Successful social sellers on LinkedIn strategically build their networks, add value by engaging in meaningful conversations, and consistently share industry knowledge and expertise. Exceptional social sellers do all this but add a different dimension: they share something of themselves either by showing their personality or by drawing on personal experiences that have shaped their values and views.
Here Are Some Benefits To Getting Personal
- It adds variety and interest for your network. Adding a human dimension allows people to see who you are and gives them a reason to connect with you based not just on your professional knowledge but also on your values, motivation or interests.
- It can make your time using social media more enjoyable. Maintaining momentum with posting, engagement and expanding your network over a long period of time can be tough going. Getting a little personal can be rewarding, fun and lead to some fascinating conversations.
- It makes you more memorable, something that’s especially important in a digital environment and in a time when coronavirus has significantly reduced face-to-face contact. Don’t underestimate the power your experience can have to move, inspire and educate.
Sounds Good But How Do You Go About It?
Getting the right blend of professional and personal on LinkedIn can be challenging at first. Here are some suggestions for areas where you can start to make that human connection:
This is the heart of your profile and you have 2600 characters to stand out from the crowd. It's an opportunity to tell people what you do AND who you are. Consider some of the following questions: What motivates you? How did you get to where you are now? What excites you about your work? Try to write as you would speak and avoid some of the typical management speak that can obscure your personality.
Engaging With Posts From Other People
Commenting on posts is a great way to show a bit of personality and build relationships. Most people take a fairly informal approach to comments and there’s no need to spend a long time crafting something that should be quick and conversational. However, make sure your comments are meaningful and be sincere. ‘Great post’ or ‘very interesting’ doesn’t add anything of interest or value. While comments like this can give the LinkedIn algorithm a gentle nudge, they are unlikely to result in a response.
Draw On Your Personal Passions
Consider whether you have any personal passions that could be a platform for offering professional insights to your network. If so, build these into some - not all - of the content you share. Done well, this can really make you stand out from the crowd.
Some words of caution here: make sure you can align those personal passions with professional insights and always think about what you are looking to achieve on LinkedIn. You might be an ace cookie maker but there’s unlikely to be an overlap there with, for example, leadership development or trends in digital transformation. On the other hand, if you are looking to attract new talent by raising awareness that your organization has a culture that values diversity, talking about your personal experiences could give that real credibility.
- A passion for sport; talk about leadership and lessons business can learn from sport and about building high performance teams
- An interest in architecture; talk about urbanization trends and sustainable construction
- The experience of being a female leader in a traditionally male dominated industry as motivation for being a champion for gender diversity
What’s The Right Balance?
A tricky question: share too much that’s personal and you may well be met with cries of “this isn’t Facebook” and cause people to switch off. Use your common sense here. If comments or content with a personal element would raise an eyebrow or blank look in a business context, it’s not appropriate for LinkedIn. But if they would cause your audience to lean forward to learn more and engage in conversation, you’re on the right track. Use post analytics to check whether you are engaging your target audience. If the statistics indicate you are doing the equivalent of standing in a room talking about yourself while everyone glazes over - or worse, you are in the wrong room entirely - stop and reassess.