Over the past few months, LinkedIn has become my favourite social media channel. The quality of debate is excellent and, as I said last week, it doesn’t have the toxicity of Facebook or Twitter.
Plus (and most importantly) my return on investment is excellent. I spend approximately 45 minutes each day on LinkedIn completing the tasks I’ll explain later in this blog, plus I spend £41.66* per month on a Premium Business membership.
Over the past six months, that’s led to:
- A 138% increase in website traffic compared to last year plus a 158% rise in new visitors to our site specifically from LinkedIn
- 1,458 new connections, all in my target market
- 1,094 people visiting my profile over the past three months.
I highlight these achievements, not as humblebrags, but to demonstrate the power of LinkedIn, which you too can harness if your target audience uses it.
So, in this week’s blog, I want to explain the things I do every day on LinkedIn which are delivering great returns for us and could do for you too.
Consistency + patience = LinkedIn success
To get the best out of any social media platform you need to show up consistently. Ideally, that means every day, including weekends.
Having previously swung between hatred of and antipathy towards LinkedIn, I’ve been showing up consistently on LinkedIn for six months. I’ve managed to remain consistent by doing two things:
1. Carving out time each day: By getting into good habits I’ve remained consistent. My LinkedIn tasks are the first thing I do each day. I’m an early bird so around 5.30 am you will find me on LinkedIn working through my daily routine. 45 minutes later I’m done. Some days I’ll check back in for a few minutes, on others I’ll not log back in until the next morning.
Life’s busy for us all, and many of us no longer have the commute, which was when we’d spend time on social media. So, if you’re struggling to carve out the time, I recommend learning more about Robin Sharma’s 90/90/1 rule.
2. Getting into the habit of noting down ideas for posts: Coming up with LinkedIn posts is perhaps the hardest of the tasks I’ll explain shortly. Fortunately, your day-to-day lived experiences provide a rich seam of valuable content. So, get into the habit of writing ideas down throughout the day. Then, when the time comes to post and your mind has gone blank you can make a withdrawal from the ideas bank you’ve created.
Austin Kleon’s Show Your Work has also been an incredibly valuable source of inspiration for me. If you’ve not already read it, I recommend you buy a copy and read it over Christmas.
Patience is just as important as consistency. If you decide to start taking LinkedIn seriously (and I can’t emphasise enough, this isn’t for everyone and only works if your target clients use LinkedIn too) you will also need to be patient. In my experience, social media begins to show returns just when you’re starting to lose patience and question what you’re doing.
Be patient, keep doing the right things, and it will work.
So, here are the six things you should do every day on LinkedIn.
#1: Add a post
Adding a daily post to LinkedIn achieves many things:
- It adds value to your connections (at least it should do if you’re doing it right)
- It demonstrates your knowledge and expertise
- It shows consistency, which builds the confidence others have in you
- It raises your profile
- It extends your reach if it’s shared with others
- It drives traffic to your website when you link to pages on there.
As I said above, once you get into the habit of posting about your lived experiences it becomes much easier to post daily. Life gets even easier when you share other people’s content too.
#2: Scroll, like, share and comment
Your timeline becomes cleaner once you’ve cleansed your connections.
Each day, scroll down to review your connections’ posts:
- Share posts and articles which will be useful to your connections
- Add comments where you have a particular perspective or opinion
- Like other posts which warrant it.
Remember, sharing a post is more useful to your connection than a simple like. So, if you want to make a good impression…share, don’t just like.
#3: Check your notifications
Your notifications show who’s reacted to your posts as well as providing other useful information.
Check your notifications each day and react accordingly:
- If someone has shared one of your posts, thank them publicly and consider dropping them a private message too. It’s a great opportunity to start a conversation
- Like, and reply to comments on your posts
- Congratulate people on job changes, promotions and, of course, their birthday (it might sound corny, but who doesn’t like being wished a happy birthday? It’ll start conversations).
#4: Respond to messages
As your reach extends and people start engaging with your posts you will probably find yourself getting messages on LinkedIn from your connections.
Inevitably, some will be spam from salespeople and recruiters. When you get these, it’s a dangerous moment in your relationship with LinkedIn.
Yes, spam is a pain.
Yes, I’d rather not get them either.
But, don’t damn the platform because a minority of people use it inappropriately. Instead, disconnect from the culprit and move swiftly on. If you’re still struggling with spam look at it a different way; you wouldn’t stop using your mobile because you get an unwanted cold call. Don’t let spam put you off LinkedIn when it’s easily dealt with.
#5: Review your connection requests
As you start to become more active on LinkedIn others will become aware of your greater reach and influence. That means you will start to get unsolicited connection requests. Some of these will be from potential clients, others from people who just want to sell to you.
We’ve previously explained the importance of only connecting with specific types of people on LinkedIn. Click here and scroll down to tip #1 to learn more. So, each day review your connection requests carefully. If they fall into one of the categories of people that you want to connect with, then accept. If they don’t, hit ‘Ignore’ and move on.
Finally, when you accept a connection request send them a quick message to thank them for the request and start a conversation.
#6: Build your connections
Many people will disagree with this piece of advice. That’s fine, but what we’re about to explain works.
Attending a physical networking event is pretty pointless if you’re going to be a wallflower and put no effort into building your network. The same is true of online networking. Even if you regularly post insightful and useful content it’ll take years to build up a significant base of connections. So, you need to take more proactive action.
Therefore, each day, use the search facility to identify people that you want to be connected to. Next, send a connection request with a carefully crafted message explaining:
- Your motivation for requesting the connection
- Reassuring them that you won’t follow up with a sales message
- Why they should accept your connection request (in other words: what’s in it for them?)
Some will ignore the request; others will accept it. When they do, send a message to start a conversation and take things forward from there.
I’ve been doing this now for a few months. Sure, it’s time-consuming, but it’s worth it. My network has grown by approximately 60%, more people are seeing my posts and engagement levels are up, plus I’ve had:
- Zero negativity
- A connection rate of around 40%
- Some fantastic conversations
- New clients, directly as a result of my connection request
I know that other people are seeing similar results too. If your target client uses LinkedIn, there’s no reason why this wouldn’t work for you.
Update 14th May 2021: LinkedIn has now capped the number of unsolicited connection requests an account can be sent to around 100 per week. That means you need to use your ‘allowance’ carefully and make each request count. You can learn more by clicking here.
Resources to help you make a success of LinkedIn
Over the past few weeks, we’ve written extensively about LinkedIn. So, I thought it would be helpful to summarise all the posts we’ve written.
Our step-by-step guide to creating the perfect LinkedIn profile is the ideal place to start.
Next, here are 10 tips to help you get the best out of LinkedIn plus a detailed explanation of why putting links in the comments, rather than the post, increases engagement.
Finally, our research highlights five mistakes advisers and planners make on LinkedIn plus five things they’re getting right.
We hope you’ve found these blogs about LinkedIn useful.
If you have any questions, feedback or challenges to what we’ve said, we’d love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0115 8965 300.
*A note about LinkedIn subscriptions
It’s impossible to effectively complete each of the above tasks on a free LinkedIn subscription.
I’ve upgraded to Business Premium and it’s working well. The return on investment is great and it’s far cheaper than the cost of attending physical networking events. Plus, there are no tie-ins, so if it’s not working, you can walk away.