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LinkedIn has evolved a lot over the years and is now the top social media platform for professionals with more than 700 million users.
But most people don't use it nearly as effectively or efficiently as they could be. That's a shame too, because I know firsthand the beneficial effects it can have when used correctly. I've used LinkedIn to hire people, discover business partnerships, and real estate deals. And I want to help you get more out of your efforts on the platform.
I put the finishing touches to my book about mastering LinkedIn and wanted to provide some insight into using virtual assistants so you can focus on the high-level activities that only you can do and the tasks Lower level can be done completely off your plate.
This is important as it allows you to make the most of your valuable time and still get phenomenal results on LinkedIn.
Related: The setting of virtual assistants is the "new normal"
Start with your strategy
Your strategy includes branding and positioning, messaging style, your target audience, and the way you develop and maintain relationships.
The most important question you need to answer at this point is: Why are you doing this? What's the point of being on LinkedIn anyway?
Once you know that, you can make a plan and work out the details. From there, you can decide which parts of your LinkedIn effort you want to do yourself, and which parts you want to hand off to a virtual assistant to make the most of your time.
Process is critical
Lots of people like to spur it on with social media. This can work if you do every aspect of it yourself, but it is not a good use of your time. On the other hand, you can't just pass it on to an assistant and say, "Take care of LinkedIn for me."
Without a documented process, a checklist of tasks, and an explanation of your strategy that only gives certain parts of your LinkedIn marketing to a virtual assistant, failure is inevitable.
But it doesn't have to be.
I took both approaches – from working on all aspects of LinkedIn to handing most of it off to virtual assistants. I found that while virtual assistants saved me a lot of time, I had to first create a detailed roadmap for them.
Robert Nickell, founder of Rocket Station, the 800-plus-strong virtual assistant agency, explains why this is so important. "You can't delegate a job to someone who doesn't have your experience and expect them to do it just like you would, unless you set the exact process for them to follow," says Nickell.
It's too easy to assume that anyone you hire to care about your social media will get it easy, but that's unrealistic. Nickell continues, "There is so much insight in your head that you take for granted that often you don't even realize how much the average person doesn't know how to do what you're doing."
Nickell's company takes the same approach as me. They document the process for their customers. In my case, I'll record my screen as I work through a task and explain what I'm doing and why. Nickell's company jumps on a screen share and watches the customer go through every single step. "We're even going to get them to explain their thinking out loud throughout the process so we can understand exactly how and why they're doing the things they are doing," he says.
By documenting your process at this level, you will enable your virtual assistants to perform the tasks you give them consistently and to the standards you expect.
Related: Why Most Business Owners Don't Delegate Effectively
Optimize your profile
Many people overlook this critical aspect of their LinkedIn marketing efforts because it is more exciting to focus on creating content and interacting with people. It hurts them more than they think.
Think of your profile as if you are meeting a prospect for the first time. That first impression is crucial, so you need to get it right. Your profile needs to be complete and engaging, but it also needs to be updated regularly.
The initial optimization should likely be done by you or someone who specializes in LinkedIn profile optimization. However, the ongoing updates are a perfect job to pass through to a virtual assistant – provided you have a process for doing it.
Some of these updates include:
Update your contact information Update your bio Update your profile photo and banner Add new skills Add and add featured items (LinkedIn enables posting, articles, links, and media) Adding achievements (LinkedIn enables posting of publications, patents, awards, and more Things in a special section of your profile)
Nickell explains that a great way to pass this lower-level work to a virtual assistant is to outline the exact steps they need to take and then assign the tasks through a project management system like Teamwork, Monday, or Basecamp to make sure that nothing falls through the cracks.
Publish your content
You may want to keep control of how your content is created, but you don't have to publish it – anyone can.
Since batching your posts is far more effective, you can go ahead and create up to a month's worth of posts at a time and then let your virtual assistant publish them for you on LinkedIn.
There are some good planning tools out there, but I prefer a human to do the post. If your virtual assistant logs into LinkedIn manually and publishes your content natively, you will not defy any detection mechanisms that LinkedIn has put in place to devalue content published via a tool, and if an error occurs by chance, your assistant will and can see it immediately fix it before it makes a bad impression.
Related: Ignoring these 4 marketing trends can cost you in the long run
Commitment involves risks
You can choose to have your virtual assistant do some or all of your engagement, e.g. B. replying to comments and DMs. This can work, but you need to be careful as everything they say will be perceived as straight from you. If they screw it up and say the wrong thing, or worse, say something offensive, the results can be disastrous.
I like to be heavily involved in my own engagement, but I let my virtual assistants do some of it. For example, if someone sends me a DM asking for a free guide that I offered on a podcast, my assistant can reply and send it to them. I don't have to be personally involved in this conversation. But if someone sends a DM asking for a joint venture opportunity, I'd rather do it myself. One of the most valuable things your virtual assistant can do for you is clearing those pesky spam messages from people who you didn't know are offering you irrelevant services.
Nickell says, “In such cases, it's important to start with very specific rules about what kind of comments and DMs you want your virtual assistants to respond to. When they prove they can handle it, move on to more complex situations. "
He says it's also important to have a list of people you don't want your virtual assistants to interact with, including close friends or people you do business with on a regular basis. This is important because these relationships have nuances and how you communicate with them that an outsider is unlikely to be able to replicate.
These are just a few small ways you can improve your LinkedIn results by using a virtual assistant to do simpler tasks. Have you had good or bad experiences with managing your LinkedIn profile with a virtual assistant? I would love to hear about it. Connect with me on LinkedIn.