LinkedIn can be one of the best platforms to land your dream job, meet prospects who are looking for your products and services, network and build your online audience so your business can grow.
You may be at a point in your business or career where it makes sense to hire a LinkedIn Expert who can help you optimize your profile and train you accordingly, so you can get better results than you could on your own. A number of people can get pretty far on LinkedIn doing it for themselves, but for many it can be hard to keep up with the constantly changing algorithms, best practices and latest developments of this platform.
Plus, many busy professionals simply don’t have time to do it well. Is this you?
A lot of people are in the same boat. They’re busy and working hard and start to believe that they don’t have time to keep up with social media.
But when you don’t have time, letting it slip isn’t really an option. The quality of the interactions that you have with other people online and off directly affect the opportunities that will come your way. In person networking is limited for everyone, leaving people feeling more isolated than ever, and people are flocking in droves to LinkedIn for human connection and to meet people who can help them reach their own professional goals. In other words, they’re looking for you.
No matter what, your personal touch is needed. People want to reach you and start a conversation.
The right LinkedIn Expert (or team of Experts) can play an important role in your professional development by helping you attract the kind of people that you want to connect with so that the time you spend online will be more rewarding and productive.
Once you’ve decided that you need help to get it all done, and done right, the next step is to find the right LinkedIn Expert. There are plenty of people who claim to be able to get you results and may be actively courting your business.
So here’s what we did. We asked recognized LinkedIn Experts Dennis Koutoudis and Emily Pappas of LinkedSuperPowers to tell us what in their opinion are the characteristics of the best LinkedIn Experts. Here’s what they answered:
- Credibility. How can you tell if the person you’re considering is legit? In an Entrepreneur article titled, “How to Know if a Marketing Expert is Actually Credible,” John Baitnott points out that factors like numbers of years in business can be misleading and irrelevant because what you really want to know is what kinds of results will you get in exchange for the money you pay. Check reviews, testimonials, and references to find out how their work created positive results for their clients. Check to see if they’ve won any industry awards, been featured in articles, spoken at conferences etc.
- Testimonials. The LinkedIn experts that you are interviewing may have a growing list of impressive-looking testimonials. Look for testimonials that are from people who are in your industry who are getting the type of results that you are looking for with the help of the expert.
- Credible recommendations. The biggest difference between a LinkedIn recommendation and another testimonial is that the LinkedIn recommendations let you see the profile of the person who sent it and determine if they are a credible source. Pay attention to the quality and the quantity of LinkedIn recommendations, because if it looks like they have neglected their own account, how can you trust them with yours?
- Trustworthy publications. Have they been published anywhere other than their own blog? Have they been mentioned in the news, been a guest on other podcasts, been interviewed by other experts or appeared on TV? These are all ways to tell if they are truly an expert, and not just claiming to be one.
- If they respond rapidly to you. When you reach out to them, do they respond in a timely and professional manner? This will give you an idea of what it will be like to work with them and how organized their business is.
- Quality of customer service. You can find clues to the level of customer service you might receive within the testimonials. Also, you can get an idea of their customer service based on the rapport that you have with them in your interactions. Ask about what are the ways that you can communicate with them and how soon will they respond.
- Flexibility. Are their service packages rigid and cookie-cutter or do they take the time to listen to your unique needs / goals and create a plan that works for you? How will they respond if you need more support or need specialized support?
- Google their names. Doing this will give you a good idea of their social media presence and their skills growing an online presence. Obviously, you want to see that they have a lot of material on LinkedIn. But where else are they and what does their online presence look like, outside LinkedIn?
- Who they’ve worked with. Browse their website and observe their list of clients. Are they high quality? Are any of them in your industry, because if they have worked for other clients in your industry they will have a better understanding of the needs and interests of your prospects. Take a look at their clients’ LinkedIn accounts to see them in action.
- Social media following. You’re hiring this person to expand your social media following. How does theirs look?
- Content. Read through some of their articles. Do you get the sense that their articles are generic marketing articles that barely scratch the surface, or are you gaining any insights that you haven’t heard before. Is their content high quality? Do you enjoy reading their content? Have they produced other types of content like books, videos, podcasts and presentations? Is the content relevant to you and your goals?
- Content engagement. Are other interesting and relevant people engaging with their content, leaving comments and likes or are they getting crickets? And when people leave comments on their posts, do they engage with their audience to build the relationships? Do they come across as stiff and awkward when they respond to comments, or does it seem like they are comfortable and having a natural discussion with friends and colleagues?
Bottom line, the right LinkedIn Expert can help you meet your professional goals. You need to find someone who walks the talk.