If there is one massively underrated social platform that agency owners need to be taking advantage of, it’s LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a gold mine for agencies and consultants alike. It doesn’t have the massive, flashy advertising appeal like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, but it’s far and away the best platform for B2B marketing, and can be a game changer when it comes to finding new clients.
There’s just one problem…
A lot of agency owners struggle to use LinkedIn to its full capability.
We see so many potential acquisition opportunities left on the LinkedIn table.
Luckily, there are a lot of things that you can do to improve your LinkedIn outreach, and while it starts with honing your profile, it doesn’t end there.
To stand out on LinkedIn, you’re going to have to be different from your competition. You’re going to have to post regularly, reply to people, and provide value, but you can’t follow the same formula as everyone else.
Because of the perceived expectation of extreme professionalism when posting on LinkedIn, people, agencies included, tend to create content that doesn’t really connect with anyone.
Mandy McEwen, Founder of Mod Girl Marketing, pointed that out in DigitalMarketer’s recent Certified Partner Training Day. As someone who has mastered the art of LinkedIn, and regularly uses it to generate leads for her agency, Mandy has quickly become a thought-leader in the LinkedIn marketing world.
Mandy has one very simple tip that can help agency owners generate the traffic and cultivate the relationships that they want on their LinkedIn:
Be authentic. Be yourself.
That may seem like a very inconsequential piece of advice, but the truth is that it’s not. In fact, it’s the thing that is probably keeping you from growing your brand and your business on LinkedIn.
Why LinkedIn Demands Authenticity
Because of that perceived expectation of extreme professionalism on LinkedIn—since it’s a career-oriented platform—people forget one very critical fact about it: it’s still a social media platform.
It may be a very niche social media platform, and people may use it primarily for business as opposed to leisure, but it’s still designed for engagement and sharing. It’s goal, although slightly more targeted, is still to help people connect.
Truthfully, it’s the people who are 100% themselves on the platform that we all want to be like. And it’s not just because they are the ones who have the most success.
McEwen is a great example. She uses her business page on LinkedIn to provide basic updates but uses her personal page to truly interact with people—and her personal page is where most of her best content is.
While she could use her business page in largely the same way she does her personal page, her personal page gives the people she’s interacting with a seemingly more direct and familiar relationship with her. It makes them like her more and have more positive interactions with her content. It puts a face on her brand, which undoubtedly boosts her brand and generates clients.
And, in the case of Mandy, it’s working out pretty well…
Too many people, especially agency owners, think of LinkedIn as an extended storefront or a snapshot of their business. That may be a happy biproduct of your LinkedIn account, but it’s not the reason for it to exist.
For agency owners especially, the best thing you can do to get more clients is to interact with as many people as possible. You want them feeling like they know you in real life. You want them to be able to point your voice out in a crowd.
This puts you in a way better position to convert, because when one of these LinkedIn connections is having some problems with their marketing, you know who they are going to turn to? Not the stranger they know nothing about.
They are going to turn to you.
They know you, and they trust you, so they will give you their business.
LinkedIn exists for you to connect with people, and the best way for you to connect with people is to be yourself. The better connection you make with your LinkedIn audience, the more likely it is they are going to turn to you for their business and advertising needs. And the best way to build those relationships is by providing authentic, value-heavy content.
Mastering LinkedIn Content
If you’re going to post content, regardless of the platform, it needs to provide value (and if you didn’t know that before, you do now). For anyone to recognize or remember your name because of your content, they need to get something meaningful out of it. If your content doesn’t accomplish that, you’re just making content for Google, and Google doesn’t help you pay rent.
But there is an intersection between authenticity and professionalism when it comes to LinkedIn content. Valuable content will make people read or watch, but your authenticity is what will make people connect with you and your brand on a more personal level.
The authenticity factor when creating LinkedIn content includes both your personality and your expertise. As important as it is to add a fun, personal touch to your content that will help your personality shine, you also need to bring something unique to the table when it comes to the value you provide. You can’t just regurgitate simple tips and talking points that anyone could get from a basic Google search. You need to bring something helpful to the table, because that unique tip or viewpoint is what will also help you stand out.
Luckily, although you need to provide both value and a good snapshot of your personality, those things can often go hand-in-hand. That’s because it’s the unique experiences that make you who you are.
We’ve covered this extensively in recent weeks, but let me tell you again: stories are a useful tool in business. They can help captivate audiences, teach concepts, and increase sales. They also make for great additions to content. When you are creating a video or post for LinkedIn, you can use personal experiences to help illustrate (and strengthen) the valuable advice that you are offering.
How Much Content You Need
So now that you have a good idea of what to create, I can already tell what your next question is going to be: “how much do I need to write?”
This question has a simple answer: you can’t have too much content. Every piece of content you make is going to help you stand out. At the very least, it won’t hurt you.
But, generally speaking, you need 5–8 pieces of content that are really solid. And then you need to put those pieces into your featured content.
Here are 3 pieces of Mandy’s featured content. Some of them are self-contained on LinkedIn and some of them link out to her website, but all of them provide value with Mandy’s own personal spin.
In the case of the LinkedIn Profile Checklist, the content is a lead magnet that Mandy created herself. Not only is this content hyper-tactical, but it’s also something you can’t find anywhere else. It isn’t only tactical—its’s also interactive.
The next piece of content accomplishes the same thing in a slightly different way: you can see Mandy’s face. By using a video, she gets to provide something helpful to her LinkedIn audience while also actually putting herself in front of them. This means she can really be authentic and let her personality shine. Then her audience will definitely associate the information they just learned with her.
In both ways, her content is helping her grow her LinkedIn audience and her business. And, by sprinkling testimonials about her business among her other content, she’s got everything someone visiting her LinkedIn would need to learn more about her business.
In a world where there is more content on the internet than we could ever hope to consume, you need to do something that will help you stand out. It doesn’t take a special tool or strategy; all it takes is you.
Be authentic with your audience and let your true self shine. With enough time, it will be the thing that will make both your LinkedIn audience and your agency grow.