Did you know that LinkedIn has over a billion users? It’s an amazing resource to promote yourself, build your brand and book opportunities. But where do you start? In a webinar with Innovation Women, Brenda Meller explained how to get a bigger slice of the LinkedIn P.I.E.: P for profile optimization, I for invitation strategy, and E for engagement and posting. These are the keys for growing your business on LinkedIn.
Meller is a self-proclaimed ambassador of LinkedIn with over 60,000 followers on the site. She offers resource guides, webinars and personalized sessions on improving your LinkedIn game. Her book Social Media PIE: How to Enjoy a Bigger Slice of LinkedIn was featured in Lioness as a Book of the Week.
How to begin: simple steps to follow
Meller recommends taking a step back to look over your current LinkedIn profile. Is it immediately clear that you are a speaker? Is the word “speaker” listed anywhere on your profile? Do you have a sizzle or demo reel linked somewhere? If not, it’s time to change that! Her top tips will give you a good overview of how to do so.
Make sure to add “speaker” to your LI headline
LinkedIn allows you to personalize your headline with a maximum of 220 characters. Meller’s advice? Use them up!
- If you are multi-faceted, include all your roles in your headline. This is often the first description people will see of you when you’re active on the site.
- Try including the word speaker in the first 60-80 characters.
- Use the words, phrases and keywords that apply to your target audience. Your profile will be more likely to pop up in relevant searches.
If you have multiple businesses/jobs that you are pursuing, try and think about the common skills across them all. For example, if you’re an entrepreneur, a speaker and work a corporate job, common skills could be leadership and public speaking. Make your headline generic enough to fit all your functions.
Alternatively, think about your primary goal and try to focus on that.
Meller’s tagline on LinkedIn includes her many roles.
Evaluate if your headshot represents you
Everyone knows your headshot should be professional, good quality and clear. Your headshot should also look like you! Make sure it’s current – Meller recommends a photo taken within the last five years. As a speaker, your headshot can be a little more casual than you’d use for a corporate role. This is something worth investing in: you’ll need to add it everywhere, from your speaker one sheet to your company page to your sizzle reels. Meller gets a professional one done every year, and she says it’s worth it.
Include a CTA (call to action) for speaking gigs in your “about” section
It’s hard for people to book you for a speaking gig if they don’t know how. Make it easy for them by pointing them in the right direction. A good place to add this is your “about” section. If you’re a member of Innovation Women, you have an easy link. Adding your speaker profile page allows people to contact you directly. You can also add links to websites or your contact information. Don’t forget to use emojis in this space to make it more compelling to read.
Meller’s About section includes a clear CTA and green checkmark emojis to spruce up her list.
Highlight a sizzle/demo reel on your profile
Make sure you add your sizzle/demo reels at the forefront of your business on LinkedIn. Try these places:
- Your featured section. LinkedIn allows you to highlight certain posts at the top of your page here.
- Your individual experience sections. You’re allowed to add images and videos in the media section.
- Your contact card. You can add up to three websites here, so include your company website and Innovation Women profile links here.
There are plenty of places to feature your reels, so there’s no excuse not to add them!
Mention that you’re a speaker in your “Experience” section
Some people think that the “experience” section of LinkedIn is only for corporate positions. However, people add all kinds of experiences here, from being a board member to being a speaker. This is more than just good practice; users often skip past your “about” section and look only at your experience. Meller urged all Innovation Women members to add that experience, making it a current role. You can choose the order in which your current roles appear, so people will immediately see that you’re a speaker, even from a glance.
An extra hack would be to adjust your start date to the same month you add it to your profile. Find the button that says “notify your network” and switch it on. This will notify your network that they should congratulate you on your new position at your business on LinkedIn. If people do reach out, thank them, and give them more information on your speaking business.
Simplify your LinkedIn URL
When sharing your LinkedIn URL, you may have noticed a string of random numbers and letters at the end of your link. You can customize this link to remove the extra characters. It must be unique, so you may have to add an extra number or letter to ensure your URL isn’t taken. Taking this small step makes it much easier for people to find you and your business on LinkedIn. It also shows other LinkedIn experts that you know what you’re doing.
The option to edit your personalized link is to the right of your profile banner.
Making the most of the platform
Now that you’ve improved your profile, here are some tips on what you should do to remain active and gain visibility.
Post about upcoming speaking engagements
- Include details such as date, time, and if it’s virtual, hybrid or in-person.
- Tag any individuals who helped you book the event, as well as the organization itself. It promotes good social media karma, gives you press and reminds people that you’re a speaker.
- Post about the event multiple times. Your network may need to hear something more than once for it to register, or they may have missed the original announcement.
Comment on the conference’s posts
If you’re booked to speak at a conference, always find time to engage. The conference could have a large following that you could benefit from.
- Comment on the conference’s posts saying how excited you are to be a speaker.
- See if there’s a conference-specific hashtag and use it.
- Keep up the momentum: comment during the event, and afterward.
Use photos of yourself in action
Most of us don’t have a professional photographer ready for perfect candid shots. But you don’t always need those to generate good media. Use your audience to capture photos for your business on LinkedIn.
- Tell your audience that they have permission to snap photos of you in action. Clarify your stance on taking videos, too.
- Ask them to take them in landscape mode – LinkedIn prefers horizontal framing.
- You can cue the audience and tell them it’s a good time to take photos. Let them know your best moments.
- Make sure you’re smiling!
- Encourage people to tag you in anything they post to social media.
Decide if “creator mode” is right for you
You may have noticed the option to turn on “creator mode” at the top of your LinkedIn profile. This feature was created for people who have a substantial following – Meller thinks it’s mainly useful for people with over 5,000 connections. It gives you access to unique features such as adding hashtags to your bio and using the LinkedIn newsletter function. However, it can cause you to miss connections. Instead of seeing a “connect” button, with creator mode on, people see a “follow” button. They can still connect with you, but the button is harder to find. If you have creator mode on, you should browse through your following once a week to see if you missed connecting with valuable people.
Take advantage of recommendations and endorsements
LinkedIn recommendations and endorsements are invaluable. If people come to compliment you after you finish speaking, use this as an opportunity. Ask if they would mind sending you a recommendation. Recommendations are shown on the receiver’s and giver’s profiles, allowing you both to receive new traffic.
You can also endorse people’s skills on their profile. This sends them a notification, and they may choose to thank you or endorse you in return. Having highly endorsed skills also increases your chances of appearing in relevant searches. Pay attention to your colleagues. Shout them out, and they’ll likely return the favor.
Time to begin
Now that you’ve learned some easy tips and tricks to grow your business on LinkedIn, it’s time to get started! You can download Meller’s LinkedIn checklist here if you want a step-by-step guide on how to maximize your LinkedIn presence.
Are you still not a member of Innovation Women? To gain access to hundreds of speaking opportunities every week and endless resources to help you improve your skills and build your business, click here.
Hungry for more LinkedIn tips? Check out How To Add Value To Your LinkedIn Profile.