While most of us are in the business of selling something – usually professional services – none of us should ever have to outright sell anything on LinkedIn (or any other content marketing platform) when we use them right.

LinkedIn posts, articles and blog posts are at the top of your sales funnel – they are meant to serve as an introduction to your audience so they want to learn more about you and your services.

So, just demonstrate your expertise and provide free, helpful information on that topic often (making it one of your content pillars), which reinforces your position as a subject-matter expert in that area and draws leads to you as the go-to authority in your niche.

As a reminder, your content pillars are the subset of topics or themes in your wheelhouse that support your brand and business that create the foundation for your overall content strategy. You should have three to six of them in your overall content strategy.

Content pillars enable you to be more intentional and strategic about creating and publishing content.

Let’s get back to using LinkedIn to convert and sell.

Here’s the thing – overtly selling turns people off and makes them uncomfortable.

But when you showcase what you do, help them and offer them something of value, you are instead demonstrating WHY you are the best at what you do.

You are staying top of mind with your clients, prospects and referrals in the best possible way.

It’s that easy!

So think show versus tell and you never have to feel uncomfortable about selling anything.

There is no such thing as giving away too much free information or all of your “secrets” because they will still need you to implement what you describe.

A Word About Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile if You’re in Sales

Of course, there are ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile if you are in sales by adding strategic keywords to your headline, summary and work experience, and you should still do that.

You should also take advantage of LinkedIn tools such as Sales Navigator and InMail Messenger (just don’t spam people), as well as the Notifications and People Also Viewed, but in this article I’m focusing more about how to use a LinkedIn content marketing strategy to build your brand on the platform, which will organically lead to sales and other opportunities.

People Connect With People

Another thing to think about is people do business with people, so your goal should be to build relationships with others and let others get to know you.

They connect more with individuals rather than static business-speak and dry content, so tell stories and show your face on social – whether it’s using videos or pictures of yourself.

Hire a photographer if that makes you feel more comfortable showing up. Your videos do not need to be professionally produced as I have said many times – mine aren’t. All I use is my iPhone, a $5 Bluetooth remote and a caption app.

Get comfortable with being visible on social media because the posts where you showcase more about you and your background, and why you do what you do, or a success story resonate much more with your audience than the run of the mill, boring vanilla posts we see all the time on LinkedIn.

Don’t be afraid to let people get to know you – you don’t need to overshare to be memorable.

You’re not selling your brand, business or products in your social media or blog posts; you’re selling yourself. You want people to relate to you and form an emotional connection.

Consistency is key here, which means showing up regularly with relevant, helpful content that gives a lot of value to your audience.

Showing up as your authentic self can transform your business, brand and open doors to new opportunities.

It also builds trust, helps to share the unique story of your company’s “why” as well as humanizes your business in a way that can create stronger relationships with your clients.

Now that’s what creates sales.

And finally, perhaps what is the most basic of all LinkedIn tips for someone trying to sell anything on LinkedIn or build connections (but is often overlooked) is to make sure your contact information is front and center on your profile – not just in the contact information section but also in your cover image. That is prime real estate at the top of your profile.

Make it easy for someone interested in you and your services to get in touch with you when they want to.

Here’s a short video with more on how to sell on LinkedIn without ever selling anything.