I had the privilege of taking part a podcast episode of Print Media Centr’s Podcasts from the Printerverse series alongside Print Producer, and long-time friend Deborah Corn.

To introduce Deborah merely as a Print Producer would be unjust. Not only does Deborah have over 25 years’ experience working in print advertising under her belt, she currently provides “printspiration” and resources to print and marketing professionals via blogging, hosting podcasts and speaking at industry events. Notably, Deborah is the cultivator of Print Production Professionals, the number 1 print group on LinkedIn.

Find Out How to Optimise LinkedIn By Listening Here:

The percentage of people who actually get LinkedIn is still such a small percentage it’s mad! That’s why it was great that Deborah put the following questions to me:

  1. You say LinkedIn is an underutilised tool for business development. Almost everybody is on LinkedIn of course, but only a small percentage of people really know how to navigate and benefit from it. What are some of the key things people can do right now to strengthen the way that they use LinkedIn during this time that they have at home?
  2. What is the value of changing your title [Headline] to something it’s not [changing your headline from merely saying your job title] if LinkedIn doesn’t honour that headline when people search for you?
  3. What is the balance between the individual and the company? So someone works at a big company, should everybody who works at that company adhere to a certain branding as far as what titles/Headlines are, what the description of the company is and what its values are or is their individual Profile theirs and they can say whatever they want about the company they work for and call themselves whatever they want?
  4. Let’s pretend we’re going to put everyone on a 3-week plan and on week 4 they’re going to report back on how they have improved their activity and their engagement communication on LinkedIn, with their current audience. What are some tips and tools they can start practising right now?
  5. What is your opinion about groups on LinkedIn?… an interesting debate you won’t want to miss ensued over this topic…
  6. You showed me something I didn’t even know was possible and I don’t know what it’s called but you shared a link where it showed a number out of 100 that was your [Social Selling Index score]. What is this and how can people access it, what does it measure?

We also discussed how to use LinkedIn for lead generation (or as I prefer to call it relationship-building) and how to approach Connection Requests (playing out scenarios that have worked for me in the past time and time again).

Some Key Takeaways

Being Proud of Your LinkedIn Profile

The LinkedIn Profile is the place people are likely to visit way before they pick up the phone or place an order. Not being proud of your Profile is like leaving home in the morning, half-dressed, hair unwashed, not looking your best or turning up to a client meeting in a torn t-shirt. You just wouldn’t do it!

LinkedIn and Selling

A golden rule on how to optimise LinkedIn for me is to never sell on LinkedIn. The minute you turn on the ‘selling button’ on LinkedIn from your Profile right through to your engagement, you’ve lost the plot. People do not like people selling to them on LinkedIn.

The way to go about ‘selling’ is to be knowledgeable and to give value. The power of the social media economy today is the giving of knowledge and information, not about keeping it, that’s yesteryear’s mentality…and just because I give things away it doesn’t mean there isn’t so much more to learn. If this approach of knowledge sharing is consistently followed, your Connections’ mentality will soon be ‘So if this guy knows this much how much more could he tell us if we employed him to do some work with us?’

Engaging on LinkedIn

Engagement is about knowledge sharing, being a human being, and having a bit of vulnerability as well.

It’s about building trust in your personal Profile and your credibility, instance by instance. I think every time I touch a keyboard; I’m building trust in an audience.

Sending Connection Requests on LinkedIn

Trust builds over a period of time so if you have no relationship with a person on day one, then going into selling mode, for example with a line like ‘Let me tell you about our new server’ Forget it. The Connection is gained to by taking as lighter a touch as you can possibly take at that moment.

Here’s the trick when it comes to how to optimise LinkedIn for relationship building. Okay get the Connection, then take an interest in that new Connection’s activity, that’s the secret to beginning to develop a relationship with them.

LinkedIn Algorithms

Our personal LinkedIn profiles are built through all our content, that which we share in Articles and Posts, our conversations in the comments and value that we add to other people’s posts. Our presence on LinkedIn is built up from content which is on our Profile absolutely, but the algorithms aren’t simply taking their content reference from our Profile and that job description area and Headline, they’re taking it from the whole of the context, the semantic nature of our complete profiles and experience on LinkedIn, that is what builds the algorithm around us.

Often people fail at LinkedIn because they have no content strategy, so basically, they’re not engaging. If you’re wondering how to optimise LinkedIn the answer is if you’re strategic in your engagement and you’re talking about and consuming and relating to people’s stories around the world/sector that you occupy, then the LinkedIn algorithms will pick all that up. It’s the complete picture of you that the algorithm is taking and the more of that storytelling you do in the content your produce and comments that you post, the more of that context of you around life’s real experiences you build, the more the algorithms will present you when somebody’s looking for what you offer. It’s not totally keyword focused.

Company Pages on LinkedIn

Company content utterly fails on LinkedIn. Companies’ content is boring, it’s too corporate, and nobody engages with it. LinkedIn is meant for people connecting with people not with companies. That’s a really important feature.

When it comes to advising a company how to maximise LinkedIn as a vehicle to improve their brand, I recommend giving the power to the employees to allow them to be ambassadors for that brand, sharing content through their own experience, rather than forcing them to share the ‘company page corporate content.’

Your Activity on LinkedIn

I try to spend 80% of my time on LinkedIn engaging with other people’s content and 20% of the time it’s about me.

Most people have got a rich depth of knowledge on their subject areas but how does the world know about it if you’re not sharing it? Turn your knowledge into some sort of document. For instance, ‘The top ten things I’ve learnt about…’ and transform that into a Document and produce it for the purposes of sharing it on LinkedIn.

Stand Out Quotes from Our How to Optimise LinkedIn Discussion

“LinkedIn is my life, but I have to tell you I have a love/hate relationship with LinkedIn.”

“LinkedIn ought to take a leaf out of our books because honestly, I think the platform could be so much better if they listened to us.”

“I think there’s a role reversal of the sales opportunity through social media platforms like LinkedIn for this to be turned into an inbound opportunity.”

“LinkedIn should be paying you! Honestly, I’m not joking!”

“Your content will find its way to the doorstep of anybody on LinkedIn who’s likely to find it interesting if your Profile and your content describes what kind of content you’re interested in.”

“There are a lot of lurkers on LinkedIn, for every participant, there are 100 lurkers. There are a lot of people who do nothing but are looking in and consuming this stuff.”

“I have had more discussions and Connected with more CEOs over the last two weeks, who by the way knew everything about Print Media Centr, everything I did but I didn’t know who they were at all.”

“Three of the people in the room won business, converted the business for their conferencing and events in that 6-week period as a result of their increased engagement and activity on LinkedIn. That’s a 25% conversion in 6 weeks! That’s astonishing!”

Intrigued? Then give the podcast episode a listen to understand how to optimise LinkedIn for you and your business during this lockdown period!

Enquire about a LinkedIn training programme tailored for you

To find out more about our in-house training courses, get in touch via the form below, email us on nigel@valueexchange.co.uk or call us on +44 (0)7976 894353