The Do’s and Don’ts of LinkedIn
We have built an amazing #bbglinkedIn+forum as a result of a LinkedIn masterclass of 160 humans that I had the privilige of being a part of last month.
The forum evolved by getting an enthusiastic group from the evening to be part of a whatsapp forum where we shared experiences and ideas that has evolved into a #bbgforum at Noirin’s raceparty – where we meet once a month (consistently) to connect, collaborate, contribute to create a connected, collaborative community that is built on know like and trust (klt).
Andrew Naar has just share with us a great post by Zoe Bermant – where she shares with us the 7 do’s and don’ts of linked in and the 3 actionable items you can do for 25 minutes a day.
Below is a reprint
This is your title. It is not a selling point for you to list your “skills.” If you are the founder or VP of something then list it. It is how The Linkedin Algorithm (TLA) knows how to categorize you with other similar positioned people. Recently a founder asked me to analyze her profile and her title was listed as “go to market strategy; leading brands to greatness” or some other such nonsense. A quick look at other profiles like that showed that people on Linkedin who list their “skills” as part of their title are working for a particular company and many of them not for very long. They tend to move positions every 1-2 years if not less. This is not of the status this founder wants to portray for herself.
The key to a top “about summary” lies in your keyword usage. It is one of the ways to become more “discoverable” via TLA. A summary should be more about who you are RIGHT NOW and not a history of WHO YOU WERE. It should list your skills, knowledge expertise, current role and most importantly career successes. No more than 1,000 words if possible.
You should have a complete history of your work experience. Like a resume, so people can easily follow your history and expertise. As one of the most important things throughout your profile is the use of keywords, the history is a good place for you to list in bullet point format the most important attributes of your time in that role. Here is an example taken from my Linkedin:
This is a fairly new feature on Linkedin. By following hashtags, and using hashtags when you post, you are allowing TLA to optimize your experience for you and start to show you more of the people, companies and content related to the hashtags relevant to you. It really works and is probably one of the most important developments in organic social media optimization in the last 12 months. If you are in a services related industry, consider following key hashtags for the industries your clients appear in as well, such as #cybersecurity or #proptech. As we have clients in those fields, it exposes me in my regular daily activity on Linkedin to people, companies and content relevant to her clients as well as things relevant to her own needs. It also exposes her to other new potential clients. Remember TLA is very clever and will show you other interesting people for you to connect with and engage with based on the hashtags, people and companies you search for or connect with – it makes it easier for you to expand your network with the right people.
5. (I’m great at this :))
Otherwise known as best practices for expanding your network. You do NOT want to just randomly start connecting to people on Linkedin. It’s akin to proposing to a person on the 1st date. But you DO want to court them. IN Linkedin terms that means checking out their profile, liking something they shared, commenting on something they wrote or shared, sharing something from their profile, or joining mutual groups. Yes! This takes more time, but… you become more visible to this person and it also triggers TLA to show you more of this person’s activity and visa versa. Often just from doing this you will get a connect request from the person you are stalking, which is a great result, because it means you didn’t instigate it. I would even go as far as recommending that you build a list of ideal companies you want to engage with you should map them out, map out the key employees at those companies and then start the steps mentioned above. Try and come up with a list of 50-100 ideal connections as a great “stalking” point. Remember if you can successfully connect to these people, or get them to “follow” you or your company, they will start seeing some of the content you put out in their feeds for the 1 month period following the follow/connect – that uniquely positions you to be able to soft-sell your value-offering to these “ideal” connections.
Thought leadership is about much more than just liking and sharing relevant content on social media. It is about original comment and opinion around an area of expertise. At the bare minimum you should be sharing at least one industry relevant piece (preferably from an influencer) and explaining what is interesting about it. To do thought leadership properly, however, I believe you should also be sharing original blogs or articles around pain points related to your expertise. Case studies, top tips such as listicals (5 things you should never do as part of your product launch marketing planning), also do very well. Life experiences are also a great way to share expertise and people tend to like to read them.
Linkedin has some great built in features, that you should definitely take advantage of, such as:
a. YES that is a very good thing. I managed to get invited to a major baby product event to meet the a company I had been trying to pitch my invention to, by “stalking” a key staff member via Linkedin. It was a 2nd year in a row birthday reminder, with a simple birthday message, that triggered the person in this company to reach out and invite me.
(Ik – spend time to make the message personal and not a fit and paste job)
b. When looking at someone’s profile on Linkedin, look to the right of the screen, Linkedin will suggest other similar people for you to follow and engage with, this is very useful and can save you hours of searching. Use Linkedin filters to narrow down your search to the right skills, country, level of connection. It is all there.
c. When you make a change to your profile, Linkedin will ask if you want to inform your network. This is definitely a good idea as it will trigger people to know you have made a career change and if they engage with your post, then likely you will be visible to them for a month or more after the trigger. The best way to do this is to change your job title and select the “inform network” option that Linkedin will prompt you for. But also write a personal post like, “delighted to join this company and help advance their…. With my …” list your key attributes and relate it to the company and what they do, try and establish early on your role and the expertise you will bring to this role. USE HASHTAGS, and tag the company. If you work for a good company with good social media team, they can take your post if you have tagged them and share it to their network of followers too. Being a good advocate for the company and them being one for you, can only bring mutually beneficial success.
- Stalk or connect to one new person every day.
- Share or like or comment on something written by either someone you want to connect to, or someone you want to be visible to, such as an influencer.
- Share original thought leadership opinion each day. You can do this by using curated content or writing your own original content. Try and showcase your success, tell your story. Believe it or not, people engage and are interested in it.
Stay active, just doing the above 10-15 min every day, will open you up to a whole new network of visibility. In the first 1-2 months you may not feel a difference, but by month 3-4 you will notice more people connecting with you, more people approaching you with asks or requests and in best-case scenarios, more opportunities for you professionally.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE SUCCESS:
Go take a screenshot of your Linked SSI (Sales Selling Index). Each month, take a new screenshot to measure the success of your work on Linkedin.
To get your SSI benchmark, log into your profile and type /sales/ssi after the URL like this: https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi
Your SSI is a ranking that Linkedin gives you to show how well you are connected to your industry, how well you are connected in your network and how influential you are on Linkedin. The top highlighted % numbers need to be as low as possible.
The number in the circle in the middle should be as high as possible (that is your influence ranking). See below a screenshot of my SSI, it is a great example of what happens when you connect with, engage with the right people and post the right content:
Posted on July 18, 2019