May 17, 2024

Optimize Your LinkedIn Routine

by Digital Marketing Institute

LinkedIn is 20 years old, and it's never been so popular! In this episode of the DMI podcast, host ⁠Will Francis⁠ chats with ⁠Luan Wise⁠, a long-time LinkedIn user and trainer and all-round social media consultant.

They look at how you can use LinkedIn to fit your needs, the best ways to interact, comment and post, how to leverage the company page for employee advocacy, and take care of your own personal brand. We also get Luan's thoughts on the latest LinkedIn AI tools (spoiler: they're not great!)

Watch the full video episode on ⁠YouTube⁠.

Tips for Engaging on LinkedIn

The Ahead of the Game podcast is brought to you by the Digital Marketing Institute and is available on ⁠⁠⁠⁠YouTubeApple Podcasts⁠⁠⁠⁠, ⁠⁠⁠⁠Spotify⁠⁠⁠⁠, and ⁠⁠⁠⁠all other podcast platforms.

And if you enjoyed this episode please leave a review so others can find us!

If you have other feedback for or would like to be a guest on the show, email the podcast team!

Optimize Your LinkedIn Routine

Podcast Transcript

Will (00:00)

Welcome to Ahead of the Game, a podcast brought to you by the Digital Marketing Institute. I'm your host, Will Francis, and today I'll be talking to Luan Wise about LinkedIn. Luan is a leading marketing authority with over 20 years experience in agency, client-side, and consultancy roles working across loads of different sectors. She's a specialist in social media, and Luan has trained thousands of business professionals across the world via open social media training courses and in-house programs.

She's a course instructor for LinkedIn Learning and also an accredited trainer for Facebook and Instagram. Luan is author of a series of award-winning books about social media and she's currently working on a new title, Smart Social Media for Bloomsbury Business and that's going to be published in September '24. Luan, welcome to the podcast, it's great to have you.

Luan Wise (00:49)

Thank you for having me.

Will (00:52)

So yeah, LinkedIn! That's a great topic to take on. It's one I've been waiting a while to really dig deep into again. We did cover it a couple of years ago and we're really ready for a refresh on that. Just to start, tell us about you and your history with LinkedIn.

Luan Wise (00:54)

Yeah. So I will say I love LinkedIn for many, many different reasons. And what I love about, you know, my role as teaching and training and being on podcasts and things is it actually really makes you think about things and reflect on things. So the whole kind of Q&A process is one of, you know, a good experience for everyone, hopefully. And I was able to check and I joined LinkedIn in January 2008.

someone had told me about this platform and how important it was and what, you know, I should be on there.

But I was working client-side at that time and I was actually working in the direct mail postal industry. So to be on social media and start getting involved in social media, which was almost a competitor and a conflict, didn't necessarily feel like the right thing to do. But the opportunity of a snow day and to get some of those kind of things you wanted to explore off your list, I set up my account, started networking on it, started kind of posting content on it. And I think also almost in hindsight, the fact that I...did that so long ago, I don't have the fear of doing it anymore. There are still people joining LinkedIn all the time and the fear of doing it in 2024 versus 2008 is completely different. I was new at the same time as so many others were new and finding their way. So I've been on it a long time and had some really amazing milestones and results. And I'm not going to talk about those results of being, you know, I've had this amount of leads and this amount of business, but


Luan Wise (02:44)

more what I like to refer to as pinch me moments. And some of those have been directly with LinkedIn. In 2015, I was contacted by their PR team, invited me to be involved in their International Women's Day campaign as one of the most engaged marketers on LinkedIn. That was an amazing inmail to receive. In 2016, I was invited by LinkedIn to become a LinkedIn learning course instructor, to write some courses for the platform.

Got to go to Los Angeles a couple of times to do those recordings, mid-COVID, no travel, big black box, headset and everything. So I've been involved with LinkedIn from a user perspective, building my own business because I did leave corporate world in that time and set up my own consultancy to actually working with them in terms of creating content as well.

Will (03:32)

Wow, that's, and I mean, you must have seen so much change in the platform. I mean, because 2008, I probably joined about the same time and it was essentially, it was kind of like your online resume, your online CV, as we say here. Um, but it's become so much more of that. What, how would you sort of, you know, concisely typify or describe the trajectory that LinkedIn's gone on?

Luan Wise (03:46)

Yeah, I think this is a really interesting one because we always see posts and have conversations about LinkedIn has changed, you know, Facebook has changed, LinkedIn is now this. And you kind of think it's a piece of software, it's tech, it's not a human being. I think it's all about how its users develop and want features and then how the, you know, the amazing engineers that sit behind the platforms.

Luan Wise (04:24)

know what we need either in response or proactively and build the platform along the way. But I think there is you know one really big shift and it's not that it doesn't exist it's just the fact that it's not just about our CV or resume anymore. It's not just about oh I'll go on there when I need a job and I'll copy and paste my CV I'll get a new job done until the next time and I need to move on. A lot of the work and the conversations I have is like

It is a valuable business networking tool, and I don't think business networks have ever been more important in terms of how people get discovered, how they do business together. So I think it's, we should see it as a tool. People adopt it at very different rates, and they have very different purposes for it, whether it is a job that they're looking for, or they're looking to recruit, or they're looking to set up their own business, or they're a salesperson looking to build a pipeline.

I think it has so many different roles to play. It's about, and I think that's what we're going to explore, it's about how it can work for you and not how you necessarily need to fit in.

Well, that's the thing, isn't it? Because you see these posts about how LinkedIn can work for you and how to be famous on LinkedIn and stuff like that. And you're absolutely right. It's not really one size fits all, is it? So that might not be the right thing for you to do with it. But just let us lay out, what are the key things we'd use it for today? Who would get the most out of it today?

Yeah, so I will start with job seekers and I will say that because I do a lot of work with universities and going into universities, whether it's second year undergraduates that start just starting to think about getting placements, whether it's final year students that are thinking about graduate outcomes. So it is kind of it is a career tool very early on to kind of stake your place online where there are millions of people available to search it. Finding a job.


But then when you are in a job role, using it for, I kind of list benefits from industry insights, business news, making connections, staying in front of people that you're connected to, nurturing those and building relationships. And ultimately I think it's about visibility. It's, you know, from the comfort of a desk, whether it's an office or home, or, you know, if you're a digital nomad, you can access this platform and be visible online to your target audience, your referrers, partners, potential suppliers that you're looking to work with. It is almost that. Let's shift it from a resume CV to it's your ultimate real time, always up to date, Rolodex.

Will (07:14)

So all aspects of my work life can play out and benefit from LinkedIn essentially. That's what we're saying here, isn't it?

Luan Wise (07:19)

Yeah, yeah, if you want it to. It doesn't have to be all of those things and it'll be different, it'll be different things to you at different stages of your career or different stages for your business, you know, depending on what phase of growth you're in.

Will (07:30)

Yeah, that's very true that isn't it? You might, one day you're being hired and the next day you might be hiring people. You might be a salesperson.

Luan Wise (07:42)

Yeah, absolutely. Or looking for a new supplier or partner or solution or needing to read a piece of industry news that's suddenly going to impact your business.

Will (07:53)

Yeah, and it's funny that LinkedIn's being talked about so much these days, right? It's over 20 years old. I mean, it's proof that slow and steady wins the race, right? You know, it's the tortoise and the hare and the tortoise, isn't it? And it's just been there year after year. And it's really come to dominate the social media landscape along with a couple of other big platforms. Why is that? What generated this surge in interest in the last couple of years.

Luan Wise (08:27)

Yeah, so I think you're right, I do hear about there being a surge of interest, but I do think it's about a steady race and it's when people have almost needed this tool in their lives. If we do look at the stats, slow and steady, yes, one of the oldest social media platforms in terms of launch, but it's certainly nowhere near the biggest in terms of monthly active users or user numbers. It's not bigger in terms of better in terms of user numbers. But I think... what's really helped LinkedIn is that their mission and vision when they started out have stayed true And they talk about this about it's been about creating economic opportunity for the world's professionals I think what they have done is almost like stay true to their purpose about this being a business to business networking platform We will talk about some other features as we go, but they haven't really strayed into too many other areas, which is almost like people have found their


the role for LinkedIn for them as they've grown in business or their career as well. It's kind of, it's there for them at the right time.

Well, it's true that, they've been quite careful with their product because if you took screenshots of LinkedIn from 20 years ago and looked at it now, I mean, not a huge amount has changed, obviously it has changed, but you know, it's not changed so radically as other platforms. And they've been quite careful with the introduction of new products. So, you know, LinkedIn Stories came out and then was canned. They've got this sort of TikTok style video product that they're currently testing.

Will (10:06)

And we don't even know if it will make it out of the gates into being a product for everyone. Or maybe it will and it will last a few months and they're brave enough to can it if it's not... It doesn't fit that central vision. So I suppose they've been quite careful and rightly so with their product because as we see, you know, platforms can over-diversify, they become 10 different things, people lose interest, they forget why it's even there anymore, right?

Luan Wise (10:33)

Yeah. And I think that's almost the nature of LinkedIn is that when people are using LinkedIn, they're there very focused and with intent about, yeah, they're there for their career. Yeah, they're there for their career or to learn something or to do some business development or social selling. They're not there to wile away the time and be entertained, like you said, on TikTok. It's very intentional people's uses, reasons for being on LinkedIn.

Will (10:44)

Hmm. They're clear why they're there. Not like TikTok or something. Yeah.

Oh, that's true. So let's talk about that. So we, cause we need to, we need to acknowledge that when we are posting content there, people are in a different mindset. So they're not there to fill time while they're waiting for a bus or waiting for the ad break to finish on TV. What is that mindset? And how can I engineer my presence and my content for that?

Luan Wise (11:20)

Yeah, I think that's the elements of learning something new, whether that's, like I said, industry news or what your competitor is up to, or whether someone you know has changed jobs, you know, there's kind of input and information, but there's also business networking and connections. And perhaps your comment about, you know, LinkedIn has changed and we're talking about it more. Dare I say, you know, the pandemic, it put us all into our homes and we couldn't go out to business networking events.

face-to-face and have those conversations. Meetings were limited. You couldn't really go on client sites even once people had returned to the office. So I think it's about that business networking tool and people realizing the value of their networks as well for referrals, as I've said. That's where LinkedIn is. It is intentional. And I think one of the biggest shifts I've had on LinkedIn since 2008 is who I want to connect with. And...

I was very intentional about it at the very beginning. It was like, I would only connect with people I'd met or had a conversation with. I wanted to keep it very, very closed and focused so that I could refer and, you know, stay in front of a small group of people. And as I've evolved, my business has evolved, the world has evolved, it's like, no, I'm much more open to connecting with people that I haven't yet met or sending messages to people that I haven't had any interaction with previously to build my network.globally as well. So it does evolve.

Will (13:00)

interested in that, should I accept every connection request?

Luan Wise (13:05)

Not every connection request. I think going back to we're on LinkedIn for a clear purpose and a clear role, one of your questions to yourself should be, who do I want to be engaging with on this platform? Do I want to be connected to them? Can they add value to me? Can I add value to them? I would say there's very few people that I probably don't connect with. And if I don't connect with them, it's because maybe they don't have a photo.

they don't, you know, it might look like a fake profile or dare I say their headline is so - I'm going to make, I make people millionaires in 24 hours - you know, so salesy and spammy that I kind of think, no, that's not for me. But I am really much more open to kind of connecting with more people and seeing what happens. But then also managing that. So if I do connect with people and I always send messages and thanks for connecting, how might we be able to help? Would you like a chat? Almost like if they start posting content that fills up my feed with noise I'll skip the ad breaks and I'll unfollow them and keep things neat and tidy so I'm probably more open to accepting but I will do some housekeeping as well to eliminate those that perhaps weren't the right fit.

Will (14:06)

So thinking about the way that you use it, you talk about accepting connection requests. Do you have a little kind of routine of engaging with others and sending out connection requests every day? Is that sort of part of know, that sort of that slow and steady growth on LinkedIn.

Luan Wise (14:38)

Yeah, I'm gonna call it a habit. And the habit that I've got into as much as, you know, if people remember when email was introduced as to when you go in and check your emails and how you manage your inbox. For me, it's a habit and it's kind of lots of small tasks, little and often. Some of them take more thinking and consideration, but some of them are nice, nice kind of coffee break tasks. What I think, if we think about LinkedIn as this business networking tool.

it means it's not just about I need to post, I need to write a post, I need to push it out there, maybe check back in and see if I get any comments but it's not write a post that's your job done. I actually spend so much of my time on LinkedIn between meetings or as my diary allows it doesn't need to be really strict but in terms of you know following up on people that have sent me a connection request, having a look at people who's viewed my profile because I have that option as part of a premium account.

if I host an online event, a LinkedIn Live, I will make sure that I follow up to people that have registered for that event and send them a little note. It's social, so I am social a lot of my time with messages that you won't see if you look at my profile, but kind of sending those connections or sending thank yous or spotted this, thought you'd like it, I'm kind of... yeah, I'm a messenger on LinkedIn in a...

You know, it is a business platform, but it's slightly less formal than an email. So yeah, I'm always connecting. I'm always following up. If I'm researching something, I'll go to LinkedIn and check them out or check the organization out. If I'm speaking at a conference, I will go through the entire conference agenda and I will message the speakers and say, you know, I'm looking forward to it. Hope to catch your session. You know, I will work it, I guess, around everything else I do in my business.

Will (16:31)

So you use LinkedIn Premium. Most of us use the free version. So we can't see so many people who viewed our profile and what have you. But anyway, aside from that, so what do you do when you see people have viewed your profile? Do you get in touch with them?

Luan Wise (16:34)

Yeah, so I kind of do a few things. And again, this is like the habit and the process that I've got myself into. So, Will, we connected on LinkedIn in preparation for this session. I sent you a message saying, looking forward to talking about the podcast and you replied. We're now first level connections. If we don't speak for three months after this and I see you looking at my LinkedIn profile, because I know that you're a first level connection, it will have first next to your name and we'll recall how we met and what we've done.

Will (16:54)

Hmm. We did. Thank you. Yeah.

Luan Wise (17:18)

I'll send you a message going, hi Will, saw you had a look at my LinkedIn profile this week, how are you? We really must catch up or try and refer to something or didn't the podcast get some great feedback? You know, kind of something like that. So you will kind of go, oh, you know, if you hadn't sent me a message as a result of looking at my LinkedIn profile, I'll kind of take control of the situation and go, wonder what he was up to. Let me give it a nudge. If it's someone that I haven't met.

Will (17:39)

Nice. Yeah, nice.

Luan Wise (17:45)

Sometimes you can work out while they're having a look at you. Maybe they're coming to an event or checking you out, or maybe it is completely cold. I'll try and have a look and try and work something out, but very often, and I don't do this within the hour of them looking. I'm not trying to be a stalker back. I'll probably batch my time. And quite often I do this on a Friday afternoon with a kind of hi, name. Saw you had a look at my LinkedIn profile this week. Was there anything specific you were looking for? I hope you've had a good week. You know, that kind of hope you've had a good week, just small conversations. But I kind of figure if someone's had a look at my profile, you know, that's my objective. I want people to look if they haven't sent me something, it's not too much effort for me to just send a small little note saying, can I help you with anything? Or, you know, how, how can I get in touch? And you say that is a premium filter and it is feature. It's not a lot of money if you are active on LinkedIn. You know, that's the cost of me leaving the house and going to a breakfast event.


Luan Wise (18:45)

the cost of that a month is you know if you're working it is good value.

Will (18:51)

True, true. And like everything really, you know, like remarketing. So when people visit your website, you know, them getting ads or emails saying, no, don't forget to come back, you know, in all, when you, wherever you look in sales and marketing, unless you are proactive and you start a conversation with people and you, you know, they will just wander off and even if they really want what you do, they'll sort of forget about it, you know, won't they? And they're unlikely to, or they might end up.

Luan Wise (18:56)

I don't know.

Will (19:17)

talking to someone else about that. So you're right to be proactive for sure. So that's great. That's really interesting. I'm building a bit of a picture of what you do. And so when you go down the feed, you're quite proactive about reacting and commenting on content. What specifically do you do around content that you see in the feed?

Luan Wise (19:35)

Yeah. So this is again, the mindset that you're on LinkedIn is that I would say I'm very mindful that when I'm looking at content in my newsfeed, I do keep it streamlined by what I want to see and who I want to see it from and do some regular housekeeping, as I've said, of kind of unfollowing. But I'm very conscious that if I interact with things, it's for one of two reasons. One, I want to engage with the person that's done that content versus...

I want everyone else in my network to see this because I think it will be of value to them. It's got to be one of those two reasons and if it's not one of those two reasons publicly I might do something with it privately. If I saw something that was relevant to this conversation afterwards I don't need to do it publicly, I could private message it to you and say we were just talking about that. So I think it's again it's having quite a clear purpose of I either want to engage with that person, say congratulations or well done or love this.

It would be my ideal world if I could spend all day just reading comments I would sit and read comments on posts because I think you can pick up so much information from reading comments on people's posts whether it is like oh who's engaging with this person I wonder who's in their network or what did they have to think about this or how did you know what was the alternative opinion of this and again I would say go for the like if you are uncomfortable or uncertain about adding your opinion and again I think that comes over time I've been on there for a long time I'm okay with doing that but if I read comments on someone's post and it's just like great well done thanks you're amazing I kind of go there's no value in those comments for me I want to see some added value it's almost a bit like you know you scroll through LinkedIn you go oh someone's got loads and loads of comments I wonder what what's going on and it's nothing I kind of think there's a little bit of

Luan Wise (21:27)

vanity numbers going on rather than I would much rather have, as I said I do a lot of work with universities, if I can get an academic to comment on my post or say I'm sharing this with my students, that one is worth a million likes.

Will (21:29)

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I mean, I love it when people comment and naturally just add resources to the post. I think that's the best way to think about it. Like you would, again, I think you can always, I know it's really cheesy at this point, but we often make the analogy of social media as being like a networking event, particularly LinkedIn, like a networking event, right? And it's not like when you stood around in a circle with the coffees and having a chat with people and someone comes out with some great facts. You don't just go, great.

It's like everybody else had sort of turned around to go, are you all right, mate?  else? No? OK. You're expected to say, yeah, and that also, I saw something similar, which was also cool, right? And that's how conversation works. And like you say, the comments are where you see a lot of the value when people do contribute in that way, which is great.

Luan Wise (22:33)

And just to take a step back on that, when I kind of said earlier about, you know, LinkedIn isn't just about posting. When you do post, you want to be thinking about generating that kind of engagement for meaningful value to you and others and everyone in your network as well. I know there will be occasions when it's, oh, congratulations, this is great. This is an amazing thing. And that's okay sometimes, but, you know, if people are there with their mindset and the intention of, this is helping my business or my career. I think we want a bit more and we kind of deserve a bit more.

Will (23:06)

Yeah, I mean what kind of content broadly speaking or what kind of presentation of content do you think is effective for driving

Luan Wise (23:17)

Yeah this is really interesting because you know many people listening to this will kind of go I took ages over that post and it was tumbleweed versus I did something else and it got loads of loads of engagement and interaction. I think the answer is actually it needs to be a mix overall it's part of a big picture you can't do every post the same and expect the same result  every time. I think what I've seen works best and what works well and is actually easier to do is when you are storytelling about

Luan Wise (23:47)

you and what you're working on and how you're doing it or what you're reading. And there's two posts for me that have generated probably, you know, not that big numbers are the most important. If I looked back through my feed, what has generated a lot of engagement for me? One is when I went to a business networking event pre-COVID and I'll share this. It's me in a selfie of an 80 year old man, but that 80 year old man was Malcolm McDonald and anyone that has studied marketing and read textbooks will all sit there and go, I have read Malcolm McDonald's textbooks. And so going to that event and quite purposely like going up to him after saying, can I have a selfie with the book? There was lots of reasons for that. One, I'm keeping my own knowledge up to date. I'm doing it with the Chartered Institute of Marketing. I keep learning. This is where I am. This is what I'm doing. But also it was really easy for other people to interact with it. It was like, Oh, I was there too. Or I've read all those books or

Luan Wise (24:43)

You know, that's amazing. Can't believe you're still presenting at 80. Hope we're not, you know, it's really easy content for people to interact with. Whereas sometimes there's content that you know, you want to share and you need to share, but actually there isn't much for people to say, or they don't want to put a big piece of questioning or comments around it, but they clock it and that's okay. And you may pick it up for other reasons. So in terms of numbers, yeah.

Luan Wise (25:12)

Engagement, CPD, I've also shared my CPD certificates, you know, this is what I've learned this year, you know, what's on your learning agenda, almost that there's some content that is easy for people to get involved with because it doesn't reflect too much on them and their businesses versus you needing to put out I'm doing this, I'm writing this, I'm looking for people to interview. That's not going to get the same level of engagement but I think overall this kind of storytelling, what you're doing, what you're working on so that people know what you do and you're there for them if they needed something similar. And then it just works with your calendar. You know if you were to ask me you know how do  I do it? I literally look at my calendar and go what am I working on that I could post about or you know what can I put that's coming up? What can I you know search for because I need it for something? And as I said earlier I just kind of integrate it with what I'm doing rather than seeing it as this kind of standalone isolated task.

Will (26:11)

Yeah, that's really, I think that's just key. I think that is the key, ultimately, right? Yeah, that's really interesting. I mean, have you got a sort of benchmark of engagement rate that you hope for on your average day?

Luan Wise (26:24)

Thank you.

I think the answer to this is it will depend on the nature of the post and what you're looking to achieve. So if it's kind of, you know, if my diary has been a bit quiet and it's like, oh, I've read something because I want to be consistent, showing up consistently is important. But some posts will be about an event sign up. So therefore the benchmark, the measure of success of that post is do people sign up for the event?

When we do a post to share this podcast, it will be how many people click on that link to go and listen to the podcast and give some feedback. So I think it's about every post will probably have a different purpose, but there's an ultimate kind of big picture of, people know who I am, they know what I do in my core topics, and if they need me, they can get in touch easily. So it's not, I don't look at individual posts, but I kind of look at a pattern and what I'm trying to achieve with something.


Will (27:20)

All right.


And you think that's why consistency is important. You think it is important to show up regularly so that you stay visible. Because, you know, obviously this is a, you know yourself from training like I do, that it's one of the most common questions. How often should I post? Is it quality or quantity? And of course it's both, right? It's an ideal world. What do you tell people about quality versus quantity?

Luan Wise (27:46)

think if you've got something to say, say it, don't sit and go oh it's a Friday morning I need to have done my third post of the week what shall I do you know don't post for the sake of it. I think if you can make it a habit it's easier but the reason I say make it a habit and align it with your diary or you know fill in some gaps is because what happens whether you're running your own business or you're you know supporting people in their businesses, workload is never consistent, it's never kind of consistent and

Will (28:17)

True. Yep.

Luan Wise (28:20)

The danger that you do see happening, whether it's face-to-face networking events or whether it's online activity is, when people are quiet, they're very active and very visible, then they win some work or get their head down in a project and they disappear again. And then when it comes to looking at their calendar or their pipeline and they go, oh, I need something else for next month, they suddenly become visible again. And it's this whole kind of yo-yo networking event. People never or very rarely need you on that day, they'll need you at some point in the future. So I think when you can kind of just keep showing up and be consistent, people will recall you when they do need you, and then you can align your own timings. I do hear people go, oh, but I'm really busy, I don't have time to post, and what if I post and then can't deal with it? That's a different problem. You know, that's a nice problem to have, but people won't necessarily need it tomorrow, especially in business to business stuff. It could be...six months time. I'm looking at some training in March 2025 already, you know, so I think it's easier on you to develop a habit of consistent posting and it's also easier on your business and your pipeline and your audience to just show up consistently and on LinkedIn you don't have to do too much. It could be once a week, it could be once a fortnight. Showing up can be your own posts but it can also be about the liking and the commenting as well because that still keeps you visible. So I say I think LinkedIn can be quite light touch. It doesn't need to be really heavy.

Will (29:57)

And it's just what can you turn up with, how often can you turn up with something that's quality and worth its space in the feed? That's the question to ask, isn't it? But you're right about that commenting thing. I mean, I've really kind of tried to dissect, not literally, but to dissect creators on LinkedIn, and how they do, what they do now, people who clearly are very growth-focused, how they grow.


Will (30:21)

And a lot of them clearly, if you go to their profile and you look at their activity and you look how much they're commenting, they're usually commenting a lot. They're showing up. And it's a really, it's a reliable way to show up in your niche, isn't it? To comment on the most popular content in your niche. And that's clearly a big part of the picture, just like any other.

social analogy we want to make. It's a back and forth kind of a two-way thing. But that's a nice, a good time for me to sort of jump into the company side of it because it's less clear there. How do you ideally behave as a company page on LinkedIn? And I can't imagine that is a lot of commenting and things like that. What should we be doing?

Luan Wise (30:59)

My answer to this topic often changes and the reason it's kind of changing is because LinkedIn do seem to be adding new features to company pages. But if we kind of go back to the core of what a company page is, it's a presence for an organization to set up a page, to add their logo, to fill in the about and you know where you're located and how many staff you've got etc because people can search for company pages. It's also something that individuals can connect themselves to in the experience section of their profile. I work here, I've attached myself to the company page so that's how the kind of personal profile is set up in the CV-like element and then the company page not only has all the about descriptions that someone has set up but then you can also search by people. So it's kind of a search thing but in terms of you know the challenge for a marketer is that you cannot do a lot with a company page. Yes, you can attract followers, but it's quite hard to do that. That's a whole other task. When I've done a lot of work in the past, and again, this is as company pages change, when I've done a deep dive into who follows a company page, yes, by default, it's employees. And if you're a very large organization, that will be a significant number of employees on that company page. But it's also...students, it's competitors, it's other people within the industry and in fact even years ago I did an exercise where I took a lead list, I took pipeline list, I took the list of people that had attended a trade show over three days to see if they were in the company page followers and they weren't. I actually couldn't find clients or prospects in that company page, people connect with people.

they connected with the individual they met on the trade show stand or the conversation they'd had. So it's quite a tough dynamic to kind of go, why would I follow a company page? Well, that's because I want to see, you know, like the PR kind of new stuff versus my relationship, my face-to-face cup of coffee, my conversation is with a person. So I actually am going to connect with a person and I'm more likely to remember their name than potentially the organisation that they work for. So this whole dynamic.

However, if you're a one person business, I still believe you should set up a company page, fill in all the information, add it to your experience section of your profile with your logo. Don't leave it as like a gray box. People may search for you from your company page, make sure you've got that presence. I don't post content onto my company page. However, an organization may be five plus people, I would consider using your company page from a marketing perspective as like a content hub so that you post those news stories, those testimonials, those case studies, those product launches, but more for the point of getting your employees to then share that out to their networks. So it's more of a resource for your employees, your referrers, your partners as a content distribution tool than trying to get real engagement from prospects, customers, et cetera, on the company page. And LinkedIn supports that with data. This whole employee advocacy, people will click through content from a personal profile more than they will from a company page. They will share it more from a company page. And also, if I was to add up, even at the DMI, I would imagine that every individual that works at the DMI has got more connections personally. than followers of the company page. So there's more reach and opportunities


when people share content than a company page. But as I said, LinkedIn are giving company pages a few more features coming up, but I still don't think it's going to replace that.

Will (35:03)

What are they?

Luan Wise (35:16)

So some of those features are around you can now message company pages. So it's a setting but people could now message a company page so it wouldn't just be you can't interact with a company, you can now. However the only messages I've seen come through to company pages are quite spammy, sales heavy messages I haven't seen kind of authentic interactions come through to company pages yet. But it could be useful for recruitment. You can also have quite a lot of analytics on your company page as well in terms of competitors and content and who's viewing and driving traffic and things like that. But ultimately these additional features I think are quite small. If you were to look at the time you spend on LinkedIn, I think it all still does sit with a personal profile.

Will (36:10)

Interesting, that is very interesting, isn't it? I mean, LinkedIn clearly don't see it as a problem that company pages don't get a lot of engagement. LinkedIn want it to remain a human-first space, not a corporation-first space. So... But the company page, like you say, it is still so central in terms of like, it's a shop window for recruitment. It's a way to find people that work for that company, et cetera. But it is increasingly becoming a hub for this employee advocacy bit. Let's just unpack that. So it's, the company can sort of facilitate and encourage the sharing of content by employees. And they recently added this My Company area, which is only available to companies of a certain size currently.

How does that work?

Luan Wise (36:58)

Yeah, so this is actually, it works great from a marketing perspective when you can explain to your colleagues what it means and why they should get involved and how they should get involved. If we backtrack to, you know, LinkedIn originally, CVs, resumes, recruitment, you can be faced internally if you're trying to get employees involved with, but I'm not looking for a job, am I? What's happening?

versus you know this isn't my job I'm not in marketing why do I need to do this. So there's a whole kind of selling piece to do internally like I just said about why personal profiles have the power over a company page. If you can get them involved in that that's helpful because then you know there is a challenge that this is someone's personal profile, they own it, how far can a company control it or ask you to do something.

Luan Wise (37:53)

you know, that's also a personal opinion and it is your own self that you're putting out there. And one way I've got around this is having conversations of almost like having to say, I know your CV is there, but actually this isn't about you finance director, John Smith, this is about your role as the finance director of this organization and helping the organization to get the content out to network. So it's almost encouraging people to...

Luan Wise (38:23)

to disengage them quite so much of their personal side of it with their job role and how it can help them as a job role. So in terms of.

Will (38:32)

Yeah, absolutely. I get that.

I do think you're right some people have this kind of like ooh no that's my social media page you can't start taking that I'm just turn up from nine to five and do my job and it's like well this role has some element of public facingness about it you know and if you want to sit in that seat that's part of it. I suppose that does need to be you know, optional, if it, doesn't it? If, unless it's part of the hiring process and the information in the hiring process, well, that's fine. But if you actually put that on someone who's been there for 10 years and say, right, suddenly you're a public facing member of staff, I don't think that's quite as okay, is it?

Luan Wise (38:56)

Yeah. And it depends how you go about it. And this is when the kind of, you can't just send an email around an organisation saying, we want you all to be active on LinkedIn, please share this. You've got to do that buy-in, you've got to do that sales pitch and do it. And then you've got. Oh, yeah.

Will (39:20)

No. And that happens a lot, by the way. There's the Slack channel, like, oh, we've just posted this. Can everybody like, comment, reshare? It's like, that's not employee advocacy.

Luan Wise (39:31)

No, you've got to not only, you know, pitch it to them, you've then got to empower them and you've got to show them exactly how to do it. And when you do show them exactly how to do it and how little time it takes up or, you know, a quick win, hit the like button, that's all we're gonna ask you to do. That's okay. Then you get some others that are more comfortable with other things. But what you need to do or what I've found works best is you'll always have a few champions that really want to get involved and understand this.

then you gamify it internally. Because if you have regular conversations about it and one person goes, I just got this, or this just happened, someone else will kind of sit up and go, oh, what's that all about? And I want a piece of this. And then, you know, I've been as far as league tables with sales teams and rewards of, you know, if you can actually really change the way that you social sell within an organization or use this as a tool, which many organizations had to do, again.

Luan Wise (40:31)

during COVID when you can't go out to business networking events, if you can build this into how you work, like I do for my own business, you can bring people on board, but some will jump in really quickly, like have been doing this by themselves already and really appreciate the extra help. Some others you might just need to work with one-to-one and take them through. And it's not an age thing, it's not a generation thing. Sometimes it's a technology thing, but sometimes it's as simple as going,


If you want to share this link, this is how you do it. People don't necessarily know how to do it. This is like us learning how to use PowerPoint or Excel. It's how we can use this tool. And if you help people do it, then you can get them in the, we've got this hub of content, we've got this new stuff coming out. It's all there for you in my company tab or on the intranet or something, but you've got to do it in phases. You cannot do this in a three hour training session. It's got to be an ongoing employee advocacy program.

Will (41:21)

Yep. Hmm.

And what's the upside for the employee?

Luan Wise (41:34)

So this is about their career and their development as well. It is a tool in their kit. It can help their own career and their knowledge. It can help their prospecting, what they're doing. They can learn more. They can increase their personal brand and their visibility and their worth to their current employer and their future employer as

Will (41:54)

Mm. Okay, and thinking about this personal branding a bit more, there's this thought leadership stuff going on LinkedIn at the moment. I don't know a huge amount about it, these thought leadership ads. What's going on there, what's that?

Luan Wise (41:55)

Yeah. I love this whole concept, but let's just strip back personal branding because I think again talking about to employees who are potentially non-marketers, this whole I have a brand and a personal brand and you know, does it feel like a latest buzzword or a concept? And it does and it is in our everyday jargon now, but really it's always existed and everyone has a personal brand whether we think about it or not because...

It is, as Jeff Bezos said, you know, it's what people say about you when you're not in the room. So it's not even just a social media or online thing. This has always happened in the world, hasn't it? You always have opinions or referrals. This is more about how you present it and communicate it. And I think this, the concept of thought leadership ads, which I'll explain, does actually support the way LinkedIn works in terms of what I was saying about personal profiles and... company pages. Now the challenge of it all being built on a personal profile is that an individual cannot run ads from a personal profile but a company can and very you know traditionally any companies running ads on LinkedIn would be about white papers and getting a download or an event and a sign up or free trial to some software perhaps you know quite broad and quite large scale, it'd be about a product. However, individuals are sharing lots of brilliant content out there. So the concept of a thought leadership ad is that a company page can effectively put money behind an individual's post. And this could be, when it first was launched, could be someone within the organization, so an employee. Now it has been rolled out to non-employees.

Don't be alarmed, it's not just like, oh, any organization could take my post and promote it. They have to ask permission. So if you were within LinkedIn Campaign Manager and wanted to set up an ad, which is basically putting more money behind an individual's personal profile post, there's only a couple of formats you can do, single image and video, I think at the moment. You would go and find that person's post. So Will, I could find your post from my company page.

Luan Wise (44:34)

and I would send you a notification saying, Will, I would like to advertise your post, put some budget behind it. You could then say yes or no. If you said yes, I could put some money behind it. Within organizations, I've seen this used like, a new CEO has joined, done an announcement on their personal page, and then the page has promoted it. What I think for non-employees could work really well is, for example, for events, and if you have external speakers, and the external speaker has done a post about, I'm going to be speaking at this event, this is what I'm going to be doing, et cetera. The event organizer from their company page could put some money behind that speaker's post to push it out further to their target audience. So unless you're potentially like us, who's really like looking on LinkedIn, looking for this promoted by, you probably wouldn't notice it, but I think it's a really nice way for individuals' content to get pushed out.

Luan Wise (45:32)

versus a software demo kind of ad.

Will (45:36)

Yeah, it's interesting that isn't it? I mean, the mechanics of it are very similar to like brand partnership ads on Instagram where there's a consent required from the creator and the brand and they mutually consent that the brand is going to promote the creators. And I can see that LinkedIn probably had an eye on that as well, that you know, creator influencer kind of use case. I mean, I was even thinking there like maybe, I don't know if it's a bit...much but like testimonials, you know, if you had, if you had a person from the client's business raving about the service you just provided, I mean, if they were friendly to you, you could say, would you mind if I just stick a bit of budget behind this? I want loads of people to see what you've just said on LinkedIn. And as a result, by the way, you'll get seen by loads more people. So win-win, right?

Luan Wise (46:16)

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. get some new connections, build your own network. Yeah.

Will (46:25)

Yeah, so that's actually I'm thinking the ways I would use that that'd be great. Okay, yeah, that's interesting. So that's a clear sign that LinkedIn are acknowledging that it's the people in the business that grow the brand ultimately, like you say, that add up to more than just the company brand. Do you think do you think that opens the way for people to get more like creators to get more aggressive about growth and put money behind their profiles? Do you think we'll see a bit more of that perhaps?

Luan Wise (46:59)

So interestingly, I'm sorry to pick up on this, that LinkedIn are dropping the phrase creators because they have switched off their creator mode to give everyone the same features that you had by doing that switch. And I listened to a podcast a while ago from people at LinkedIn that said, we're kind of ditching the word creators because business professionals using the platform didn't necessarily resonate with the term creators in the way that Instagramers and TikTokers would see themselves as creators. So I think there's a slight switch from that, but in terms of people who are, maybe I'd use the term community builders, putting money behind building their community and their networks in that way. We see some amazing people building amazing communities on LinkedIn with large numbers, that perhaps there's a slight shift from creators into community builders. that could use that kind of thought leadership content.

Will (47:58)

True. True, I think LinkedIn might struggle to get creators to call themselves something different personally, but you know, but yeah, I get that. That's very… so LinkedIn have been implementing quite a few new AI features recently. What are they, and are they worth using?

Luan Wise (48:14)

Mm-hmm. Some of the AI features are mostly

for premium users, so they're kind of adding it as a benefit when you pay for it. In a premium account, some of that is around helping you write your profile, write content. What it says at the bottom is, you know, would you like some AI assistance with this? I've tried it and I've tested it, and it rewrites it and I would say, no, it was fine as it was, thank you very much. You know, I...

Will (48:46)

Thanks for watching!

Luan Wise (48:48)

I don't actually see that it aligns with some LinkedIn best practices. For example, I tried to get it to rewrite my headline and it just defaulted to my job title at company name from the experience section. Whereas anyone that kind of trains on LinkedIn or talks about LinkedIn goes, no, maximize your 220 characters with something more, you know, value added. So the AI assist that I've tried, I wouldn't upgrade your LinkedIn profile just for the purpose of having some AI writing assistance. If you wanted that, go outside, copy and paste it in.

If you are in recruitment, jobs, area, careers, it does again have some AI features helping you write job descriptions, etc. I haven't tried those out but I can imagine that it's quite formulaic. There is an ad type now around using AI, so LinkedIn recently, along with some other advertising changes, they took away the ability to use look-alike audiences to match up like your existing data and find more of the same.

Will (49:41)

Yeah, I saw that.

Luan Wise (49:45)

and they're saying their advice is that you can replace that by using their predictive audiences, which is using AI to find more of the same based on previous engagement data rather than lists. So again, not too sure about that one. I guess the feature that everyone will have seen potentially is collab articles on LinkedIn. You may have received invites to participate to collab articles.

This is where, at LinkedIn they have used AI to start off an article, a blog, effectively, then they are inviting users to kind of contribute to that. And then when you contribute actively and regularly, you can get a badge on your LinkedIn profile. I think personally, the concept of that is great. However, the AI generated collab articles I've seen have had so many mistakes in them that it's made me very dubious. And also there's that credibility check of


Who are these people that are kind of contributing to this? And an early one that I saw, which is kind of why I started leaving them alone, was around how to run a competition on social media. And I knew the advice in there was actually not even legal, compliant, didn't match up with the terms and conditions on Facebook, et cetera. So it just kind of made me doubt the quality of them. And maybe that's the downside of AI, is it's very good at generating, but you do still need to fact check. So for me,

I like the overall concept. I know that people like badges and things like that, but there's a quality indicator on there. So again, if you were time limited, it wouldn't be the first thing that I spent my time on LinkedIn. Hopefully the quality will improve over time. Everyone's experimenting with AI.

Will (51:35)

Okay, good, a mixed bag there. Interesting to hear about, thanks.

So as we always do with our guests, I'd love to wrap up with really asking you for some actionable tips.

Now, some of those things may well be repeating things that you've already said and that's fine by the way. But just give us a good generous handful of actionable tips to get started with building our personal brand on LinkedIn.

Luan Wise (52:02)

When you're looking at your profile and maybe you did set this up as a copy and paste of your CV or your resume or updated it when you last changed job, go at it with a fresh mind now that this is a business tool piece for you.

Think about who your profile is for and write it for them. So who is it you want to be connecting with or viewing your profile or discovered by? This is not just about a recruiter and your next employer sharing what you do in your job. This is your target audience or your network of referrers and partners. So refocus your profile on an audience and make sure it's written for them.

and how you help them, how you serve them, how you add value to them, rather than it being so CV-like. Unless you are looking for a job, in that case it should be CV-like, but turn it into this business tool that will support everything else that you're doing.

It's a living document. So again, While you may update it when you change jobs or you may listen to a podcast or watch a webinar or do some training, it's not then just a, oh, I'll do everything I've just learned, tick, job done. I have reoccurring appointments in my calendar every three months that says, is your profile up to date? Do I need to tweak anything? And just things like, you know, if you are launching something or doing something, so.

Will (53:17)


Luan Wise (53:23)

You said my new book is coming out in September. I will consciously in September make sure that I update my header image with a picture of the book. I'll make sure that I add it to the publication section. I may do some like live events around it.


Use your calendar to drive your content, narrate what you're doing, what you're working on. It's much less stressful to do it that way. And then my final point would be it is not just about posting content on LinkedIn. Be social and spend time messaging, commenting, all the little behind the scenes tasks that you can do in small batches throughout your working week.

Will (54:01)

nice and just for listeners benefit there will be a link to a downloadable little mini guide to that routine as suggested by Luan in the show

Luan Wise (54:10)


Will (54:13)

Well, look, thanks. I feel we've taken a lot of your time. I've learned a huge amount. I've got a long to-do list now in terms of optimizing my LinkedIn, but thank you, and hopefully so do our listeners.

Luan Wise (54:20)


Will (54:24)

But Luan, thank you so much for your time. It's been a pleasure to chat to you and I hope to chat to you again soon.

Luan Wise (54:30)

Thank you. If not face to face, then on messages. Yes. Yes, do it.

Will (54:32)

Indeed, yes, perhaps on LinkedIn, perhaps in a LinkedIn Live event or something. Who knows?

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