How to Use LinkedIn to Build Your Network and Your Brand

LinkedIn is currently the most prominent social media site for recruiting and talent hunting; with more than 20 million companies using LinkedIn. So how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of it? Whether you’re a business using LinkedIn to market to other businesses, or you’re a go-getter looking to jump ahead in your career by building the right contacts, this is the ultimate guide to marketing yourself or your business on LinkedIn.

1. Make sure your profile is up to scratch

Your LinkedIn page is the first place that interested parties are going to click on to, so make sure it clearly represents you, your mission, and your values, and leads them to want more ie. contacting you or visiting your web page. Make sure your photo is up to date and professional. Professional headshots can be expensive, but with phone camera quality as good as it is, you can set up your phone to take a photo of yourself in front of a blank wall with ease! Then upload a relevant cover image; for businesses this can be your latest product or an image of your offices. For personal users this could be linked to your career aspirations; Want to be a lawyer? How about a picture of chambers? Want to study Astrophysics? How about a nice picture of the latest Mars rover?

Next, narrate yourself a punchy summary. Only the first 2 lines of your LinkedIn summary are visible until someone decides to click on the ‘see more’ button, so make them want to click that button! When writing your summary, think about what your target audience wants to see. This doesn’t have to be focussed only on sales; you’re not trying to sell just 1 product but an entire brand. Perhaps start with your biggest achievements, or most impressive statistic, or let your character shine through with ‘all you need to know about me/our company in 5 facts or less’. Make sure your summary provides a clear call-to-action, in order to see an interested party become a customer/client or employer; this could be a link to your website, digital portfolio or contact details. 

Finally, show your commitment by completing the ‘education’ ‘experience’ and ‘projects’ sections.  Use only information that is relevant to the goals of your page and write brief descriptions to emphasise key points.  This will allow interested parties to glance at your page and learn everything they need to know to hire, partner or purchase from you. 

2. Be Active

Now that you’ve got an impressive profile, it’s time to attract some attention. To do this you have to be active; follow relevant hashtags and react, comment and share relevant articles, news, projects and achievements by other users. Doing this will help you to become visible to others who interact with these posts. Build your connections by connecting with those commenting and sharing posts of interest to you or your target audience. 

You may also benefit from joining groups with other like-minded professionals or large customer pools. You can then go through the member list and invite some more connections, perhaps even sending them a short message explaining why you can be a valuable connection to them. 

3. Post Regular Content

Perhaps the most daunting part of social media – creating and spreading the right content. Regularly publishing relatable, informative content that is of value to your target audience will help to increase your coverage – make sure it’s something worth saving, sharing and reacting to (don’t be afraid to ask questions, start debates and create dividing polls). Make content engaging by publishing in a variety of forms that are visually appealing using a consistent colour scheme, images and animations, and a clear easy-to-read format. And remember, all content should have a call to action – it’s all about leading the customer/client to the correct destination. This could be your LinkedIn page to contact you, your website or other social media pages. You can boost your reach by connecting with people who interact with your previous content and tag relevant groups and hashtags to reach more people. 

Be sure to keep an eye on what posts do well and carry these ideas forward into your next creation. Visit my page for a run-down of the best user-friendly content creation tools, and a whole host of different content ideas.

4. Nurture your Connections

Once you start building connections it’s important to not forget about them! Engaging with your connections keeps you at the front of their minds; be sure to reply fast to messages and new connection requests, reply to comments and thank people who share your content.

You can also begin seeking out connections yourself using the advanced search feature of LinkedIn: filter searches of people and companies by industry, location and key words to find and connect with other people and companies who are likely to value your connection.

Being seen and heard in the busy thralls of social media can be difficult and time consuming. Be patient and remain optimistic and you’ll soon see your connections and clicks pick up. Be sure to measure the success of each step you take in order to determine what works best for you and your company, and what doesn’t work so well.

Most importantly of all, remember to enjoy yourself! Building connections and inviting people to share your passions should be a fun experience.

About Me

My name is Chloe Fox, I am a marketing student with vast experience in the digital marketing industry and I enjoy sharing my knowledge and tips with my LinkedIn connections. I am also a freelance outsourced social media manager for small and medium sized businesses and publish monthly newsletters to support small businesses and marketing professionals in the digital marketing industry.

If you found this helpful, please visit my LinkedIn and connect to see more useful content!

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