Have you been looking for ways to optimize your LinkedIn account? Are you ready to dust off the cobwebs and give your profile the makeover it deserves? If so, you’re in the right place!
This week’s conversation with LinkedIn expert, Michaela Alexis, is all about helping us improve the way we show up online. Michaela teaches us to build our presence on the platform, grow our brand, and get the results we want from leads. Walmart, VidCon Anaheim, HubSpot’s INBOUND Conference, and her 170,000+ followers can agree she adds value not just virality, today we’re learning the same.
Raise your hand if you’re guilty of using LinkedIn only when you’re looking for a new job or connection? Recent stats say LinkedIn users are made up of 1% creators, 9% contributors, and 90% lurkers. If you fall in the latter of the three, don’t worry this is a no judgement zone!
According to Michaela, LinkedIn is the world’s largest networking event. We limit ourselves in thinking we don’t need to participate because we aren’t currently looking for an opportunity. In fact, she compares the tactic to being like the friend who only calls when they need something. A better way to utilize the platform is to be proactive. “In 2016, my dream job didn’t exist, but the company made a position for me because of what I posted. They were attracted to my energy, my ambition, my drive, and identified my skills through my content,” she says.
I have a theory that we can group all LinkedIn users into one of two categories – those who accept any and all connection requests and those who are very selective. No one strategy is better than the other, but you want to be careful not to forego a request from diamond in the rough.
Here’s what Michaela suggests:
Include a note with your request – A personal note will almost always get you in the door
Send prospects connection requests as you speak to them so they don’t forget you and so they’re put on the spot to accept.
Ask yourself, ‘Is this someone that will help me grow in my career?’
Don’t just connect with potential customers – Great value can come from your competition.
With all the new features available on LinkedIn, i.e. stories, newsletters, live conversations, etc., it can be tempting to put your hands in them all. As a LinkedIn expert who coaches others on social media strategy, Michaela says we should stick to our strengths.
“Focus on what you’re best at and don’t get swept up in the new features because there’s always going to be a new feature but there’s only one you.”
Spending time on what you’re good at will help you produce quality content, plus it won’t feel like work.
Recently, we’ve seen a dramatic increase of people with both a personal and a business brand.
I was curious to know how we could effectively market both because Michaela does so with ease.
She says it’s important to keep them separate.
“Your personal brand is like ‘shaking hands’ at a networking event. It’s where you share your values and it gives people a chance to get to know you as a person and decide if they want to work with you.
Your business brand is like your booth at a networking event. It’s for getting to know new business partners, and offering or buying services. When you don’t separate the two, people may not take you as serious and mishaps in your business can feel very personal.”
Check out Michaela’s LinkedIn Learning courses, ‘Grow Your Pages with LinkedIn Pages’ and ‘Marketing for Beginners’ for more insights.
It’s outdated to believe people only do one thing anymore – especially in the current economy. To share our different passions & side hustles, Michaela suggests using LinkedIn like a museum.
“In a museum, exhibits change, but the overall name of the museum does not. You don’t need to create something new for every new project. You can clearly communicate your multiple passions in your cover image and description. Your job is not your identity. You are (name), who does (job). Focus on getting people to know, like, and trust you, and remember what you do is secondary to that.”
My wizard aka my assistant, Shelby, is my secret sauce to success, but when I look at someone like Michaela who wears many hats, I always wonder how they get it all done? In addition to optimizing her LinkedIn profile, she admits to depending on curation and scheduling apps.
Here are a few of her favs:
Agora Pulse – for scheduling and posting
Feedly – for curating content
ClipScribe – for creating headliner videos
BigVu – for a teleprompter feature when creating videos
What is the best gift you’ve given yourself in the last year? Redecorating my office with lots of color, and décor from Society 6.
What is the next thing you’re hoping to learn? Learning psychology and influence and how you can apply those techniques to writing.
Homework: Focus on not making your identity how hard you work or your current position, take a step back and remember you’re so much more than what you do.
There won’t be an official Coffee With Kim next week but along with Michaela’s homework I challenge you to have coffee with a friend. Catch up with someone in your network and block off our usual one hour coffee session to do so. Cheers! I’ll see you on the 31st when we get to talk to Jena Viviano about finding your dream job.