If your business offering is something that you wish to promote to other businesses then you would choose LinkedIn as your preferred social media platform. If your business offers products or services directly to consumers (the general public) or family and friends, then you would use Facebook or Instagram to promote your services. And, this all makes perfect sense. After all, your sister-in-law isn’t interested in the latest news in your industry and your target business audiences don’t want to see your holiday pictures!
A question I am asked regularly is what if you have two different professional identities with non-intersecting networks? For instance, let’s say you are a freelance PR professional in the automotive industry with a side business as a celebratory card maker. Should you create two different LinkedIn profiles and promote each side of your professional identity separately?
LinkedIn was originally designed as a recruitment platform but more recently it now offers a place where professionals can connect, exchange valuable content, look for opportunities, recommend one another and so on. If you choose to have two separate profiles, that would defy LinkedIn’s purpose of helping you extend your professional network. Your connections are going to be split between two accounts, you would double your workload and it would be extremely difficult or even messy to reach out to your network or make recommendations or introductions.
You should also note that by creating two profiles you are working outside LinkedIn End User Agreement. If a user notices that you have two different accounts, they can report you and LinkedIn has the right to shut down your accounts without further notice. You will then have spent all that time building your profiles only to lose all the work you have done.
You obviously want to promote your range of products or services and you want your audience to know about your offerings but you don’t want to confuse them with all your creative hats you wear. A clear headline that tells your network from the beginning who you are or what you do will help to clarify your offerings but a headline saying "I am a PR professional that also creates celebratory cards" is too ambiguous and doesn’t help your network perceive the value they can get if they connect with you.
I always suggest to my clients that they should pick a career and focus on it. However, if you want to showcase both of your professional personalities, then do it in the Summary section. You have 2000 characters, so there’s plenty of space to expand on your business offerings. Then, I suggest that you set up two separate business pages and link to these pages in your "Experience Section" in your LinkedIn profile. Going forward, you can then share the posts from your two business pages in your personal "LinkedIn Activity" section.
Good luck with your LinkedIn Marketing and if you need help in understanding how LinkedIn can help you build your business connections then please get in touch.
How many of you have decided during this lockdown period to spend time on your marketing? As part of your marketing did you decide to download your LinkedIn connections and send them an email to let them know about company updates, new services and offers?
I haven’t downloaded my LinkedIn connections for some time, but today when I did just this, I was provided with everything I needed to know about my connections apart from their email address – I understand GDPR but my connections are those people that want to connect with me because they wanted to hear from me - so thank you Linkedin!!
After some research, I have found out that LinkedIn just quietly introduced this new privacy setting that defaults to blocking other users from exporting your email address. The launch of this new setting without warning or even a formal announcement has really been annoying for people like me who have invested lots of time into this professional networking site in the hope of contacting my connections outside of it. My view is that "we are already connected and so you are happy for me to contact you".
So basically emails are no longer coming through as part of LinkedIn’s Archive tool for exporting your data. LinkedIn have said that this was done so that your connections could not automatically download your email address.
If you take a look at the setting titled ‘Who can download your email’ you’ll see they have added a more detailed setting that defaults to the strongest privacy option. Members can choose to change that setting based on their preference. This gives our members control over who can download their email address via a data export.
That new option can be found under Settings & Privacy -> Privacy -> Who Can See My Email Address? This “Allows your connections to download your email [address of user] in their data export?” toggle defaults to “No.” Most users don’t know it exists because LinkedIn didn’t announce it!
That means nearly no one’s email addresses will appear in a LinkedIn Archive export any more. Your connections will still be able to see your email address if they visit your profile, but they cannot grab your email address from the connection download option.
On a positive note, this means that you will need to review those you wish to email and spend a little time viewing their profile to find their email address. Your connection will see that you have viewed their profile and they will not then be too surprised to receive your personalised email.
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You have set up your Personal Profile on LinkedIn and as you have 3 or more staff you have chosen to set up a LinkedIn Business page too. That alone is not enough! To effectively build your brand on LinkedIn you need to be more proactive.
My #TopTips (in a nutshell)
YOUR LINKEDIN COMPANY PAGE
Start to share regular (2-3 times a week) company updates on your Business LinkedIn page such as business accomplishments, anniversaries (both company and staff related) and business milestones. Also link to articles or blogs on your website and share interesting articles from other LinkedIn users related to your business.
Make your team admins on your LinkedIn Business Page so that they can share updates on the company page too. If everyone contributes, it becomes less onerous on one person.
Ask your team to link their “current positions” to your business page
Get your team to also share company updates on their LinkedIn profiles.
YOUR PERSONAL LINKEDIN PAGE
Make sure your profile is up-to-date, your summary is clear, concise and lets people know how to get in touch with you.
Share your Company Page updates – help spread company messages to a wider audience.
Start to LIKE and comment on posts from others that you may wish to develop a working relationship with or that are industry influencers.
Start to develop conversations with your connections through LinkedIn messaging.
If you need help with putting a process in place to develop the above, then just get in touch.
LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with around 120 million members and is growing rapidly. LinkedIn connects you to your known contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.
So how do you improve your presence on LinkedIn?
Write and post a recommendation for someone that you have worked with and that you are connected to. LinkedIn is a great networking tool and a key element of effective networking is to give first.
2. Join Groups
You can join up to 50 groups. On the main navigation click on ‘Interests’, from the drop-down box there click on ‘Groups’. There you will see a list of all of the groups you are a member of and below that a list of groups that you may find interesting.
3. Give Endorsements
Give people you know endorsements. When you visit the profile of one of your connections, at the top you will see an option to endorse their skills. This is a fast an easy way to support people whose work you value.
4. See Who Has Viewed Your Profile
Take a look at who has been looking at your profile. This is located on the right sidebar of your home page and is under the heading ‘Who’s Viewed My Profile?’ and if you click underneath you can see a list. You can also find this under the main navigation ‘Profile.’ You may find that you know people who are looking at your profile and you can invite them to connect.
5. Add New Connections
Invite people to connect. Don’t be reactive and wait for others to ask you to connect.
If you meet someone and exchange contact details you can search Google using the keywords of their name and LinkedIn to see if they are already on LinkedIn. If they are, you can send them an invitation to connect. Make sure you personalise your invitation to connect, don’t use LinkedIn’s standard text. It only takes a short amount of time to personalise your invite and it can make a big difference.
If there is someone you would like to be connected with, but don’t know personally, you can request that someone you are connected with (that is connected to the person you want to meet) to make the introduction for you.
6. Share Valuable Content
Update your status regularly by sharing quotes, interesting links to articles and websites, and by asking questions. This ensures that your business stays visible on LinkedIn.
7. Add Videos and Photos to Your Profile
It is very easy to add videos and photos to the ‘Summary’, ‘Experience’ or ‘Education’ sections of your LinkedIn profile. Simply click on ‘Profile’ in the main navigation at the top of the page and then click on ‘Edit Profile’ and go to the section you want to add video or photos to. Once you get to the section you want to update, look for a little box in the upper right hand corner of the section. Click on that box icon and you’ll get a drop down menu where you can choose to ‘Add Link’ or ‘Upload a File’ – click on that and then select the file(s) you want to upload.
If you start to utilise some of the recommendations outlined above, then LinkedIn will start to work for you and your business.
If you need more help in understanding how LinkedIn can help raise your business profile then please get in touch. Our 1:1 training sessions will ensure you get the best out of LinkedIn for Business.
Good luck with your LinkedIn Marketing.
WHO IS YOUR PERFECT CUSTOMER?
Do you run a B2B company? In other words, is your product or service more suited to other business owners as opposed to consumers or the general public?
Have you already linked up with them on LinkedIn?
When were you last in touch with them?
If you are not sure about any of the above, we will help you paint a picture of who your ideal customer is. You’ll likely have other types of customers, but focus on the ones that you enjoy serving, and who you want more of and then our 3 stage connection building process will help you link up with them by using a tried and tested process that works.
I run LinkedIn Marketing 1:2's sessions, in which I will explain how to get the best out of your LinkedIn Account and how to effectively reconnect with your connections.
If you would like to know more or you would like to book a LinkedIn Connection Building 1:1 please get in touch
All blogs are written by Amanda of Sunflower VA and they are based on my experience.