The one easy tip that will help you stand out on LinkedIn
If there's one massively underrated social platform agency owners need to use, it is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a gold mine for agencies and consultants. It doesn't have the massive, flashy advertising attractiveness like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, but it's by far the best platform for B2B marketing and can fundamentally change the way people find new customers.
There's only one problem …
Many agency owners struggle to take full advantage of LinkedIn.
We see so many potential acquisition opportunities on the LinkedIn table.
Fortunately, there are a ton of things you can do to improve your LinkedIn reach, and while it starts with improving your profile, it doesn't end there.
To stand out on LinkedIn, you need to differentiate yourself from your competition. You need to post regularly, respond to people, and provide value, but you can't follow the same formula as everyone else.
Because of the perceived expectation of extreme Professionalism in posting on LinkedIn, people including agencies tend to create content that is not really related to anyone.
Mandy McEwen, founder of Mod Girl Marketing, pointed this out at the recent Training Day for certified partners of DigitalMarketer. As someone who has mastered the art of LinkedIn and uses it regularly to generate leads for their agency, Mandy has quickly become a thought leader in the LinkedIn marketing world.
Mandy has one very A simple tip that can help agency owners generate the traffic and cultivate the relationships they want on LinkedIn:
Be authentic. Be yourself.
This may seem like very trivial advice, but the truth is, it doesn't. In fact, this is what is likely to keep you from growing your brand and business on LinkedIn.
Why LinkedIn demands authenticity
Due to the perceived expectation of extreme professionalism on LinkedIn – as it is a career-oriented platform – people forget one very important fact: It's still a social media platform.
It might be a very niche social media platform, and people might use it primarily for business purposes rather than leisure, but it's still designed for engagement and sharing. While the goal is a little more focused, it's still to help people connect.
To be honest, it's the people who are 100% on the platform themselves, as we all want to be. And not just because they are the most successful.
McEwen is a good example. She uses her company page on LinkedIn to provide basic updates, but uses her personal page to really interact with people – and her personal page is where most of her best content is.
While she could use her business side in much the same way as her personal side, her personal side gives the people she interacts with a seemingly more direct and intimate relationship with her. It makes them more like them and have more positive interactions with their content. It gives your brand a face, which undoubtedly strengthens your brand and generates customers.
And in Mandy's case, it works pretty well …
Too many people, especially agency owners, view LinkedIn as an extended storefront or a snapshot of their business. That might be a lucky by-product of your LinkedIn account, but it's not why it exists.
For agency owners in particular, the best thing you can do to get more customers is interacting with as many people as possible. You want them to feel like you know you in real life. You want them to be able to make your voice stand out in a crowd.
This puts you in a better position to convert because if one of those LinkedIn connections is having trouble with their marketing, do you know who they are going to turn to? Not the stranger they don't know about.
They will turn to you.
They know you and trust you so they give you their business.
LinkedIn is there for you to connect with people, and the best way for you to connect with people is to be yourself. The better you connect with your LinkedIn audience, the more likely they will turn to you for their business and promotional needs. The best way to build these relationships is by delivering authentic, value-add content.
Mastery of LinkedIn content
If you want to publish content regardless of platform, it has to offer value (and if you didn't know that before, do it now). In order for everyone to recognize or remember your name based on your content, they have to make something meaningful of it. If your content doesn't achieve this, you're only creating content for Google and Google won't help you pay the rent.
However, there is an intersection between authenticity and professionalism when it comes to LinkedIn content. Valuable content makes people read or watch it, but your authenticity lets people connect with you and your brand on a more personal level.
The authenticity factor in creating LinkedIn content encompasses both your personality and your expertise. As important as it is to add a fun, personal touch to your content that makes your personality shine, you also need to bring something unique to the table when it comes to the value you offer. You can't simply revisit simple tips and talking points that anyone could get from a simple Google search. You need to bring something helpful on the table because this unique tip or point of view will also help you stand out.
Fortunately, often these things can go hand in hand, although you need to provide both value and a good snapshot of your personality. That's because it's the unique experiences that make you who you are.
We've covered this extensively over the past few weeks, but let me tell you again, stories are a useful tool in business. They can help keep audiences engaged, convey concepts, and increase sales. They also do for large Additions to the content. When creating a video or post for LinkedIn, you can use personal experiences to illustrate (and reinforce) the valuable advice you offer.
How much content do you need
Now that you have a good idea of what to create, I can already say what your next question will be, "How much do I have to write?"
This question has a simple answer: you can't have too much content. Any content you create will help you stand out. At least it won't harm you.
However, in general, you need 5 to 8 pieces of content that are really solid. And then you need to include those parts in your featured content.
Here are 3 parts of Mandy's content. Some of them are self-contained on LinkedIn and some link to their website, but all of them add value with Mandy's personal twist.
In the case of the LinkedIn profile checklist, the content is a guiding magnet that Mandy created herself. Not only is this content hypertactical, it cannot be found anywhere else. It's not just tactical, it's interactive too.
The next content accomplishes the same thing in a slightly different way: you can see Mandy's face. By using a video, she can provide something helpful to her LinkedIn audience while also introducing herself to them. This means that she can really be authentic and make her personality shine. Then her audience will definitely associate the information they just learned with her.
Either way, their content helps grow their LinkedIn audience and business. By sprinkling testimonials about her business among her other content, she gets everything someone who visits her on LinkedIn needs to learn more about her business.
In a world where there is more content on the internet than we could ever hope to consume, you need to do something to help you stand out. No special tool or strategy is required. All it takes is you.
Be authentic with your audience and let your real self shine. With enough time, this will be what grows both your LinkedIn audience and your agency.