In this guide, we’ll talk about LinkedIn Marketing and elaborate on how you can increase engagement on LinkedIn and build an audience for yourself. We’ll also provide some tips and tricks to help you get started.
Do you want to build an audience on LinkedIn?
If so, this blog post is for you!
Let’s dive in!
You and I both want the same.
To be loved; to be recognized. To feel valued.
We want to be on top of the wave and stay there, visible.
No matter how shy, no matter how introverted and humble you are. Bullshit, we all want to be heard.
They say you cannot have a million friends. Don’t trust them; it’s a trap to tell you you can’t do better than them.
There are no big secrets to building an audience and increasing your LinkedIn engagement, just hard work, and discipline.
Yeah, it takes time, creativity, and brass balls to play the engagement and growth game without burning out or obsessing.
Wanna see the results?
Work on your ideas, support your community, embrace the everyday challenge, and overcome laziness. Keep your friends close, but your enemies, oh yes, keep those ones even closer.
But you know, those increasing vanity metrics only make sense when you feel genuinely supported.
Those likes transcend when you start seeing your community shaping a conversation around your topics, debating, agreeing with you through elaborated and interesting arguments, disagreeing with you from the deepest bitterness of their souls.
Yeah, it sounds rough, but it sounds like real life. And that, in times of corona and social distance, feels like golden.
Building a real audience takes dedication.
You can build it from scratch if you’re willing to invest some time and share content that matters. Patrons are fuzzy here, but there are some steps you can keep in mind in your way to grow and engage. No matter your industry or niche.
Ready? Let’s make this growth thing happen.
Before starting with LinkedIn Marketing
So, you wanna start attracting attention to your LinkedIn profile. That’s cool, but do you have what it takes? Check out your profile, is it descriptive enough? Are your skills and personality reflected on it? If I click on it without knowing you, will I find anything interesting or catchy at first glance?
These are the types of questions you need to have covered before starting to build an audience on this social channel.
As we navigate the internet, we scan the pages first, and we focus our attention on those things that catch our eyes at first sight. That’s why you need to take care of some key parts of your LinkedIn profile and update it.
What to check before starting building your audience?
- Header banner
The upper side of your LinkedIn profile is the first thing people will see when they visit you.
Ideally, you’d like to make a great first impression, so take care of this as you’ll take care of the other parts of your profile.
You can create a banner with Canva featuring your company name, or just a neutral background easy to see.
Let’s see these two examples. As much different as they can look, both are in high resolution, clean, and visually attractive.
- Profile picture
Will you trust your time and business to a grey animated image? Definitely not.
Your profile picture speaks directly to the viewer.
Check the profile pictures from the previous examples: in both, you can have a clear idea of how these people look, if they’re friendly or serious and if they care about the details.
Looking after your profile imagery suggests care for details, and this is a positive characteristic you may want people to remember about you.
Avoid low-resolution graduation pictures; avoid dark selfies, holiday pictures, or other images that might not fit well here.
Just consider this: do you want to be remembered as the crazy cat lady or the video games freak guy? As much as we love cats and video games, including them in your LinkedIn profile can be out of place…unless you’re a professional cat caretaker or gamer. In those cases, my respects.
What’s your expertise? What’s your unique value proposition? How do you help clients?
Make sure you leave this clear in your headline, so people can know from the first moment what you do and what you are skillful at.
- About section
This is your opportunity to describe yourself, both personally and professionally better. You can keep it short or long, the important thing is to include those key elements that will later guide your audience through who you are and how you can help them sort their problems.
We recommend you to write it in the first person. Third-person sometimes sounds like you have a distorted personality at times.
Is there anything you’d like to highlight about yourself or your work? This is the place!
Use the feature section to include articles you’ve written, interesting posts you’ve shared, or links to your website.
Take some time to write a brief description of each professional experience you want to highlight. This way, your audience can have 5 cents on what roles you’ve developed and what skills you’ve put into action.
Your posts and comments appear here. If you’re new at LinkedIn, this might have an empty feeling, but don’t worry, we are here to change that.
Okay, now that your profile looks absolutely stunning, let’s dig deeper. Follow this step by step to start powering your LinkedIn marketing game.
- Create a routine
Discipline is key if you want to succeed in your way to building an audience and increasing your engagement.
But how? Try this:
Dedicate a moment of your day to engage, comment, and add new connections. If your times are tight, start with 20 minutes per day. Even 10 minutes can make a difference, but it’s crucial that you commit to doing it on a daily basis.
Wondering what times are better? We’ve got you covered.
- 8-9 am. Early morning, right before starting your workday.
- 1-3 pm. Midday. Many people on LinkedIn choose lunchtime to post and interact.
- 8-10 pm. Are you a night owl? You’ll probably find a target here. Just make sure it’s not later than 10, even the greatest LinkedIn fans need some rest, and you deserve it too.
- Weekend. The LinkedIn community is getting more and more active over the weekend. Most people have plenty of time to read and reply to comments on Saturdays and Sundays, and this is something you can take advantage of.
Make engagement and interaction part of your everyday tasks; no matter the time you choose, the important thing is to do it regularly.
1. Take the first step
You wanna rock at engagement? Get out of your own bubble.
The more you interact, the farther you will get. To attract an audience, you first need to support your audience’s causes. But be real. Show honest interest, add real value, and don’t fall on the clichés of “good post”, “thanks for sharing”, or “totally agree”.
Instead, you can try this:
- Ask open questions about your connections’ posting topics
- Contribute to the conversation with your own thoughts
- Give an honest opinion or ask for further details
- Describe a similar example or share a link describing why that reference can be useful to the topic
When it comes to interaction in your own posts, it’s very important that you always reply to the comments! People will be more likely to comment often and visit your profile if they see there’s an active conversation around their answers.
To interact and engage, you don’t have to be an expert on every single topic; just be curious, learn from others, and…
2. Be unique
Fake inspirational gurus can’t fit here.
LinkedIn is an open window to get to know people’s personality, both professional and personal, and building your audience on fake promises it’s a double-edged sword.
Your own personality has to be clearly present in your content. Every single detail has to claim your personal touch.
Keep in mind:
- The way you write. Make your language as illustrative as possible. There are no complicated concepts that cannot be explained. Speak humanly, simplify. And remember, humor can be helpful here too.
- The way you structure your posts. Long text blocks are hard to read. Give space between ideas and use emoji to make your writing slightly more visual.
- The graphic content you chose to illustrate your posts. Photos, videos, memes, gifs, and emojis can help you support your statements.
- The offline references you make. Bring on some pop culture; if well implemented, it can help your message resonate with your audience.
Your perspective about life is important here too. Go for those characteristics that make you unique and portray them in your content.
3. Add real value
You’ve heard this many times, probably, but what the hell does it actually mean? Can there be a more complex concept than adding value?
Talk about those topics that worry your community, those that can help them in their everyday life, and those that can inspire, entertain or educate. A good balance is important here. We all need to learn, and we all need to laugh.
Here’s an example. Are you in the marketing field?
- Talk about the last trends in online events
- List what are the main tools to help you organize an online event
- Write about a common problem with online events and a possible solution
- Show your expertise. Talk about a situation you’ve faced in this field, and did you sorted out
Adding value is not only providing practical solutions; it also has to do with showing your vision of things around you from a constructive perspective.
Human and emotional. Is that you?
Success is also conditioned to your capacity to dig into people’s sensitive side.
Have you ever heard about the mirror effect?
The mirror effect is recognizing other’s experiences in you. People empathize better with those messages that they find familiar, which resonate inside them through self-identification.
But there are other ways to get into emotionality too.
Controversy is attractive, for example. Whenever you start a conversation around a controversial topic, expect people to react fast.
Evoking feelings and situations about annoying facts make people want to share their own experience with a perspective both from a general and personal point of view.
List your fears, your desires, your goals, and your questions.
Open up to your audience, provoke. Let us know what happens after, as we are always, always be willing to…
4. Listen rather than talking
Active listening isn’t limited to offline communication; on the contrary. You won’t succeed on LinkedIn by winning an audience willing to flatter every single post, but by nurturing their thoughts and contributing to amplifying their voices by listening.
Self-esteem is good. Egocentricity is dangerous.
This whole social thing is mainly about you, but the real value needs to overcome everything about your person.
Recognize the value in others’ work.
As you write and post and comment, you’ll find interesting and valuable content from some members of your community.
Recognizing their good work will open new doors, and it can improve the value of the message, both for you and the person you’re referring to.
Leaders contribute to others’ development and share the merits. Make people identify yourself as a leader.
5. Be curious
Take the time to get to know your community better. Ask open questions and show real interest in getting to know them better.
Let the creativity flow.
There are no limits to imagination, and a culture of recognition can help you here.
How do you use iconic referents to amplify your message?
You might not feel in the mood to share a deep thought or an educational post every single day. For those cases, you can go through a culture of recognition to exemplify your statements.
6. Be welcoming but not spammy!
Use welcome messages within the platform to help nurture your community and establish personal relationships, but don’t go too hard with Inmails, don’t be salesy or annoying.
Before going straight to someone’s inbox, consider these two questions:
1- Is it the right moment for an email approach?
2- What’s the real value of my approach?
Your new connections may receive hundreds of emails over the week, and you don’t want yours to be just another one…
Choose the right moment and topic for your approach, and be genuinely interested in providing the other person with a valuable message
The will to establish a personal relationship must prevail over any professional interest.
Try this format:
- Introduce yourself briefly – what makes you unique and how you help people with your work
- Ask them about what they do or how did they get into their current position
- If convenient, send a link to a topic they can find useful related to their niche of expertise
Each connection is a specific context, and you need to take the time to understand what can be the best way to start a dialogue that doesn’t go straight to the spam folder.
Whatever your previous experience with LinkedIn is, you have an advantage: you are a human being, and thus, you can understand how it feels when someone approaches you in the street just to sell you stuff. Same feeling, different platforms.
You might find this article useful for nailing it when writing LinkedIn messages.
Building a community is an experience that should start earlier in your career and evolve as you grow as a professional and as a person.
Your audience can help you develop your thoughts, support career evolution, and make you learn new things. If you get the discipline, you will get the traction.
Listen, the audience’s expecting your best. And after this read, I’m sure you won’t disappoint them.