Welcome to the The PR Desk! Written monthly by PR professional Heather Travis, it guides food bloggers on the ins and outs of working with PR agencies and brands. This month, Heather talks about how bloggers can use LinkedIn to build their business.
If you read back through all the previous PR Desk posts you're likely to see a common theme: defining and delivering your value. This post continues our common theme by looking to an often forgotten (and very valuable!) social media tool, LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a very effective way for you to help communicate the value you deliver to the partners of your blog (or vlog or other content outlet). Think of your LinkedIn as your most up-to-date media kit and your pitch Rolodex all in one. Here are three ways to maximize it.
1. Use LinkedIn to Connect with Brands, PR and Marketing
You use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others to connect with the brands you love, but not often the professional person inside the brand or the PR team who supports them. This is where LinkedIn shines. It allows you to connect on a professional level with the brand, media, and PR contacts you work with and also seek out others you would like to work with. (Having these contacts is incredibly helpful when it comes time to make your pitch too).
2. Know your Audience: Tailor your LinkedIn Bio
The audience of your LinkedIn isn’t your readership, it's the brand/PR/marketing team or contact (see above). So, it would absolutely be worth ensuring your profile is geared towards this audience rather than a copy and paste of your blog’s About Me (which should be geared towards your readership audience).
You’ll want to highlight items from your media kit, big campaign wins, partners you work with regularly, and help the reader of this profile (your potential brand partner) understand a bit more about the value you bring. Where the reader of your blog’s About Me page might want to know more about your kids’ ages, the brand or PR reading your LinkedIn profile wants to know more about the professional successes you’ve achieved and the value you consistently bring those you work with.
See the difference?
3. Use LinkedIn to Share Regular Updates Highlighting Success
Sharing your latest blog post is great to do on most of your social media platforms. In the case of LinkedIn, I encourage you to be much more strategic about what you post. Again, remember the audience is VERY different to your readership.
Here is where you’ll want to post regular updates highlighting successes and campaign wins. As an example: “I recently partnered with my favourite soap brand on a fun video project. With four videos made speaking directly to the brand’s core target demographic and over 500,000 views, the brand received excellent visibility for their product and a 5:1 ROI. To see the videos, click here [link to videos].”
Yes, you're sharing your content but in a way that helps you move your blog business forward. You're demonstrating VALUE and speaking directly to the people who can help you make more of it.
Bonus: Get Recommended
As a bonus on LinkedIn, use it to get recommended. After every brand partner project you complete, reach out to all the various in-house touch points you’re connected with on LinkedIn (Marketing, PR, etc.) and ask them to recommend your work. Suggest to them some key items like, “Can you speak to the value I brought to this campaign? Can you speak to our professional working relationship and overall experience?” Be strategic and professional in your requests.
Do you use LinkedIn to help build your blogging business? What ways have you found bring success?
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Heather Travis is a PR professional and lover of all things creative. She has extensive experience developing and implementing integrated public relations and marketing programs for agricultural brands, producers and processors, as well as high end sporting goods. She’s a DIY junkie with a mean power tool addiction, and can often be found painting, refinishing, and scouring both junk yards and antique markets for her next fix … err, piece of content for her blog heatherinheels.com. Find Heather on Twitter @heathertravis and Instagram @heathertravis.