How well are you using LinkedIn to drive your event planning business? Are you securing and generating active leads? Are you posting relevant content that positions your brand as a leader in your space? And more importantly, are you building a community to drive engagement and support?
LinkedIn has evolved over the years and is more than just a business platform where professionals "exist." Like any other social media strategy, you can develop a method for improved engagement, strategic positioning, and lead generation for the business and professional participants on LinkedIn. And here are the insights you need to help you build and cultivate a supportive community to help you do just that.
Start with Your LinkedIn Story
A community is comprised of interesting people who maybe share similar interests or work in complementary industries. But the only way to begin connecting people is by sharing and telling stories. Start by examining your own LinkedIn story. Do you have a belief statement or mission story? Are you vocal about your professional passion? Be open about sharing what drives and interests you, and you’ll find others will respond and engage.
What Does Your Content and Content Strategy Say About Your Brand?
On LinkedIn, you should be managing both a company page and your professional profile. With both, you should also be sharing and producing relevant content. Event planners are busy. But if you’re not posting new and refreshing content with regular consistency on both your professional and business profiles, you’re not cultivating a community. Consider expanding your content strategy, already in place with your other social platforms, to include thought leadership and industry-related content your community will be hungry to consume.
Be Present, Regularly
Posts, messages, and company announcements come daily on LinkedIn. And if you’re not reacting or responding regularly, you’re missing out on key opportunities. Be mindful of your presence and the frequency with which you respond. Communities are driven by involved and engaged participants. And you can’t expect to lead a community of your own if you’re not present yourself.
Ask for Digital Meet-Ups
In an in-person community, participants gather for casual conversation and meet-ups often. You can drive the same type of community engagements online, albeit in a virtual setting. Be proactive and ask others to meet up for a video coffee call. Create virtual get-togethers and invite some of your followers and supporters just to chat about life, business, and goings on in their worlds. These digital community chats will strengthen your LinkedIn relationships and build a loyal following of participants.
Your Ultimate Researching Platform
Another advantage of LinkedIn involves its utility as a research tool. When you want to learn more about a company or brand, you check them out on LinkedIn. You look to see who the key members of the team are, and you message with questions. Don’t forget to also use LinkedIn as a great resource for developing your community and generating leads. Dedicate time to researching profiles and prospects, ask for introductions, and invite leads to join your community.
Be a Champion of Others
Remember, building a community and forming strategic partnerships means reciprocation. Be a giver and applaud the accomplishments of others. Like, share, and congratulate colleagues on achievements. Support charitable contributions and good deeds. And when others in your LinkedIn network ask for help or referrals, do your best to oblige when you can.
Ask Thoughtful and Probative Questions Ongoing
The most effective way to start a conversation online is with the smart use of thought-provoking questions. Ask about what others think, what challenges they face, or how they handle certain industry-related situations. You can then inspire a conversation others are willing to join. It’s within those active threads of conversations that you identify insights, like client pain points, emerging trends, or common concerns. Those insights can help transform an industry and align like-minded professionals in a community primed for success and growth.
Join Relevant LinkedIn Groups
Keyword search for groups and existing communities on LinkedIn to see if you can find others to join. Look for where your key target prospects hang out the most and see what other event planners consider to be worthy of joining. From there, you can take notes on the community-building success of others. Meet new people and share insights to confirm your value to the group. And when you have your own success stories and announcements to share, start by sharing in your groups!
Infuse Your Personality into Every Engagement
There’s a common misconception that LinkedIn, with its business-centric environment, is only a place for professional talk. But you don’t have to be bland, dry, or stuff-shirt about your posts and content. Signify to others that you’re a person worth getting to know by infusing your personality into your interactions. Be funny. Be authentic about the challenges you face. And even share the occasional pet peeve or setback. People want to connect with other people, not drab profiles without character or substance.
Another method for connecting new LinkedIn contacts and potential client prospects is with the proper use of hashtags. Don’t go hashtag crazy, of course, dropping in every string of text you think sounds good. Rather, explore existing hashtags that support your mission or are popular among your target audience. Use witty and powerful hashtags to generate your own conversations and build communities around them.
When you take to LinkedIn, consider these insights for developing and cultivating your community. A robust LinkedIn community will generate leads ongoing for your event planning business. You’ll position yourself as a leader within your niche. And you’ll grow as a professional from lessons you learn from others.
Another guaranteed way to position your brand as an absolute boss in your event planning niche is with a tradeshow floor presence at this year’s Event Planner Expo! Thousands of attendees are expected to browse the exhibitor spaces this October. And it’s your chance to meet and close new business! Contact our team for remaining exhibitor space details!