by Keith Teo, founder of CClarity.
State of LinkedIn
In the beginning, LinkedIn started as a professional networking site and a place where people go to share or look for jobs. Today, it has evolved into a powerful platform where people come to learn and grow their network, becoming an indispensable go-to-market (GTM) channel for companies.
Over 950 million business people use LinkedIn, making it the largest professional social network in the world. How can you harness this platform's global reach to grow your personal brand and business?
Start With Why
Having clarity in your purpose for using LinkedIn is crucial. Is it to generate leads, help with recruiting someone to join your team, or fundraise for your startup (if you are an entrepreneur)? Or is it simply to grow your professional network for career opportunities?
10 out of 10 people whom I ask would tell me that they want to build their personal brand and establish thought leadership. As a follow up to the question, I would try to delve a few layers deeper than that and ask “Why do you want to build a personal brand?”
It sounds almost too simple but your goal forms the north star for your LinkedIn profile and content strategy.
Identify Your Who (Audience) and What (Offer)
Knowing your target audience and what you offer is the next important step. Tailor your profile, messaging and content to address their needs, pain points, and aspirations. This clarity ensures that your LinkedIn efforts will move you closer to your goals.
Start With Your Profile
There are few parts to your Linkedin presence. After you have established the "Why", the "Who" and the "What" - the first thing most people would do is to jump straight into writing content for their page. Wrong. The next thing is to first perform a thorough analysis on their profile. In the Linkedin world, your profile is your personal landing page. Do optimise your profile for conversion first, otherwise your effort with writing posts and comments may be wasted.
How to Optimise Your Profile - A Step-by-Step Guide
Here's how to optimise your profile:
Your banner and profile picture give people their first impressions of you.
Make sure they look professional, are aligned with your brand (style, tone etc) , and make a statement or have a clear call-to-action that communicates to your target audience.
Your headline is your opportunity to succinctly convey what you do, and your value proposition.
It is the description that people see when they come across the comments you leave on other author’s posts or when they are searching for a particular profile. Use your headline to drive visits to your profile.
By all means, be creative about your profile, but make sure it’s easily understood. If in doubt, the key strategy is to optimise for simplicity and clarity.
One of the most useful thing to have on your profile is to insert a custom link on your profile to drive traffic to your website or offers page.
I would advocate using UTM links to track click-throughs, enabling you to measure the effectiveness of your profile in driving traffic to your offer.
But do note that in order to enable this feature, you will need to turn on Creator Mode. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do this.
Next, the Featured section is where you would highlight your significant accomplishments, media mentions, or resources.
I've discovered through my experience that including a compelling offer here that addresses your audience’s problems can boost conversion. Do test and iterate with different offers and designs.
Again, use UTM links in your URL to track these clicks and conversion.
The Guide to Increase Profile Views and Followers (using just 1 Hour per Day)
Unknown to most, contributing insightful comments will give you more reach than writing posts, especially if you are new to LinkedIn.
Writing posts will grow your thought leadership and your personal brand, but this takes time, especially if you don’t have a decent following (~3k) yet. The fewer the followers you have, the less reach your posts tend to have.
Leaving stand-out, authentic, value-adding comments on posts that resonates with your target audience is the secret to getting more profile views within a shorter amount of time.
The ability to contribute insightful comments starts with having the right mindset about commenting - imagine that you are at a Ted talk, and the speaker just gave a killer presentation. The floor is open for questions - what would you ask or say?
Your comments should add value, contribute additional helpful knowledge, and/or ask thoughtful questions.
This approach not only increases your profile visibility, but also positions you as a thought leader with the author and those that engaged with the post.
Comment to Comments
Engaging with potential leads in the comments also helps to increase the conversion rate of connection requests. Add value in public, be genuinely helpful, and you’ll gain followers over time.
Consistency is Key
I find it most effective to engage and comment on relevant posts everyday to drive profile views and website visits.
Review your web analytics every two weeks to understand the source of your traffic, and iterate/ improve your LinkedIn profile accordingly.
Connect on LinkedIn, But Build Relationships Off It
The next tactic is to actively make new connections with your target audience on LinkedIn, but remember, relationships are built off it.
But make sure you build upon those new connections and meet them in-person or over video call. The key is to build genuine, long-term relationships.
Transforming your LinkedIn presence into an effective GTM strategy requires an optimised LinkedIn profile and network engagement.
To reiterate, it pays to understand your audience, craft a compelling profile and offer, and actively engage in meaningful interactions. Remember, consistency is key. One way to stay consistency is to schedule LinkedIn tasks into your calendar.
Do these consistently for 3-6 months (yes! it’s a long game), and you should grow your following with the right audience, and get closer to your objectives on LinkedIn.
I’m currently the founder of CClarity, a tool that helps Founders and Sales Leads create better content on LinkedIn to build an audience and grow their personal brand.
In the past, I was a Senior Product Manager at companies including Grab and Good Doctor. I also founded companies in blockchain (e-commerce), and had an exit in a startup in advertising technology.
I share about go-to-market and founder stories on LinkedIn frequently. Connect with me.