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The Three Types of Thought Leadership in LinkedIn (Infographic)

Thought leadership is how more of today’s brands get noticed and gather more influence.

However, there is no single magic bullet for success. Choosing which ingredients go into your content marketing calls for a look at your overall strategy. Taking a high-level overview can help you identify any gaps in your brand’s influence and create the thought leadership you need to go from line cook to head chef.

To help you establish the right recipe, in today’s post, we will present of three different types of thought leadership in a simple , easy to understand infographic. Depending on your company’s size, industry, and business objectives, you might create content assets that display:

  • Industry thought leadership, including perspective on news and trends
  • Organisational thought leadership, embodied in the vision and ethos of your company
  • Product thought leadership, focused on being the best solution for your customers

For more detailed information, take a look at the infographic below.

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Infographic credit: LinkedIn

5 Useful Tips To Optimise Your LinkedIn Profile Picture

If you want to win your business on LinkedIn, you have to go back to an era before Internet and social media even existed.

The truth is, since the first time human beings have been alive and doing business, people have decided who to give their trust, affection and money to others based on some rather simple factors, including one’s personal appearance and dress. Love it or hate it, this is the truth about how business often gets done in-person and online. This case is especially true on LinkedIn, where personal appearance is as important as professional looks than you might think.

Statistics from LinkedIn show members who include a photo receive up to 21 times more profile views, and up to 36 times more messages.

What’s really alarming is there are still people on LinkedIn today who don’t have a a photo uploaded on their profile – although, it should also be noted that if you upload the wrong type of photo on LinkedIn, you can do more harm to your personal and professional brand than if you’d had no photo at all.

So how can you ensure that your LinkedIn profile photo helps prospective clients and customers get to know, like and trust you? Here are five key tips.

1. Be Professional

LinkedIn’s not the place for a goofy Snapchat selfie or to crop your head out of your wedding photo. It is also not a place to upload your company logo as your profile photo, nor is it a place to show you holding your kids, hanging at the beach or playing fetch with your dog.  Instead, you need a professional photo. That means a clear, high-quality head shot of you looking your best and dressed to impress.

Also, the photo needs to be a “close up” of your face. LinkedIn will use that image all over the platform in various sizes, and people want to associate an easy-to-see face with the posts, comments and messages you send on LinkedIn. If your face is too far away or too small in the photo, it will be hard to see when LinkedIn displays your image in smaller sizes.

2. Keep It Organised

Remember to use a clean, clutter-free background for your profile photo. A simple, white background works best.

3. Avoid Wearing Sunglasses

Let’s set this straight: you don’t need to wear your sunglasses at night and you don’t need to wear them in your LinkedIn profile photo, either. Remember, people want to look you in the eye (even online), and if they can’t see your eyes, it makes it harder for them to trust you.

4. Keep The Smile

It’s so simple. Even if it kills you, it’s important that you smile in your LinkedIn profile photo. Smiling is so important you might want to retake your profile photo if your current one is not smiling.

5. Hire a Professional Photographer

According to LinkedIn, users who have a professional headshot get 14 times more views than those without. If you are asking potential clients and customers to spend thousands of dollars with you or your company, you need to look the part. A professional, high-quality headshot shows you’re serious, competent and able to deliver on what you’re promising.

Conclusion: Adapt, Modify and Learn

At first glance, it might feel silly to worry so much about what goes into your LinkedIn profile photo, but when you are first “meeting” someone online, it’s often the small details that matter the most. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, and your LinkedIn profile photo is usually the first (and sometimes only) chance you have to impress a potential client or customer. So take it seriously.

LinkedIn’s New Report Informs That It Is A Great Place for Freelancers

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According to a new report from LinkedIn, 35% of the workforce in the US are now freelancers.

Whether you’re looking to grow your side hustle or want to jump in with both feet, LinkedIn’s data some valuable trends, gleaned from their ProFinder tool, the platform’s recent foray into the gig economy.

Going Pro

LinkedIn’s data shows that business coaches, marketers and designers dominated the freelance marketplace in 2016.

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According to the official post, these three categories accounted for nearly 50% of the 9,500 ProFinder survey respondents.

“According to our data, skills-based fields like writing, photography and home improvement are the most popular amongst younger freelancers,” LinkedIn noted. “On the other hand, more senior freelance professionals tend to take on roles as coaches, business consultants, real estate professionals and marketers.”

The data also shows that the average freelancer is an older male, while the more senior a professional is in their career, the more likely they’re going to take on freelance work or transition into freelancing as an alternative to retirement.

Hot Markets

The research also shows that 40% of U.S. freelancers are concentrated in just four states: California, Texas, Florida and New York. Finding and connecting with business opportunities, be it by geographic location, remote or some other segment is easy when you learn how to use LinkedIn’s ProFinder service.

Showing You the Money

Some 56% of the LinkedIn members surveyed indicated that they make 100% of their income from freelance work.

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“Average hourly rates tend to be in the $50-$150/hr. range, with older freelancers typically charging more than their younger counterparts,” LinkedIn noted. “When it comes to billing, more than two-thirds of freelancers charge either by the project, feature or on a retainer basis, which reduces the need to track hours for projects.”

The data also shows there’s high demand for certified pros, such as freelancers who practice law, offer certified coaching or financial services and can command a bigger fee than other types of freelancers.

Where it’s Headed

As LinkedIn Economist, Guy Berger notes:

“With the U.S. economy continuing to expand and the labor market continuing to tighten, 2017 is likely to be an even better year for freelancers. Employers are going to face intensifying competition for the pool of available talent, improving the bargaining power that freelancers will have. This could mean better compensation, more flexibility and richer opportunities all around.”

So whether you’re among these trending freelance industries, or in one of the others ProFinder supports, you have more evidence than ever to consider LinkedIn as a way to leverage this 2017 workplace trend.

One final bit of advice before you jump into the freelance game and sign up for ProFinder – make sure your LinkedIn profile is what I call “client-facing”, meaning it reads not like a virtual résumé, but instead is all about how you help your ideal clients achieve their biggest goals.

With that in mind, LinkedIn’s looking to help you with that side hustle or full leap into your own gig in 2017, so take advantage.

How To Motivate LinkedIn Users To Engage With Your Content (Infographic)

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LinkedIn is definitely a powerful platform for building your professional brand.

This statement has been supported in recent times by the increase in content being published, shared and read on site. In fact, LinkedIn has reported that they have seen a two until three times increase in referral traffic in 2016, while members are now publishing more than 160K long-form posts via LinkedIn Publisher every week.

However, in order to truly capitalize on the potential of LinkedIn as a personal branding tool, particularly in regards to using LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform, you have to know what types of content are getting traction with your LinkedIn audience.

That said, as with all social media marketing, you need a platform-specific approach – what works on Twitter won’t necessarily resonate on Instagram, for example.

So what type of content works best on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn’s Marketing Solutions team has created this new infographic as a guide, the result of a survey of more than 9,000 LinkedIn members. There’s a lot of great insights here – take a look and see what you might want to implement with your LinkedIn content strategy.

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Infographic credit: LinkedIn

Five Ultimate LinkedIn Tips For B2B Companies

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As B2B businesses and brands increase over the years, most marketers all around the world become aware that LinkedIn can seriously boost their company profile.

LinkedIn is by far the most focused business-oriented social media platform. In fact, more than three million companies own LinkedIn pages. If you’re on LinkedIn, there’s a good chance your clients are too. Try to follow these five tips for a more successful LinkedIn campaign.

1. Start A LinkedIn Group

Right now, LinkedIn members are sharing insights and knowledge in more than 2.1 million LinkedIn Groups. Instead of joining an existing group, why not start your own? It’s a great way of getting people talking while establishing your business or brand as the dominant force. You must not make it self-promotional. Try to get the conversation started by flagging up an interesting development within your industry or suggest a new idea.

2. Be The Leader

LinkedIn has recently opened up its publishing platform, so that users can publish long-form posts about important professional topics. So if you’re a connoisseur in your field, then this is the most appropriate space to let people know. Consider it as an opportunity to position yourself as a ‘thought leader’, showing your clients that you’re at the forefront of your industry. These posts become part of your professional story when people visit your profile.

3. Fresh Content Is A Must

Once you start posting on LinkedIn, keep going. Don’t let your account sit idle for weeks on end with no sign of activity. Think what kind of a message for your clients and potential customers. Right now, someone else could be reading your company profile on LinkedIn. Will they be getting the best possible impression of what you offer? Used wisely, LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to control what clients discover about your company and, more importantly, your brand.

4. Branding

It might be a business network, but your LinkedIn account doesn’t have to be uninteresting. The look and feel of your page is really important. Put your brand on display, starting with your banner image. Think about how best to utilise the 646 x 220 pixel available space for your need. It could be a chance to feature your product, or even the people who make your product. Exercise a little creativity to impress existing and potential clients.

5. Utilise The Analytics Feature

Your LinkedIn account might be full of information, but have you ever thought about your readers? It’s quite easy to view the data about your company’s performance with LinkedIn’s analytics page. You can see how engaging your individual posts are, understand more about your follower demographics and sources, and discover more about your page traffic and activity. Taking ten minutes to review this information could give a seriously useful insight into your company, and help you adjust your strategy to become more competitive.

Conclusion

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 300 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second. When we talk about marketing your business/brand to other businesses, using LinkedIn is the best decision. It’s a serious platform where connections can be made and fostered. Can you afford not to be LinkedIn?

Why LinkedIn Matters For Business? (Infographic)

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LinkedIn is the largest professional network in the world. It’s widely known a popular website for people to find jobs.

However, as you’ll see in the infographic below, LinkedIn is also a place to promote your business. Whether you run a B2B or B2C company, LinkedIn provides you with the audience and means to create new sales. You can blog, comment on content, send connection requests, create private messages, and more all from your LinkedIn dashboard. Altogether, that makes it an incredible marketing opportunity.

Still, most people have their doubts. After all, why would a professional social network also double as a marketing medium? This infographic will provide the answers for you.

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Infographic credit: WebpageFX

How to Increase Your SSI with The Right LinkedIn Strategy

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The co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, credited much of his entrepreneurial success to playing strategy games.

“Business is the systematic playing of games”, said Hoffman. He even went further by mentioning several conference rooms inside his building at LinkedIn after famous video games: Pac-Man, Tetris and Space Invaders.

Although LinkedIn was recently purchased by Microsoft for $26.2 billion, Hoffman’s passion for strategy-oriented games continues to play a prominent role on the world’s largest social network for professionals.

LinkedIn’s Rulebook and Guideline

When it comes to selling your products and services on LinkedIn, one of the more important “games” you can play on the network involves your SSI (Social Selling Index).

According to LinkedIn:

“Your Social Selling Index (SSI) measures how effective you are at establishing your professional brand, finding the right people, engaging with insights, and building relationships.”

The idea behind the SSI “game” is simple – the better you perform in four key strategy zones, the higher your score climbs (and, the more likely you are to have success selling your products and services on LinkedIn.)

With that in mind, I want to spend the rest of this post sharing my best advice on how to dominate each of the four categories of SSI – and get you more sales on LinkedIn as a result.

1. Establish Your Professional Brand

This one is perhaps the most important of all. It all starts with creating a “client-facing” LinkedIn profile. That means throwing away the traditional, third-person “résumé” approach and instead crafting a LinkedIn profile that’s all about how the products or services you provide help your ideal customers achieve their biggest business or professional goals.

Long story short, it involves blending the personal and professional elements of who you are, what you do and how it helps others achieve their goals. People won’t do business with you until they feel like they know you, and that goes beyond just knowing what products or services you provide. They also want to like you and feel like they can trust you – and that’s where mixing in some of your personal life and passions with your professional offerings helps close that gap.

2. Find The Right People

This is where LinkedIn truly shines. Because it has detailed information on more than 430 million professionals in more than 200 countries, LinkedIn’s internal search engine is the key that unlocks the kingdom of sales prospects and potential customers awaiting you.

When you understand how to tap into LinkedIn’s powerful search features, you can instantly create targeted lists of the exact audiences you want to appeal to.

3. Engage with Insights

One of the most favorable features of LinkedIn is the ability to instantly engage with “warm” sales leads. Whenever someone views your profile, engages with a piece of content you share or sends you an invite or message, you have the ability to instantly begin a conversation with someone who is already “warmed up” to who you are and what you do. Simply put, the more you pay attention and quickly respond to people who are already expressing interest in your profile and content, the easier it is to generate warm, qualified sales leads as a result.

4. Build Relationships

Above all else, you must understand there is a specific psychology to selling on LinkedIn.

The biggest mistake people make is trying to marry everyone on the first date – putting a sales offer or a request for a “free consultation” in their LinkedIn invite or a first message, for example.

Truth is, you need to slow down. Instead, practice a little professional courtship first. Get to know your prospects at a personal level. LinkedIn makes that easy, by the way – you can see from someone’s profile page where he or she lives, where he or she went to school, personal interests, volunteering activities and more.

More importantly, as you engage with your LinkedIn connections, asking them questions about their professional needs and mixing in some personal touches (a comment about the weather where they live, for example), you sow the seeds of a friendly, back-and-forth banter that opens the door to talk business in short order.

5. On LinkedIn, Gamers Rule

You may or may not have grown up as a fan of the role-playing strategy games and board games that eventually birthed LinkedIn, but you’d be wise to spend some time re-framing your view of the network in that context moving forward.

If you do, it’s going to become far easier to generate more business for yourself as a result.

23 LinkedIn Tips to Make You More Hireable (Infographic)

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LinkedIn is a perfect place to get more job.

Even if you’re using LinkedIn already, are you really making the most of it? Spending an afternoon revising your profile and really fine-tuning the content you’re putting out there can make the difference between getting hired and getting looked over.

Take a look at this infographic that highlights some helpful tips for quickly updating your LinkedIn profile so that you’re more searchable on the site and come across as a desirable hire.

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Infographic credit: Skillcrush

Attracting The Right Clients on LinkedIn (Infographic)

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With its professional-centered focus, it would be quite difficult to attract clients via LinkedIn.

It can be harder to put yourself out there on a professional channel like LinkedIn in comparison to Twitter or Facebook. This is mainly out of fear that we may not look as professional, or even serious.

This infographic explains how you can be be yourself on the professional social network, how you can use that to your advantage to strengthen your network, increase your sales and attract clients you love.

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Infographic credit: CEO of Your Life Inc.

Three Essential Tools For LinkedIn

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It’s been incredible to watch how LinkedIn evolve into one of the best business-to-business themed marketplace on Earth.

With 433 million members in more than 200 countries (that’s 2 new members joining every second – LinkedIn has quickly become the hub for all things professional when it comes to social networks.

In this post, you will find three great tools that will help you attract more clients and generate more business for yourself on LinkedIn.

1. Rapportive

Rapportive is a great (and free) add-on for Gmail users. It takes just a few seconds to install via Google’s Chrome browser and works with Mozilla’s Firefox as well.

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Rapportive taps into your Gmail inbox and immediately pulls up any related LinkedIn profiles, Twitter handles, Skype accounts, websites or other online entities tied to a person’s email address.

In addition, Rapportive enables you to send someone a personalized LinkedIn invite without leaving your Gmail inbox. If you’re using LinkedIn as a lead generation and content marketing platform (and you should be), Rapportive is a great way to effectively and efficiently build your network from right inside your Gmail.

FYI, you can also integrate a similar setup with LinkedIn and Yahoo! Mail.

2. LinkedIn Connection Revealer

With LinkedIn, size does matter. The larger the overall network of people you are connected to, the more visibility and influence you have on the world’s largest professional social network.

Ideally, you want to invite and connect with people who are (A) in your target market/audience or (B) are connected to members of your ideal or target audience. In a perfect world, you’d also want to connect with people who have huge networks of their own – people with hundreds (if not thousands) of connections.

Right now, it’s hard to tell, because anyone with more than 500 connections just shows up as “500+ connections” when you look at his or her LinkedIn profile. However, with this nifty (and free) plugin for the Google Chrome browser, you’re now able to see how many total connections everyone in your network has.

The plugin is called LinkedIn Connection Revealer. Note that this plugin only works with people you are already connected to as a 1st level connection. (It won’t work with 2nd or 3rd level connections.) Along with knowing how many 1st level connections people in your network REALLY have (not just “500+”), you can also use this to strategically network with people that have huge LinkedIn networks in hopes you can leverage their platform or network to promote your services.

3. Headlinr

You might be able to write prose prettier than Hemingway, but if you headline stinks, nobody will read it. More bad news: Creating magnetic headlines can take years of study and practice to perfect, unless you take a shortcut. One of our favorite tool is called Headlinr.

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Headlinr is a (paid) Google Chrome browser add-on, and it works like a “fill-in-the-blank” headline writing tool. With Headlinr, you put in the topic of your post and the plugin immediately pulls up hundreds of creative, proven headlines with your topic inserted directly into them. This tool is great, because when you type in your topic (“LinkedIn Tips”), it immediately gives you hundreds of popular, proven headlines with that phrase (“LinkedIn Tips”) that you can choose from and even split test.

Conclusion

If you’re convinced (or even just curious) that LinkedIn is the best place online to generate business for yourself, these tools will fit nicely into your overall marketing plan on the network. Give them a shot and get busy over on LinkedIn.