Categories
LinkedIn LinkedIn Profile

Compilation LinkedIn Q&A #5

I got 6 questions this past week about using LinkedIn as a Business Tool and decided to put the questions and answers into both an article and in a YouTube video series.

I hope these questions and the answers are useful for you:

Question #1 – When should I update LinkedIn after I quit my job?

There is no one clear answer to this question.

I recommend you mark the job as ended when you are ready to do so.

If you are retiring, make this step a Celebration, maybe with friends and/or co-workers.

If you are moving to another job, make this change as soon as you can. If you are in business development or community engagement role you should make this change within a few days.

If you are unemployed and actively looking for a job, you may wait until you find that next great job. so make the change.

If you are leaving the job because the organization is toxic or a horrible place to work you want to not only mark the job as ended, you may also want to remove the job from your LinkedIn Profile. This depends on how long you worked there.

How quickly you mark the job as ended depends on your own situation.

However, plan to do this step as soon as you are ready. Don’t forget to do it.

Question #2 – What should I post to get noticed on LinkedIn?

The answer to this question depends on what you want to be noticed for?

Additionally, posting content is not the only way to get noticed.

Engaging on existing conversations (content) is a powerful way to be noticed.

If you want to be noticed as an authority in your industry, you should be posting content and engaging on content that is relevant to the industry and meaningful to those you want to notice you.

If you want to be noticed as a community advocate, you should be posting and engaging on content that is relevant to your community.

Being clear on who you want to be noticed by is vital for you to determine what content to use.

What you post must be highly relevant and of interest to your target audience. You should minimize posting content that is all about you and/or your business.

This is similar to going to networking events in person. If every time you show up you are handing out your brochures and business cards in time the people in the networking events will begin to turn their backs on you.

Show up regularly with good, useful, interesting stories about others, the industry, community, etc, and they will accept a story now and then about your business.

Don’t post the same types of content every time you show up on LinkedIn. Mix it up. Different people want to ‘consume’ different types of content. Videos, articles, links to good & relevant content you find online, short posts, images, and documents are all good types of content to use.

If you can’t create your own content, consider having someone help you to create content that creates interest in your target audience.

Question #3 – Should a Company be on LinkedIn with their Company Name?

Not every company needs to have a Company Page on LinkedIn.

However, no Company should use a personal LinkedIn Profile to show up on LinkedIn. Personal Profiles are for human beings.

If a company wants to be represented on LinkedIn beyond their employee’s LinkedIn Profiles, they should create a LinkedIn Company Page and plan on feeding it.

A well-built LinkedIn Company Page focused on the company’s target audience can become an additional branding and even lead generation tool.

However, this takes work.

You must do the following:

Create the page content highly focused on your target audience, not all about the business. This is not an About web page that we see on company websites. The target audience wants to know how the company can serve them.

Regularly provide content that is relevant and useful to your target audience. Again, they don’t want to see posts that say your company has the best widgets ever. They want to discover how your widgets are helpful to them.

Additionally, the content you share on your LinkedIn Company Page can be about the industry, your community, your target audience, and other interesting stories.

Every now and then the content can be about your growing and developing team, your business, and your products. 

Remember to write the content in context to your target audience.

Question #4 – How long should a LinkedIn Post be for maximum views?

A LinkedIn post can have as many as 3000 characters.

A LinkedIn post can also have up to 9 images on it.

You can have a document, a video, and/or a link to online content in a LinkedIn post as well.

Lots of authors know how to write content that appeals to their target audience and keeps them interested in reading.

Unfortunately, this is not a skill most LinkedIn Members have.

Christopher Chang wrote an article in December 2021 on this topic. where he mentioned relevant, actionable, interesting, fun, intriguing, inspiration as content types that get the best views. He did not indicate post length as an important attribute of these types of posts.

Here is Christopher’s article – https://www.linkedin.com/business/marketing/blog/social-media-marketing/our-highest-performing-social-posts-why-did-they-resonate

Dominick Sorrentino wrote an article in January 2022 on the 5 different LinkedIn Post types (text, native video, blogs, third party, photos/graphics). Regarding text only he also did not mention the length of the post, however, he did speak to including relevant hashtags, keeping the sentences short and meaningful, and using a conversational tone that shows your audience you are accessible and sincere.

Here is Dominick’s article – https://www.brafton.com/blog/social-media/5-of-the-best-types-of-content-to-post-on-linkedin/

I’ve seen a few interesting and worthy of reading long LinkedIn posts. However, these are few and far between and often not the most important style of sharing on LinkedIn.

Question #5 – Can two people use the same LinkedIn Account?

LinkedIn Profiles are intended to represent a single human being. Therefore the answer is no.

Furthermore, the LinkedIn Terms & Services Dos & Don’ts section states you will not share a LinkedIn Profile with another person.

Here is the LinkedIn Terms of Services user Agreement – https://www.linkedin.com/legal/user-agreement#dos

LinkedIn is a human to human social networking site. It is the world’s largest professional networking platform.

LinkedIn Members expect to be networking with a single human being when they are engaging with a LinkedIn Profile. The messaging, invites, posts, comments, replies, are all assumed to be from and by a single human being.

I have experienced LinkedIn Members who have others manage their LinkedIn activity. The invites and messaging are from virtual assistants or people on their staff. Once we connect the tone of the conversation changes when the actual human associated with the account shows up. For many, including myself, this is not what we expect or want when engaging with anyone on LinkedIn.

Note, if LinkedIn discovers you are sharing your LinkedIn Profile with another it is not unlikely that your account will be shut down. This is another reason I do not recommend using LinkedIn in this manner.

Question #6 – How do I read unsent Messages on LinkedIn?

This is another version of a similar question I get often. Thus, I decided to answer this one.

There are possibly two scenarios to this question.

#1 – How do I read my draft LinkedIn messages?

There is no draft folder for LinkedIn messages. If you start a message and then begin to navigate away from the unsent message, LinkedIn will ask you if you want to cancel navigating away or discard the message. If the page refreshes you lose the message that you started.

#2 – How do I read unsent messages that I have not received yet?

Like every other messaging platform, you will never see the draft message another person, in this case, a LinkedIn Member is writing until they hit the send button.

In LinkedIn Messaging there are options to view UnRead, Archived and even Spam messaged. However, there is no draft or view an unsent message intended for you.

Here is the full YouTube video answer to all of these questions. You’ll find the Table of Contents in the Description Box

/Teddy

Categories
LinkedIn LinkedIn Profile

Tell the relevant stories thru your LinkedIn Profile

A LinkedIn Profile has numerous predefined areas for us to populate with information that tells our target audience who we are, what we have done, and what we do today.

However, not everything we have done or do easily fits into these predefined sections of LinkedIn Profile.

Here are a few examples to consider:

  • Tutoring – often we think of this as a form of education. But sometimes this could be  work. If you tutored someone else for more than a week or two, maybe you want add it as an experience entry. Include the improvement the person you tutored achieved from their work with you. This could be seen as a training skill to some business owners and hiring managers.
  • Family Home Care – I hear of this as a distraction to many from the typical career achievements. However, this could be an experience entry where you show your project management skills, budgeting, time management, mentoring, organization skills, etc. Look deeply into the work did and think beyond family home care.
  • At Home Schooling –  Many of those who have provided this service their students did not look at it much beyond the title.  Again, consider PM skills, organization, training, mentoring, scheduling, etc. etc.
  • Running a ‘Side Hustle’ or at home business – I know lots of people who have Ebay, Etsy, Facebook Market Place, Craigs List, small sign businesses, niche photography businesses, even people who purchase abandoned storage units and resell the contents. The skills used to do these jobs can be very useful to hiring managers, if you can present the skills you used and developed while doing this work.

When looking at your experiences consider, what skills did you use in these experiences?

Often you have to dig deep and look at the experiences differently than you are inclined to do.

All of the experiences we have play a role in our professional development in ways we never imagined. Tell these stories on your LinkedIn Profile, where relevant and useful to build your brand.

  • Look at your volunteer activities in different ways.
  • Look at the courses you have taken over the years, in different ways.
  • Do the same for your overall education experiences, publications you have written, certifications you have achieved, the people you have worked with, and on, and on.

Being able to tell the relevant stories as best as you can often positions you as a better resource or candidate than the others.

/Teddy

Categories
LinkedIn

LinkedIn Company Page Best Practices for 2022

“A LinkedIn Company Page is a valuable business asset, once it becomes valuable to your target audience. Otherwise, it’s just another onsite space you feel obligated to feed.” @TLBurriss

LinkedIn Company pages are used by well over 54 million companies. Many are complete pages, however, there are quite a few that are naked or built to resemble the typical website about page, poorly focused on their target audience.

Additionally, most LinkedIn pages are used as dumping grounds for company marketing content that again, is all about the company and their glorious products/services, with little to no thought of what their target audience really wants to see.

A LinkedIn page can be a venue your target audience visits frequently, if what they find there is of interest and of benefit to them.

To grow a LinkedIn page that ranks up near the top of the list where your target audience wants to visit, we have to be purposeful about how we manage these pages.

Here are some best practices, sprinkled with some tactics, you can use to build a respected and often visited LinkedIn page and a growing page following.

  1. You need to be clear to yourself about who is your target audience. The more focused you are on these humans, in the specific roles, industries and business types, maybe regions, the more valuable your LinkedIn page will become.
  2. You must understand the language your target audience uses. This will help you to use the words that resonate with them through out your LinkedIn page and the content you share on your page.
  3. Don’t think of your LinkedIn page as end point. Rather, consider it a member of the team and have the page engage on content relevant and meaningful to your target audience, in respect to what your business does. (Tactic – learn to use your actorCompanyID to engage on content across LinkedIn.)
  4. Feed your LinkedIn page on a regular basis . Follow the 90/10 rule. 100% of the content you share on your LinkedIn page must be broadly relevant to what you do and to your target audience. 90% of what you share on your LinkedIn page should not be about your business or products. This allows for up to 10% of the content you share on your LinkedIn page to be about your business, products, offerings, deals, team and events. (Tactic – I recommend a 5-4-1 ratio, share 5 unique and interesting pieces of non-company content and engage 5 times as the page, for each piece of company branded content you share.)
  5. PSA (Pay Serious Attention) if someone touches your content in any way, either directly on your LinkedIn page, or through the LinkedIn newsfeed, you must engage back with them in some meaningful way.
  6. Feed your audience diverse pieces of content. Too often business pages will lean toward using a content type they are the most comfortable curating and/or creating. However, as your LinkedIn Page followers grow, they all do not want the same type of desert. They want text stories, images, native videos, documents, links to great content, Youtube videos, maybe LinkedIn Live Events, mixed in with a little bit of motivation and inspiration along side a pinch of posts about your people and your business.
  7. Don’t bust through these steps over the next few months without consideration for how are you going to sustain them. I see this all the time, a LinkedIn Page manager (or team) will start throwing stuff at their page and because they don’t see rewards in a few months or even 6 months or a year, they give up. Your LinkedIn Page is a long term asset which will participate in creating results only if you keep up feeding it in the style I presented above.

Now, let’s discuss some tactics you can use to encourage your target audience to discover and follow your page as well as to engage on your content. What I share below will work, only if you also follow the 7 tips above.
Ready?

  1. Periodically grab the public URL of a post from your LinkedIn Page and share it outside of LinkedIn. Maybe on Facebook or Twitter. Maybe in a Quora Answer or Post. Maybe share it on your website and/or in your blog or newsletter. These posts are 100% publicly accessible. The reader only needs to be logged into LinkedIn to engage on the post and to follow the page.
  2. See tip #5 in the first set of ideas above. This is important for follower growth as well.
  3. Create a monthly process of inviting your target audience to follow your LinkedIn Page. Here are a few ways you can do this:
    1. Use the Invite Follower feature as a Super Admin of the Page. You can invite up to 100 of your LinkedIn Connections to follow the page each month.
    2. Add key client facing employees to be Super Admins of the LinkedIn page for 2 weeks, never longer. Coach them on how to use the Invite Follower feature so they can invite up to 100 of their own LinkedIn Connections to be page followers. Then remove them as a LinkedIn Page Admin. Repeat this step next month with another key client facing employee.
    3. Grab a compelling piece of new content from your LinkedIn Page and share the URL thru LinkedIn messaging to your target audience. Ask them to read it and if they like what they read to follow the Page.
    4. Share the previous tip with your client facing employees and ask them to send out 5-10 targeted invites each month. Repeat the request to them every other month. We don’t need to overwhelm them with these tasks.
    5. Engage on 3rd party website content and when filling out the comment contact information use the LinkedIn Page URL as the website. Do this 5 times a month to build backlinks to your LinkedIn Page. This will help to increase the SEO ranking of your LinkedIn Page so it can be found by your target audience.
    6. Engage on your client’s and other relevant content, and when appropriate @Mention (tag) your LinkedIn Page in the comment. Strive to not hijack the conversation, but to add value to it.

Feeding your LinkedIn Page with content your target audience is looking for while building a highly focused and relevant following is important if you want your LinkedIn Page to become an important asset to your business and of value to your target audience.


What ideas do you have that could make your LinkedIn Page be of value to your target audience?

BTW – have you taken a look at my Quora Space – Master LinkedIn as a Business Tool? I built it to help you with the questions you and your team need to be answered about LinkedIn. Please take a look at the Space and consider joining us. It’s priced pretty reasonably – it’s only $3 per month or $25 per year. I promise value.

/Teddy

Categories
LinkedIn

Better ways to use Cold Messaging on LinkedIn

The debate about cold calling wages on.

Many feel it’s a powerful way to build a book of business.

Many feel it’s a total waste of time.

I feel cold calling is like the old-fashioned chalkboard. We can still use it, but why would you since now we have whiteboards and even better, we have smartboards.

I refuse to use a chalkboard, except if I want to show my Grandkids what they are. I like whiteboards and even have one in my office. I use it now and then when I am thinking ‘out loud’. I love smartboards and use them when I have the need. I even use a smartboard app now and then when I am in a strategic conversation with a client or even with myself. Again, I don’t have a chalkboard.

Back to cold-calling. I refuse to cold call. Now, I have done my fair share of cold calling. Way back in the day. I had long lists of names, companies, and phone numbers. Eventually, we added email addresses to these lists. I was fairly successful in cold calling and cold emailing.

Today, I have better systems, technologies, and processes that help me to be more effective in reaching out to people who did not know me.

BTW, in my opinion, and for the sake of this article, cold calling as it’s called, does not include the use of these systems, tools, or processes. The moment you touch someone and they know you touched them, it’s no longer cold-calling.

Back to my processes

I have found that using numerous digital & human touches provides the best results for contacting, connecting with, and most importantly, getting into a conversation with a prospect.

Here is the YouTube video where I discuss my touchpoints prior to cold messaging on LinkedIn.

Read the touchpoints I use to make messaging to people who did not know me on LinkedIn:

  1. I review the LinkedIn Profile of the LinkedIn Member to find relevance and any substantial relationship between the two of us.
  2. I review their LinkedIn Profile, content, and engagement to find evidence they are active enough on LinkedIn to justify any further engagement or messaging thru LinkedIn.
  3. If they are using LinkedIn regularly, I review their activity to discover any content I can engage on with them. I make my comment relevant to their post and I tag them to ensure they are notified I joined the conversation.
    If they are not active on LinkedIn, I move on to another LinkedIn Member or I continue seeking ways to engage with this LinkedIn Member outside of LinkedIn.
  4. If I want to connect, I will then send a LinkedIn Invite referencing the content, any substantial relevance between us and I will use the words, “Please join me on LinkedIn.”
    If I only want to message them on LinkedIn, I will use an InMail credit. I will start the conversation with something about the content, I’ll point out any substantial relevance and then I’ll let them know the reason I want to talk with them. It will never be an invite to a sales pitch. Typically I am seeking insights or knowledge I hope they have or know someone who does have.

LinkedIn is a human-to-human social engagement site. It is not a replacement for email for cold messaging.

BTW – I have built a Quora Space focused on getting you the answers to your LinkedIn questions faster. If you want access to me for all of your LinkedIn questions, please join my Quora Space – Master LinkedIn as a Business Tool

/Teddy

Categories
LinkedIn LinkedIn Network

How can I message someone on LinkedIn I am not yet connected with?

There are a few ways you can message LinkedIn Members you are not yet connected with.

By default, LinkedIn only allows us to directly message our 1st level LinkedIn Connections. However, there are options to overcome this limitation.

  1. LinkedIn Groups – If you are in a LinkedIn Group with the LinkedIn Member you want to message, you can view them in the member list of the group and send them a message from within the Group. Read more – LinkedIn Messaging in Groups
  2. Open Networker – If the LinkedIn Member you want to message is a premium LinkedIn subscriber they may have enabled Open Profile. This allows any 2nd or 3rd level LinkedIn Member to send a free InMail message to them. Read more – LinkedIn Open Profile
  3. Mutual Connection Introduction – If you have mutual LinkedIn connections with the LinkedIn Member you want to message, you can ask a mutual connection to send a LinkedIn message or an email to introduce you to them. If the mutual connection opts to use a LinkedIn message they can create a message that is addressed to you and the LinkedIn Member. Read More – LinkedIn Introductions
  4. Premium LinkedIn InMails – This feature is only available to Premium LinkedIn Subscribers. However, InMails, used properly and written focused on the other person often can open up a new conversation. Read more – LinkedIn Inmail Tips
  5. Bump into their content – If the LinkedIn Member is active on LinkedIn, you may be able to find a piece of their content that is relevant to you which you could engage on directly.
  6. Tag them in a Company Page Comment – Where relevant and appropriate, you could tag the LinkedIn Member you want to talk with in a comment on a relevant LinkedIn Company Page post.
  7. Look for them on other Social Media – This may not work for most LinkedIn Members, however there are some who actively engage on Twitter, YouTube, Quora, Facebook Groups, their Blog, Tumblr, Reddit, etc. These other social media channels could be a way to reach the LinkedIn Member you want to contact.
  8. Go IRL – even during the Pandemic of 2020/2021 you could find the LinkedIn Member you want to message through a virtual or in real life networking event. Pay attention to what events they attend and, where relevant and appropriate, visit those networking events.
  9. Call them – I agree, cold calling is the least likely way to engage with a LinkedIn Member who does not yet know you. However, if you are able to use any of these other tactics, it may not be a cold call.
  10. Email them – As with cold calling, this may not be a possibility. It may take extra work to find out what their email address is. However, where possible, this could be another channel that could create the opportunity for a conversation.
  11. Send them a letter – I list this as an option because there are times where it could work. Again, if you have used any of the other tactics a letter may not go unopened and could result in an opportunity for a conversation. One of the challenges today is discovering where to send a letter as with the 2020/2021 pandemic ongoing, they may not get mail from the office.
  12. Message them via a LinkedIn Invite – I offer this option only as a last resort. I firmly believe LinkedIn Invites should be just for that purpose – sending an invite that is accepted. however, once you send a LinkedIn Invite, or they send you one, this opens up LinkedIn messaging for continued conversation, even if the invite is not accepted.

In sales training, we are told that it can take 7+ times touching a lead to move them into a business conversation. I don’t necessarily subscribe to this philosophy in regards to sales as I know first hand, until they have the interest and/or the need, you can try to touch them as many times as you want, however, many will not respond until they are ready.

Rather than trying to move someone into a business conversation too early, I strive to move them into a very simple and friendly human-to-human conversation. This makes the sales process longer, but the invite to meet someone new is often accepted before the invite to have a business conversation. The other person needs to develop some level of trust & respect with a stranger before they are willing to consider a business conversation. Because of this, I regularly recommend, be working on multiple prospects at all times. Seeking to move them all into that initial human-to-human conversation.

/Teddy

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