LinkedIn, a professional networking site with over 600 million active users, is a social media platform that I never thought I would endorse.
But here we are.
In 2020, LinkedIn closely resembles Facebook in 2012 before it became oversaturated with ads, social selling, and political clickbate.
Because, let's face it, marketers ruin everything.
LinkedIn's organic reach right now is unreal -- so I advise taking advantage of this opportunity by leveraging the platform.
But first, you need to leverage your profile.
Your LinkedIn Profile should serve as a resource, not a résumé
Many make the mistake of using their LinkedIn profile as just a virtual resume that they log into when they are job searching. And while showcasing your skills and experiences is important, there is also an opportunity to build a personal brand.
Start by editing your header image to reflect your industry/niche. Your header is one of the first elements people see when they view your profile. Canva is a good, free service for non-designers to play with graphics.
Your about section, located underneath your header, should read like a sales page
I would also edit your Headline, or the blurb underneath your name, to reflect what kind of services you provide. For example, I wrote what I do (Creative Marketer), and the type of content people can expect from me (Women Empowerment, Marketing, Mindset, & Creativity).
Another good rule of thumb is that your profile picture should match those of your other active social media accounts. Doing so allows you to build brand recognition across platforms.
Your "About Section" is prime real estate - meaning, it's the perfect area to tell your LinkedIn connections and any onlookers what you do, how you do it, and why. Don't forget to include a CTA at the end with methods on how they can get in touch with you.
How to position yourself as a thought leader
You may be wondering, 'what is thought leadership?'
Thought leadership is positioning yourself as an expert in a subject matter that is connected to the challenges your customers face. In fact, businesses are expected to share their insights and ideas across channels to establish expertise. Doing so also reinforces your market value.
It isn't pushing your product or service in every post.
Another way to think about what topics you can post about it to go back to your brand pillars. Remember how I mentioned plugging the type of content people can expect from you in the “Headline” of your profile? This is where you be true to your word and curate content around those pillars.
The true value of thought leadership is in building trust with your audience. But more importantly, showing up consistently and authentically, on any platform, gives your audience permission to do the same.
As Bréné Brown says, "Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves to be seen."
The point of LinkedIn, like any other social media platform, is to drive engagement.
LinkedIn is owned by Microsoft, so right now, native videos and PowerPoints are performing well. (Check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s page to see how he’s leveraging PowerPoint in posts). As always, inviting people to comment on your post, whether that’s by posing a question or telling people to tag a friend, is a good method to gain momentum.
People think LinkedIn is a boring platform filled with stuffy people when that couldn’t be more incorrect. It’s a viable platform to build brand recognition for your business. Optimize your profile, make posts, interact with others, and you’ll be amazed by not only the traction you’ll gain, but the leads you'll generate.