LinkedIn is the largest professional networking platform and offers unique marketing opportunities for agency owners. It’s a great tool for showcasing your expertise and establishing connections. Here are a few ways to maximize your results.
1. Craft a well-written, optimized profile. Don’t underestimate the power of your personal LinkedIn account. After all, most folks tend to want to connect more with actual people than companies. Use good keywords, including your city or geographic area, target market and the insurance lines you specialize in so you’ll be more easily found. Don’t be afraid to get really specific in the description of your services — for example, business liability insurance for tech companies. Consider engaging a professional writer or editor to sharpen your copy — and a proofreader to review for typos and grammatical errors. And be sure to refer to the We Insure LinkedIn Score Card for more helpful tips.
2. Display a professional profile image. Hire a photographer to snap a high-quality headshot if you can. But if you choose to do it yourself, pay particular attention to the lighting, background and your attire (which should be polished and professional). Take a number of shots to choose from. A good profile photo not only elevates the image of your agency, but it creates a good first impression, helps establish a personal connection and makes you more memorable.
3. Post topics of interest to your audience. Many people are unsure of what to post about on LinkedIn. This isn’t Facebook, so the topics should be largely in the arena of professional issues (and stay far away from controversial subjects and politics). Post about the types of things you would share with customers or colleagues in your field: industry-related news, helpful tips, business milestones, new hires, professional awards or recognition, your philanthropic activities and even legislation that affects policy holders. Set a goal for how often you want to post and stick to it.
4. Focus on engagement first. The point of LinkedIn isn’t to rack up as many connections as possible, but to engage meaningfully with others. To get the most out of LinkedIn, use it to build relationships first before focusing on prospecting. Spend just as much time — if not more — commenting on others’ posts, congratulating them on their milestones and connecting your connections to each other if you feel it would be mutually beneficial.
5. Attract top talent. LinkedIn is a terrific resource for finding your next new hire. You can post a status update, asking your connections to recommend a qualified candidate to fill your position. Or post an opening on LinkedIn’s job board. You can also search your network for the specific criteria relevant to the job you’re trying to fill. For example, search by someone who has worked for a competitor, people with a specific job title in their history — or someone who is an alumnus of your college.
6. Add links to your blog content. Include links to helpful articles on your feed, but make sure they add value for your audience rather than reading more like an ad for your agency. This can help drive traffic to your website and increase your brand awareness. Be sure to include an image or graphic to boost engagement — and if you can make and post a short video, that can help draw even more visitors’ attention. Don’t worry about it if your video isn’t professionally shot — you can use your smartphone camera. But be sure to take the video in landscape mode (horizontally), use good lighting and set up your phone on a tripod to keep it steady. Keep your videos short — just a couple of minutes is all you need to make a connection.
7. Leverage the power of groups. LinkedIn groups can be based around an area of professional interest and/or geographic parameters. Join and participate in the groups most relevant to your offerings — and where your prospects are most likely to be. Engage by posting articles and answering members’ questions. But again, don’t sell too hard if you want to stay on the good side of your group. If you can’t find a group that’s right for you, consider starting one yourself.
Put All Your Hard Work to Good Use
Once you’ve done all that work setting up and using your LinkedIn account, don’t forget to link out to your LinkedIn profile from your website and email correspondence to give it the most visibility possible. And just like any other marketing channel, putting in consistent effort is key to success.