It’s 2:59pm on Sunday 9th July 2023, a beautiful sunny day with a light breeze. You have a top seat in the Hamilton Straight grandstand and you’re looking forward to the next two hours of speed, excitement, and permanent hearing loss.
The signal isn’t brilliant but you’ve managed to stream some (slightly delayed) commentary to add to the growing atmosphere round the 5.891-kilometre Silverstone Circuit. Crofty’s jovial tones are in your ear, complemented by the reassuring Home County lilt of Martin Brundle. £12 for a half bottle of cooking wine but never mind, all is well with the world.
The Formula 1 Aramco British Grand Prix 2023 is about to… “TING!”
Grumbling, you elbow your way into your pocket to dig out your phone. Squinting against the glare from 20 carbon fibre monocoques, you open a new (and poorly timed) LinkedIn notification.
Oh good, it’s the new guy at work. He’s got 14 LinkedIn connections, hasn’t posted for seven months, and owes you three pints.
“Quick one, mate. Which F1 team do you reckon you’d drive for, based on your LinkedIn profile? ????”
You zone out, removing one earbud, barely even hearing Crofty announce “it’s lights out and away we go!” over the NEEEEOWWWW racing around in your own brain. Consumed, you sip your tepid wine and lull into deep, deep thought…
Well, that was exciting, wasn’t it?
To keep this (definitely not tenuous) link going, let’s think of LinkedIn’s algorithm like the FIA. A body of largely unseen rule makers, keeping an eye on everyone’s output and appraising whether you’re following regulations or not. While the algorithm keeps everyone on the straight and narrow, it isn’t the sole determiner of success on LinkedIn.
Much of it comes down to you.
How you set up your profile, the posts you share, the way you engage with others. And, soon, we’ll be releasing a scorecard, giving you personalised insights into how you’re doing.
Anyway, much like F1, you have your race leaders, those in the midfield, and the backmarkers.
Who would sign you as their third driver? Come on now, it’s just a bit of fun…
McLaren Mercedes – Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri
The MCL60 has, if the first two races are anything to go by, understeered McLaren out of the frying pan and into the fire. With zero points, they’re currently sat at the bottom of the constructor and driver standings. But it’s still early doors.
To join McLaren as their third driver, you have:
- A banner image, including your logo, some social proof (e.g. number of Google reviews), contact details and website address, plus a short statement showing what you do and who you do it for
- A clear, professional profile picture (according to LinkedIn, profiles with a photo get up to 21x more views than those without).
Alpine Renault – Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly
Under the eccentric but likeable leadership of Otmar Szafnauer, Alpine claimed the midfield title in 2022, finishing an impressive 4th in the constructor standings. The all-new, all-French line-up have had a reasonable start to the 2023 season with the A523, despite a DNF for Ocon in Bahrain.
If you don’t fancy being at the back of the grid, you’d better outqualify McLaren. In addition to the banner image and profile picture, you have:
- A personalised profile URL (not the nasty auto-assigned string of letters and numbers) that combines your name with your business name, separated by a hyphen. For example, “esteban-ocon-alpine-f1”
- Up-to-date contact information, including your website (you can link to multiple pages), telephone number, office address, email address, links to other social media channels, and your birthday
- To be connected with your current clients.
Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes – Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll
These guys caused a stir in testing with their reliable and lightning fast AMR23, and have translated that into consecutive podiums for two-time world champion and newest member of the team, Fernando Alonso. They’re currently sitting 2nd in the constructor standings ahead of the Australian GP on April 2.
For a spot alongside El Nano, you’ll need DRS to fly past McLaren and Alpine. In addition to their criteria, you have:
- Your specialism after your name – for example, “Fernando Alonso – Formula One 2x World Drivers’ Championship Winner”
- An effective headline, explaining what you do, who you do it for, and why people work with you in those precious 220 characters
- An ”about” section which builds on the headline, including who you work with, your differentiators (there are no USPs in financial services) and the benefits of working with you, ideally using social proof
- A posting strategy that you follow consistently, determining your content pillars (themes, topics, or core values that reflect you and your work) and how regularly you will post (3-5 times per week is our recommendation).
Ferrari – Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz
Leclerc dominated the opening races of 2022, giving Red Bull cause for concern and earning himself the unofficial title of “king of qualifying”. In the end, the Monegasque’s dreams of the top spot were dashed by poor strategic decisions and technical failures.
Fancy joining the Prancing Horse duo? You better hope for a good tyre compound choice and low degradation to take McLaren, Alpine, and Aston Martin on the pit straight. As well as their team demands, you have:
- Fully completed ”experience” and ”education” sections, complete with a brief summary of each role and why you moved on, plus all relevant qualifications, including your degree and higher-level accreditations such as Chartered status
- A ”featured” section, showcasing your best work to everyone who visits your profile, which could include LinkedIn posts/articles, links to your website or blog, or client videos
- To regularly react to, and comment on, other people’s posts in a meaningful way (don’t just leave a “????”, who benefits from that?)
- To reply to all comments people leave on your posts – not only does this build a two-way relationship, it’s polite when someone has taken the time to engage with you!
- To follow up offline networking with a connection request – for example, if you meet someone at a conference, it’s good practice to follow that up online.
Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT – Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez
2021’s Driver World Championship victory might have been controversial but, cost cap breach or not, there’s no denying Red Bull’s dominance in 2022.
True to form, the team have entered the 2023 season with blistering performances, claiming a 1-2 finish at Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Despite the wind-tunnel restrictions imposed last year, the RB19 still looks fearsome on track. Although a driveshaft failure prevented Verstappen from victory in Saudi, he’s odds on for a third world championship title this year.
As Daniil Kvyat, Pierre Gasly, and Alex Albon know, Christian Horner is a man with little tolerance for poor performance out on track. If you want to race with the best team on the grid, you’re going to need to execute the perfect lap. No lockups, no time in the gravel traps, no penalties.
If you think you have what it takes to go purple, you’ll require everything the other teams have and more. There’s no time for porpoising, you have:
- To list the services you offer using the dedicated “providing services” feature, showcasing the work you do for clients, chosen from a pre-determined list, at the top of your profile
- To fill up your “recommendations” section with endorsements for your professional capabilities by requesting them from colleagues and clients
- To switch on ”creator mode”, a profile setting which helps you grow your reach and influence on LinkedIn, and provides access to additional tools and features
- A connection request strategy, allowing you to maximise the limit of 200 per week by sending requests to people who match the criteria of your ideal client, complete with a personalised message
- To positively expand upon someone else’s post by either starting a discussion in the comments or creating your own post on the subject, tagging the original author and adding your opinion to develop the conversation (note: don’t do this to tear their idea down!)
- To send direct messages to your connections, particularly ideal clients, that are non-salesly, genuine attempts at deepening your relationship. For example, by sending over a guide that they might find useful, such as one on retirement planning or re-mortgaging.
Not quite on pole position just yet?
Unlike F1 drivers who usually start competitive karting around the age of six, you can sign up to LinkedIn and begin building your online presence any time you like. If the F1 analogies haven’t warmed your tyres, try these blogs on for size:
- A step-by-step guide: How to create the perfect LinkedIn profile
- 50 game-changing tips to instantly take your LinkedIn up a notch.
And, if you want to speak to me or someone else in our social media team about how to use LinkedIn more effectively, we’d love to hear from you. Connect with me on LinkedIn, drop me a line on live chat, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you in Melbourne!