I didn’t always have a strong LinkedIn network or presence.

Just like everyone else, I had to start from scratch. And there was a long time where I didn’t do much on LinkedIn except for accepting connections.

I dipped my toes into using LinkedIn by first building a strong personal profile , completing all of the fields and a strong network, strategically connecting with former classmates and colleagues and people with whom I had volunteered. Remember that when it comes to LinkedIn, having more connections is better to raise the likelihood that your posts will be seen.

Then I focused on my interaction on LinkedIn, first liking, sharing and commenting on my network’s posts. I made sure to comment on the posts of the people who I admired most – often those were people who had strong networks – which in turn helped me gain visibility to their connections.

When I became more comfortable and confident, I started creating posts myself. Those included sharing articles I found that were relevant and useful to my network.

I used Twitter to help me source articles by following various publications of interest to me and my connections. I thought of myself as a news aggregator, bringing important information to my network.

I was able to differentiate myself by adding a few lines of text with each article explaining why it was important or insightful for someone to read. And that is such a key step to build in as part of your social strategy.

You can’t just share an article without any introductory text. You get extra points if you tag an entity or a person in the post as well. And a gold star if you start to use a hashtag strategy (hashtags help your posts become more discoverable on any social platform).

I reached my full LinkedIn potential when I began to create my own content, providing my network with helpful tips and insights.

I paid attention to when my connections were on the platform so that they would be most likely to see my posts. I refined my content based on how well each post did. I started to strategically use images (of myself – and no it wasn’t easy to put myself out there!) and hashtags (no more than five per post and always at the end) for each post.

And most importantly, I had confidence in what I was posting. I didn’t become discouraged if a post had a low number of likes, instead I tried to learn from it and refined my content strategy based upon the performance of each post.

Here’s what I did to grow my LinkedIn network and turn it into a business. If I can do it so can you!

  • I focused only on the social channels where my target audience was (this meant LinkedIn)
  • I liked, commented and shared others’ posts
  • I started writing about my speaking engagements and created takeaway posts
  • I turned my PowerPoint slides into social posts recapping the webinar or event
  • I created a personal editorial calendar to plan future posts
  • I shared only value-added content
  • I created visuals for each post
  • I made my content interactive and used video
  • I gave away free content, tools and helpful info
  • I looked at others both in my industry and outside my industry for inspiration/ideas
  • I told personal stories and injected my personality into posts
  • I developed a hashtag strategy to enhance visibility of my posts
  • I regularly engaged with my followers – I responded to each comment on my posts. It’s very helpful in terms of LinkedIn’s algorithm as well as just being a great way to interact with those who liked my content.
  • I built a strong LinkedIn profile and regularly updated it, using new features released by LinkedIn (such as the amazing Featured section which enables you to pin certain posts to the top of your profile
  • I cultivated my network – actively adding new connections every single week
  • I checked my LinkedIn messages, and actively sent messages to connections with whom I had lost touch or who were important to me so that I was top of mind with them
  • I recycled my greatest hits – reposting past content that did well using my editorial calendar to help me plan out content
  • I used analytics to refine my LinkedIn content efforts
  • I posted at least 3X a week (then increased that to 5X), and I didn’t get discouraged if no one liked my posts. I knew that my audience would come if I kept posting good content.

The greatest thing about LinkedIn is that it’s never too late or early to start using it. You have to start somewhere. We all did.

I have a lawyer client who’s in his early 60s who never used LinkedIn other than to create a profile and accept connections. He successfully started using it to bring in leads and build his brand within just 18 months of making LinkedIn part of his business development strategy. I hope this shows you that anyone can achieve success on LinkedIn and why it’s worth making LinkedIn part of your marketing strategy.

Stay the course. Social media success is a long- term investment in you!

Key Takeaways

  1. Starting Small is Okay: Everyone starts from a base of zero on LinkedIn. Progress is made by continuous learning and strategic actions.
  2. Profile & Connections Matter: A robust LinkedIn profile combined with a wide network increases the visibility and impact of your content.
  3. Engagement Before Broadcasting: Interacting with others’ content, by liking, sharing, and commenting, can build your visibility and rapport with your network before you begin posting your own content.
  4. Curate Relevant Content: Sharing insightful articles and adding your unique perspective to them can position you as a valuable source of information.
  5. Content Creation is King: Transitioning from sharing to creating content, especially tailored to your audience’s interests and needs, can significantly boost your LinkedIn presence.
  6. Harness Multimedia: Utilizing images, videos and interactive content can enhance engagement with your posts.
  7. Be Consistent and Adaptable: Consistency in posting and willingness to adapt based on the performance of each post can optimize your LinkedIn strategy.
  8. Engagement is a Two-Way Street: Actively engage with your audience by responding to comments and messages, ensuring you remain top-of-mind for your connections.
  9. Regular Profile Updates: Keeping your profile updated with the latest features and showcasing top posts can make your profile more appealing to viewers.
  10. Never Too Late to Start: Success stories like the 60-year-old lawyer underscore that anyone, regardless of their starting point, can achieve success on LinkedIn with dedication.
  11. Consistency Over Time: Achieving success on social media platforms like LinkedIn is a long-term commitment, but the payoff in personal branding and business opportunities can be significant.

Reach out to me to learn how I can help you create a LinkedIn strategy for your company or yourself.