For years the number of people using Social Selling on LinkedIn has been rising. Historically it has been used as a way to find jobs or candidates and more recently it has become a popular platform for digital selling.
However, despite it’s growing popularity, many people are still unsure when it comes to using LinkedIn successfully. It can be difficult to know where to start. After all, you have to build your network, nurture your connections and produce content.
So what’s the first step?
Optimise your profile
Everyone knows that first impressions count. If someone were to click on your LinkedIn profile, would they be able to access the information they’re looking for quickly? If the answer is no, then it’s time to optimise your profile. Having an optimised profile is the first step for social selling on LinkedIn as all your activity leads to your profile.
Headline: Your headline needs to be succinct but interesting. Be sure to include your title, employer and any keywords that may help to find you.
Profile picture: A clear, professional headshot will suffice. Make sure it’s recent though so your prospects can identify you.
Header: Your header can be a branded asset or an image of you in a corporate environment. This is used to convey further information about who you are and set the tone of your profile.
LinkedIn cover story: This is a video that sits behind your profile picture. It can be up to 30 seconds long and automatically plays when someone visits your profile. If you want to utilise this feature, keep it simple but effective.
About section: This should be a short summary of your current role, responsibilities and experience. No one wants to read an essay so ensure that this is kept simple. However, let your personality shine through too to add some credibility.
Featured: Here you should add any posts, web links or documents that you want people to see. If you’re looking for work then you might add your portfolio. If you’re looking to sell then a whitepaper or infographic might be more effective.
Work experience: This section is self-explanatory. Here you should add details of your previous employment and responsibilities. You may wish to tailor this if you are looking for a role in a specific industry.
Get connected to your network
Once you have set up your profile, it’s time to get connected. Connections can be sent out to people that you know, or that are relevant to your industry. However, be wary not to send too many at once as LinkedIn have limited the number of connections you can send out at once. Making social selling on LinkedIn a more targeted practice.
Think about the people you want to see in your network. You can add employers, colleagues, potential prospects, old friends and coworkers, and anyone else you might deem relevant.
Being flexible with your connection requirements can help you build a network and become more visible. Plus when you connect with people you will be able to see their posts in your feed which can help you stay up to date with industry news.
In order to help you find new connections easily, you can use the search feature or you can start following some relevant hashtags. By following these hashtags you will see posts in your feed that aren’t from connections in your network. If you like these posts, you should send them a connection request.
The Social Selling on LinkedIn Content Plan
Now that your profile is optimised and you have started building a network of connections, it’s time to make some content. You should start by deciding what kind of content you want to post and how frequently.
Once you have a plan in place when it comes to your frequency of posting, you can start thinking about what it is you’d like to share. LinkedIn prefers its users to use a range of formats such as images, infographics, polls and text posts so be sure to mix it up.
Your content should be branded, relevant and finished to a high standard. However, be careful not to sound overly corporate. It’s important to have a balance between sales posts and posts that are engaging, like viral videos.
Also, when creating content it’s important to make sure you share posts with personality. After all, people buy from people. That being said, you should ensure that you are also communicating your branding and your value proposition.
If you are able to create content that is on-brand, interesting and engaging, then you will do well social selling on LinkedIn. Don’t forget to add hashtags to ensure it is seen by the right people and you will find your network growing in no time.
This growth can lead to opportunities and sales. If you put the effort in, you’ll reap the rewards.