Make your business stand OUT on LinkedIn

Make your business stand OUT on LinkedIn

By Janine Langheim

Posted on 13th March 2019

Since its start in 2002, LinkedIn has grown in fame for connecting professionals all over the world. You might see it as an online tool to find your next position or advance your career. However, it can also be invaluable for growing your brand and expanding networks for your business.

Companies, particularly those with a B2B focus, can use LinkedIn to access a target audience that is not found on other social media platforms.

Here are seven sure-fire (tried and tested) ways to market your business through LinkedIn:

1. Start with your own profile

Yes, we are still focussing on how to market your business on LinkedIn, but the reality is that people do business with people, not companies. Your personal profile, and that of every team member within your company, all form part of the collective perception of your brand and is where first impressions are formed. When looking at someone’s profile, people silently answer the question “Do I want to work with this person?”.

 

Do your best to make sure your profile stands out from that of others in your industry (competitors). Make sure your profile image, qualifications, experience, skill set is always up to date and that your profile is 100% completed.

2. Create a complete LinkedIn company page

Now that your personal profile is set-up correctly, you can focus on your LinkedIn company page. A LinkedIn company page is different to a personal profile and is set up to represent a business or brand to potential customers, investors and partners. The page allows you to post updates and add information that comes across more effectively from a brand name than from an individual.

As with your personal profile, make sure you complete your company page 100%. According to LinkedIn, companies with complete information get 30% more weekly views.

 

A complete page is made up of:

 

  • Your company logo: Upload a quality version of your logo, positioned and sized accordingly.
  • Page cover: A lifestyle image that complements the core messaging of your brand and works aesthetically with your company’s CI.
  • Company info: This includes your website URL, location, company size and type.
  • Description: Include relevant keywords and phrases that best describe your company’s mission and purpose.  This will help LinkedIn members who search by keywords, find you.

Also make sure that you and all your team members link their personal profiles to the company page.

3. Clarify your company goals and audience

You can’t reach your goals if you don’t know what they are. Make sure you know exactly
what you want to achieve with your LinkedIn marketing. Common marketing goals include
generating leads, making sales and/ or creating branding awareness.

 

Understanding what ‘success’ looks like will make it easier for you to identify your audience, strategically populate your profile, target your adverts and decide on what content to share.

4. Share content that matters

Always share quality content that your audience will find interesting, that will help them to perform better in their jobs or help solve their pain points.

 

Although you would naturally want to only focus on promoting your business,  include a good dose of ‘curated content’, which is content posted by other individuals or businesses that might be of value to your followers.

 

According to LinkedIn, their members love a fresh idea. And that is why publishing thought leadership content is one of the most powerful ways to grow your LinkedIn audience. As Laura Ramos from Forrester says, “Business buyers don’t buy your product; they buy into your approach to solving their problems.”

 

Regularity is another key element to success. LinkedIn recently shared that companies that post weekly see a 2x lift in engagement with their content. Posting daily will increase that number even more, however make sure quality is always maintained.

 

Finally, the golden thread should be that all your content must align with, and aid, your company in achieving its business goals (as mentioned in the previous point).

5. Use rich media to increase engagement

We process images much faster than text. So, it makes sense that posts with images garner over six times more engagement than text-only content.

Meet your audience’s craving for visual content by adding images, YouTube videos, and GIFs to your updates. To keep things interesting, alternate between these three to best suit the content shared.

6. Amplify your offering

You don’t have to spend thousands of Rands on LinkedIn advertising each month to effectively reach your target audience. We have been surprised at how a conservative budget of between R200-R500 a month can make a remarkable difference to the effectiveness of brand’s marketing campaign.

 

Choose between ‘boosting a post’ or ‘creating an advert’, and set everything from your target audience’s occupation, age and location to their interests.

7. Regularly audit your page

Make it a priority to audit your business page once a quarter to make sure it always reflects your brand accurately. It should include posts about your latest achievements, service offering and team members.

 

Although it is simple enough to audit your profile yourself most times, we suggest that you get a third party in to do an external audit once a year to make sure there are no blind spots that might be keeping you from that growth you desire.

As with all social media platforms, change seems to be the only constant on growing platforms such as LinkedIn, so make sure you regularly read industry related articles to familiarise yourself with changes or add-ons. However, if you’d rather spend that time on your business directly, it might be time to source a digital agency like Yellow Door to manage your business page for you! Pop me an email at janine@theyellowdoor.co.za if you’d like to take the conversation further.

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How to effectively manage a distributed team

How to effectively manage a distributed team

By Janine Langheim

Posted on 21st November 2018

These days it’s common place to have a distributed or decentralised team, made up of people working from many different locations around the country and even around the world.
This is true of the Yellow Door team. Although our main office is situated in the heart of Cape Town, we have team members and partners based in Stellenbosch, Clanwilliam, Knysna, Harare and London.

We have chosen a distributed team as we believe we have created a stronger team by hiring and collaborating with the best people – regardless of location. That said, it most definitely has its challenges and we have had to be intentional about overcoming them, and making it work for everyone involved – including our wide client base that also expands over provincial and international borders!

 

Here are a few tips that could be of use: 

1) Stay clear of information silos

It’s natural for team members who work in the same office to share information more easily. They attend meetings in person and often work across from each other – hence they know what is happening almost all the time.

 

However, if you’re not very deliberate and strategic in making sure the bigger team is always kept up to speed, information silos can form. What becomes common knowledge in one location, might not even reach other locations or individuals. This can lead to confusion and frustration on large projects that include the greater team.

 

We’ve worked hard to counter these ‘information imbalances’ through the use of Google Drive, and putting weekly rhythms in place to make sure everyone is up to speed with the latest developments of each project or client.

2) Avoid inbox overload

As not all team members are in the same office to simply pop over and ask a question, the temptation is to revert to writing a ‘quick email’. These however, fast accumulate, and lead to overloaded inboxes!

 

To save the time that goes into responding to each of these ‘quick emails’, we’ve moved over to a communication app called Slack. Each of our services has a dedicated channel and it allows for quick and efficient correspondence, which also centralises all information. It also kills the ‘I’m sure I sent it to you’ elephant in the room.

 

Although you address a specific person, all team members see the communication and account managers are ‘CCed’. This has made a big difference in preventing information silos.

 

All task allocations are also made through the task management system Asana. Once completed, the person responsible simply clicks ‘task completed’ and the manager is notified without any manual, time consuming communication.

3) Leverage the power of face-to-face and telephone communication

Communicating via email and online communication apps like Slack, Trello, Evernote etc. is the primary way distributed teams liaise every day. However, as casual ‘water cooler’ or ‘corridor moments’ aren’t a possibility, it’s important to pick up the phone or plan for face-to-face team moments every now and again.

 

This is a human, more emotive element to relationships, which builds trust and creates the opportunity to iron out any misunderstandings or misperceptions.

 

We make this work through scheduling weekly phone or Skype calls, and planning workshops and in-person gatherings at least once a year. (Read up on the most recent workshop which Emma and I ran in Knysna)

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4) Respect work hours, time zones and availability

Working across international time zones and different work capacities can be a challenge for even the most organised team manager. It requires a lot more forward planning, anticipation of possible problems and curve-balls, and making sure lead-times are realistic and achievable.

 

Post everyone’s availability, time zones and daily ‘office hours’ in a central place for easy reference.

 

We also make use of a time tracking app, called Tickspot, which monitors time spent one each project and client. This is especially helpful for those team members who have very limited hours per month.

5) Build a team of ONE

Make sure that it never becomes ‘them’ and ‘us’. Ensure that unity and a sense of being part of one core family is at the heart of your team’s culture and values.

 

Regularly create the opportunity for team members to give feedback both formally and informally in order to pinpoint any pressure areas. Also clarify each team member’s responsibilities and expectations in relation to other team members, as this goes a long way in preventing misunderstandings.

6) In it to win

Keep the goal of ‘winning’ as the core, unifying focus of the entire team and always clarify ‘the win’ for each project.

 

Each person should aim to ‘win’ personally, by developing their skill set and delivering excellent service. The team should aim to ‘win’ collectively by providing a top-class end product or campaign, and the client must ‘win’ by seeing real results following the implementation of our work.

 

This central purpose keeps the distributed team connected and unified, especially on complex, long-term projects.

 

In summary, working in a multi-site or distributed team is fast becoming the norm, and as technology advances, it most definitely becomes easier. However, managers and business leaders will always have to be intentional about the relational dynamic and keeping a team unified in more ways than their email signature. Perhaps the question should not be ‘How do I manage these challenges?’, but rather ‘How can I maximise the opportunities and benefits of working in a decentralised set-up?’.

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