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December 16, 2020
By John Muscarella
LinkedIn has become the gold standard for business-focused social media platforms and is the leading social media channel for B2B marketers.
Even with this, many people use LinkedIn only as a place to post an online resume rather than as an effective tool for marketing themself AND their business. In this blog, I will take you through strategies for leveraging LinkedIn to grow your business.
Before we delve into the specifics of optimizing your profile, I want to get back to basics. No matter which approach you use, whether in person or via social media, the first step is always to find your customer’s problem in order to deliver useful content to ease it. As we mentioned in the last blog, the business owners you are targeting are looking for help and for consultations from people they trust. You want to be that trusted advisor, and that should be reinforced in everything you do.
To make the most of LinkedIn, there are two areas where you want to spend your time:
On your profile: Make your profile relevant and effective (one-time investment).
In your activity: Leverage existing content by reposting, sharing, and commenting to generate discussion and establish/deepen customer relationships.
Your profile is a personal branding opportunity to show off your expertise, capabilities, and affiliations. Once you shift your profile emphasis from being simply a resume to serving as a professional profile, you show others why it is important to connect with you. Others will see you as:
Knowledgeable: They can depend on you.
Experienced: They can learn from what you’ve done.
Recognized: They see/can refer you as a known source among professional peers.
Currently active: They know you are up to date on what is going on in your field.
Worthwhile: This person can help me!
How to Build That Standout Profile:
Create an informative, professional headline. The default in LinkedIn is to use your current work title, which can often be effective, but you can modify that to be more descriptive. For example, “VP of Sales” isn’t as descriptive as “VP, Sales/UCaaS and Cable Services.”
You have 30 seconds to describe yourself. Can you do it? The summary section requires brevity and the ability to boil your expertise down to a tight few lines people will remember. I will break down the sections of the summary to help you build the most effective one.
Who are you, really? This first sentence is the root of your summary and the opening line. In a clear voice, definitively tell viewers what you’re all about. To help build this line, practice describing yourself in less than 10 seconds.
Example: “I am a master agent with a focus on optimizing the complexity of lower revenue orders within the UCaaS and cable segments.”
What do you do? Now take the opening line a bit deeper. Remember the 30-second rule. Add your job title, briefly what you do at the job, and how your job helps people (think about how you are a trusted advisor).
Example: “As vice president of the XOC group, a full-service agent for premier cable solutions, I find the best vendors and carriers to work with to deliver the highest service and best value to our SMB customers.”
Bring them home. Finally, make your LinkedIn summary memorable. This is your closer. What is your mission? What are you passionate about? What is your special sauce that is the reason people should be talking with you?
Example: “My mission is to know everything about the newest technologies and strategies around UCaaS and cable to help match the best tech to your needs and budget.”
Now you’ve got an on-target summary. Next, how do you leverage LinkedIn so people see it?
To make LinkedIn work to your advantage, there are a few strategies to keep in mind.
Keep your profile updated. Staying current shows you’re invested in your business and network.
Follow companies and people you are working with, professional colleagues, partners, and thought leaders in your field. Read their posts; like, comment, and engage in a “conversation” when you can in order to keep yourself top of mind.
Join relevant groups. There are several groups for most verticals. Being active in the right groups gives you opportunities to answer questions, show off your expertise, and connect with potential partners and customers. Search for key topics you focus on in LinkedIn’s search box and select “Groups.”
Regularly post content that reflects your industry and expertise. When you can post an original article or content, that’s great. But I know creating new content takes time that business owners without a marketing department often don’t have. A good approach to staying active on LinkedIn is to review the feeds of the thought leaders you follow, reshare their relevant posts with your own opinion, and follow the partners you work with. For example, the Cox Business LinkedIn page regularly has content worth resharing.
With so many professionals on LinkedIn, don’t miss an opportunity to engage your partners and prospects everywhere they congregate.
We value our Cox partners and I welcome the opportunity to discuss how we can help you grow. Reach out anytime at [email protected].
As a senior director at Cox Business, John is responsible for the overall readiness strategy for the indirect business sales channels. His team has the primary responsibility to develop, implement and sell solutions utilizing the Cox Communications network throughout the country. John has more than 25 years of experience in business management, which includes sales and leadership positions with companies such as Polycom, Sprint and EDS.
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