To stand out to your core audience on LinkedIn, you need to be strategic about how your present your digital self, as well as how you conduct business online.
To help with this, LinkedIn recently shared some tips on how you can get more profile views and engagement by using the re-vamped features that are part of its new desktop design.
1. Use "Highlights" for Instant Icebreakers
One of the greatest advantages of LinkedIn marketing is the ability to effortlessly network, as you strive to stand out and win new business on the platform.
And just like in real life, to get a new LinkedIn business relationship off on the right foot, it requires a little bit of small talk to help break the ice and build camaraderie.
"When looking at someone's profile, discover what you have in common in the new "Highlights" section," noted LinkedIn in a recent blog post. "You may see mutual connections you have, companies you've both worked at, groups you're both in or companies where they can help with an introduction."
This new feature, located under the "Me" tab within the new desktop design (as shown above), will help you more easily identify an element of data from your prospect's profile that you can use to begin a 1-on-1, personalized conversation.
The idea is simple - you can use some of the personal information from someone's profile to break the ice and begin the relationship with a little bit of small talk. Just as you would in real life.
2. Use "Skills" to Get Found in LinkedIn Search
The most important way to stand out on LinkedIn is to make your LinkedIn profile client-facing - meaning it should demonstrate the type of solutions you provide to your ideal prospect's problems, rather than reading like a digital version of your résumé.
Keywords also matter, and the LinkedIn "Skills" section gives you the opportunity to not only share what type of services you provide, but also helps LinkedIn surface your profile when someone is searching the network using a specific set of keywords.
For instance, if you're a business coach, you'd want to put down "Business Coaching" as one of your top LinkedIn skills.
Then, when someone is searching LinkedIn for a business coach and types in "business coaching" on the search bar, LinkedIn knows that you might be a good match based on the fact that you have that keyword in your profile.
Note: LinkedIn will give the most weight to the top 4-5 skills you list, so make sure you put your most important keywords at the top of your "Skills" section.
This list of skills, along with keywords and phrases you strategically insert to create a killer profile, are all indexed into LinkedIn's massive internal search engine.
With nearly 500 million users in 200 countries, LinkedIn wants to make the platform as "search friendly" as possible by utilizing common keywords and phrases, similar to Google and Bing.
The LinkedIn "Skills" section plays a large role, according to the platform.
"People with at least five skills listed on their LinkedIn profile receive up to 17x more profile views, so it makes a difference," LinkedIn notes.
3. Use "Views of Your Share" to generate leads
In addition the skills you claim, LinkedIn provides an ideal space to actually demonstrate them by creating and sharing original content on the platform.
By demonstrating your expertise and authority, instead of just claiming it, you're able to quickly earn the trust and attention of prospects interested in the types of products and services you offer.
"Get details on who viewed your content by clicking on 'Views of Your Share.' Then to look at who's engaging with a particular post, click on views of your share at the bottom of that post," LinkedIn advises. "Here you'll find a detailed breakdown of companies, job titles and locations of those who are engaging with your content."
Not only will you have data on who's viewing your content, but you should take advantage of those warm, inbound leads that come when someone likes, shares or comments on your content.
Remember, anyone who is engaging with your content is already "warmed up" to you and your business, so take the next step, and invite him or her to connect, using his or her engagement with your content as context for the conversation.
For example, here's an invite you could send to someone who liked a LinkedIn post you wrote:
"Hi Joe - I noticed you liked my post on [NAME OF POST], and thought I'd reach out to connect. Curious to hear what you found most helpful about the post, and excited to connect."
Start building a relationship around that piece of content a person liked, serving them more of the same, and you'll be able to move them deeper into a discussion that steers them toward your paid products and services in that niche or area.
LinkedIn = B2B Marketing Gold
LinkedIn is a place where your ideal customers and clients in the B2B marketplace are already hanging out, connecting and looking for news, training, vendors and resources.
Leveraging these new desktop features will help you to further demonstrate your authority and expertise, and doing so for a targeted, niche audience gives you the ability to create meaningful business conversations that eventually lead to paying customers.