I was recently asked to give a presentation on social media to a group of financial advisors. Immediately, I knew the topic had to be LinkedIn.
Don’t groan. I know most people hate using LinkedIn. It’s boring and the experience feels so stale, even to me. I personally don’t jump out of bed in the morning excited to check my LinkedIn.
But groans aside—LinkedIn is incredibly effective and incredibly necessary if you are a professional service provider.
If you’re an attorney, accountant, insurance agent, consultant, B2B salesperson, or financial advisor, you will make returns by spending some focused marketing time on LinkedIn.
Here’s why LinkedIn is necessary for professional services:
Your high-earning clients use LinkedIn. 58% of U.S. internet users that earn $50,000 per year are on LinkedIn, according to the Pew Research Center.
LinkedIn tops all other social profiles in search results for names (Google yourself and see if your LinkedIn profile shows up!). If people are searching for you, you want them to find a detailed, updated LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn users are in the right mindset for your professional messages. If someone is browsing LinkedIn, they’re working. Your posts won’t be mixed in with their neighbor’s baby pictures and their aunt’s travel photos.
But I know. You don’t have time to market on LinkedIn, and you don’t know what to do.
Not a problem. Over time managing LinkedIn profiles for ourselves and for clients, we have developed a simple 6-step blueprint for LinkedIn.
I guarantee taking just these 6 steps once per week will double your connections and exposure on LinkedIn.
The 6-Step Weekly Double Your LinkedIn Reach Blueprint
Action plan: sit down for 30 minutes 1 morning per week to follow these 6 steps.
- Do a 2-minute profile audit
Start your LinkedIn focus time with a quick scan of your own profile.
Can you add any skills? Professional organizations? Volunteering? Have you added a summary?
If your profile is pretty bare, don’t overwhelm yourself by spending several hours updating it. It’s actually much more effective to make one change a week.
Here’s why: when you add to your profile, your connections may be notified or may see your update in their LinkedIn feed.
By spreading your profile changes out over time, you’ll receive exposure week after week.
- Connect with people whose business cards you received last week
You know that stack of business cards you got at your meetings and networking events last week? Take a moment to search for each of those people on LinkedIn and connect with them.
I suggest editing the canned LinkedIn text to remind the person where you met them.
Bonus tip: don’t just connect with potential clients. Connect with referral sources and community members as well. You never know what connections those connections can make for you.
- Congratulate any connections with anniversaries and new jobs
I love this newer featured of LinkedIn, called “Keep In Touch.” It can be found in the upper right corner of your LinkedIn home screen on desktop.
In this area, you’ll see people who have job milestones, such as a new job, a new title, or a work anniversary.
It’s really easy to click “Like” and re-connect with your contacts at important times in their lives. If you want to go deep, leave a personal comment congratulating the person on their milestone.
This section may also give you a good reason to follow up with a prospect by phone to say hello.
- Share 1 article
If you want to be seen as an expert in your industry, you need to be sharing relevant and helpful content related to your work.
And, if you want to be seen as a dedicated community member, you need to be sharing local-related content.
There are a few ways to do this. Try them all!
Share a link to industry-related content from trustworthy publications.
Consider different content types like a podcast [example above], video, or written article.
Bonus tip: when you read a good article during the week, email yourself a link with the subject line “LinkedIn” so you have something readily available when you’re doing your LinkedIn update.
Share a community-related article. You love your community, so show that you’re involved. Share a positive article from the local newspaper, or share an event announcement from one of the non-profit organizations you support.
Paste an article you’ve already written into LinkedIn Posts. This is a big one! LinkedIn lets you publish content right to their platform, and they give it a ton of exposure.
Have you written for a blog post or newsletter? Share it on LinkedIn too.
To start, go to your LinkedIn home screen. Click the orange “Publish a post” button.
In the screen that follows, add an image for the post, a headline, and paste the body of the post below.
Once it’s published, you and your connections will see it all over LinkedIn.
LinkedIn Posts have huge visibility as LinkedIn works to grow their own publishing platform. Your connections will see the post link in their feed, and posts will be featured at the top of your Profile.
- Like updates from connections that you find worthwhile.
Once you’ve focused on your own updates, spend a minute or so scrolling through your feed.
Make a conscious effort to “Like” a connection’s post that you agree with. Two benefits to this: your connection will feel good that you’re supporting them, and your activity may also be shared in your connections’ feeds.
Keep in mind that anything you Like on LinkedIn may be shared with your connections, so choose carefully!
- Comment on an article in The Pulse
As your final step in your weekly blueprint, head to The Pulse and find an article that resonates with you and your clients professionally.
Give it a read and then leave a helpful comment below. You will gain additional exposure with people outside your network, and again, it may show up as an update in your connections’ feed.
In the news feed, your connections will see a link to the article, as well as your comment.
A quick plan can help you beat LinkedIn overwhelm and use your time wisely. If you want to stand out and double your reach on LinkedIn, follow this plan for just 30 minutes 1 day per week.