If you live or work in the South Manchester area, especially Altrincham, then you will have come across Alex McCann. Alex is the owner of Altrincham HQ, the number one social media marketing company in the region. He’s also a thoroughly nice guy, and somebody I’m proud to call a friend. I’ve known him for many years now, have been on his courses myself, and know just how hard he works. His knowledge of his subject is also second to none.
So, ahead of a special Linkedin profile workshop that I’m putting on with him in a couple of weeks’ time, I asked him some questions about Linkedin profiles, and how to make the most of this particular social media platform.
You’ve been teaching how to get the best out of social media for many years now. Can you tell us what makes Linkedin different to other social media platforms?
I’m glad you asked that question, because often people think of social media as a catch all term rather than the many different facets and platforms that are available. Every single platform is different and you can’t just post the same piece of content across different platforms, in the same way that the photos you take will have different uses for say a website, social media and for press usage. What makes LinkedIn different is that it’s still the only Social Media platform dedicated to business and it’s only recently over the past 18 months to 2 years that it’s USP has been seen as a huge positive. LinkedIn has never been seen
as a sexy platform so whilst Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have had huge amount of love and attention, LinkedIn has kept it’s head down and grown to this giant beast. There are now 610 million members, 60% of the UK workforce is on LinkedIn and engagement on the platform is at a record high.
Is it a good or bad thing that Linkedin is seen as a purely business network?
LinkedIn is changing a little in terms of how people use it, but I do think it’s a strong advantage in that it’s purely a business network. Particularly over the past few years, Twitter and Facebook have become hard places to be at times. Twitter is still one of my favourite platforms in terms of using it and in terms of winning business from it – but Brexit, Trump and Trolling really can send you from a happy place to spiralling down into depression.
For differing reasons I see LinkedIn and Instagram as the 2 platforms that are a happy places. Instagram because it’s beautiful and I follow my interests and LinkedIn because of the warm, positive, helpful and supportive business community. When I think of LinkedIn I think of it as the world’s best networking group – a place where people support their tribe and help others businesses grow.
What kind of people should be on Linkedin?
Everyone – seriously, let me explain:
The obvious choice for LinkedIn users is B2B and Professional Services. It’s their natural habitat and if you’re B2B or Professional Services and not using LinkedIn then what the hell are you doing? But I’ve seen Kate Lister who is known as “that Grimsby Florist off LinkedIn” use LinkedIn to great effect and also some of the national restaurant & bar chains use LinkedIn for business development to attract business owners to their restaurant and bar for corporate lunches and afterwork drinks. I honestly believe if there’s any way you interact with the corporate world you should be on LinkedIn.
You could become the PT on LinkedIn, the restaurant on LinkedIn, the masseur on LinkedIn, the laughter yoga specialist on LinkedIn, the corporate dog walker on LinkedIn. For certain types of businesses you could actually make a name for yourself by not choosing the obvious platforms and drilling down on LinkedIn.
Is Linkedin just about finding new clients?
LinkedIn will build your business if you approach it in the right way.
It’s about relationships and from those relationships clients and sales will come. Show off your expertise, be interesting, engage with others and give value to your audience.
It’s exactly like face to face networking works, except you can network 24 hours a day on LinkedIn rather than for a 2 hour window once a week.
If you approach LinkedIn with a hard sales approach, people will look at you in the same way people do at face 2 face networking meetings when they see someone running around a room pitching and collecting business cards.
Is Linkedin just about making as many connections as possible?
You’ve given me chance here to talk about something I’m really passionate about. Having XXX amount of LinkedIn connections is a myth peddled around by LinkedIn Automation con artists.
Seriously – if you see someone offering LinkedIn automation simply smile and walk away as quickly as possible. It’s actually against LinkedIn’s terms and conditions to use automated software and it can lead to your whole profile being taken down by LinkedIn. By all means connect with people you meet at networking events, connect with ideal clients and referrers – but do it in a strategic way rather than a scattergun approach and realise the connection is only one piece of the jigsaw as many things come into play from your LinkedIn Profile, what you post each day and how you interact with others.
When I first joined Linkedin years ago, it had a very formal and serious image. That seems to have softened, especially in the past couple of years. Is this a good thing, do you think?
I love the place that LinkedIn is in right now. It’s exactly the right balance between serious business and being entertaining. When people say “LinkedIn has become like Facebook”, what they really mean is that people have learnt the skill of telling a good story or presenting facts in an interesting way. The old way of presenting yourself as an expert or thought leader was to simply share a link on LinkedIn with your 2 line thoughts on that – and that seriously wasn’t good enough.
The human updates that are working now give you a chance to get to know people and also learn from their expertise.
Turning to profiles, why is having the right profile so important? And what do you mean by ‘right’?
A LinkedIn profile certainly shouldn’t be left to chance or be something you’re embarrassed to show off to others.
Nothing else happens on LinkedIn without a great LinkedIn profile. That is people who don’t know you accepting your LinkedIn connection request or people deciding to do business with you.
I was recently asked how can you tell if your LinkedIn profile isn’t perfect and I said there are 5 key indicators:
– It’s incomplete
– It’s out of date
– It looks unprofessional (and doesn’t represent how professional you are in real life_
– Attracting No one
– Attracting the wrong people (i.e low paying clients / wrong clients etc)
If you truly believe you offer the best quality service in your industry then your LinkedIn profile needs to be in accurate representation of that.
Your LinkedIn profile is as important as your business card, your website or the way you present yourself at face-to-face networking events, so you need to consider whether your LinkedIn profile looks professional or not.
How often should you update your profile?
The short answer – whenever anything significant happens in your business or career.
Is it one year, two years or even longer out of date?
Is it selling the person that you are today?
The person that is bigger, faster, stronger, happier and more productive. The person that has won multiple awards, got countless more testimonials and worked with some absolutely huge clients. It’s not where you’ve been, it’s where you’re at.
If your LinkedIn isn’t up-to-date it means you’re probably missing out half the success story to date.
How often should somebody be using Linkedin, and what kinds of things should they be doing on it?
You should be using LinkedIn daily Monday to Friday.
If you think that sounds like a lot, you only need to spend around 20 minutes a day on LinkedIn to start seeing results. When you think about it that way it’s less than one networking meeting a week in terms of the time you spent.
In our LinkedIn training we talk about your daily routine in-depth for 2 hours, but if you’re reading this and want to take some action immediately from it:
– Post something interesting every day
– Engage with your newsfeed for 15 minutes a day
Finally, how do you measure success on Linkedin?
LinkedIn’s one big downfall is they don’t have a great analytics dashboard for personal profiles or company pages
However 2 KPI’s (Key performance indicators) on LinkedIn are
– People who’ve viewed your profile
– Post views
If you track those they will give you indicators that you’re posting content that people are interested in and people are checking out your profile as a result.
See, I told you he was an expert! Every time I speak to Alex, I learn something.
Alex and I have combined our expertise to put together a unique workshop – one that not only teaches the theory of how to create the perfect Linkedin profile, but gives you the time and space to create it too. On Wednesday 12th June between 1-5 pm we’re offering the ‘Linkedin Profile Perfection’ afternoon at Altspace in Altrincham. (And yes, in case you were wondering, I did take that Linkedin portrait of him).
IN 4 HOURS YOU WILL HAVE:
– New LinkedIn Profile photo shot during the workshop
Optimise every aspect of your LinkedIn Profile within the work including:
- LinkedIn Cover Photo
- LinkedIn Profile Photo
- LinkedIn Professional Headline
- LinkedIn Summary
- LinkedIn Experience
- LinkedIn Recommendations
- And much more
You only get one change to make a 1st impression – that’s why Being The Best You Can Be On LinkedIn is so important
Full info and booking details >>> HTTPS://ALTRINCHAMHQ.CO.UK/LINKEDIN-PROFILE-PERFECTION-WORKSHOP-