Traven Page, Marketing Director at Sophie Lark Publishing, recently made a guest appearance on the Best Company WOMM Podcast to talk about LinkedIn and how marketers can leverage the platform both as professionals and for their company.
Throughout the podcast, Traven reiterates the importance of building a personal brand on LinkedIn and how personal profiles can elevate a company brand. He recounts a time while working for Purple when he saw firsthand the high reach and low cost of using LinkedIn.
"I was so dumbfounded by the amount of reach you could get on LinkedIn just by a post, or by a company post. All the employees like it and blast it everywhere and it shows up in front of everybody. And we were trying to do the same thing on YouTube, which costs an exorbitant amount of money…to get it in front of as many eyes pound for pound."
This experience led Traven to pursue his own career as a freelance social media manager, where his consistent posting strategy brought in a constant stream of new clients.
He then compared the difference between growing a clientele on Instagram vs. LinkedIn:
"It's kind of like comparing crops that grow at different times. LinkedIn is just gonna grow faster and it's gonna have a more direct ROI than building your audience from 0 to 5,000 on Instagram. And you're like, okay, I have 5,000 followers on Instagram, but now I have to sell them on a product, as opposed to LinkedIn where you can sell your services for a much higher level. And then you're starting to get better clients, you're starting to get better opportunities than doing your average Instagram influencer following."
The case for LinkedIn: 3 reasons why you should build your LinkedIn presence
Traven lists three main reasons for choosing an active posting strategy on LinkedIn: to prepare for unexpected career changes, to proactively manage your reputation, and to amplify your expertise in an industry.
1. Prepare for unexpected career changes
Traven explains, "So there are a lot of people these days, and I don't want to keep this to just marketers or executives or anybody, it's everybody. If you're sitting at your job right now, just as a W-2 employee, you're probably gonna lose it one day for one reason or another.
“Something's always gonna happen, and that doesn't mean you're fired. It doesn't mean you're laid off, but you might get a new boss that you don't like. You might get just pulled into the office one day and your responsibilities change. And you’re like, I don't wanna do that job. [Then] they're like, ‘Well, I'm sorry, but that's what we need you to do. So you need to decide if you wanna be here or not.’
“It's this level of complexity that you need to be prepared for, and LinkedIn prepares you for that because you're amplifying your expertise and your audience to understand that it's your expertise."
2. Proactively manage your reputation
Traven continues, "If you've ever read the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Green, he talks about how you need to protect your reputation with your life. And it is so bizarre to me that not all executives are posting on LinkedIn, and the number one reason is always, ‘I don't have the time. I don't have the time to sit down and write a post. I don't have the time to make it perfect like I wanted to.’
“And then I rebuttal with, do you have the time to protect your reputation? Because if you're not amplifying your reputation in your voice, somebody else is doing it for you."
3. Amplify your expertise in an industry
Traven goes on to explain what it means to amplify your expertise in your industry:
"It's talking about the subject. So if we were to take a step back and look at the broad scheme of things, everybody's having conversations about subjects, and you'll find that people that have the most success are passionate about their industry and passionate about their subject."
Traven explains how he identified his areas of expertise and interest:
"I took a notebook and I wrote down 15 things I was interested in when it came to business in general or myself, or really any topic. I wrote them down and then I started crossing them out until I had three.
“And I always coach people whenever they talk to me about posting on LinkedIn [to find] three to five things you want to talk about. I am almost positive everybody out there has three to five things they're pretty passionate about that they can talk about, and they're somewhat of an expert in that field.
“So really recognize what you're really good at. Identify what you're really passionate about. Put those two together, and then that's what you need to stick to and focus on so that it's not just flavor of the month, flavor of the week type of stuff, but you're really honing in, this is what I want to be known for."
How to build a LinkedIn presence for your business
Traven then discusses ways to build a brand on LinkedIn for a business. He recommends companies put 30 percent of their time towards the brand page and 70 percent of their time towards thought leaders within the company. Thought leaders are those employees within the company who have a certain level of expertise and a decent online following, such as vice presidents, executives, and directors.
Start with training your thought leaders
Traven lays out a potential plan of action for involving thought leaders: "I look at their past, and then I build more or less a plan for them where I send them a message and say, ‘Hey, you have great experience. I'm putting together a LinkedIn thought group inside the company to help amplify our brand and to help gain reach on the platform. I'm gonna take 30 minutes of your time and train you on how to use the platform, and I will take time out of my day to help you write some of these posts and give you ideas.’”
If your thought leaders prove more challenging to work with, Traven advises, “You have to have a real conversation with them to say, your reputation is at risk. If you're not gonna take the reins on this one, we should consider hiring a ghostwriter. If you're not gonna be able to put the time forward, give me five topics for a ghostwriter to try to write up, and we'll send it to you before we schedule it."
Get the office involved in liking, commenting, and engaging with the posts
As for how to do this, Traven suggests, "I hop on the Slack channels. I walk to people's offices. I go around the company and say, ‘We are going to blow this up to the moon. Everybody's gonna see this post. Everybody in our company is going to see this right now. I don't care if you've already seen it.’
“I was knocking on doors, and people are like, ‘I've already seen it.’ I'm like, ‘Did you like and comment? Get in there and like and comment right now.’ So it's a little aggressive of an approach, but you have to show tangible results of what would happen if they continue to post."
FAQs about LinkedIn
Later in the podcast, Traven answers a couple questions on the basics of LinkedIn.
How often should I post on LinkedIn?
"That's the thing I hear the most is to post consistently, as much as you can. If it's one time a week, post one time a week. I have seen better results if you're posting five times Monday through Friday, and then the most incredible results (which require a lot of time and attention that most people don't have) is [to post] twice a day, Monday through Friday, and then once on weekends.
“But it's the consistency that matters. If you're the one that shows up every day on Monday, everybody knows you're the one that shows up every day on Monday."
What kind of content should I post?
"You should be writing your own content. Don't share links. LinkedIn will not show it if you share a link, so don't share a link. Create your own engaging content that doesn't already exist out there."
What is the best way to engage with other people's posts?
"As you're scrolling, like 15 posts and then comment on 10 of them. Tell them why you like it."
Why should someone spend their time and energy on LinkedIn?
"I would say, if you want to ensure a future in your profession, you should probably be posting on LinkedIn."
About Traven Page
Traven is currently the Director of Marketing for Sophie Lark Publishing. He carries 10+ years of marketing experience, specializing in social media and brand strategy. He also has extensive experience in growth marketing, lifecycle marketing, product marketing, and event management.
Traven also loves to spend time with his wife and daughter. His hobbies include guitar, weight lifting, anime, and learning whatever skill he can get his hands on.