The right LinkedIn strategy is the world’s most powerful branding tool. While social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and even TikTok have their place in branding, none of these surpass LinkedIn when used properly.
LinkedIn allows you to craft your brand as you see fit but also network with other people in your niche who could become potential customers.
The approach for personal and professional branding on LinkedIn as part of a content strategy is a little different but shares common tactics and methods which lead to success.
Personal branding is about being selfless with your knowledge, engaging with others, and continuously contributing to thoughtful conversations.
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Using LinkedIn Strategy to Build Your Brand
Building a personal brand on LinkedIn is about three things:
1. First, giving away more value than you expect in return
2. Secondly, creating honest, organic relationships with like-minded people
3. Thirdly, being consistent with your platform activity
Giving Away More Value Than You Expect In Return
Some people are leery of giving away knowledge for free on social media as an element of content marketing strategy. There’s an idea that if you do, that you are hamstringing yourself because you aren’t monetizing knowledge.
However, when you have a deep understanding of a niche, there’s always knowledge to share, which your followers could not have uncovered on their own.
This knowledge is why it’s valuable to give away more value on LinkedIn than you would expect in return. Value has to be selfless. You can’t expect people to do something in return for the insights you provide.
When you give away knowledge about your space, people start to see you as a teacher. You will begin to have followers engaging with your content by liking it, commenting on your posts, or sharing your content with their followers.
When you interact with these followers, they turn into your tribe.
Your tribe not only follows your content and sees the value in what you’re teaching, but also shares that value with their followers, who become your “extended” tribe.
This “network effect” was the original intent of all social media platforms – before some of them started to chase the dollar rather than stay true to their mission.
Building Organic Relationships With Like-Minded People
One of the best elements of an organic LinkedIn strategy is building relationships with like-minded people. As you become active, share content, and engage with others’ content, relationships begin to form—networking at its best.
It’s not the stuffy-shirted, sweaty-palmed business card exchanges of the past. Instead, it’s people looking to grow together and share knowledge.
These relationships come from two features on LinkedIn:
Your connections can message you directly without using LinkedIn’s InMail messaging feature (which is limited monthly otherwise). These relationships are precious if you nurture them in the right way.
Many people “hoard” connections as a vanity metric to brag about (see the LION tags some people use on their profiles). But, don’t take time to get to know those people as individuals and where there could be a mutual opportunity.
Taking time to do this separates you from the majority of people on LinkedIn who accept connection requests but don’t take the time to nurture.
When you get to know your connections as individuals, doors open.
People think of you as a potential business partner, not just some guy or gal they once connected with and never heard from again.
Followers are people who want your content to show up in their daily feeds because they enjoy what you have to say.
Your followers may or may not engage with your content. The ones that do are people you want to get to know better.
Because they’ve shown two times they like what you have to say.
Once by following you. Following is an intentional action. And twice, by engaging with your content to show approval, support, care, or add to conversations you have started.
Being Consistent With Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy
The best way to build an organic following on LinkedIn that aligns with your values and knowledge is consistency.
Consistency means something different to everyone. It can mean posting once a day and engaging with others’ content for at least 30 minutes a day.
Others spend a good portion of the day on the platform bouncing in and out and engaging here and there to serve the same purpose.
Some people are tied up enough with work responsibilities to batch activity and schedule several posts to run on 3rd party scheduling tools like Hootsuite or Buffer. Or, maybe post something longer-form once a week as an article on LinkedIn.
Whatever your pattern, establish it and stick with it.
If it’s possible, posting at least once a day is a great habit.
Each post doesn’t have to be takeaway-packed content intended for your target audience. Mix in some posts showing a lighter side of who you are, explain your frustrations and struggles (even your failures), and give people a chance to celebrate your victories.
The best way to build your professional brand on LinkedIn has less to do with your brand’s page than you might imagine.
Using LinkedIn Strategy to Build Your Professional Brand
There are a handful of new-generation companies that use LinkedIn incredibly well to brand their company as a trusted resource through the posting activity of their employees.
These companies stand out:
Each has semi-active company LinkedIn pages, but more importantly, their employees (almost to a person) are active daily on LinkedIn. These folks use LinkedIn to give away value, similarly to how a solopreneur builds their brand.
As they post consistently, you can’t help but be curious about the company they work for, so you visit the company website to find out more.
There’s no hard sell, here, y’all.
It’s the definition of social selling, and it’s impressive to watch. I’m not behind the scenes to see how activity translates into business relationships for these companies, but I have to imagine the pipeline stays plenty full.
Follow folks from these platforms and watch how they do their thing. You’re sure to learn a few marketing tactics to emulate, which will improve your company’s professional branding.
This approach is the most organic and natural.
The other route is to post as your company in a company page.
That’s fine, but unless you have a defined personal LinkedIn strategy that will separate you from the thousands of other company pages doing the same, it can be a steep hill to climb.
Daily LinkedIn Marketing Strategy for Consistent Growth
There are a few daily tactics to use, which will help grow your base of followers and connections and deepen relationships.
If you can dedicate 30 minutes to an hour to spend on LinkedIn daily, it’s easy to take steps to “prime” the engagement engine and encourage people to engage with your content.
Here are the steps:
1. First, engage with the posts of at least five of the people you follow. Like their posts – or give another reaction – and leave a meaningful comment that kicks off a conversation, or adds to the conversation already happening.
2. Take a look at the people that engaged with your content in the last 24 hours. If there are people you don’t recognize, take a few minutes to go to their profiles and react to at least three of their recent posts. This activity “primes the pump” on LinkedIn for you to have your best chance at receiving engagement in return.
4. Publish your content. Engage with your content. Leave the first comment on whatever you share. I use this comment as a Call to Action (CTA) for people to follow me, but it can be anything you’d like: a link to your blog, a link to your profile, etc.
These steps are repeatable and easy to remember.
If you use them consistently, you’ll not only see a growth in the people that follow you but an increase in the engagement of the content you publish.
There are some other formatting tips worth considering as well.
Other LinkedIn Marketing Tactics to Consider
There are a few formatting tactics to try:
1. Build a strong hook. The first five lines of your LinkedIn posts are the “hook.” You want to develop an attention-grabbing hook that convinces readers to click on the read more button, which appears at the end of the fifth line.
Make sure your hook is exactly five lines.
Here’s an example from one of my posts:
The best content strategies don’t drive organic interest and lead generation in a vacuum.
The best content strategies should be an ally of another essential part of your marketing effort 👇
This hook is five lines, and the “see more” appears right after the down arrow I use in each post.
If your hook is strong, people will click on the see more to read the rest of your post and engage with it.
2. Broetry isn’t all bad. The rest of the post should retain your reader’s attention.
A popular LinkedIn format is “broetry.”
Broetry is writing in single sentences or two-sentence paragraphs. This format is easy to read and helps with information absorption.
Especially if you’re scrolling through on a phone, which many people on LinkedIn are.
3. End your post with a CTA and the right hashtags for your audience. Ask readers for their thoughts, what they would add to the conversation, or something similar. Don’t make a statement to round out the post; ask a question.
4.Also, try to use no more than three to four hashtags. These should come at the end of the post and be closely related to your target audience. Always use them, unless the context of your post is different or you’re experimenting with other ideas.
I use the hashtags #content, #contentstrategy, #solopreneur, #founders, and #startups on almost every post.
Your LinkedIn Strategy Won’t Produce Results Overnight
Like any other content strategy, building a personal or professional brand on LinkedIn takes time, consistency, and patience.
An organic LinkedIn strategy is the best strategy.
Building honest, natural relationships with your followers doesn’t happen overnight, but the results it can yield for your brand or company are well worth the effort.