LinkedIn isn’t only good for building resumes and applying for jobs. It can also grow businesses, further reach, drive organic traffic and generate leads. With more than 562 million users, the world’s largest professional network has the ability to take your business to the next level.
The platform continues to build onto its functionality as one of the most powerful networking tools available. Whether it’s including the ability to record and send voice messages or adding translations for several different languages, LinkedIn only continues to improve and grow businesses.
If you’re ready to create a marketing strategy using LinkedIn, here are three tips to get you started.
1. Determine your target audience and goals
If you start by knowing little about your target audience or the goals you wish to achieve through your LinkedIn marketing strategy, you’ve already thrown away time and money. Without a plan, you lose in every aspect. You need to think ahead if your strategies are going to succeed and bring about growth.
Become laser focused by mapping out a buyer persona for your intended audience. This is a fleshed out example of your ideal customer and all the details about them that’ll help you market to them: age, location, interests, job title, buying behaviors and more.
Collect information on your existing customers to get an idea of who you should already be targeting. Send out surveys and questionnaires about what you’d like to know and explain why. As an incentive, throw in a coupon code or a freebie so there’s a higher chance of reciprocation.
Once you’ve created a couple personas, make a list of the goals you want to achieve by marketing through LinkedIn. Then evaluate those goals and decide how LinkedIn’s platform will help you achieve them.
For example, if your goal is to create brand awareness because your business is small or fairly new, you can use LinkedIn to get your business in front of people. You’d create a strategy for finding your target audience and showing your products and services to them to create interest.
Whatever the goal is, always keep it in mind as you move forward so you know what steps are necessary to go from point A to point B.
2. Optimize your company page
Everyone knows to optimize their individual LinkedIn pages when scouring jobs and trying to network. But how many businesses take the time to fully optimize their company page?
Completing your business’s company profile is one of the best ways to boost awareness.
Have you ever been to a company’s page or website and exited out right away because there wasn’t enough information? That’s what could happen to you if you don’t optimize with intent.
You want to fill out every space possible for completion. The more completed your business page is, the better. It builds authenticity and trust for a consumer when information about a company is readily available.
Upload the appropriate images for the header and logo. Add an “about us” section talking about the inception of your company and how it’s gotten where it is today. This humanizes your brand and appeals to viewers.
3. Publish value-rich content
Publishing a post on LinkedIn is a great way to get your best content in front of the right people. Utilize LinkedIn’s publishing feature to answer your audience’s questions, position yourself as an expert in your field and gain insight from professionals.
You always want to create content tailored to your buyer persona. Ask yourself what pain points your customer base is experiencing and how you can solve those problems. Would your content encourage consumers to subscribe to your email list or buy from you? Is your content in formats your target audience responds to?
If you’re going to put out content that resonates with your audience, research what they want and need first. Take a look at your content’s analytics to see what is being shared and interacted with most and what isn’t doing as well and apply it to the next round of your strategy. You can repurpose old content to give it new life or brainstorm new topics that rid your customers of their challenges.
Add hashtags at the end of your posts to increase its visibility and further its reach to the right audience.
Using LinkedIn as a tool to drive traffic and increase conversions is sure to work with the right strategy behind it. A good place to start is to know who you’re marketing to, how to optimize your profile and how to publish the right kind of content. There are several ways to market through LinkedIn; the better you know your business, the faster you’ll be able to see profits.
Distractions pose an ever-present challenge for freelancers around the globe. While working from the comfort of your own home is often lauded for the flexibility it offers, less discussed is the challenge that is managing your time effectively and staying on task presents.
Some folks out there may thrive on pure freedom on a daily basis, but I am not one of them. Structure and routine help me stay on task and reduce the distractions I would otherwise face. For those of you who are perhaps remote workers or occasionally work from home, much of will still sound familiar.
Working in-office typically means your average workday is broken up into a series of routines, like breaks, lunches and those pesky recurring meetings. The plus side? It gives your day structure.
Just like in writing, your workday needs a sharp outline and underlying structure to reach peak effectiveness. Learning to manage your time effectively will enable you to complete higher quality work in less time.
Imagine for a moment that you’ve taken on a new client and are tasked with writing compelling copy for a sales page. You’re in the zone, and the words flow effortlessly. Suddenly, you receive a message notification on the top right of your MacBook’s screen. It’s your best friend asking if you want to come over later to play the new Super Smash Bros. game. What’s this? Nintendo’s releasing a new Smash game? Now you’re veering onto YouTube to watch gameplay videos.
There’s always that temptation to steal a glance at your phone or perhaps finish up some chores. If anyone else is at home with you, like a family member or roommate, they can also serve as a problematic distraction to avoid when all you want to do is focus on your work.
My philosophy on handling this is simple:
“Unplug” from all social media (unless your work revolves around social media).
Set your team chat, instant messenger, or texting app status to “Do Not Disturb,” and deliberately avoid them until the task is complete or you’re on break.
Work somewhere you can focus. Some may need the absolute silence of an empty room, while others might prefer the white noise of a coffee shop.
Your focus is a valuable commodity. Guard it jealously.
Create a schedule
Your efforts to eliminate distractions are further reinforced by scheduling your tasks and workday. A well-structured day allows time for breaks, lunch, and even walking outside to clear your mind. Scheduling can make a significant difference in your productivity and sense of accomplishment for the day.
I know, scheduling doesn’t sound fun, but even the best-laid plans can still fall to the wayside without careful self-management. Fortunately, there are several ways you can schedule and structure your workdays.
Make a list of all of your to-do items for the day. You can do this on a computer, via an app, or even good ol’ pen and paper. Choose whatever is most comfortable and convenient for you.
Break up your tasks into digestible blocks of time with breaks in between. There’s a mindset shift when you realize it’s not an impossible task. You only have to focus on each step for a short amount of time.
Remember your daily routines. Just because you’re working at home today doesn’t mean you should skip out on brushing your teeth and getting dressed. Trust me; you’ll feel a lot better if you take the time to get ready.
Give yourself wiggle room. When you’re planning out your schedule for the week, the key is to balance your tasks. When your calendar is jam-packed you lose the ability to roll with the punches, so be sure to give yourself room to breathe.
Discipline is a practiced skill. The more you strive to complete your tasks according to schedule, the less stressful the process will become.
Track Your Success
If you can measure it, you can improve it. Each successful job you complete becomes another feather in your cap. Every article you write, every proposal that’s accepted, and every other success you score will become the fuel that drives you to keep up the good work.
Keeping track of your progress not only serves as motivation but helps you drown out that inner critic who fills you with apprehension and distracts you from the task at hand.
There are other benefits as well:
Even smaller accomplishments are worth celebrating. Tracking your progress works hand-in-hand with breaking up tasks into digestible blocks. As you complete each element of your project, there’s a Pavlovian satisfaction that comes from checking off another job on your list.
It benchmarks your performance. As you rack up successes, you’ll quickly discover which tasks are easier or more difficult to focus on. Completing work more effectively will open up time in your schedule for other things, like Super Smash Bros.
You can focus on what’s important. Not every freelance gig is a good use of your time and talents. Sometimes it’s the job itself that’s the real distraction, and if it’s sapping your energy, then that’s a sign you should focus more on projects you’re passionate about.
I know from firsthand experience that staying on task as a freelancer or remotely can be challenging. With no manager lurking over your shoulder, it places a greater responsibility on you to remain accountable for how you spend your time.
As long as you’re conscious of your distractions and can work productively, there’s no reason why you can’t leave your time management woes in the dust where they belong. Remember to take the time to create a schedule that can support your projects and make the best use of your time, and always recognize when you’ve done a great job of staying on task.
Learning to manage your time is a skill, and you will continue to improve as you remain mindful of how and where you spend your time. At the end of the way, I promise that the rewards of effectively managing your time are well worth the process.