Thinking of leveraging LinkedIn to grow your business? In this guide, you’ll learn how to optimize your profile, create compelling content, and grow your audience.
Before Microsoft paid $26 billion to acquire LinkedIn in 2016, the platform was a ghost town.
The site’s identity hadn’t been discovered by its founders or its users. There was very little content being created. And most users hadn’t even taken the time to upload a profile pic.
Now, LinkedIn is booming.
This graph shows LinkedIn’s growth from 2009 to 2019 — those numbers are in millions.
But it’s not just the number of users that’s grown, it’s the number of active users.
There are currently about 300 million people who use LinkedIn every single month.
Naturally, that creates a lot of potential for marketers and entrepreneurs to reach their target markets.
And in this guide, we’re going to show you, step by step, just how to do that.
But let’s ask the most important question first: is LinkedIn marketing right for your business?
Should You Use LinkedIn For Marketing?
Believe it or not, LinkedIn is not the best marketing platform for many businesses.
For example, B2C businesses that sell lotions, shoes, shirts, sunglasses, etc. probably won’t get much benefit from marketing on LinkedIn unless their target market is business people.
You see, LinkedIn is unapologetically business oriented.
And content that doesn’t somehow benefit entrepreneurs or career-focussed people probably won’t perform well.
That’s not to say that B2C businesses can’t get any benefit from LinkedIn… but those companies will probably have better luck on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok.
But you know what businesses do really well on LinkedIn?
B2B companies — that includes freelancers, agencies, SaaS, coaches, consultants, and B2B ecommerce.
For many of those businesses, LinkedIn is the most effective marketing platform available.
According to Neil Patel’s blog, 93% of B2B marketers consider LinkedIn to be the most effective platform for lead generation. And LinkedIn generates more leads for B2B companies than Facebook, Twitter, or blogging.
So if you’re in the B2B world, then you definitely want to be using LinkedIn.
The way that you market on LinkedIn will differ slightly depending on your business model, your goals, and your brand image.
The following steps will help you create a fitting LinkedIn marketing strategy for your business.
Step 1. Know Your End-Goal
Why do you want to market your business on LinkedIn?
Do you want to grow your email list? Do you want to grow your LinkedIn following? Do you want to make more sales? All of the above?
Answering this question isn’t just important for LinkedIn marketing… but for all types of marketing.
If you’re going to be successful, you need to have a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.
Because the way that you use LinkedIn marketing — the type of content you share, how you optimize your profile, and whether you run ads or not — will differ depending on your end-goal.
Someone who’s trying to grow their personal brand or promote their freelance services might post valuable content like this…
Someone who’s trying to generate leads for their coaching business might post content more like this…
And someone who’s trying to grow their brand might post advertisements like this…
You’ll probably use several of these strategies to accomplish your own marketing goals, but the point is that the way you market on LinkedIn depends on what you’re trying to do.
And that’s why it’s important to get clear about your end-goal.
What do you want to accomplish?
If you want to drive traffic to your website, generate leads, or make sales, then you also need to consider where you’re going to send that LinkedIn attention.
That is, when someone clicks on your company’s “Visit Website” button, an advertisement, or one of your organic posts promoting your services, where is that going to take them?
Ideally, you’ll drive them to a high-converting sales funnel.
A sales funnel is just a series of pages that are psychologically crafted to drive visitors toward taking the action that you want them to take (opting into your email list or purchasing a product, for example).
And they convert wayy higher than traditional websites or landing pages.
In fact, at ClickFunnels, we’ve helped more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and marketers create sales funnels that generate leads and sales like clockwork.
Will sales funnels work for your business?
You can try us out FREE for 14 days by clicking here.
Step 2. Outline Your LinkedIn Marketing Plan
All good marketing needs a plan.
And once you know your end-goal for marketing on LinkedIn, you can create a plan that points in the right direction.
The first step is to decide which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you’re going to track.
These are the metrics that best indicate the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
Your KPIs will depend on the end-goal that you’re trying to achieve.
If you’re trying to grow your LinkedIn following, then you probably want to track the following metrics…
- Number of Followers
- Individual Post Engagement — Create a spreadsheet to track the engagement metrics (likes, shares, comments) of everything you post.
The first is your primary KPI and the second will help you to learn from your past content and post more engaging content in the future.
If you’re trying to grow your email list, then the following metrics might be more pertinent…
- Email List Growth From LinkedIn
- Landing Page Visits Via LinkedIn
You can track both of those metrics inside of Google Analytics.
Both of those KPIs will help you keep an eye on your LinkedIn-fueled email list growth.
If your primary goal is to make sales, then maybe your advertisement KPIs look something like this…
- Ad Spend Return On Investment
- Cost Per Click
- Landing Page Conversion Rate
Whatever you’re trying to accomplish, create KPIs that inform you on whether you’re heading in the right direction or not.
The next step is to create a content plan.
How often are you going to post? How often are you just going to provide your audience with free value (without an “ask” or “pitch”) and how often are you going to try and promote your end goal (email list, finding clients, sales, etc)?
(We recommend a ratio of 5 to 1. So for every sales-y post, you should post 5 pieces of content that provide your audience with free value).
If you’re going to run ads, then what’s your budget? How often are you going to create new ads (the more ads you test, the better!)? What ROI do you expect?
Create a content-posting schedule that fits your budget and bandwidth.
But keep in mind that one of the biggest determiners of LinkedIn success is consistency.
LinkedIn’s algorithm and users don’t take well to sporadic creators with big gaps in between content postings.
In fact, Louise Meyers recommends posting once per day on LinkedIn.
And we’d also recommend aiming to post content once per day if you’re going to get serious about marketing on LinkedIn.
You can use a tool like Asana, Trello, or Monday to create a content schedule.As for what you’re going to post, we’ll talk about what type of content does well on LinkedIn (and how to create compelling content) in Step 4.
Step 3. Optimize Your Profile To Drive Results
Once you’ve got a clear end-goal and content plan for LinkedIn marketing domination, it’s time to optimize your profile for success.
And perhaps the best way to show you how to do that is by looking at other awesome LinkedIn profiles.
As inspiration for agency owners, freelancers, coaches, and consultants, check out Michal Eisikowitz’s profile page.
Her picture is professional and the background color matches her other brand colors. Her eye-catching slogan — “Perfect copy makes you money” — appeals to exactly what her target market wants and the URL — www.getperfectcopy.com — helps drive people where she wants them.
The badge on the left builds authority even though you can’t quite make out what it says.
And her bio tells you exactly who she is and what she does, with just a touch of sass.
If we scroll down further, we find that her “About” section is 100% dedicated to empathizing with her target market and promoting her services. Really, it functions just like the copy on a sales page.
We can also see that she has an updated profile in terms of listing her education and past projects.
Lastly, we find that she has 99+ endorsements for pretty much every copywriting-critical skill and more than 30 testimonial recommendations from past clients.
Michal is clearly trying to generate leads and find new clients for her business.
And this LinkedIn profile is doing that very effectively. Anyone who’s looking for a copywriter and lands on her profile is at least going to reach out to her to learn more.
Try to follow her format on your own profile page.
Here are some additional no-brainer tips for optimizing your profile…
- Consider Search Engine Optimization — When people search for certain skill sets on LinkedIn, they are often looking for freelancers or consultants to help them. So when you write your headline and bio, and when you list your skills, make sure to be clear about what you’re an expert at so that the right people can find you.
- Collect Endorsement and Recommendations — Whenever you can, collect endorsements and recommendations. Ask past clients, friends, and other people who know you to add their two cents to your profile page. The more you max this out with glowing recommendations, the better.
- Try The ProFinder Badge — LinkedIn’s ProFinder Badge is a way for freelancers to promote their services and find clients. You’ll definitely want to give this a try if you’re a contractor.
- Consider LinkedIn Premium — Getting LinkedIn Premium is a particularly good idea for anyone who wants to be able to directly message and pitch potential clients. It allows you to send InMail and see who’s viewed your profile. This is great for agencies, freelancers, and B2B salespeople.
Obviously, some of these optimizations (getting endorsements and testimonials, for example) take time.
So do the best that you can with what you have… and grow your profile over time.
What you’re seeing on Michal’s profile is the result of years of hard work on LinkedIn.
You’ll get there, too, with enough time and consistency.
But maybe you don’t want to build a personal profile page… maybe you want to create a page for your business so you can run ads and promote your brand.
Here’s some inspiration from Codeless…
This is pretty simple… and that’s good, because it doesn’t need to be complicated.
The elevator pitch is right at the top — “Writers suck at marketing. Marketers suck at writing. We get both.” — and there’s a clarifying statement in the bio: “We produce hundreds of articles each month for the most competitive spaces on the internet.”
Your business page really doesn’t need to be more complicated than this.
Since you’ll be running ads, clarity about your brand and service is what’s most important here.
You just want people to know what your business does and provide a little proof that you do it well.
People can then go to your website to learn more.
The more important question is: what does a great LinkedIn advertisement look like?
That’s what we’re going to talk about next.
Step 4. Create Compelling Content (Here’s What That Looks Like)
This is the real crux of LinkedIn marketing success.
Whether you’re creating organic posts or paid ads, how do you ensure that the content you create is engaging and actually driving results?
Fortunately, lots of people have gone before you and figured out what works and what doesn’t work.
All you have to do is learn from their content and mimic their strategies.
With that in mind, let’s look at some different types of organic posts that perform really well on LinkedIn… then we’ll look at some effective advertisements.
Our first example comes from Michaela Alexis — a LinkedIn marketing coach and consultant with 164,000 followers.
Michaela shares her hero story. And this story wonderfully connects to her consulting business, where she helps people overcome their own personal and professional challenges.
It’s emotional, it’s inspiring, and it’s extremely engaging.
This post got 34,000 views, 115 comments, and almost 700 likes.
The lesson here is that LinkedIn users love personal, honest content about people’s professional lives… even if it’s not very pretty.
But you know what else LinkedIn users love?
Expert advice or tips on professional skillsets — copywriting, design, development, product promotion, etc.
Remember: LinkedIn is full of people who are trying to grow their businesses. So sharing expert advice on your professional skills is extremely valuable to your target market… and it can help build your niche authority as well.
Liam Carnahan — a consultant, public speaker, and freelance writer — does this often and remarkably well on his LinkedIn profile.
Here’s one example…
You can post similar content, sharing your own expertise to grow your following, build authority, and even generate leads.
One final type of organic content that does well is question-based posts.
Notice how Jacob starts an interesting conversation with his audience?
It might not be directly related to what he’s trying to accomplish with LinkedIn — growing his coaching business and selling his courses — but it does engage his target market and improve his relationship with them.
You can accomplish the same by asking interesting and engaging questions.
To review, the three types of high-performing organic content on LinkedIn are…
- Story Based — Tell a compelling story that inspires your audience.
- Value Based — Offer tips and advice for a professional skill that you have.
- Question Based — Ask your audience a thought-provoking question.
There are other ways to engage your audience, of course, but these are three of the most effective, clear-cut strategies.
So what about if you want to run advertisements?
Well, having a reason to run sales ads is probably a good idea — whether that’s offering a temporary discount or hosting some sort of event.
Here’s an example from JetBlue Airways…
Ads with a purpose usually perform the best.
Rather than just promoting your products or services, offer a special deal to those who take action quickly.
In marketing speak, this is called creating urgency and it’s crazy effective.
But not all LinkedIn ads need to try and sell… you can also promote content that drives people to your blog…
… or even shares something cool that your business is doing…
The goal is to build brand awareness, increase market authority, grow your email list, and make sales… but not always at the same time.
It’s important to run various ads with different goals.
We also recommend creating a lot of different advertisements to test what works best. The more ads you create, the faster you learn, and the more effective your ads become.
Try to create at least one new iteration every week, and if you have the budget and bandwidth, then try to create a new ad every day.
Step 5. Measure Your Results
At the end of the day, your LinkedIn marketing strategy will only be effective if you measure progress, test new strategies, and make improvements.
No marketer has ever been successful at LinkedIn marketing without trying new things and figuring out what works for them.
So measure the results from your efforts and try new things that you think might work.
Keep what drives results and ditch what doesn’t.
On LinkedIn, you can track post engagements, profiles views, and search engine results.
And you’ll want to install Google Analytics on your website in order to track referral traffic and conversions from LinkedIn.
You might even consider creating a spreadsheet that tracks the engagement metrics from all of your content.
This will help you determine what works and what doesn’t.
Ultimately, the more that you test, track your results, and try new strategies, the faster you’re going to learn and the more effective your LinkedIn content is going to be.
What’s Your LinkedIn Marketing Gameplan?
You now have all the knowledge you need to start LinkedIn marketing.
You know how to outline your plan, optimize your profile, create compelling content, and measure your results.
From there, it’s just a matter of doing it.
And today is a great day to get started.
Off you go!