If you’re looking at building more business relationships in 2021, you should focus on crushing it on LinkedIn!
Too many people perceive LinkedIn exclusively as a platform where you just post your resume and look for a job.. LinkedIn is so much more than that.
In this episode, I share practical tips on how you can maximize LinkedIn through connecting with business professionals in your field.
So you're looking to engage further on LinkedIn. And so many people have perceived this to be a place where you just want to post your resume and hopefully get a job and apply for jobs. But at the end of the day, LinkedIn is a social network. And so while it's a great place to look for a job, at the core it's more than just a job search. It's more than just a job finder. It's a place to build relationships professionally. It's a place to grow and to learn professionally, to connect with others in your field, to connect with others that are connected to your field.
And so if you're in real estate, you want to connect with other realtors or other people that might be interested in your commercial real estate, if you're in that space. And so business to business relationships are really formed very effectively on this platform. But there are so many options. And so no matter what field you're in, LinkedIn is probably a great platform for you to be investing in if you haven't already significantly invested in it.
So let's dig into the top things you need to do in 2021 to crush it on LinkedIn.
To successfully crush LinkedIn, you need to understand and know people who are there.
The first thing you need to do when it comes to LinkedIn, like what you do on any platform, is understanding why people are there. Know that people didn't get on LinkedIn today in their app so that they could go and buy your product or service, or so that they could necessarily even connect with you. They’re on LinkedIn to connect with other business professionals. And they don't know necessarily even who they might connect with or why they're looking to connect with those people.
But they might be looking for a job. They might be just curious to connect with someone else in their field. And so think through why they're there and don't just make assumptions.
Know that the people who are on LinkedIn are not there to connect with family and friends. They are there to connect with other people from a professional standpoint. And so this isn't Instagram. This isn't Facebook. This isn't Twitter. This is LinkedIn. And so as you look to engage there, present yourself professionally because you're wanting to connect with other people professionally.
Whatever profession you're in, think about it through that filter of “why are people there and “what kind of people are they?” And so, contemplate on “how should I behave, how should I function, how should I create to best engage with this community with its specific focus?”
The second thing you need to do on LinkedIn, and this is really working around where people what people often do on LinkedIn is they set up their resume or link their profile, and then just start DMing people or posting content about what they do and about themselves. And the second most important thing you need to do or step you need to take is to just start building relationships. And that doesn't mean you just start adding all kinds of people connections.
Now go and connect with people that you're actually connected with or have some relationship with already. Begin with those relationships. Then form relationships by paying attention to their content and by looking at what jobs that they have.
Don't just start shouting at people there, don't just start selling on the platform. Go and build relationships on the platform and do that in a very personal way, in a very detailed way. And so what you see way too much on LinkedIn, and what's continued to happen through the years, is so much spam. LinkedIn continues to change their platform to prevent spam.
But it's just annoying when you set up those autoresponders and you just start, you know, following people and then you immediately start sending them direct messages, trying to set up a 15-minute call to sell your product or service. It's just so unappealing and it might work to a certain extent, but you're not building long-term, meaningful professional relationships when you do that. And so this is a long time in your career. Play the long game and start with LinkedIn and building relationships when you're doing that online.
So the third thing, and really this is when you're starting to post content, is to provide value. When you're on the platform, maybe you provide value actually by connecting people to a job search. And so as you see somebody and you know about another job happening somewhere, they might want to know about this job. Maybe it's by just sharing an article that you saw there was insightful that you think other people who are connected with you might also be interested. Or maybe it's even just a learning or it's a celebration of what's happening in your organization that other people would be interested in knowing.
But you want to provide value to them in the content that you're creating or even in the interactions that you're having with them. Think about how you can help them professionally, either grow professionally or connect with others professionally, find a new job professionally, or maybe even a new business partner or someone that they can do B2B relationships with. That doesn't help you. That is all about them. Focus on providing value.
You get on that platform for others, not just to yourself.
Alright, as you're posting content now of getting into the weeds a little bit here, but this is important, you need to use tags and hashtags. This is just a tactic on LinkedIn, but it just works. And so you want to tag other people in the comments. If you want to tag other people, don't do this in a spammy way. I've seen this happen with a lot of spam or just interactions that are really spamming.
I'm seeing it happen to me where people are tagging me. But as you read an article that you think might be interesting to somebody, tag them in the comments to that. It will send them an alert to pay attention to it. Or if there's a new job alert, maybe you would tag them so that they can see that job alerted, or maybe they might know of somebody that would be aware of it.
And so as you see opportunities within your post, as you're posting something, maybe think about somebody or even celebrating someone else, tag them, make that personal connection and use hashtags.
Don't use a ton of hashtags, but use two to three hashtags with relevant content. Maybe it's related to social media marketing or maybe it's related to technology, use a hashtag to that to create a connection among other posts. So people might be searching and they're interested in social media marketing, they're interested in architecture, then they will see your content within that hashtag engagement. Hashtags are becoming a more significant part of engaging with new people within the content streams of LinkedIn.
So use tags and hashtags.
Sticking to the content side of LinkedIn, you need to focus on long-form text and short-form video. These are the two things that are working and are going to continue to work in 2021.
Long-form text: Almost like a blog post or a short blog post, as you really kind of sharing content in a more significant way. This isn't just a thoughtful quote of the day. These are really like when we tell a story.
Short-form videos: While the video continues to be optimized in LinkedIn as a platform for long, videos are not engaging very well. So as you think about videos that are a minute to three minutes, those are what they're engaging the best on the platform today. Doubling down on LinkedIn videos is one way to increase traffic and engagement significantly.
So think about how you can add value with long-form text and short-form video on a regular or even a daily basis.
We’ve been seeing LinkedIn shifting from just being a platform for finding jobs into more of an avenue for networking, growth, new learnings, and connection. And just late last year, LinkedIn finally adopted the Stories feature! Now you may ask, should I use this feature? And how should I use Stories on LinkedIn?
The last tip that I'm going to give you is more tactical as we get deeper into the platform. Utilize stories. LinkedIn has added stories to their platform, just like pretty much every other social network with YouTube and Twitter and Instagram and Facebook.
They've all added stories. And so with LinkedIn, you need to engage stories as well. And I think in 2021, it's going to continue to become more and more significant within the platform because it's how people are engaging on social media across the other platforms. And I expect that to expand onto LinkedIn. The key to this, though, is to add professional value. Don't just post and share what you're posting to Facebook and Instagram and all these personal things, what people do on a level of personal connection.
This is a professional platform. So they're wanting to connect with you and learn from you and understand what's going on in your world professionally. And so as you're engaging in stories, do it personally, but do it about your professional work and the things that are happening professionally that will add value to them professionally.
So those are my thoughts on LinkedIn. I would love to connect with you on LinkedIn. If we're not already connected, I've got my link in the notes description below. I'd love for you to share your LinkedIn profile in the comments below and let's connect with each other. Let's build a community of people engaging and crushing LinkedIn in 2021. Let's have a great year leaning into LinkedIn and leaning into this professional social network.
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