A LinkedIn profile is by far the easiest way for anyone to gather information about what you do and vice versa. You can get your name, face, and brand in front of hundreds of people. Are you looking for employees? Want to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs? Want to pitch to an investor? Want to scope out potential clients? LinkedIn can be a single destination for research, networking, hiring and even sales for any entrepreneur.
In this blog, we will explore key strategies to help you make the most out of LinkedIn as an entrepreneur:
- Optimizing your Personal Profile
- Networking Tips on LinkedIn
- LinkedIn Content Strategy
1.Optimizing Your Personal LinkedIn Profile for Entrepreneurs
Your LinkedIn profile is your digital representation and often the first impression you make on others online. Needless to say, we recommend you fill out and complete all sections – avoid blank spaces! But here are some additional tips on how to optimize your profile:
- Profile Picture: Always use a clear solo professional headshot; the ideal size is 400x400px. Your photo should match your target audience. If you want to come across as an expert, ensure you look like one! Avoid selfies or group photos.
Banner: Use a background banner that reflects your personal brand or your work. It’s is a powerful branding opportunity to showcase what you stand for.
- Headline: A headline is critical because it is often the only thing someone may read before deciding to click or stay on your profile. It is also the only line of text with your name in search! So ensure that your headline is relevant and concise. As an entrepreneur, this is the best place to capture your brand’s solution, key skills, and credentials or achievements.
- Summary: Your LinkedIn summary is an excellent spot for long-form content; you can pepper in keywords and speak directly to the viewer of your profile. There are many ways to go about this:
- Storytelling: Talk about your startup story or personal entrepreneurial journey that brought you to your current position. Include milestones and achievements that add credibility to your story.
- Problem/Solution: Share the problem/gap you identified and how your startup solves the problem. Enlist unique features that help your readers understand why they should choose your product or service. Include traction and milestones that validate your solution’s success.
- Add personality: Since you have 2000 words of content to play with, this is the perfect spot to sprinkle your personality with words! You can get creative with your writing to make readers feel like they’re getting to know you – beyond your job or business.
- Experience, Education & Certifications: Maximize your experience and education sections. Impress potential investors, employees, and partners with details about your past roles and responsibilities. People love a good professional glow-up.
- Recommendations: Social proof being a big one is no surprise! Think of people you have had successful relationships with and reach out to them to endorse you. To project a well-rounded profile and provide validations for anyone wanting to work with you/your startup, get recommendations from employees, employers, partners, investors, associates, and peers.
2.Tips for successful networking on LinkedIn for Entrepreneurs
Now that you’ve got an optimized profile, it’s time to get connecting! LinkedIn’s concept of ‘connections’ and ‘followers’ is a definitive element of credibility. In this section, we’ll tackle connections (more on how to increase followers with a content strategy in the next section):
- Join Community Groups: Search for groups with your interested keywords and join them to make industry connections. Use the groups to keep industry events, trends, and discussions up-to-date. Contribute by sharing relevant information or commenting with your opinions on existing posts.
- Engage with your Connections: Show genuine interest in information and insights shared by your connections, Like, comment, and share content they post to help their cause.
- Expand, but strategically: Curate your LinkedIn network, and don’t send out connection invites to just anyone; it dilutes your profile impact. Be picky about who you add and accept to build quality connections and nurture mutually beneficial relationships.
- Customize connection requests: If you’re sending out requests that look like cookie-cutter spam, you won’t get accepted. Here’s what you should and should not include in a LinkedIn connection request to increase your acceptance rate:
LinkedIn Connection Request Don’ts:
- Don’t use generic words like ‘I would like to add you to my network’
- Don’t jump to immediate sales pitches
- Don’t write long invitation requests (no longer than 75 words!)
LinkedIn Connection Request Dos:
- Greet them with their name
- Introduce yourself with the context of how you may already know them or how you came across their profile
- Reference shared interests – industry, skills, brands.
- Briefly mention why you want to connect with them
- Keep the tone professional and conversational
Use some of our templates for different types of LinkedIn connection requests:
Template to reach out to a potential employee candidate
I’m pretty impressed by your experience as a [occupation]. [Company] is hiring for a [position]. Let’s connect and discuss this opportunity further if you’re interested.
Best regards, [Your Name]
Template to reach out to a potential mentor
Hello [mentor’s name],
I truly admire your expertise as a [mention their field]. I often follow your advice regarding [topic]. As the founder of [company name] that does [solution], I am looking for professional guidance to further our company’s growth.
Are you open to learning more about my company?
Best regards, [Your Name]
Template to reach out to a community member:
Your post in [mutual community] was quite insightful.
I am also a part of [industry] and enjoy discussions around it.
Would you be interested in joining my network?
Template to reach out to an event attendee:
Hello [First Name]
It was great speaking to you at the [event name] [when]
What you do at [company name] sounded amazing and really inspired me. I’d like to stay updated with your work.
Looking forward to connecting with you.
Template for a potential client:
Hi [Prospect name]
How are you? Yes, it’s a super busy time of the year. Imagine if [your company’s solution] could be plugged into your business at a time like this. Would it make things easier for you?
We offer free demos within 24 hours.
Let me know if you’d be interested.
Template for a potential client:
Hi [Prospect name]
I see you’ve been following my company page for a while.
If you’re struggling with [problem], I’d be happy to share that we most recently helped [share a short anecdote with one statistic]
Feel free to connect if you’d like to learn how we achieved this.
Template to reach out to a potential investor
[Don’t pitch to investors on a LinkedIn connection request, it doesn’t really work!)
Hello [Investor’s Name],
I truly admire your expertise and experience in [mention their field]. I often follow your advice regarding [topic]. My company operates in the [mention the field or industry]. We have achieved significant milestones, including [highlight key indicators or accomplishments].
I would like to keep updated on your work.
3. LinkedIn Content Strategy for Entrepreneurs
A solid content strategy is one of the best ways to boost visibility on LinkedIn within your industry or network. Like most social platforms, LinkedIn also rewards profiles that actively write, share and engage with content. This is a great way to build on your follower count and invite high-quality connections!
But with so many executives posting content daily, how do you stand out from the crowd?
- What’s your message: Writing is the result of your thoughts, so before you start typing out a post or article, indulge in a thought exercise of your main messaging objective.
Ask yourself how you want to be perceived by your industry – a thought leader, problem-solver, strategist, a creative? What makes your insights unique – is it your skills, is it your experience, is it your company’s solution? What’s the story you want to tell?
This will help you streamline your content pieces and give readers a clear POV on what you stand for.
- Mix-Up Content Formats: Utilize the variety of tools that LinkedIn provides you with a way to keep your followers engaged; you can do full-length articles, image-based creatives, videos, and polls.
- Plan a calendar of content: Consistency is the key to any content strategy. Plan your calendar and set aside time to pen your thoughts.
Here are some writing prompts for your LinkedIn content as an entrepreneur:
- Share a Success Story: Write about a particular challenge you faced as an entrepreneur and how you overcame it.
- Discuss Industry Trends: Highlight emerging trends in your industry and provide your insights on their potential impact.
- Offer Tips and Advice: Share practical tips and advice for fellow entrepreneurs.
- Showcase Your Expertise: Write a post that showcases your expertise in a specific area. Provide actionable advice, industry best practices, or share a recent accomplishment demonstrating your skills.
- Reflect on Lessons Learned: Share lessons you have learned throughout your entrepreneurial journey. Discuss mistakes made and how you turned them into learning experiences.
- Celebrate Milestones: Share your business milestones, such as anniversaries, achievements, or significant partnerships. Express gratitude to your team and supporters who have contributed to your success.
- Highlight Client Success Stories: Share success stories of your clients or customers and how your products or services have positively impacted their businesses or lives.
- Provide Industry Insights: Share interesting statistics, research findings, or key takeaways from industry reports or studies.
- Recommend Useful Resources: Share recommendations for books, podcasts, articles, or online courses that have been valuable to your entrepreneurial journey.
- Ask Thought-Provoking Questions: Engage your audience by asking open-ended questions about entrepreneurship, business challenges, or industry trends.
- Share content written by people you admire: Support your peers and your network by sharing their achievements or insights with your professional circle.
More LinkedIn Features that can level your entrepreneurial game up!
- Create a custom LinkedIn profile link to make your profile easily shareable.
- If you cross 150 followers, you can create a Newsletter, where you can publish your articles and send notifications to your followers!
- Host free live events, workshops, and Q&As on LinkedIn Events.
- Use the scheduling feature to line up your posts and make distributing content easier!
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