Want to develop more LinkedIn connections that lead to sales? Looking for a strategy to guide your outreach and networking?
In this article, we’ll explore a creative way to get more out of your LinkedIn activities.
Why Should Marketers Focus on LinkedIn?
With over 1 billion users, 50% earning over $75,000 annually, LinkedIn offers unparalleled access to decision-makers, influencers, and niche experts in every industry. Audiences and businesses on LinkedIn grew by about 300 million alone during the pandemic.
However, many businesses misuse this platform’s potential by treating it like an online resume host rather than actively cultivating mutually beneficial relationships.
Social media strategist Louise Brogan shares her proven methodology for maximizing LinkedIn engagement based on her 20-plus years of growing brands through social platforms.
Imagine LinkedIn as being an online version of your favorite industry conference. Louise advises approaching online interactions with the same care and intentionality as coveted seats alongside keynote speakers or hard-won networking conversations during coffee breaks.
Louise’s tactical tips transform the platform from a passive presence to an engine driving lead generation and brand visibility. By crafting robust profiles, selectively connecting based on shared interests, and consistently publishing value-driven content, you can leverage LinkedIn to build authority, nurture prospects, and boost revenue.
For example, Louise recalls a specific instance where LinkedIn worked for an artist trying to sell her expensive artwork on Instagram. Louise suggested she also share her work on LinkedIn to connect with local businesses who might want to buy art for their offices or give paintings as gifts. So, the artist took Louise’s advice and started posting about her locally-inspired art on the platform.
A year later, she transformed her business. By sharing her art on LinkedIn and connecting with like-minded professionals, she could barely keep up with art sales. Better still—someone from Vogue saw her LinkedIn art and featured her in the magazine!
LinkedIn Strategy and Tips for More Connections and Engagement
You’ve decided to go on LinkedIn, to go to “the conference”. Now, you have to prepare beforehand—first, review who will be there and pinpoint connections you want to make. Then, ensure your up-to-date profile presents your professional best, so you make a strong impression when networking.
#1: Craft a Compelling Profile
You want to present yourself online as you would in real life—put your best foot forward and show up authentically. By preparing your profile and intentions beforehand, you set yourself up for success in connecting with others.
Louise says to consider your profile a conference name badge—you want attendees to recognize who you are and what you offer easily.
Follow these key elements to make your LinkedIn profile stand out:
The Conference You’ve Been Waiting For
As a small business marketer, you can probably only pick one or two events to attend each year. Get an unbeatable conference experience and expert training at Social Media Marketing World 2024—taking place Feb 18-20 in sunny San Diego, California.
🔥 As a valued reader, you can save $500 on an All-Access ticket if you act now! Sale Ends Friday! 🔥
Ensure you have a current headshot so that when people meet you, they also recognize you. For example, you might have to jump on a Zoom meeting. You want to be able to build relationships, even virtual ones.
Summarize who you are, what you do, and who you do it for (your ideal customers). You want to grab attention. You don’t want to just rely on job titles or affiliations to tell your story.
For example, a good headline might be “Corporate Trainer Helping Managers Adapt to Hybrid Engagement Strategies”. Make it brain-friendly, bite-sized, but meaty—no fluff or filler.
Prominently feature multiple contact channels like email, phone, website, social media handles, or even virtual appointment calendaring links that allow readers to schedule face-to-face meetings seamlessly.
Tailor your about section to your ideal customer with concise paragraphs covering their pain points and how you can help. Ask questions and make readers the heroes of your story.
For example, financial advisors could say:“Feel overwhelmed navigating tax law changes affecting your retirement investment strategies? Get clarity from an experienced guide so you can relax as we handle optimizing your portfolio’s performance.”
Then, detail the services and products that ease your customers’ challenges. Wrap up with a strong call-to-action cueing next steps, such as scheduling introductory consultations or downloading related resources.
Add visual interest to stand out when attending a conference or designing your LinkedIn profile. While a black or gray outfit is fine, a pop of color draws the eye. Similarly, bullet points with colored icons grab your reader’s attention and make your content more visually engaging than plain text.
Humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than words, so make your content easy to scan. Break up long blocks of text with white space and paragraphs every 3–4 lines. Icons and color make content more visually engaging and readable.
Louise stresses crafting an authentic brand image—don’t portray a different persona than real life. Think of profile visitors asking themselves, “Is this the right fit to help me?”
#2: Strategically Build a Network of Value
The next step is going to the conference. Think about who you want to see and who you want to connect with both on LinkedIn and in person. For example, you’ll probably want to connect with other mechanical engineers if you’re a mechanical engineer.
Simply amassing contacts won’t unlock LinkedIn’s collaborative potential. You don’t want to connect randomly or accept every request you receive. Instead, be selective and intentional about curating a quality network of contacts based on shared strategic interests.
You want to build a network of value, connections who are interesting and interested in what you have to say.
Identify ideal connections (industry colleagues, prospective partners, and high-value customers) by exploring profiles of those engaging with influencers or commenting on relevant LinkedIn posts in your niche. Then, customize connection requests explaining why you want to connect based on commonalities like LinkedIn groups, alma maters, or conversational topics.
Ring the LinkedIn Notification Bell
One of LinkedIn’s more valuable features is attracting people you want to work with.
Every member’s profile and company page has a bell icon near the top, next to the introductory card (though you won’t see the bell on your own profile). By clicking this bell, you can receive notifications whenever that member posts.
Attention Agency Owners, Brand Marketers, and Consultants
Introducing the Marketing Agency Show–our newest podcast designed to explore the struggles of agency marketers.
Join show host and agency owner, Brooke Sellas, as she interviews agency marketers and digs deep into their biggest challenges. Explore topics like navigating rough economic times, leveraging AI, service diversification, client acquisition, and much more.
Just pull up your favorite podcast app, search for Marketing Agency Show and start listening. Or click the button below for more information.
Turning on notifications for certain people, like a business coach with an audience you want to reach, is a strategic way to reach that target audience. When that person posts and you comment on their post, people in their network see your name, headline, and comment—giving you exposure to their connections.
Think back to being at your favorite conference. You sit in the front row for speakers you want to meet. Then, stand in line afterward to chat, take a selfie, and post it on LinkedIn. This gets that speaker’s attention while showing others interested in them that you connected. It strategically positions you as plugged into influencers in your industry.
Similarly, engaging with key voices on the platform makes them notice you while publicly aligning you with their brand.
Ringing the notification bell is a great way to engage with the LinkedIn community and tap into the audiences of influential members who serve the audience you serve differently, increasing your circles of influence.
Be strategic about whose bell you ring on the platform to avoid notification overload. Louise recommends selecting 3–5 key connections whose updates you want to follow more closely. You can change who you’re following over time.
Also, you can train LinkedIn’s algorithms to show you more relevant content. When you follow and engage with certain people by liking and commenting on their posts, LinkedIn recognizes your interests. Then, it displays more posts from those connections.
However, if you connect with someone but rarely interact with their content, the platform will show you less of what they share over time. It assumes you aren’t actually interested.
To see more posts about specific topics or from key connections, strategically engage with that content regularly. Spend time liking and commenting on posts from target companies or contacts you want to reach.
Cultivate Potential Connections by Following Through
Imagine meeting someone interesting at a conference while waiting in the coffee line. You wouldn’t just hand them your business card and walk away without a word. When asking someone to connect on LinkedIn, always include a personalized note—just like starting a real conversation.
For example, say, “I saw you also commented on Mike’s post,” or “We’re in the same LinkedIn group.” Not only does this give context, but later if you forget the connection, you can revisit the message history to jog your memory. Treat online interactions just like in-person ones at events—make introductions personal.
Do some research beforehand—read their profile and recent activity for common ground. If you have LinkedIn Premium, you can also reference seeing their profile view.
The key is being genuine. Explain why you want to connect beyond just expanding your network. Show you took the time to understand what they care about.
LinkedIn limits how many free accounts can send connection messages. Once you hit the cap, you can:
- Connect first without a note, then send a message after they accept
- Message anyone already in your LinkedIn groups
- Pay for Premium to send InMails without connecting
Louise recommends getting creative about starting conversations outside of the initial request itself. Proactively message back people who connect with you without a note to further the relationship. Look for organic ways to continue the conversation before or after connecting that help you develop that critical outreach.
#3: Establish Expert Authority With Value-Focused Content: Take the Virtual Stage
On LinkedIn, creating valuable content is like being a conference speaker—it builds your visibility and expertise. Only 1% of users post. To stand out, consistently create free value-focused content. Share industry insights, tips, and advice without a hard sales pitch, just like speakers should offer actionable takeaways rather than pushing products.
For example, an Excel trainer can post tutorials and ideas for better slides. She’ll become known as the go-to expert because she drives conversations without asking for business directly. Similarly, an artist can build her following by opening dialogues about her locally inspired work.
When you provide valuable guidance, others engage organically. A helpful post sparks comments and shares that extend your reach beyond direct connections. So focus on giving first through your thought leadership. If your content provides value, relationships and business will follow.
Unlike conferences with limited seats, anyone on LinkedIn can create content that may reach large audiences. If your posts spark engagement within your niche network, the platform promotes them further.
For example, Louise gets many requests from irrelevant software salespeople. She only accepts those interested in her LinkedIn tips because they actually care to interact. A targeted, professional network drives higher engagement percentages that signal value to LinkedIn’s algorithm.
Her content then reaches thousands more people organically. The goal becomes guiding them to her profile and starting meaningful dialogues that may lead to business. Think quality over quantity in your network and content. Tailor both to resonate with your goals and expanding reach will follow.
Other Notes From This Episode
- Connect with Michael Stelzner @Stelzner on Instagram and @Mike_Stelzner on Twitter.
- Watch this interview and other exclusive content from Social Media Examiner on YouTube.
✋🏽 If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please head over to Apple Podcasts, leave a rating, write a review, and subscribe.
Stay Up-to-Date: Get New Marketing Articles Delivered to You!
Don’t miss out on upcoming social media marketing insights and strategies! Sign up to receive notifications when we publish new articles on Social Media Examiner. Our expertly crafted content will help you stay ahead of the curve and drive results for your business. Click the link below to sign up now and receive our annual report!
3 Days of World-Class Training—Zero Travel!
Travel to Social Media Marketing World off the table? Get all of the great content at a fraction of the price with an On-Demand ticket.
That’s full access to recordings of every keynote, workshop, and session—the ones people travel thousands of miles to see. Don’t wait. Get your On-Demand ticket and enjoy actionable content that you can watch anytime, anywhere.