There are so many ways we can use LinkedIn, so many parts to the site and outcomes we want to achieve. Trying to do them all at once – trying to be everything to everyone – is doomed to failure.
The first key decision you should make on LinkedIn is who you want to talk to – who is YOUR audience? And what do you want to achieve from your engagement with them.
That underpins everything else you do – if you are talking to the right people then you have half a chance of your message getting across.
From that, you can decide:
✅ What to include in your profile to attract their attention
– that’s not just the information itself, but the language you use and the visuals you include to attract and influence
✅ Who to seek out in your searches
– this might be potential prospects in a sales environment, but just as effectively peers / partners to work, employers or introducers according to your aims
✅ What content should you publish & to what end
– do you keep it business focussed, informational or skills based, or perhaps follow the trend towards more personal posts. As a hint, it will ideally be a mix of all of the above
✅ Whose posts should search out & engage on
– are you looking to raise your profile in a subject area, interact with potential clients or get seen by particular influencers
Understanding who you are talking to allows you to focus your activity – it’s what you would do naturally face to face.
If you don’t, you’re essentially meeting with someone new … but you don’t know what for.
You sit across a table from them.
The conversation could go in any number of directions: a job interview, meeting a prospect, a date with romantic overtones, a lawyer with news … anything in fact.
You have no context.
If you knew who you were meeting you could prepare, dress in a certain way, plan the conversation & envisage the aftermath.
On LinkedIn, it’s the same & as this audience changes so will the other elements influenced by it.
Deciding this defines how you use LinkedIn and the success you will enjoy.