With the COVID-19 crisis and social distancing measures imposed around the world (at the time of writing), a lot of lawyers, accountants, consultants, and overall experts in professional services, are being forced to reconsider their business development efforts. Now that large networking events are not allowed or highly restricted around the world, LinkedIn has become a key ‘go-to’ option for professionals to win new work. However, if you truly want to make the best out of your business development efforts in LinkedIn, you need to pay close attention to crafting a strong profile but also at the sort of content you are sharing there. In this fragment of our Progress to Partner Virtual Masterclass “How to win work in only 30 minutes without leaving your house”, I walk you through what makes good content for LinkedIn. If you want to listen to the whole masterclass, join Progress to Partner for just $1 and get access to the full recording.
It’s all about your visibility
When it comes to using LinkedIn for networking and business development, it’s all about getting visible, and understanding what makes you get seen there. LinkedIn gives different weighting to various types of content, and it changes periodically (Disclaimer: This article was published in October, 2020, so if you are reading this in early 2021 or later, the weighting might have changed, so take what you are about to read with a pinch of salt). At the moment, LinkedIn’s content type weighting prioritises dwell time. In other words, the content that encourages you to engage and remain on the site is the one that’s going to help you rank best and be more visible. Now, what sort of content helps increase dwell time? Well, essentially, video, pdf documents or slide decks, and eye-catchy infographics. LinkedIn absolutely loves this stuff. But also controversial discussions that get lots of comments. Be careful with this last one though. We are not talking noise here, e.g., ‘do you prefer ginger biscuits to digestive biscuits?’ or ‘should we call them cookies, or biscuits?’ We are referring to updates that can get people to comment and engage but also generate value. To illustrate this for you, my most popular discussion recently was about how society conditions us to believe that for females to get to the senior positions in life they need to get rid of their curls (or long hair altogether). You see, I’ve lately decided to embrace my natural, grey curls but I bet that’s not true for most of the female partners in your firm, is it? How many of them have got grey hair? I bet the answer is none in both cases. This raises questions about implicit gender biases in professional services firms and opens the discussion.
Your network wants to hear you!
It’s all good with sharing interesting articles or the latest research relevant to your niche. However, keep in mind that your audience wants to hear (or read) what YOU have to say. The worst thing you can do is what I like to call ‘dump and run’, which is to just dump a link to an article and leave. This is not to say you shouldn’t share someone else’s work on your LinkedIn. If you find an interesting article or any other piece of contents, by all means share it and credit it, but make sure you also share your take on it.
Using content from others as part of your content strategy on LinkedIn
Just sharing someone else’s post on your timeline is just a waste of time. Period. I’ve looked at it, and I can confidently say I get up to 5% of the reach I normally get when I share a post, and it rarely goes beyond that. However, there are plenty of ways you can use content from others and repurpose it to increase your dwell time. Just make sure you credit them as needed. These are some things you can do:
- A long micro update,
- Include images.
- Add a personal touch. A lot of professionals are hesitant to share personal information on LinkedIn because that seems more like a Facebook thing, right? But LinkedIn has got more humanised, since lockdown, as we are craving for virtual spaces where we can have meaningful social interactions.
Getting visible is also about prompting interaction quickly
How quickly somebody interacts with the content, is a big factor, in whether it gets amplified by LinkedIn or not. So, be prepared to share your good news. People want to know that you’re successful in your business to help them get in touch with you. Again, if you aren’t clear yet about who you are speaking to Join Progress To Partner for $1, and go straight to Module 1 of The Go-To Expert course. You need that desk-based research completed first. Otherwise, you are dancing in the dark.
Hanging out where your connections hang out
If you want to be able to create content that performs well on LinkedIn, you need to go and hang out where your connections hang out and pay attention to:
- What’s the hashtag that they look at,
- What hashtags do they follow?
This will help you be part of the conversation. If you’re prepared to make relevant comments, like, discuss things, rather than sitting there and reading, and then finally dropping a call to action, you will land much better results.
Limit the amounts of self-serving content you share
Our content and interactions should not aim to sell ourselves, but rather help our clients move through a buying journey they control. So, limit the amounts of self serving content you share. It normally doesn’t come across as inviting and too salesy. Plus, it doesn’t tend to foster interaction. Of course, you can share bits that are genuinely relevant. Like a big accomplishment of one of your clients while working with you.
Make sure your content is well written, and easy to understand.
Your content needs to be well written, easy to understand, and inviting. A good way to do this is putting a bit of a headline or a question at the beginning. Just something that entices people to read through.
Repurpose everything with your personal voice
I can’t stress this enough. No one visits your profile to read someone else’s article. No one. If you want to share something you found interesting, make sure you include your opinions or comments about it. Always remember, human first, professional second.
Work to show up in your connections newsfeed
How do you show up in your connections newsfeed? The best way is about going and commenting, liking, sharing their content. Commenting is a really powerful way to get lots of profile views. Your comments don’t need to be an essay. Sometimes I write stuff like ‘thanks for sharing such great tips.’ That’s enough to put you out there. Creating good content for LinkedIn will help you boost your online visibility and stay top of mind with your potential clients. Work on it! And if you need more support with your content. Make sure to get your free copy of our content planning guide here. Want to learn more about how to become the person people go to when they have work you want? Make sure you sign up to Progress to Partner and enrol in The Go-To Expert course.