This is a guest post by Estelle Liotard. A fresh perspective on LinkedIn for Scrum Masters and freelance consultants.
If we look at the most popular social networks, Facebook still reigns supreme, leaps and bounds ahead of LinkedIn. However, from a business standpoint, you can gain more benefits from optimizing your LinkedIn profile compared to optimizing your Facebook profile.
Why? Because unlike all the other social networks, LinkedIn was designed specifically for professionals and B2B connections. When signing in on LinkedIn, users aren’t looking to check out what their friends have been up to. –They are investing their time looking for suppliers, business partners, clients, and employers.
A post on the LinkedIn marketing blog reveals that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn. Additionally, 43% of marketers say that they have sourced a customer from LinkedIn.
When a platform can play such a big role in gaining exposure for your services or business, getting more views is worth every effort. Follow these 10 techniques to boost your visibility on LinkedIn and take advantage of everything this platform has to offer:
1. Complete your profile
There are about 450 million registered users on LinkedIn and, if you want to stand out, you need to cross your T’s and dot your I’s on your profile. If you leave some sections blank, your profile automatically becomes less attractive to visitors, so take the time to fill in every detail about yourself. Remember, sharing builds trust upfront!
From the headline and previous jobs to skills and samples of your work, you should take full advantage of every profile section. And don’t forget to upload a professional photo of yourself! LinkedIn users are more likely to reply if your profile photo is of an actual person, not a business logo.
Pro Tip: many LinkedIn users polish the description for the job they currently hold, but neglect the previous ones. Those are relevant too, so optimize your previous job titles to make them SEO-friendly.
2. Join LinkedIn groups
Groups are one of the most powerful LinkedIn features when it comes to gaining visibility and exposure for yourself and your services. This is because groups help you widen your network with 2nd-degree connections, gain influence, and interact with other industry professionals. In groups, you can post meaningful articles about your industry, discuss interesting news and trends, even find answers to difficult business problems.
Keep in mind that groups aren’t created randomly on LinkedIn. Each group is built with a specific demographic in mind, and you need to know what that demographic is before posting.
Which groups should you join?
- Look for groups containing specific keywords related to your field. It can be something general, like “Scrum Masters”, or more specific, like “Scrum Masters in San Diego”.
- Always join active groups where new discussions are started every week.
- If you’re not a member of any group, start by joining one small group (<100 members), one medium group, and one large group (>1000 members).
Research the group to get a feel for the style
Before posting anything in a LinkedIn group, lurk around and take a few hours to get to know the members and the topics they talk about. What positions do they have, what style do they use and what is their angle on approaching industry-specific issues? Are they friendly and informal or are they formal and professional? Do they prefer short articles or long-form content? Do they encourage debate?
Bring a valuable contribution to the groups you joined
A LinkedIn group is no place for spam and irrelevant self-promotion. To position yourself as an expert in your industry, you need to bring a valuable topic and start a productive conversation, not just post for the sake of posting. People will only click on your profile if they like what they read.
If you agree with someone, don’t just say “I agree with you.”. Explain why you agree and bring your own point of view. If you disagree, friendly debate is always encouraged, but be polite.
You can promote your services and your brand, as long as it is relevant to the conversation. Follow the 80-20 rule: 80% of your contribution has to be valuable information, 20% self-promotion. Let your expertise speak for itself.
3. Start your own discussion
After you’ve contributed to a few discussions in small groups, it’s time to start your own. Share some interesting news about your industry, some research you conducted, or ask the other members about their experience with a certain problem.
Just make sure no one has discussed the same topic recently and, if they have, give that topic a fresh perspective. Once people start answering, reply to every comment to show you are involved.
4. Get as many connections possible
The LinkedIn algorithm places profiles with more connections higher in search results, so don’t limit yourself to a handful of workmates and former colleagues. Expand your network with 2nd and 3rd level connections too. Use these tricks to make more connections:
- See if your high school or college has an alumni group you can join
- Connect on LinkedIn with professionals you meet at conferences and other work-related events
- When adding new contacts, don’t use the Connect button from the People You May Know field. Instead. Click on their profile and use the Connect button there to send them a personalized request.
Remember: asking for recommendations, testimonials, and endorsements is key in growing your LinkedIn network!
5. Replace the default URL
When you first create a LinkedIn account, your profile URL is made up of a string of numbers. If you change this URL to display your name, your profile will pop up sooner in search engines when people search your name or company. Besides, a custom LinkedIn URL is easier to remember and looks better on business cards compared to the default one. Here’s how you can change your LinkedIn Profile page URL.
6. Promote your LinkedIn profile to get inbound links
Although adding more connections and being active in LinkedIn Groups are the two major strategies you can use to get more views, you shouldn’t forget about external promotion either.
Make sure you connect your LinkedIn account with other social media accounts and use these strategies to get more inbound links:
- Put your LinkedIn profile in your email signature, along with your phone number, website, and Facebook page.
- Become a contributor to industry blogs and add your LinkedIn profile in the bio. Not only will this help you drive more traffic, but also become known as an expert in your field.
- Be a guest on the Scrum Master Toolbox Podcast, to get a high-traffic link to your LinkedIn page.
7. Get more recommendations and endorsements
Testimonials, recommendations, and endorsements are at the heart of the LinkedIn algorithm. For example, ProFinder, LinkedIn’s feature for hiring top local freelancers, ranks profiles based on the number of testimonials.
Always follow-up on your messages and ask your connections to endorse your skills and recommend you. From your work colleagues to your former boss or the clients you’ve worked with, anyone can contribute, so don’t hesitate to ask them.
Remember: if you become a power user, endorsements will come on their own. Be professional in everything you do and everyone from colleagues and fellow group members will recommend you.
Pro Tip: A good way to start a request for an endorsement is to write one for your colleagues first, and then ask them to write one for you. Reciprocity is a very powerful unwritten rule between people who trust each other!
8. Content is key
Apart from group contributions, LinkedIn articles are another excellent way to make your voice heard on LinkedIn and drive more traffic to your profile. In fact, LinkedIn is one of the best platforms for content marketing. Follow these tips to create high-quality, relevant content that your connections actually want to read:
- Focus on long-form content (over 2,000 words) that includes actionable tips and advice
- Give your unique perspective on an industry topic
- Write a killer headline that captures the audience’s interest
- Be a good storyteller. Don’t just enumerate facts, present them in a way that connects with the audience at an emotional level
- Stay relevant. Professionals go to LinkedIn for professional content, the kind that they can only get from an industry expert, so don’t settle for low-quality posts that don’t provide any real value.
- Be SEO-friendly. Include relevant keywords in your LinkedIn articles so they show up in search engine results pages. Don’t know what keywords to write about? Use a tool like BuzzSumo, which helps you find the most shared content on the Web.
- Use images to make your articles look more appealing in the LinkedIn newsfeed.
9. Repost your content (Post multiple times per day)
On your company’s blog website, and other social media platforms, reposting content is something you should avoid, but you won’t have this problem on LinkedIn. If you wrote a high-quality, insightful article that you’re proud of, don’t be afraid to promote it, because Pulse (LinkedIn’s personalized newsfeed) won’t penalize you for it.
To increase the chances of being noticed, even more, you can post updates at different times of day, so that they reach more users in different countries.
Pro Tip: when reposting a link to a LinkedIn article, write a new description every time.
10. Combine articles with long-form status updates
Many LinkedIn users have reported that status updates show up on their feed more often than articles and, while this doesn’t mean you should stop sharing articles, you can think of it as an opportunity to share both types of content.
In a status update, you have 1,300 characters to capture your audience’s interest (~300 words), which is not enough to offer the full perspective, but it’s enough to write a compelling introduction. Plus, you can always post a link to the article in the first comment so your followers can read more.
Whether you want to recruit, find investors, or gain leads, LinkedIn is a fantastic social network. Experiment with the strategies above to get more views, but remember that you will only get consistent results by posting regularly on LinkedIn. Be active every day and you’ll notice not only a surge in views but also an increase in your number of connections.
About Estelle Liotard
Estelle Liotard is a seasoned content writer and a blogger, with years of experience in different fields of marketing. She is a content editor at Trust My Paper and loves every second of it. Her passion is teaching people how to overcome digital marketing obstacles and help businesses communicate their messages to their customers.