The common denominator between LinkedIn and other social media platforms is the large audience. The main differentiator is what that audience is looking for on the platform. Specifically, LinkedIn has established itself as the go-to for professionals in all fields, and as such, has enormous potential for business promotion and growth.
As a knowledge entrepreneur, you are surely aware of how important it is to have the right visibility on LinkedIn, build your brand, and get the most out of networking on the platform.
While it is not the place for traditional, aggressive marketing, LinkedIn can be used to attract more learners to your online courses. Here are a few useful tips to help you accomplish that:
Don’t jump directly into selling
As I said, LinkedIn is not the place for extensive marketing campaigns, so your main goal shouldn’t be to immediately achieve an increase in sales. You should aim to gain visibility as an authority in your field and an active member of your online community.
The only way to achieve this is by being genuinely helpful and participating in the important conversations of the moment. When building your LinkedIn strategy, always start with the goal of getting more people to acknowledge and respect your expertise. Coming right out with an advertisement for your courses will likely make your potential audience weary.
Carefully curate your feed
If you are not necessarily active on LinkedIn at this point, you probably think this is about sharing articles that you find relevant. Well, that is only part of it. To have a feed that is worthy of attention (both yours and your audience’s), you’ll have to curate it.
The first step is to figure out all the hashtags that matter to your business and your area of expertise. Once you set these as your main interests (it’s best to have a longer list), your feed will be filled with articles and news from your area of interest.
Since LinkedIn is basically about connection and being tuned to the business world, it’s a good idea to follow your competitors, so you are always in the loop.
Create on top of curating
There’s no better way of being recognized as an expert in your field than by creating valuable and engaging content. Write well-thought articles, do your research, and give your opinions on the main conversations of the day regularly.
It takes time and effort, but it’s very important for you to be present and actively engaged with your audience. Always encourage people to join the discussion and answer their questions. It’s also good to have debates, as long as they stay constructive.
You might feel the compulsion to keep the valuable stuff for your courses but remember that it’s important to show you are invested in your work and generous with your target audience.
You want to be found by potential learners
This is going a bit back to the first item – don’t sell openly. It’s better for potential learners to search and find you than to actively reach out and try to pull them in. However, they can’t really see you if you don’t have enough connections to begin with.
LinkedIn works based on an algorithm that is founded on the principles of networking. The number of people who see your posts grows exponentially with the new connections you make. When you modify something in your feed, all your first and second-degree connections have the chance to see what you have posted.
The takeaway is to actively look to expand your network and be sure to respond to other users’ requests to connect with you since it is mutually advantageous.
LinkedIn is not nearly as personal as other platforms, but it’s exactly this characteristic that makes it great for developing healthy professional relationships. The first step is joining in on the conversations and sharing your input.
Taking it further requires looking at the profiles of those who interact with you – they are notified of the visit and will probably come back to look at your profile. It’s a very good way to connect and learn more about each other, and the first move towards building a solid network.
Always respond to comments in a meaningful way and try to bring others into the discussion (by tagging them). You can even move to a private chat if you feel that it will be a constructive exchange.
While LinkedIn is not exactly a selling platform, you can leverage it to increase your audience and your customer base. By building a strong brand, expanding your network, and establishing yourself as a relevant voice in your field, you can maximize the business impact of your presence on the platform.
Raluca Cristescu has over ten years of experience in corporate training, focused mainly on soft skills for customer service and direct sales.