I want to preface this article with one very important fact:
Find me 20 “LinkedIn specialists” and you will find 20 different opinions regarding what you should do on the platform to generate success.
Unlike other platforms, where the advice is generally the same across the board, LinkedIn specialists are a dime a dozen and each carries his or her own “secret sauce.”
I addressed this last summer, with the advice to choose a LinkedIn professional you genuinely like. So much of what we do on LinkedIn is based on our personalities and what we are comfortable doing. To follow the advice of someone who makes your skin crawl is counterproductive.
So, if you aren’t a fan of mine, you may want to exit stage left.
If you’re still here, please enjoy three frequently asked questions I receive regarding LinkedIn and my answers. You reserve the right to disagree with me at any time.
Q: Should I keep my posts to “business only” content?
A: When I am asked this question, I actually hear the following: “Should I keep my posts to marketing content to promote my business or the company I work for?”
There is nothing wrong with posting “business only” content. In fact, I have worked with many people I would suggest doing just that. Being personal on a public forum may not be their cup of tea, and that’s completely fine. My No. 1 rule is to not do anything in the name of social media that goes against who you are as a person.
Just make sure your content is engaging. In other words, it needs to spark a conversation. Posting marketing content to the LinkedIn feed will get you ignored almost every time.
Disclaimer: there are always exceptions.
Q: What do I post on LinkedIn?
A: My rules for coming up with what you post on LinkedIn:
- Identify who you are speaking to. One of the easiest ways to get lost in content creation is to forget who you’re speaking to. As the saying goes, “When you try to speak to everyone, you speak to no one.” If you have a clear picture of who you are speaking to in your mind, it makes it a lot easier to craft your posts.
- Identify your LinkedIn Persona. What the heck is a LinkedIn Persona, you ask? It’s what I call the cross-section of the genuine personality you are comfortable sharing on LinkedIn, your company’s values, and your audience’s preference. Typically, these all align in some way or you wouldn’t be successful at all in what you do. I tend to post humor, snark, and inspiration. These resonate with my audience and they reflect my genuine personality. And I own my company, so it certainly aligns with its values. 😉
When I work with clients, I identify which of the following categories they fit into (and it may be more than one) to help them develop their LinkedIn persona: they educate, they inspire, or they entertain.
Once I get to know them better, learn more about their target audience(s), and their industry, we put together a content plan to generate visibility and, ultimately, leads.
One thing to remember is this: posting on LinkedIn is as much about showing your character as it is the services you provide.
When human beings like and relate to someone, they innately want to help them. That may come in the form of referrals, actual business, or simply engaging with your content. Don’t think that every single thing you post has to include something about what you sell.
Some of my most successful posts (which DID generate in leads through their visibility, by the way) were about aging, getting a connection request from someone with a topless bathroom selfie as an avatar, my loathing of being added to email lists I didn’t consent to, and annoying figures of speech.
Q: How do I make money on LinkedIn?
A: The ultimate goal for many is to create a quality B2B sales funnel on LinkedIn. It isn’t only possible, it is something every person who works in B2B should be looking to do.
The key, however, is execution.
We’ve all received those connection requests we accept and then have “the pleasure” of receiving a follow-up message five minutes later with a sales page regurgitation of what the person wants to sell us. LinkedIn users are getting far better at sniffing out BS and far less tolerant for practices like this.
That being said, there are always exceptions. To learn more about those exceptions, check out my article, To Pitch or Not To Pitch … That is the Question.
The sales practice I use for my clients involves the following:
- Optimize your LinkedIn Profile
- Send connection requests to relevant individuals to round out your network.
- Create regular content to nurture those individuals to buy from you.
Disclaimer: those who engage your content are rarely the ones who buy from you. What you will find as you build out your LinkedIn strategy is that you have a clear bucket of “fans” that engage your content and boost your visibility. That visibility will catch the attention of “lurkers” who don’t engage AT ALL but end up reaching out after a certain amount of time to inquire about the services you provide.
Do YOU have a question?
There are other FAQs I am asked, but I’m keeping it to three this time! If you have any questions you’d like to ask, please leave them in the comments below!