your business
Creating a LinkedIn company page is a great way to promote your business. On an individual level, however, Adams says one of LinkedIn’s best features is the ability to communicate with quality connections directly.
“Unlike a dedicated e-marketing system where it’s up to you to segment your lists in order to conduct various campaigns, in LinkedIn, segmenting your list is quick and easy and can be achieved via one of a few main methods,” says Adams.
Think quality over quantity when connecting on LinkedIn.
Adams outlines how below:
To geo-target: Once logged into your LinkedIn Profile, click on ‘Connections’. From here, pull up your connections according to location for a geo-targeted campaign.
To target by industry: As above, except review your connections according to industry. The industry that it will pull in is based on what the person has specified on their profile.
To target by location and industry: To target a list of people in a set location and industry, Adams says, apply the above two points in combination.
Create your own lists using tags: Adams says a little known function on LinkedIn is tags: “You’ll find these if you go to ‘Connections’ and then expand the ‘Tags’ list. While you’ll have a list of default tags, you can also create your own customised list of tags. Tags are basically a way of creating your own categories on LinkedIn.”
Now get marketing, politely: “Once you’ve segmented you’re ready to send out messages on Linkedin,” says Adams. “All this being said, however, don’t abuse it. Send out a direct message via LinkedIn every few days with no value to the end user, and they’ll soon remove you as a connection or think poorly towards you. Don’t - don’t - do it!”
Lisa Cugnetto is a Sydney-based freelance writer, editor and content producer. While she writes across all manner of subjects, she enjoys business, arts, travel, lifestyle and popular culture best.