How to create more value using LinkedIn

November 20, 2015

At the recent APSMA conference, one of the most practical sessions held was ‘Clever ways to create more value using LinkedIn.’

We all know how to create a basic LinkedIn profile and it’s likely that most professionals have one. Your LinkedIn profile and how you use LinkedIn can deliver a range of benefits for you, particularly if you take a proactive approach to your personal branding.

The reality is that you’re already branded. Your colleagues, staff, customers, investors and all of your stakeholders already have a perception of you. And it’s the sum of those perceptions which make up your reputation. Without taking a deliberate and considered approach to what you want to be known and valued for, you may be allowing your personal brand to waiver or vary among stakeholder groups. Don’t let your personal brand manage itself.

Kirsten Hodgson, author of LinkedIn for Lawyers: Connect, Engage and Grow your Business and LinkedIn for Accountants presented the breakout session to a packed out audience of leaders, CMOs, business development and sales managers.

Here are three practical takeaways from this session:
 

1. LinkedIn has powerful SEO potential

Publishing articles as a post on LinkedIn (i.e. using LinkedIn’s publishing platform) results in higher Google rankings.

Kirsten found that some of her posts were reaching larger audiences and discovered that it was a result of Google ranking her LinkedIn posts higher than her other articles. In fact, when you Google ‘how to view someone’s LinkedIn profile without them knowing’, her LinkedIn post is ranked #1.

This is the direct result of benefiting from LinkedIn’s high search engine optimisation. An added benefit is that articles tend to have a longer shelf life than those on your own blog – because of both the SEO benefits and the fact that LinkedIn members can search published posts directly within LinkedIn.

Kirsten’s advice included:

  • Publish relevant content with a long shelf life. It can take up to two or three months before Google starts recognising your post.
  • She found very little adverse impact when articles from the blog were republished as a post on LinkedIn.
  • Posts with very little content or which direct audiences to another website can disengage your readers as many don’t want to leave LinkedIn – making them click away means you will lose a lot of prospective readers.
  • Make sure you understand the difference between LinkedIn updates and posts.

For a walk-through of how Kirsten improved her SEO and drove increased sales, read her blog post Improve your SEO by publishing to LinkedIn.

 

2. Increase your engagement by understanding personality

Kirsten introduced a tool called Crystal Knows.

Crystal’s mission is to make relationships healthier and happier. It’s a social science tool (and Chrome extension) which assists you to take an empathic approach to your communication and engagement to reach mutual understanding and increase productivity.

How Crystal does this is phenomenal, and for some, eerie. Crystal forms a personality profile for you based on your public profile and interactions anywhere online. It does the same for people you interact with. Using a huge database of data from across the internet, Crystal provides tips as to how to best communicate online with people whose personality you wouldn’t have experienced in real life.

As far as accuracy goes, it’s been spot on for our personalities. We’re also already seeing benefits as we communicate with more empathy with our audiences and stakeholders in mind.

To find out more about how it works, visit Crystal Knows.
 

3.Get around LinkedIn’s search limitations by using Google to x-ray into LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s ‘advanced search’ feature is incredibly helpful but it can be frustrating when you can only see limited results information. Instead of upgrading to a paid LinkedIn account, you can use tools (developed for the recruitment industry) such as Recruit’em (www.recruitin.net) to find people you’re looking to reach on LinkedIn.

By using this tool, you can see LinkedIn public profile information for those who fit the criteria you’re searching. You’re not limited to the first 100 results because you’re viewing the results through Google or another search engine – just make sure you’re logged out of LinkedIn when you perform your search!

While some people do lock their public profiles, the vast majority of LinkedIn users don’t, so it’s really easy to see the majority of their profile info. Plus if you have installed the Crystal chrome extension you can take a look at people’s personality types here too, which is hugely helpful.
 

In conclusion

LinkedIn isn’t a tool that should be used in isolation.

It can help you to achieve your objectives more quickly and easily and increase the success of existing initiatives. When you’re next considering the best way to approach something or someone, think about how you could use LinkedIn to help you.

If you would like to read case studies of how lawyers and accountants have used LinkedIn successfully to grow their practices, Kirsten has compiled a variety of reference material you can access and download at LinkedIn for Accountants and LinkedIn for Lawyers.