We’ve all been hearing the rah-rah about how LinkedIn has become such an amazing platform to build your brand. But many of you are wondering what are the first few steps to actually getting to that “amazingness“. So here we go, I’m going to talk about really real-world strategies that you can use every day to help utilize LinkedIn for networking, Business Development, job opportunities.
The problem with a lot of LinkedIn strategies out is that they’re super comprehensive and they’re overwhelming. When we talk to clients at Good Monster or talk to friends or colleagues, a lot of times they’re like, “I don’t really know what to do or where to start on LinkedIn because there are so many opportunities. Also one of the biggest things I get is “I don’t want to brag about myself…I feel weird putting stuff out there and bragging about myself because I don’t want people thinking “Oh, I’m full of myself.”
That’s a very valid point and that’s something that if you’re on LinkedIn, you can see that there are people that maybe just go a little bit too far in doing that. So there’s a fine line, but I’m going to give you some strategies that keep you from feeling like you’re going to brag about yourself, but it will still help brand yourself as an individual or as a company and it’s very reputable. It’s something you can do in less than an hour per day, really even every other day if you really are strapped for time.
4 Steps to LinkedIn Engagement
It’s funny. That sounds sort of like an infomercial but in four easy steps, you can do it in less than an hour and is super manageable. And if you can dedicate yourself to doing it starting today, and every single day, or at least every workday, you’ll be rockin’ in no time. But every single day dedicates a half-hour to an hour to doing this and I guarantee you, you will get some results in building your network in just a month’s time period guaranteed.
Now a little disclaimer for salespeople and Business Development people out there. I know you are chomping to use LinkedIn to generate sales, but you have to understand if you go into LinkedIn and try to sell sell sell you will be rejected. People will sniff you out and they will not respond…they just won’t.
It’s the same as if you go into a room or a go into a networking event, and go up to every single person in that event and you say “hey, will you buy my product? Hey, can I do a proposal for you? Hey, we got this great service. Check it out. Here’s a pitch deck.” If you do that in an event people are going to be like, “Get away from me.” Right?
So it’s the same with LinkedIn. They’ve done a really good job at making it an engaging platform and if you go in there and try to sell you’re going to get shut down. So with that being said here are the four steps. No matter who you are, if you’re an entrepreneur or a business owner or just a business executive or if you’re an employee. You’re looking for job opportunities. You’re looking to just spread your network. It’s good. No matter what your goals are.
Step 1: Make your profile look and read like you’re a friendly human-being
The first step is to make sure you look like a competent and friendly human being in your profile. You can Google all the tricks and tips to make your profile attractive, but the easiest thing to do is when you’re building out your profile put a picture in there that makes you look nice and engaging and friendly.
When you’re filling out your description do it from your personal viewpoint, like if you were telling somebody else who you are. Don’t write it from a third-person point of view. It makes you look cocky. Do it from the first-person point of view.
Hi, I’m John. This is what I do. This is what I’m interested in. I’d love to chat about this, this, and this. If I can help you in any way provide you value please direct message me, I’d be happy to help.
It’s authentic. It’s inviting. Write your description and your bio in an authentic way. Also when you’re putting in your current title right under your name, put right in there what you want somebody to know when the first two seconds because they’re going to see your name and your title more than they see on the rest of your profile.
So make sure that says exactly what you want. For instance, my profile for a while said CEO of Good Monster, co-founder of Jaxon Jovie.
People didn’t know what Good Monster was and didn’t know what Jaxon Jovie was. So recently I’ve changed that to CEO of Good Monster and then the description of what Good Monster is so they know exactly what they’re getting into when they click on my profile.
Finally, add in some media that people can view, read, or watch. LinkedIn allows you to add some media right in your bio some put in some YouTube videos, pitch decks or infographics to allow them to get a brief look at what you’re all about.
So other than that fill in your previous job history and education everything just fill that out like you normally would but those first things I mentioned are really important to get an authentic portrayal of what you’re looking to do on LinkedIn and who you.
Step 2: Engage with 20 people in 10 minutes
Okay. Here’s where we get into how you can spend less than one hour per day really making good use of LinkedIn and building your network. So the first thing is to go find 20 posts in your newsfeed or go follow some people that you want to engage with and comment under those posts with the really engaging helpful valuable comments.
So don’t just leave a comment that uses LinkedIn’s suggestions of “Congrats!” or “Good job!”, people will see right through that shit… So go in there and leave a really authentic comment or answer their question.
If it’s a question give them a resource if they’re asking for help. Say congratulations if they’ve done something great, but say it in an authentic way.
Congratulations. That’s so awesome. You did X Y & Z so proud of you. I don’t know you but wow, it looks like you’re doing great things. Excited to watch your progress!
It doesn’t take much time or effort to leave an authentic comment on 20 posts per day.
It sounds daunting, but it really doesn’t take that much time. If you just answer it or comment just like you seeing that person face-to-face right this moment, you’re golden.
Step 3: Post twice per day
Ok, don’t freak out. But I want you to post on LinkedIn twice per day. This is the part where a lot of people get hung up because they’re like, “I don’t know what to post. Do I share my personal information? Do I share my company’s doing?”
I’ll tell you what I suggest you’re going to want to post.
First, think of five questions that you have for people out in your industry or other Industries or even colleagues and other professionals that are in the same job as you are.
For instance, Good Monster is looking for a behavioral test that we can give to salespeople that we’re bringing into our business development roles just measure to see if they’re a good fit for a sales position.
So I’m looking for those behavioral tests and there are tons of them out there. I’ve looked at a few I’m just haven’t found the right one. So I posted it on LinkedIn.
“Hey, here’s what I’m looking for. Does anybody know of a good resource” and people are generally willing to help.
Another strategy of things to post is anything with gratitude.
Now, I’ve said this before. But the types of content that do the best on LinkedIn in terms of Engagement are pieces of content where people show gratitude for things that they’ve accomplished or places that they’ve gotten to in their career with the help of other people. So if you’re in a meeting that you’re okay with sharing, take a picture of the people in that meeting and post how proud, thankful, grateful, or happy you are to know those people.
something like, “it was great to have coffee with Frank, a long time friend of mine. And now we’re actually doing business together. I’m excited for the next year to see what we can do together.”
Another one might be a new client that you just signed as long as they’re okay with you publicizing it show shaking hands or signing on the dotted line or even just be sharing a cup of coffee with somebody. Take a picture and post it and say we’re super excited to announce that Company XYZ is now a client of ours. We’ve got some great things planned ahead. So grateful that they put their trust in us and our team—really excited.
Those are just two examples of gratitude, and with gratitude, you’re never going to seem like you’re bragging. So post twice a day it with at least those two strategies and you’ll start to brand yourself and your content will start to get into people’s feeds.
Step 4: Direct Message to Learn, Not to Sell
So the last strategy that you can use isn’t a necessity and if you’re strapped for time you don’t have to use this one, but it’s a good strategy, especially if you’re looking to really engage your network.
Use direct messaging to learn from people. So first find people that you want to learn from and that you think are top in your industry or people in other industries that you maybe think that you could network with on a totally personal level. Don’t go in there trying to sell them on something and don’t go in there trying to ask them for contacts or any of that. Go in and leave an authentic message of why or how you became connected with them and then ask them if you can ask them some specific questions that you think they would be an expert on.
I can use the example that I reached out to a gentleman the other day in a totally unrelated industry and it had nothing to do with my business. I purely found something that I was interested in that is his profession that I wanted to ask questions. I asked him questions to learn more about what he did that some people in my network could benefit from. So I went into a direct message and I left a little background of how I found him. And I said I’d love to jump on the phone to learn a little bit more about what you do. Maybe I can help. He’s like cool. Let’s set up a time jumped on the phone with him for probably about a half-hour learned a lot about what he’s doing. It was a great chat. that is a good way to use direct messages.
And remember, if you are a business development, sales, or marketing person, don’t try to sell anything…you will fail.
If that’s the way you’re going to use direct messaging I wouldn’t even use it because it’s really not going to work unless you’re pumping out 10,000 messages every day (which LinkedIn won’t let you do anyway) and you’re just purely trying to get the law of numbers to work in your favor.
If you’re going to use the DM strategy, go in try to provide value to people if you want to learn from them, make sure they know the questions and it’s a good way to slowly build your network. You never know when they might need you in the future. And you never know when you might need them in the future. But right now you’re stacking the building blocks to growing that network.
And you guys know, the bigger your network is the more effective it’s going to be and the more authentic and more trustworthy you’re going to be within that Network.