Are you using LinkedIn to market your accounting firm? Or is it just a place to share your business details? Starting conversations on LinkedIn can have a huge impact on your business.
Far too many business owners underestimate the power of LinkedIn.
Many think of the platform as little more than a place to dump their curriculum vitae. It’s where you go to tell people how awesome you are, in hopes that they’ll give you a job.Once you graduate from that basic outlook, you probably still don’t use the platform to its full potential.
Sure, you might share content and build connections every now and then.
But are you using LinkedIn to start conversations?
And just as important, are you starting those conversations with prospects who can bring business to your firm?
If you answered “no” to those questions, you need to read this article.
But before you do, we want to make an important point. The tips we’re about to share won’t mean anything if you don’t take action on them. That’s what Oompf Global client Vicky Kwenda realized when working with us:
“The amount of ideas I’ve already written down… I have to go away and implement. [I have to do it] more than just learning a lot of practical stuff as well.”
Having all the knowledge in the world doesn’t mean anything if you’re not taking action.
While we’re going to share six tips for using LinkedIn more effectively, it’s up to you to take action.
Tip #1 – Use LinkedIn to Showcase What Makes You Different
Take a look at your LinkedIn profile. Examine the contents of your profile that you’re sharing… Assuming you’re sharing anything at all.
Then, ask yourself this important question:
Does my profile set me apart from other people in my niche?
It’s likely that it doesn’t.
Right now, you probably have a professional profile picture and a list of qualifications. You might also have information about your previous roles, as well as what you’re doing now.
But people expect to see that sort of stuff on every profile. It’s just background noise at this point.
You need to focus on the things that set you apart. When somebody visits your profile, you need them to see what makes you different.
The key here is to highlight why your prospect’s business needs your services.
But don’t focus on the functional stuff – the stuff that everybody else offers. Nobody’s going to feel impressed by a list of accounting services that they can get anywhere.
But you will impress them if you talk about the transformations you’ve created in other business owners’ lives. You’ll catch their attention when you highlight the stories about you and your firm that set you apart.
Look at what everybody else does, then find a way to do things differently so that you stand out.
Tip #2 – Identify Your Niche (And Use It to Appeal to the Right Audience)
When we talk about starting conversations on LinkedIn, we don’t mean trying to talk to everybody.
That’s a fast way to achieve business burnout.
You should know that if you’re trying to talk to everybody, you appeal to nobody. And worse yet, you’ll end up wasting time on conversations with people who either won’t become clients or will be bad clients if you land them.
You need to identify a niche and stick to it.
This means identifying the specific problems that you can solve and figuring out who on LinkedIn has those problems.
From there, you start connecting with these people. You position yourself as the person who can solve their problem. And once they connect with you, your job is to show them proof.
Create content that confronts their problems and demonstrates your authority within your niche. Eventually, these prospects will talk to you because they know that you can solve their issues.
Now, you might not like this idea of creating a niche for your firm. Maybe you don’t want to pigeonhole yourself, so you try to offer everything. But in doing so, you’re telling people on LinkedIn that you’re not really an expert on anything.
You’re just somebody who’s trying to appeal to the widest audience possible.
Tip #3 – Create a Profile That’s Worth Reading
Right now, you may see your LinkedIn profile as the place where you share your business information.
And it is… But it’s so much more than that, too.
Your profile creates the first impression you’ll make on a prospect. When they hear about you and your firm, your profile is the first place they’ll look for information.
That’s why it’s crucial that your profile looks the part.
You need to ensure that everything on the profile exudes competence and know-how, starting with the basics. That means no profile pics showing you standing next to your car, or anything else that’s too personal. You want to use pictures that exemplify the professionalism of your firm.
Beyond that, you must pay special attention to the content that you share. Don’t blather on about the services you offer. Instead, focus on the problems that you solve. Focus on what you can do to make the reader’s life and business better.
This is more than just your online CV. It’s your chance to create the first impression that will make you memorable to the people you want to talk to.
Tip #4 – Don’t Forget the Importance of Visual Content for Engagement
Building on this idea of creating a great profile, you also need to understand how important visual content is to building interest and attracting prospects.
When people hear information, they only retain about 10% of it when asked to recall it three days later. But if that information has an engaging image attached, that number jumps up to 65%.
The simple fact is that many of the people who check your profile are visual learners. And on a general level, imagery creates more interest than straight-text content.
The good news is that LinkedIn allows for this when you’re building your profile. Its Professional Portfolio feature allows you to add videos and images to your profile. You can even share articles, with their relevant images attached.
This portfolio creates a more engaging profile that’s likely to retain somebody’s attention for longer. As for what you share, any of the following make for good choices:
- Videos of you speaking to an audience
- Any recent articles that feature imagery
- Any slide decks that you’ve created for presentations
- Charts and graphs that highlight your services
- Screenshots of testimonials and other forms of social proof
Tip #5 – Leverage Sponsored Updates to Gain More Exposure
What do you do with the content that you share on LinkedIn?
Right now, maybe you just create a piece and post it. Then, you wait to get that all-important engagement that could lead to conversations.
That passive approach to LinkedIn marketing rarely works.
To take a more active approach, consider using the platform’s Sponsored Updates tool. With this tool, you can dedicate some of your marketing budget to promoting your post.
But the most important thing here is how this tool allows you to target LinkedIn users. You’re able to target specific people based on their niche, job title, and a host of other metrics.
This means that you can ensure your sponsored post gets in front of the people who really need to read it. Whether that’s potential prospects, or industry influencers who can spread the word, it’s up to you.
LinkedIn also offers analytics that show you just how effective your sponsored posts are.
You’ll see the number of impressions you got, as well as how many people clicked on the post.
Use this data to refine your posts so that they achieve maximum engagement.
Tip #6 – Consistency is as Important as Quality
Let’s say that you’ve built a healthy selection of followers. Maybe you even have a couple of thousand people who’ve joined your LinkedIn network.
Building that network is only the first step.
To create conversations on LinkedIn, you’ve got to provide quality content to that network. It’s your content that ultimately engages people and causes them to want to talk to you.
But here’s the key thing…
It’s not enough to share a decent piece of content every once in a while. Your connections won’t know to look out for it, which means it gets lost in the shuffle.
Instead, aim to build consistency into your content calendar.
Now, we’re not saying that you should post every day, though you can if you’ve got enough quality content. Instead, aim to make your updates as consistent as possible. Share content at the same time and on the same day of each week.
Your audience will cotton onto your schedule and will start to look out for your posts.
When you have consistency in your posting schedule, you’re giving people more of a chance to see your content.
Don’t Sleep on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is so much more than a job site.
When used correctly, it’s one of the most powerful B2B marketing tools that your firm has at its disposal.
The tips we’ve shared here will help you create a stronger and more engaging profile. Beyond that, you need to establish your niche and create value within it. Demonstrate that you’re an authority and people will want to talk to you.
Finally, take a more active role in your LinkedIn marketing. When you have something important to say, use the Sponsored Content tool to make sure that people hear it.
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