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Over the past few years, LinkedIn has transformed from a job search tool into a 24-7 networking event. With over 900 million users worldwide, there is no more powerful tool or social media platform to position yourself as an expert in your industry and connect with peers and targets. When it comes to the meeting industry, it’s all the more valuable since the mission and goal is to create events that bring people together – both personally and professionally.
4 Ways to Improve Success on LinkedIn For Meeting Planners
Here are the four key components of a successful LinkedIn strategy that can boost your visibility and business:
Optimize Your Profile
Your profile is your “digital first impression” – it is one of the top search results when you google your name. When it is incomplete or outdated, it can impact others’ perception of you and the value you offer. Taking the time to update and complete your profile is a huge step in building a strong LinkedIn strategy.
When thinking about your profile, the following items are essential:
- Choose a welcoming, professional (recent) profile picture
- Include a banner image or “cover photo” that is either branded to your company or showcases something about you
- Craft a LinkedIn headline that clearly conveys WHO you are, WHAT you do, WHY you do it and WHO you do it for – don’t default to your current title and company
- Write an engaging “About” section, in the first person, that expands on your headline and shows your personality. Include keywords that are relevant to your job experience to help improve your chances of showing up in searches by your target audience. This should be a narrative, not read like a resume.
- Complete your “Experience” section and be sure to link to the company LinkedIn pages of your current and past employers
- Your Skills section should be relevant to your current role, especially when it comes to your top three skills – get rid of any outdated skills.
Beyond this, you can add your education, volunteer roles, certifications, awards and featured content to round out your profile – the more complete, the better!
If you are unsure of what makes a great LinkedIn profile, here’s a CHECKLIST you can use.
Who is in your Network?
Do you really know who you’re connected to? Since LinkedIn only shows us a small subset of our overall network, there is no way you can keep up with everyone. But, you can (and should) download your network and review it in a spreadsheet a few times a year.
Here’s why it’s important to do this:
- You forgot who’s in your network
- Your connections have changed jobs
- Your network is full of “hidden gems” (aka – potential customers, partners, employees and other valuable contacts)
- Your targets are NOT in your network
I recommend that you download your connections on a quarterly basis. It’s a great habit to get into and can help you stay more engaged with your LinkedIn network. Here are DIRECTIONS on how to download your connections.
Content is King
Content can feel like a huge hill to climb, but you likely have a wealth of content at your fingertips – you just need to remove your “content blinders.”
Start by taking an inventory of what you already have created:
- Blog Posts
- Thought Leadership Content
- White Papers
- Images/ infographics
- Case Studies
- Past LinkedIn/ Social Media posts
Make lists of topics you know well and enjoy talking about.
When you are drawing a blank on what to post, look to these sources as inspiration. Try posting valuable content consistently – If that means one great post per week, fantastic! It’s better to post quality posts consistently, vs posting for the sake of it because you heard you need to post every day.
Focus on the value you can offer and engage with people when they comment on your content.
Bottom line…get out of your own way and just start posting!
Develop an Engagement Strategy
A strong engagement strategy will help you develop your voice, build relationships and find your audience. An engagement strategy includes:
- Following thought-leaders in your industry
- Commenting on relevant posts several times a week
- Joining LinkedIn groups relevant to event industries and join the conversation
- Starting (non-salesy) conversations in the DMs
Maintaining an active and visible presence on LinkedIn is a highly effective strategy to showcase your brand and expertise to a broader audience. And as a Meeting Planner, you can set a great example to show how LinkedIn is a central networking tool for events. Even allocating 15 minutes a day to show up and engage with your network can truly elevate your LinkedIn presence.