1. DO be selective about who you connect with
Some people still think the best way to grow your LinkedIn following is to connect with anyone and everyone. It isn’t.
Be selective about your connections. Will their content add value to your feed? Are they someone you could potentially work with? Build slowly and be purposeful about your connections.
2. DON’T leave your banner image blank
The banner on LinkedIn is a great space to make a statement or add a call-to-action. Just keep it simple – don’t overcrowd it with text and information, and always set text across the top of your banner or on the right-hand side.
Not sure what text to add or how to do it? A pattern or atmospheric image is better than nothing at all.
3. DO keep an eye on your profile views
A great way to judge how well your content is doing is to keep an eye on your profile views. You can do this via the link linkedin.com/me/profile-views.
There’s no need to instantly connect with people who view your profile though (you don’t want to look needy).
4. DON’T post and ghost
Tempting as it is to load up a scheduler with a week’s worth of content and then forget about it, you’re not going to see results that way.
LinkedIn thrives on engagement so it’s really important that you’re active on the platform – especially in the first few hours after posting – to respond to comments and engage with other people’s posts.
5. DO optimise your headline
Although you get 220 characters to write your headline, the first 70 are the most important. Why? Because these are what people see under your name when they view the app on mobile.
Make sure your job title, or the service you offer, is visible in the first 70 characters.
6. DON’T waste time on engagement pods
Just don’t. These pods trade engagement for engagement. If you’re invited to join one, don’t be tempted.
Pods can lead you to sharing no end of random and confusing content with your own followers and lowering your overall engagement with the people who matter. Focus on Step 1 and your time will be better spent.
7. DO use a professional headshot
Set the right tone for your business with a professional headshot (not a selfie).
Professional doesn’t have to mean boring. You can make your profile picture stand out by adding cool backgrounds at pfpmaker.com.
8. DON’T let competitors steal your profile visitors
Your profile page has a default ‘People also viewed’ panel. This panel shows visitors the other people people who have looked at your page have looked at. (Hint: it’s probably your competitors.)
Interesting as this may be, it’s possible that the person now viewing your profile will get distracted and click away. To turn it off, visit your Settings and choose Account preferences, scroll to People also viewed, then make sure it’s set to No.
9. DO use your Featured section
This is a prominent section on your profile where you can pin key content, including top posts and articles.
Use it as a way to draw attention to your lead magnets, sign up links, announcements… anything you want people to see.
10. DON’T be salesy (or sleazy)
Just because LinkedIn is a work-based platform, that’s not an excuse to shove your products and services in people’s faces.
Treat it like any other platform and post a mix of helpful, interesting and relevant content.
It’s also not a dating site, FYI. It’s never ok to slide into someone’s DMs and tell them they’re hot*.
*yes, people really do that.
11. DO engage
There’s no getting away from this one. The more time you put into engagement on LinkedIn, the more you will be rewarded.
As a rule, try to comment on five other posts for every post you publish yourself.
12. DON’T be shy – ask for recommendations
It’s totally acceptable to ask for recommendations on LinkedIn, and these are displayed on your profile. If you’ve worked with someone and done a great job, hopefully they will be more than happy to support you.
Remember to recommend others you’ve worked with too. An unexpected recommendation is bound to make someone’s day! You can only give and receive recommendations to/from first-level connections so make sure you add them first.
13. DO set up a company page
Don’t worry, you don’t have to actually use it, but having a company page is best practice and creates another way for people to find you – especially if your company name is different to your actual name.
Make sure your page is optimised with the right keywords, messaging, and links.
14. DON’T be afraid
LinkedIn can feel intimidating. Putting content out for your potential clients is one thing, but the fear of being judged by your peers is quite another.
Be brave. Focus on your goals and objectives. Your competitors aren’t your clients so don’t waste time worrying about what they think.
15. DO use captions on videos
A whopping 80% of internet users watch videos with the sound turned off. So, if you’re posting a video to LinkedIn, make sure you add captions.
Unfortunately the platform only offers an in-built caption service for live video. For everything else, you’ll need to create your content, caption it and then upload it.
16. DON’T send generic connection requests
If you really want to make a good impression on a potential new connection it’s important to personalise your connection request. This means visiting their profile and writing a message rather than just clicking the Connect button.
Reference a recent post they published, or pick out some information from their about section to start a conversation. Making an effort can make a huge difference and will help you stand out in a sea of generic DMs.
17. DO use your keywords
Keywords are powerful on LinkedIn, so you should sprinkle them freely throughout your headline and About section.
Think about what you offer and what people might type in the search bar if they were looking for your services.
18. DON’T use pictures in every post
LinkedIn is one of the few platforms where text-only posts perform really well, so make sure they’re included in your content mix.
I’m not saying don’t ever use images – it’s good to mix things up and sometimes they’re needed. Just don’t feel that every post has to include a picture or graphic.
19. DO use hashtags
Hashtags increase your visibility on LinkedIn and I recommend that you use them with every post. Just don’t go mad!
You should only use three and always put them at the end of your post and not dotted through the copy.
20. DON’T Post links without explanation
If you’re going to share content on LinkedIn, make sure you give it context. If you post an external link, add a comment which explains your thoughts on the topic and why you decided to share.
21. DO Engage, engage, engage
I’m saying this one again. Not because I don’t have any more dos (I do!), but because it’s so important. Every time you comment on someone’s post you’re making yourself visible to all their connections and followers.
So, the more you comment and add value, the more people can potentially discover you.