Today, let's talk about one of the most important tool in building an effective marketing strategy for your business - your personal brand! It has so much upside that I would suggest you start working on it even before you begin working on your startup idea.
Using LinkedIn to build your personal brand
To grow your brand, we primarily focus on LinkedIn. Yes, typically when you think of LinkedIn, you probably imagine outbound efforts. But that's quite time & effort-intensive, making it tough to scale.
So, building a good audience on LinkedIn through consistent posts helps you set up an inbound pipeline of leads. What's more, it is much easier to get traction on LinkedIn than Twitter.
But, what are the steps?
The report broadly beaks it into 4 parts:
1. Content type: Of course, a clear focus on quality & type of content that aligns with your target audience as well as your interests.
2. Post structure: Getting your first line right, keeping sentences short & simple while avoiding link drops.
3. Building your LinkedIn account: Ramping your connections and optimising your personal profile for conversions.
4. Acing LinkedIn's algorithm: Using the first hour of your post smartly while avoiding external links in the content.
I take you deep into each of these steps which involves using tools like Phantombuster, Lempod, etc. in this article. I share examples from my experience and a lot more.
Of course, all this in 5 mins.
If you would like it even shorter, I have summarised on Twitter
No-VC Report #12
I want to improve the reach of my LinkedIn posts. Just writing content is clearly not enough.
For your LinkedIn posts to get traction, besides quality content, you need to follow certain best practices - good content structure, choosing the right time to post, getting quick likes in the first hour, etc.
Why and when to worry about this?
Outbound strategies on LinkedIn are needed, but are quite time & effort-intensive. This makes them tough to scale. So, building a good audience on LinkedIn through consistent posts helps you set up an inbound pipeline for leads. Also, it is easier to get traction on LinkedIn vs Twitter.
As discussed in the idea validation report, building an audience is among the top priorities. This gives you the ability to later market your startup to your network. So, essentially you need to start focusing on LinkedIn posts right from the idea validation stage.
1) Phantombuster: To automate sending of connection requests
2) Lempod: To auto-like posts
3) Buffer, Hootsuite: To schedule your posts
a. Realistic expectation
It takes time to get traction on your LinkedIn posts. So don't get discouraged with low likes/comments initially. Continue to post consistently, follow the best-practices (next section), and ensure the traction is trending upwards. If it isn't, tweak some of the many parameters we discuss.
There isn't one silver bullet to crack LinkedIn posts. But there is a set of practices that increases the likelihood of your success. We drill down into it.
i. Quality & type of content
- Obvious, but has to be said - write quality content
- You can write poor content and get many likes too
- But, they are probably not the people you want as leads
- This is key as it defines your personal brand
Few points to help you with this:
- Choose your niche
- Your audience will like consistency in your posts
- This doesn't mean that your posts shouldn't have variety, but try to keep your central theme consistent
- For e.g. If your theme is "entrepreneurship", then whether your current post is about marketing, finance or operations, the content should talk to an entrepreneur and not generically disburse information
- So, define the kind of content you will write. This can be based on:
- What your target audience will find useful or interesting
- What you are passionate about and have knowledge in
- For e.g. If your target audience is "early/mid-stage startups" and your skillset is in marketing, write around various aspects of "startup marketing". Simple.
ii. Structure of the posts
- Your first line is the hook
- Often LinkedIn collapses a post and only the first line is visible
- So, you need to hook a reader while they are scrolling through their feed
This can be done by making a bold statement, asking an interesting question, stating a surprising fact, etc.
- People read posts in a hurry, so:
- Use short sentences & small paragraphs
- Avoid complex words - explain simply
- Include graphics that quickly summarise the point you are making
- Other points
- Don't just drop links in your content
- Instead summarise the top lessons from it
- On LinkedIn, people like a general positive tone to content
- Posts that are written in an experiential or story format perform better
- Occasionally, tag influential accounts that are relevant to your account
- If they share your content, your post is likely to do very well
- Use it sparsely
iii. Building your LinkedIn account
- If you are just setting up your account or have very few connections (<500) then:
- Start adding your friends, colleagues, etc. as connections
- To make this process easier, you can use Phantombuster
Apply filters on LinkedIn to give you the list of people you want to connect with
- Next, export them using the Search export phantom which gives you the profiles in an excel
- Finally, send them a request in bulk with the Network booster phantom
- You can use this process to send connection requests to people you don't know too, but I don't advise that at all. That's just spam.
- Optimise your LinkedIn profile so that people follow you when they visit it
- A good photo which shows your face
- No rockstar poses, your photo at a wedding, etc.
- A background photo that adds more context around who you are
- Headline text that gives people a quick intro:
- About what you are up to
- Why you are an interesting person
- After getting some traction, you can change the "Connect" button on your profile to a "Follow" button.
- Here's a quick article that tells you how to do that
iv. Understanding LinkedIn's algorithm
Here are two things to make LinkedIn's algorithm work for you:
- Your post's performance in the first hour is key
- Likes and comments in the first hour decide whether LinkedIn will power your post or not
- So, you can optimise that by:
- Sharing it with your team and requesting them to like the post
- Using Lempod to get the likes of your friends
- It is a chrome-plugin that allows you to get the likes of friends automatically
- Use this to only get the support of friends who would have anyway liked your post (you are just optimising it to receive it in the 1st hour)
- Don't join random pods
- Don't add external links in your post
- Instead add them to your comment & mention that in your post
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