How to get your LinkedIn activity growing your business

Can LinkedIn be a low-cost marketing tool for B2B businesses?

Ayo Abbas, who hosts the Built Environment Marketing Show podcast recently invited me as a guest to talk about how to get your LinkedIn activity firing on all cylinders.

Ayo Abbas and Stacey Meadwell about to go live on LinkedIn to talk about…LinkedIn

Among the points we discussed were whether LinkedIn can help you grow your business, the best approach to get traction and what to post about.

It was recorded as a Livestream on LinkedIn, and you can watch the video replay below, or it will be available as a podcast on 21 October 2022.

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How to make industry awards worth entering, without actually winning

In the latest, It’s a B2B Comms Thing LinkedIn Live stream, Ayo Abbas, Emma Drake and I spotlight industry awards and the value of entering.

It takes a lot of time to pull together a good awards entry, and there may be entry fees or the cost of a table at the ceremony on top, which can make it pricey.

It’s A B2B Comms Thing LinkedIn Live stream on getting value from awards

So we talked about how worthwhile it is to enter an award, whether you can make the most even if your name, company or project doesn’t get called out on the night.

Why and when should you enter an industry award?

Emma: The first thing is timing; make sure you’ve got something really compelling, and it fits with your timing as a business.

Have a broad range of things that you’re looking at, whether it’s your product, your service, your campaign or your business. But it has to be really special, it has to really stand out.

You have to do research and have a lot of facts. There’s quite a lot of work that goes into writing that award, so make sure that time spent is worthwhile.

Ayo: Does it fit into your overall campaign objectives? You have to ask: Is this project going to help propel us where we want to go? So there has to be a reason why you’re entering.

But also, I have used award entries as a way to get our story straight. It’s a test bed, it forces you to answer those questions and get the basics. And that can be a good hook, even if you don’t win.

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Grappling with personal brand: My voyage of discovery

Personal brand has become a bit of a buzzword, and I confess I wasn’t entirely clear about what it meant and its relevance. And I know I’m not alone.

Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash

The May edition of It’s A B2B Comms Thing LinkedIn Live was all about personal branding: What it means, what opportunities there are in B2B and tips on building a personal brand.

Watching the replay of the Live with regular hosts Ayo Abbas and Emma Drake and guest host Eimear Strong (who stood in for me) gave me some clarity. And it made me realise that I’d been building a personal brand without realising it.

The first question of the Live does a great job of answering what personal brand is, framing it as how your reputation and values are perceived in your industry or by your target audience.

It is also about personality and authenticity, and there is huge value in that. People do business with people – Ayo had some stats on just how that manifests in engagement on platforms like LinkedIn. (You can find the video of the Live at the bottom of the post).

Standing out

And given that no two people are completely alike, personal brand is an opportunity to have a point of difference and help you stand out.

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Lessons learned from publishing 102 blog posts

Blogging regularly has taken a bit of practice, but I passed a milestone recently, publishing post number 102. (I was so busy posting I missed the 100th blog milestone.)

Photo of an old fashioned school room with wooden desks, ink wells and a blackboard.
Photo by Belinda Fewings on Unsplash

And I feel pretty chuffed with that, particularly as it takes time and effort, and it’s been a learning curve.

Even though I write for a living, writing for my own business hasn’t come naturally. It’s taken a little while to find my feet, working out what to write about and how to write about it.

There is stuff I’ve had to establish and get comfortable with, like tone of voice.

So what have I learned?

1. Write stuff that is good for business

When I first set up my website and blog, I was fresh out of a 20-year career as a B2B journalist in the built environment sector. I was comfortable writing about the industry and what was going on but not about me and what I do.

I ended up posting sporadically, a weird mix of stuff about being a freelancer, some work-life stuff and the odd thing about writing.

Neither the frequency nor the content mix was doing me any favours. It wasn’t engaging, and it wasn’t doing much to demonstrate my knowledge and expertise.

2. Make the blog top of the content pyramid

At first, I’d been trying to turn stuff I was writing about on LinkedIn into a longer format suitable for a blog post.

Then I had a lightbulb moment, which seems so flippin’ obvious now: Write the long-form blog post and repurpose it as shorter LinkedIn posts.

I’m still experimenting with how to repurpose the blog content, but it gave me the incentive/kick up the bum I needed to blog a bit more regularly.

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B2B comms: How to get value out of trade shows

Trade shows are on the agenda again after the lockdown hiatus. Attending can be hugely beneficial for businesses but also a drain on time and marketing resources, so how do you maximise the value?

In March’s It’s A B2B Comms Thing LinkedIn Live, I chatted with comms pros Ayo Abbas and Emma Drake about how to make sure you get the most out of these big trade events.

Here are some key points; scroll to the bottom for the full video recording.

Screenshot from the It’s A B2B Comms Thing LinkedIn Live on trade shows (March 4, 2022)

What actions should you take before your trade show?

Ayo: The key thing for me is building some energy and excitement that you’re going to be somewhere. Before a show, start talking about it and sharing what you’re going to be doing.

Social media plays a huge part in that, and you can start connecting with potential visitors and delegates. And use it as a way to build your relationship with the organisers – find out what hashtags they’re using.

If there are press interviews and previews, make sure that you’ve got your press releases out there and all your details and ready to go.

Me: If you’re launching something at the show, think about getting the press release to journalists under embargo because once the show’s on, they’re going to be extremely busy. They’re probably not going to have time to turn around press release stories.

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