Today I'll show you how to build a strong brand awareness on LinkedIn with relevant content, smart engagement and advanced automation. This story is based on our own experience of growing LinkedIn profiles from nothing to 1 million views.
If you've ever asked "What is the best place to build your professional branding?"
You definitely got some classic answers like:
- "Youtube will crash the world"
- "Facebook is still cool"
- "Everyone is on Instagram"
Or even something modern like - TikTok.
But I'd say that LinkedIn is best place for growing your personal brand in 2020.
If you still think that LinkedIn is just for recruiters and boring & spammy salespeople - I'd like to change your mind.
I asked LinkedIn growth hackers about: "What's your #1 priority on LinkedIn".
And the majority said - "growing personal branding"
But why is it so?
Why LinkedIn is a great place to grow your personal branding in 2020:
Reason №1 - LinkedIn is booming
And we’re at the beginning of it.
Don’t believe me? Still think that LinkedIn is just a place for finding emails for the cold email outreach?
I’d love to share my personal example.
Today I have almost 7K followers, and I reached 1 million LinkedIn post views for just 5 months.
With zero ads spend.
Can you do the same on Facebook or Youtube?
NO, with a big "N" and a big "O".
Pssst, if you can, let me know I need to take some lessons from you 😅
So, why is it happening?
The answer is easy - (I’ve already told that, but anyways) LinkedIn is booming and today they are more likely to support content makers rather than other platforms.
LinkedIn is a media platform.
And as every media they are selling ads (the same like FB or Twitter does). And to sell more ads with a bigger price they need content on their platform. So users (you, I and everyone who is using LinkedIn) will read that content and stay on LinkedIn more. And since people stay on the platform more, they watch more ads -> LinkedIn get more money.
Since people are not creating as much content on LinkedIn (comparing to FB or Twitter) they need to boost good posts on a bigger audience.
This is what happened with Facebook 7 years ago, and with Youtube 5 years ago, and this is what is happening with LinkedIn right now.
For example, in 2012 the cost per view started dramatically increased in the USA. Credits to the Search Engine Journal.
Reason №2 - LinkedIn is a professional platform
The same people can use Twitter, Tiktok and LinkedIn. But the attitude will be super different.
People know that LinkedIn is the professional version of themselves. That's why when they want to improve their business, they would go to LinkedIn and will evaluate content as professional.
For example, I shared some great content (growth hacks on Tiktok) and some of my videos become viral.
But the conversion was awful (almost nobody clicked on links I shared):
Ok, LinkedIn is cool for growing personal branding, but what to do to be successful here?
Step №1 Optimize your LinkedIn profile
There are 2 reasons, why you need to start with your LinkedIn profile:
- People will trust your content more if they feel that you're an expert. And your profile can make this feeling.
- People will find your profile on LinkedIn easier. You need to SEO optimize your profile with targeted keywords so more relevant people will find you.
I've recently shared a lot of tips and tricks on how to make a killer LinkedIn profile in 2020 that helped me increase my LinkedIn profile views.
But today, I'll cover some main aspects here.
Profile tip №1 Analyze it
Yeah, before making your profile better, you need to analyze the current situation and find out - what’s exactly wrong with your "face on the online business world".
Here is a quick video on how to analyze your LinkedIn profile in just 2 mins and know what to improve:
But you’re not from those people who watch videos (event short videos 🙄), I will share the step-by-step guide here (it works only if your LinkedIn profile is in English):
a) Open Resume Worded and sign up here (no worries, it’s free)
b) Choose LinkedIn Profile Review
c) Go to your LinkedIn Profile, click “More” and “Save to PDF”
d) Save it and upload to Resume Worded
e) Check your Score and if somewhere it’s not 10/10 click on that block to find out what exactly should you improve
Now you know what to improve. So let's start improving it.
Profile tip №2 LinkedIn profile photo
I won't tell you about mistakes with LinkedIn photos that will spoil your branding. I'll focus on the best examples and strategies.
The goal of your photos on LinkedIn:
- stand-out and draw attention;
- build the first trust.
So, you need to find new and unique photos and at the same time it should be professional.
So for example, if you're looking for "LinkedIn Expert" in the UK, you'll be able to find Andy Nelson who has amazing photo.
(I'll be super honest with you, when I first searched for LinkedIn expert and found Andy's account, I didn't even take a look at others)
But your avatar isn't the only place where you can build the first trust.
There is also a cover/background photo, that people even don't add. But this is a great place to:
- add more trust by showing your awards;
- confirm what you do with photos;
- put the link to your website.
Profile tip №3 SEO optimization
This is probably one of the most important LinkedIn profile tips here.
Do you want people easily find you on LinkedIn and contact to you about business?
I bet - you do!
And as usual SEO on Google, you need to optimize your LinkedIn Profile with keywords that people usually use to find something.
But, Google keywords and LinkedIn keywords might be different, so there is no need to open Semrush or Ahrefs to find the list of words and their search difficulty and volume.
a) Find keywords on LinkedIn
There is no tool for LinkedIn SEO, so we'll need to go to basic LinkedIn search and find keywords with search volume
Now we type keywords in a search bar -> choose "People" -> click on "see all results"
Now we can see the total number of results.
When you test 5-6 different keywords you will have a clear understanding of SEO situation.
Now you can choose 1-2 keywords you'll focus on. Notice, that the bigger search volume keywords has, the harder it'll be for you to rank there.
b) Add SEO keywords to your LinkedIn profile
Now when you understand what is the better keyword for your LinkedIn profile you can add them to:
I highlighted the focused keyword on people's profile.
And as you can see, Title, Summary and your Headline make the biggest impact on your SEO.
Step №2 Write engaging content on LinkedIn
What people follow on social media?
People? Brands? Media?
I'd say - "Content".
I personally follow LinkedIn marketers because of the content they share. It's valuable, unique and engaging.
So if you want to build your brand on LinkedIn, you should share valuable content.
And I'd love to share my rules that I follow to post viral content.
But before that:
How I started:
Yes of course 1 million views in 6 months, it's not a new Guiness record (I know that some people reach 1mln with just one or two posts) but I started with almost nothing:
- 6 months ago - I had 2,5k followers and 100% of them were my connections from previous jobs and conferences.
- My posts usually got 2 likes (one from my wife, so frankly speaking it was just 1 like).
- Only 200-300 people saw my content on LinkedIn.
If you've ever tried to build your personal branding, you know that it's almost nothing.
For those who don't know, I even draw a small graph that shows that I started almost from the 0 point 🤣
But despite on it, I reached 100k views in my very first month I started posting content consistently.
So how it was.
Almost everyone told me that
"Building personal brand on LinkedIn is a lost game.
It's a place for recruiters and spammy sales reps only"
I wouldn't lie to you - I thought the same.
But one day I saw that a few awesome marketers from Drift, lemlist & other cools SaaS products said that LinkedIn is a new golden grall of an organic growth.
I didn't fully trust their words, I just wanted to try and test.
Aaaand I failed:
(a few times in a row)
These results are not that bad (except the post with 346 views).
But I was expected a way more reach.
I was about to give up.
But I decided to make the last shot.
And "if it doesn't work, I don't spend too much time on LinkedIn" (I wanted to keep posting on LinkedIn but with a minimum effort, because I always think that it's cool to make content on all platforms, just to have a presentence).
But it wasn't the "last" post, it was the "first" successful and viral post I made:
It blew my mind
- 311 likes
- 35k LinkedIn post views
- with only 2k followers
But why it happened?
How to write posts on LinkedIn to grow your personal branding:
There are 2 factors that make a huge impact on the success of your brand on LinkedIn:
- Valuable content;
- Initial engagement.
So let's start with the content part.
There are a few things that work on LinkedIn:
- give value right here, right now;
- make your post mobile-friendly;
- intrigue your readers with the first lines;
- offer something in exchange for the comment.
LinkedIn Post Tip №1 - Give value right here, right now
Why Neil Patel has the strongest personal brand?
Why do people follow Dave Gerhardt? Why there are 15k sales specialists who read Guillaume Moubeche's posts?
Because people can change something in their business after reading their posts.
LinkedIn is a professional network where people talk about business.
So, to get engagement and make your posts viral - help other people improve something in their area.
Cats and Memes won't work.
(Frankly speaking, they will become viral, because it's ... cats! But you won't get traffic and leads from these posts)
What you can share:
- tactics that you used to reach X% of growth,
- your favorite tools that you can recommend
- a story from your life about something (for example, "How I raised XYZ millions of dollars)
- and many other valuable things that lead to "Oh, I need to try this"
LinkedIn Post Tip №2 - Make your LinkedIn post mobile friendly
Do you know that more than a half of users open LinkedIn from their mobile devices?
That doesn't look "OMG really?" because we use mobile devices every single day.
But it means that we need to adapt the content we write to mobile devices.
That's pretty easy, the technique that Josh Fechter shared a few years ago:
"Divide your text by paragraphs every 1-2 sentences"
Don't believe me?
Ok, let's check it.
What post would you like to read?
Of course the second one!
It's not because of the context (the content is similar for both cases). It's because the way this post is written.
Example of good LinkedIn post which is adapted to mobile devices
Here is the link to this post by Dave.
LinkedIn Post Tip №3 - Get initial engagement with LinkedIn pods
Since LinkedIn algorithms work by this principle:
LinkedIn shows your post to 1st connections first, and only if they like it and engage with your content with likes and comments, LinkedIn understands "Ok, this piece of content is interested to at least 1st connections, it probably might be interested to others"
So in order to start getting more LinkedIn post views you definitely need to organize the process of getting likes and comments from your colleagues, people who follow you and 1st connections.
How to organize getting likes and engagement from your colleagues and friends? (manually)
It's easy as 1,2,3.
Step #1 - You just create a separate channel on Slack or group on Facebook.
Step #2 - You need to ask everyone to support your LinkedIn post with likes and comments.
Step #3 - that's it.
But the problem of this method is that - it's manual.
It works manually, and people need to spend their time to open this Slack chat, read your post and write a relevant comment... A-A-A ... Too many things to do, so from my experience people just ignore my posts and I got up to 10 likes and 3 comments on the luckiest day. As a result, I didn't get great results with such an engagement..
Boost your LinkedIn post views with automatic engagement groups
There are also automatic LinkedIn engagement pods, where you can share your post and get tons of likes and comments from other content makers.
It works super easily:
But you always need to find the right and relevant pods.
So I'd recommend you joining some cool pods for LinkedIn experts and niche experts, for example:
SaaS Haven - All things SaaS 🚀 - The secret code is: 6129
Growth Hackers - Worldwide 🌍 - The secret code is: 6031
High-level Marketing Club 👑 - The secret code is: 1042
Startup Factory - Achieve Fast Startup Growth 🚀 - The secret code is: 3348
The HR Mastermind - Everything about Human Resources 🤓 - The secret code is: 4763
LinkedIn is a perfect place to build your personal brand in 2020. It's a professional space + it's growing super fast.
But there are some rules that you need to follow to do it successful:
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile;
- Start writing engaging content;
- Boost your content with an initial engagement.
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