If you're finding that too few of the right people are looking at your LinkedIn profile or posts, it's time to take measures to increase your visibility on the platform.
Although your best results for generating new leads and prospects will come from active prospecting (social selling), you do want to ensure that your profile is optimized. An optimized profile makes it easy for those looking for your product or service to find you.
Implement these LinkedIn tips to increase your chances of being found by the right people more often.
1. Optimize your LinkedIn introduction card
To ensure that your ideal clients find out about you, you need two things to happen:
- Your prospects need to be able to find you in the search results
- When they do find you, they need to be moved to learn more about you and ways in which you can help them.
This is where a well-designed LinkedIn introduction card becomes very important.
If you want to be found more often by the right people, and stand out in the search results, you need to have a professional and client-focused LinkedIn introduction card.
LinkedIn explains the introduction card like this:
“The top part of your profile is called your introduction card, and it’s the first thing that people see when they view your profile. Use this section to display information that best describes your current personal and professional status. Introduce yourself, and showcase things you want people to know at a glance.”
The introduction card of your LinkedIn profile includes a number of key sections which can influence your ability to be found on on the platform, both directly (through LinkedIn’s search algorithm) and indirectly (increasing your visual appeal and credibility).
To increase your chances of being found, you need to ensure that:
- Your profile is set up so that LinkedIn’s search algorithm can find you for your main keywords
- When you show up in the search results, prospects looking for someone like you can quickly see that you're worth contacting.
The three most important sections of your introduction card which can help you achieve these goals are your LinkedIn headline, your profile image and your cover image.
- LinkedIn headline - Your headline is the most critical part of your profile. You can increase your chances of showing up in search results by including keywords within your headline that you want to be found for. But more than that, your headline must speak to your target market, and inspire them to learn more about you. That’s the goal of your headline: to get your prospects to click-through to learn more about what you offer.
- Profile image - First impressions are everything, especially online. Use a professional profile image where you are recognizable, professionally dressed, smiling and looking straight at the camera against a neutral background.
- Cover image: Along with your headline and profile image, your cover image is the first thing people will see when they land on your profile. It enables you to convey more about who you are personally and professionally. A professionally designed cover image will help you stand out and make a great first impression on your prospects.
2. Share status updates and LinkedIn Publisher articles
A well-written introduction card can help you be found in relevant search results - but don’t rely on the Advanced Search alone to be found on LinkedIn.
Another excellent way to increase your visibility on LinkedIn, especially among your ideal prospects, is to consistently post status updates and LinkedIn Publisher articles.
If your prospects find your status updates valuable to them, they may want to check out your profile. This is another reason why you want your profile to be fully optimized and client-focused.
Posting regular status updates will help you get noticed by your network, and when people among your first-degree connections need someone who does what you do, they'll be more likely to think of you because of that awareness.
The posts your first-degree connections engage with will become visible in the news feeds of their connections (your second-degree connections) and so forth.
Your second-degree connections will not only see your content, but they'll also be able to view others’ positive interactions with you, which increases the social proof of your authority on the topic.
You can also include two or three relevant hashtags (e.g., #LinkedIn or #SocialSelling) when you post to help people beyond your first-degree network find your updates when they search that topic. Be sure to use popular hashtags – people are not likely to use obscure hashtags to search for common topics.
You can also increase your visibility by posting on LinkedIn Publisher - the articles you post on LinkedIn can help you get found by a larger group of people, as well as increase your credibility and authority on your topic.
Before publishing your article on LinkedIn Publisher, you have the option of sharing it via a status update. You can add several hashtags to this update, expanding the visibility of your article.
To find existing, topical hashtags, add the pound symbol (#) followed by a general term related to your content.
For example, if your content includes content marketing tips, you might start your hashtag search with #content. As you type in the term, LinkedIn will provide you with a number of related matches.
Choose the hashtag best matching your content.
NOTE: Once your article is published, you cannot edit or remove the hashtags you included, nor can you add more.
3. Engage with your network
Engagement – whether that’s you engaging with other LinkedIn members, or them engaging with you – will ultimately increase your visibility on LinkedIn.
When you engage with updates and articles posted by others, or with people who've engaged with yours, you'll be seen by more people, automatically increasing your visibility on LinkedIn.
Your interactions with others will not only help your prospects find you, but they can also act as a form of social proof, increasing the likelihood that a prospect will click on your profile to learn more about you.
The trick to maintaining consistent engagement is to find enough reasons to engage with enough people. And for that, you need to expand your network.
The larger your network, the more opportunities you’ll have to engage with your potential prospects. Size, however, is not everything here. The quality of your network matters too.
Fill your LinkedIn network with quality contacts
Despite your best efforts to be found on LinkedIn, you're likely to see pretty dismal results if you omit this key factor.
If you want to be found on LinkedIn, it's essential that you build a quality network. A quality network is a network filled with people representing your target audience.
People can only find you if:
- You're in their first, second or third-degree networks
- You share a group with them
When you search for people on LinkedIn, the same visibility principle applies - you'll only be able to find people who are your first, second, or third-degree connections, or those with whom you share a group. The larger your network, the more prospects you’ll have to search for.
Additionally, having a large quality network shows people that you didn’t just throw up a profile yesterday. A profile with few connections may raise some red flags and questions such as:
- Is this a real person or a fake or spam account?
- Why does this person have so few connections?
Furthermore, a large network implies credibility - people assume that such a person must be credible to be connected to so many people.
That being said, having a high-quality network is far more critical than having a large network. I’m not a fan of the 'LION' (LinkedIn Open Networker) approach which focuses on quantity over quality.
While you want to build an extensive network, focus on connecting with the right people - prospects, current and past clients, colleagues, thought leaders and industry peers.
These bonus tips will help you expand your network so that you can interact with more of your prospects, fostering your connections with them.
a) Review Who’s viewed your profile
Some of the people visiting your profile will likely be your ideal prospects, people looking for what you offer.
If you find that a lot of people are visiting your profile, but are not contacting you, you may need to revamp your presentation.
When you do see people who could be good prospects, send them connection requests. They've visited your profile, so they should be familiar with your name and your offering, making it easier for you to connect with them.
b) Fill in LinkedIn Company page: People section
If you added a company when filling out the 'Experience' section of your profile, you'll show up in the 'People' section of that company's LinkedIn page. This is another way for prospects to find you. Represent yourself and your company well by ensuring your profile is the best it can be.
c) Join LinkedIn Groups
Another way to expand your network is to join relevant LinkedIn Groups.
LinkedIn allows you to join up to 100 groups. You can significantly increase your reach (potentially by thousands or even millions of people, many of whom are potential prospects) by joining relevant groups, which are often full of your ideal clients.
One big mistake people make is that they only join their industry-specific groups. To benefit from the increased network LinkedIn groups provide, you should look to join groups that your ideal clients belong to.
Take a look at some of the groups your prospects and clients are members of. Some of them could also be ideal groups for you to join.
If your business focuses on a specific geographic region, consider searching out and joining all relevant local groups also. If, for example, your business focuses on serving clients in a particular city, type the city name into the search box under Groups, and see which groups come up. Review these groups to determine which ones might be a good fit for you.
When reviewing groups, in addition to evaluating their members, assess their size. The more members a group has, the more your network expands.
However, don’t discount a group with a small number of members if it's a very targeted, niche group, filled with your ideal clients.
The majority of the groups you join should be groups your ideal clients belong to, but it's okay for you to join some of your industry-specific groups, as well as other groups you have a professional interest in to stay current on your industry’s developments.
Increasing your visibility on LinkedIn attracts opportunities
When a prospect reaches out to you on LinkedIn, that’s your opportunity to convince them you're the right person to help them solve their problem/s.
The fact that they've actively searched for someone who can help them address their challenge, and found you, is a powerful signal that they are your ideal client. Now, it’s up to you to nurture that prospect, and convert them into a client.
Increasing your visibility on LinkedIn by having a client-oriented profile, posting regular content and engaging with your connections will ensure that you never miss out on these golden opportunities.
A version of this post was first published on the Top Dog Social Media blog.