5 Do’s and Don’ts of Using LinkedIn for Your Promo Business
We recently covered the topic of LinkedIn—specifically, how a handful of promo pros are using the platform and how you can get the most out of it for your own promo business. That article covered a lot, but with so much to know and learn about LinkedIn, there's always more to cover. So we created this list of LinkedIn do's and don'ts.
Similar to our previous feature, this can be a helpful tool whether you're just starting out on LinkedIn or you're a power user looking to elevate your LinkedIn game. Let's get started!
1. Don’t hard sell
If you’re using LinkedIn and assuming hard selling is going to work with prospects or new connections on the platform, then you might want to reconsider your approach. Javier Melendez, MASI, national sales executive for Hanson-based distributor, Walker-Clay Inc., explained why.
“No. 1 overall rule–after you connect with someone, don’t try to hard sell them via direct message," Melendez said. "Rule no. 2 is go read rule no. 1 again. How would you feel if I walked up to you and said ‘Hi, I am Javier, can you buy my stuff now?’ You probably are thinking, 'Yeah, no way buddy.' So why would you do that in [a direct message]?”
John King, owner of Seattle-based LogoMotions, agreed. It's best to avoid a “salesy” approach on LinkedIn, he said, and instead focus on making real connections.
“There is a time and place to be direct with prospects and clients, but the format is better suited to create a ‘presence’ that attracts like a magnet,” he said. “It runs counterintuitive to those of us who have been in sales for a long time, but we have to evolve.”
2. Do manage your screen time
This really goes for any social media app, as managing screen time can be a challenge. We’ve all found ourselves in a social media rabbit hole where one posts leads to another, but it’s important to be mindful of this. Scrolling and reading through posts is perfectly fine, but as Melendez noted, it helps to set some limits for yourself.
“Don’t get lost in the feeds," he said. Dedicate only [a] certain amount of time to scrolling, and then stop scrolling. This is a hard aspect that I also struggle with, but managing your screen time is tough. Full disclosure, I do use LinkedIn’s sales product to be more focused when sales prospects post, even if I am not yet connected with them, but that is not for everyone and you should evaluate how much you will actually use LinkedIn before considering that.”
Screen time limits look different for everyone, but taking time each day—or week—to use LinkedIn to connect with new clients or engage with current connections can certainly pay off. Keep in mind, creating content also takes time, so make sure this is included in your time block.
3. Don’t leave your profile empty
Have you ever logged in to LinkedIn and searched a name just to find a profile come up with no company info, picture or anything that would help to identify someone? If this has happened to you, then you probably know how important it is to fill out your profile. On top of that, make sure your profile reflects who you are. Add a picture, a bio and anything else that will make your profile look more professional and active, so no one mistakes it for a ghost account that’s rarely used.
Did you know there are apps that can help create a unique bio for you using different fonts? Adrienne Barker, MAS, senior brand marketing manager at www.promoproducts.guru, powered by HALO Branded Solutions, Daytona Beach, Fla., shared this tip when discussing how to make your bio stand out. She also recommended including testimonials, content, a banner image and articles.
“I am always looking at my LI profile compared to others to make sure that I am relevant and have made sure my profile is up to date,” he said. “I audit my own LI site every few months.”
On the topic of apps, Barker shared another secret to help your profile stand out. The LinkedIn mobile app has a speaker icon that allows users to record themselves stating their name, so others know how to pronounce it.
“You have 10 seconds to either say your name or to share a tagline” she said. “Mine says, ‘I am Adrienne Barker. I am on your team, not your payroll.’”
This is just another way to get creative with your profile.
4. Do utilize LinkedIn added services
This tip can be helpful for those who are utilizing the free features LinkedIn offers, but want to explore new features that come with an added cost. For example, LinkedIn offers a Premium feature (with different plans) and allows users to pick depending on what they're looking for. As a user of LinkedIn Premium, Barker shared her experience with it and explained how it’s helped her build relationships.
“Once your profile is set for success, I use LI to find first and second connections in specific fields or a connection to a business that I want to close," she said. "I have used Premium for years, and this helped me to build up my relationships. I have also used Sales Navigator which allows you to narrow down the connection and the company. Once you have a significant amount of followers, you may not need the additional premium services. I often look for [titles like] director of marketing, director of human resources, vice president of sales and business owners. I have these contacts broken down, so I know who my ideal client (avatar) is and their needs.”
5. Don’t focus on only one type of content
We know LinkedIn is supposed to be a professional network, but there’s still a human aspect to it in that not every piece of content you share has to be about business. Balance is always the key, and if there’s something interesting or personal you want to share, go for it.
“Not every single post needs to be about your company," said Melendez. "It’s OK to share every once in a while, things like the fact your daughter got into a great college, or a favorite place to stay while on the road visiting clients. It shows us you’re human and allows others to see a bit more you and know you, not your company.”
Another idea is to mix it up by posting different types of content—videos, articles you’ve written, content shared from a connection and more.
“I have written very personal articles that I try to then explain how an experience translates into my business,” said King. “Also, I have shared posts that have been impactful for me.”