LinkedIn is a great tool for professionals who are looking to grow their connections and recruit new business. But achieving such goals isn’t just a matter of creating a profile. Knowing what kind of content and information to share is key to attracting the right kind of attention.
On the most recent episode of the “Commercial Real Estate Show,” guest Stephen Jones, president of Growth Strategies, and I discussed exactly what it takes for users to be successful on LinkedIn.
Guidelines for Sharing Content
Sharing content on LinkedIn helps drive business because your audience will start to view you as an expert and an educator, Jones said. Information can be shared on LinkedIn in a variety of ways, including videos, blogs, white papers, newsletters and more.
“To be an educator, not all of your education pieces have to come from you,” Jones added. “As long as you give credit and have permission, you can post content from other people.” For example, this blog and the show videos on the show website are examples of good content. (Pats himself on back.)
The most important thing to take into consideration is who your audience is and what they need and want to know, Jones said. “If you sell vitamins and supplements, what kind of information do your prospects want? If you don’t know, ask. Start with your current clients and find out what got their attention and why they hired you.”
Make sure that you are creating and sharing content that’s not just about your product, but about the market your product is in, Jones said. Sharing content three to four times a month is ideal, Jones added. Good discussions are likely to live on for an extended period of time. For example, Jones said he’s seen posts live on the front page for a year because people continued to comment and like the posts.
Joining groups is a great way to reach your target audience, Jones said. LinkedIn allows each user to be a part of up to 50 groups. In order to figure out which groups to join, ask yourself who are your best buyers. You want to be in groups that reach potential prospects, especially if you are in sales.
Each group has its own guidelines, and it’s important to know what those are before posting in the group or you might alienate group members, Jones said. “Try to have a ratio of posting your own content, posting other people’s content and asking questions to generate discussions.”
It’s also important to be active liking and commenting on other people’s content. “If you are always posting and not commenting, you’re just a bulletin board,” Jones said. “Be engaging! Like other people’s posts and invite them to connect with you.”
If you can’t find a group that fits your target audience, create one. However, be sure that you have the time to manage the group, Jones said. One of the biggest mistakes people make is starting a group and then just letting it sit.
Building an Optimized Profile
It’s important to have a good profile so people want to connect with you, Jones said. One of the new things you can do is add links, including videos, PDFs, power points and more.
Make sure your headline fits what you do, Jones said. “That’s one of the biggest areas we change first. If you are in sales, make sure it’s more descriptive. Think about what your target is searching for.”
Building out your recommendations and endorsements will show people that you are good at what you do. “Be sure you list the skills you want people to endorse you for,” Jones added. “For recommendations, you want people to write about what you are good at. Try to get at least 10 people to write them.”
And since a picture is worth, well, many words — make sure you have a suitable professional photo.
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