How to act like a real human on LinkedIn
LinkedIn if you didn't know is one of the largest professional social networking platforms in the world. But as Trent McLaren explains, this “de facto tool for professional networking” is often misused by accountants.
Although LinkedIn currently boasts 467m accounts, the surprising thing here is that just 106m of these accounts are considered active. Only 22% of all users on LinkedIn actively engage with one another. This comes to no surprise for me, as most people I speak to have a LinkedIn account, but using that account is next to non-existent.
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In my travels around the world, the one thing I notice the most is that an accountants and bookkeepers are not utilising the social tools available to them to further develop and grow their business.
Personally I can account for at least £300k in new business sales or opportunities that have generated new business. I've been given opportunities to speak all over the world and importantly for me, I've been able to meet and connect with some of the brightest people in the accounting industry from all over the world. All this has been made possible by creating and maintaining a presence on LinkedIn and acting like a real human.
Five secrets to growing your firm through LinkedIn
Today I want to give you my five greatest secrets to creating a true genuine presence online that will allow you to connect with opportunities that you never knew existed and give you endless possibilities to grow your business.
You need a good looking profile: LinkedIn actually make this easy for you. When you create your profile, you'll find little tips and reminders on your page trying to help you improve the look, feel and information shared.
You need a professional head shot (don't be scared to smile) because this is your human element, your first impression. Secondly, outline a great introduction about yourself. Don't list facts, tell a good story. Who are you? What do you believe in? What are you passionate about? Why should people connect with you? What are you an expert on?
Make sure you fill in all of your qualifications, previous job history, and remember, don’t list facts in bullet points; tell the story of what you were responsible for. Finally, get recommendations. People love social proof and want to hear how good you are from other people. So find your best contacts and get them to write great things about you.
Connect with your network: Find people you know (past or present) and engage with them. If you find someone you want to connect with, be sure to add a note and explain why you want to connect. Don't Spam or pitch them, just be engaging. Be human. Be authentic.
When you meet people at networking events, a worthwhile trick to expand your network is to ask them for their business card and ask them if they are on LinkedIn. Add your LinkedIn URL to your business card. Be available online.
Post great and relevant content: You only get eight seconds to capture someone's attention. That's less than a goldfish. That’s why it’s important that you share articles that are relevant to you, your interests and industry. This may force you to read more read more and to share articles that challenge the way you think, but sharing great content establishes your value amongst your network.
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When you share challenging articles, remember to write your two cents and explain why you’re sharing the article. This is how you start open conversations.
Write a blog: Why restrict yourself to just adding comments to shared articles. Blogs are not only a good way to showcase your expertise but also a way to put yourself out there for everyone to see. Whether your network wants to judge, review, agree or disagree, putting your thoughts online shows that you’re not afraid to have a go.
Once you’ve started a conversation it’s important that you respond to comments and keep engaging. But more importantly, write more blogs. If you just aim for writing a blog between 500-800 words once a month, you’ll be a pro before the end of the year.
Measure your activity and results: Always measure what you are doing. Or else, why do it? This is where all businesses fail. They fail to plan and they fail to measure. But remember: what gets tracked gets measured, what gets measured will be achieved.
All of your measurements will raise data, insights, and trends you can use to further tweak all of your activity. You'll find some things resonate, some things don't. Be sure to keep hitting on what resonates.
You can benchmark against other people in your industry, and through this, assess what topics stand out and which ones don't.
More importantly, be consistent, be real, and be human. Don't spam or pretend. Remember you're dealing with real people with real opinions and lives. Respect them like you would want to be respected.
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Winner - AccountantDaily Thought Leader Of The Year for 2017
I lead a team of spirited people looking to make a difference in the accounting industry as we know it. Elimination of debtors, automated invoicing and the thought of never having to touch your firm's billing again is a reality we deliver to accounting...