“The professional social networking site.” With a reputation like that, it’s only understandable if you have trouble seeing how LinkedIn could help grow your business as a Personal Trainer, Nutritionist, or Health Coach. After all, isn’t it too formal and “corporate” for your target audience?
Well, the truth is that LinkedIn has undergone massive transformations in recent years.
New engagement-driving features (e.g., LinkedIn Creator Mode) have helped diversify the industries, interests, and demographics represented on the platform.
Meaning? LinkedIn is quickly becoming an essential platform for your business when it comes to marketing. Find that hard to believe? This may help convince you: 25% of all American adults use LinkedIn—and 22% of them use it every single day.
So, to help you leverage this powerful yet often underrated platform to attract new clients, drive traffic to your website, and build an engaged community, this article covers everything you need to know about using LinkedIn as an inbound marketing channel.
Why LinkedIn Should Be a Strategic Priority in Your Marketing Plan
LinkedIn has 810 million members in 200 countries and regions worldwide.
While it’s not the largest of the social networks—Instagram has roughly one billion monthly active users, while Facebook comes in at 2.91 billion monthly active users—the magic of the platform lies in its ability to meet marketing objectives.
According to Sprout Social, businesses that market on LinkedIn generate 227% more leads than those engaged in Facebook marketing alone. In addition, audiences exposed to brand and acquisition messages on the platform are six times more likely to convert.
But why is LinkedIn so great at conversion? There are two primary factors:
- The “right” audience and intent: Unlike other social media platforms, users aren’t looking for fun, entertaining content (e.g., Buzzfeed quizzes, memes, or wedding photos) but, instead, valuable pieces that’ll educate them when using the platform.
- Positive consumer perception: The better someone feels about your business, the more likely they’ll sign up for your coaching services. But the key to improving your brand perception? A presence on LinkedIn, according to a 2017 Custom Nielsen Lab Study for LinkedIn. Brands on LinkedIn are perceived to be “higher quality,” “more professional,” “more intelligent,” and “more respectable.”
And businesses are noticing LinkedIn’s untapped marketing potential. Examples of brands who’ve effectively used the platform in their organic social media strategies to grow an audience interested in their products include Lululemon, Callaway Golf, and FabFitFun.
Businesses aren’t just pumping money into paid content, either. Content creation on LinkedIn increased by 60% in 2020 overall.
Bottom line? Including LinkedIn in your marketing strategy is a good idea.
Two Types of Clients You Can Win on LinkedIn
There are two “types” of clients you could win on LinkedIn.
The first would be individual clients. These are professionals who wish to work with you on a personal basis. And the second would be “corporate clients” who engage you to conduct recurring sessions, like a monthly fitness workshop if you’re a Personal Trainer.
But wait, can LinkedIn really provide opportunities for you to land large-scale corporate contracts? Consider this: four out of five people on the platform drive business decisions.
Put the right content in front of these decision-makers (e.g., CEOs, COOs, and team managers), and you significantly increase your chances of becoming a retainer health and wellness service provider for their company.
Ultimately, though, you must ask yourself: which would you prefer to target? While large-scale contracts may be more financially rewarding, they aren’t suited for everyone.
Having a clear idea of who your target audience is (i.e., individual clients or corporate clients) will help you fine-tune your marketing message, so whoever you’re trying to reach knows—for sure—you’re speaking to them.
How to Use LinkedIn to Market Your Business
Now, time for arguably the most crucial part of this article: how, exactly, you can use LinkedIn to raise brand awareness, build engaged communities, and increase revenue as a health and fitness professional.
#1: Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Page
The audience you want to reach is on LinkedIn.
But with so many other businesses (FYI: There are over 57 million companies listed on LinkedIn, and that’s not counting the profile pages of entrepreneurs like yourself!) vying for their attention, well, getting noticed could pose a challenge.
That’s where a strong and consistent profile page can make all the difference. Here are a few profile improvements you could make that’ll differentiate you right away:
- High-quality profile picture: A photo on your profile gives you 21 times more profile views. So, be sure to upload a great profile picture. Ensure that it’s recent, looks like you, and that your face takes up about 60% of the total space.
- Set a background photo: The background photo allows you to tell visitors more about you as a person. Here, it’s not as important that you—or your face—are in the shot, but you still want to make it memorable. For instance, if you’re a personal trainer, you might opt for an action shot of you in the gym.
- Create a great headline: A well-crafted headline can help visitors understand what you do and how you could help them, boosting your profile impact. Summarize your expertise and what you’ve accomplished in as few words as possible. For example, “A passionate nutritionist helping people with autoimmune disease reclaim their lives” could work for a Certified Autoimmune Holistic Nutrition Specialist.
- Tell your story: You’ve got a story to tell, and your LinkedIn “About” section lets you tell it however you want. The goal here is to provide more information about who you are and why you do what you do. Concrete numbers (e.g., “I’ve helped 3,000+ clients lead healthier lives”) give you credibility, so feel free to include them if you have the numbers.
- Go public: If you want prospective clients to find you, you need to make your profile public. Follow the steps here to do so.
- Get a custom URL: Customizing your URL can make finding your profile easier. When you first join LinkedIn, you’ll typically be assigned a URL that combines parts of your first and last name, along with a random string of numbers (e.g., JaimePrit187). Where possible, remove the numbers and make your URL your full first and last name, like “JaimePritchett.” Try adding a middle initial or the industry you work in if this is taken.
#2: Create a Content Calendar
As with all marketing campaigns, it’s vital to develop an overarching goal. For example, are you looking to raise brand awareness, build a community, or convert users into signing on large-scale, long-term coaching contracts?
Your marketing objective will influence the types of content you create.
Be sure to set an end date for your campaign as well. It’s best to avoid letting your campaigns go on indefinitely so you can evaluate your results to see if you could be doing things better.
Once all that’s done, create a content calendar. This is simply a written schedule of when you plan to publish upcoming content (e.g., once a day, twice weekly, or once weekly).
Wondering how you’d find the time to keep to your publishing schedule as a full-time health and wellness professional?
There’s heartening news: LinkedIn is known for having one of the most extended content lifespans among social media platforms. That means you don’t need to hit publish every day. Instead, choose a schedule that makes sense for you—and be consistent with it.
Whether you publish once a week or every two weeks, your network will come to expect your content regularly, and this builds trust.
Make Your Content Work for You
The following tips will help your content go a long way:
- Understand LinkedIn-suitable content: A critical thing to note is that “salesy” content doesn’t generally perform well on LinkedIn. Instead, the platform users are more interested in meaningful, informative, and educational content, which makes perfect sense for a professional social network when you think about it. Industry trends, how-tos, and thought-leadership content types tend to fare the best on LinkedIn. So, let’s say you’re a Certified Prenatal and Postnatal Fitness Specialist. You could potentially write an article detailing the link between physically active pregnant employees and increased work productivity.
- Use hashtags: That’s right. Hashtags work on LinkedIn, too. In fact, they’re key for tapping into new audiences, industries, and niches. The same rules apply, though: strike a balance between relevant and popular hashtags. You can do so by doing hashtag research. For example, if you’re a Certified Pilates Fitness Instructor, you could start by searching #pilates to see how many people are following the hashtag and how often it is used.
- Include rich media content: Don’t think you’re limited to creating text-only content, too. Other content formats could drive up your reach and engagement. For example, LinkedIn posts with images get twice the engagement rates than text-only posts, and users are 20 times more likely to re-share a video post. Beyond changing your content format types, you should also create posts of varying lengths. A good mix of quick, bold posts and long-form stories could help you cater to a broader range of users (e.g., time-poor individuals).
- It’s not always necessary to build content from scratch: On days you’re down with a severe case of writer’s block, remember that your content doesn’t always have to be “scratch-made.” Feel free to recycle content you’ve already written in the past (e.g., published on your website). Give it a new spin, or make minor tweaks, so you’re not copying and pasting verbatim. Otherwise, you could also share external articles. So long as the content you post has value—and is relevant to your audience—you’ll find success.
#3: Work with Influencers and Experts
Influencer marketing works. And while you may have thought its application stopped at lifestyle-related social media platforms, like Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook, the truth is there’s a place for it on LinkedIn, too.
There are plenty of LinkedIn voices and experts on the platform. Reach out to them to see if they’d collaborate on a blog post or star in a video. You can also work with them to post content from their accounts, marketing your health and wellness business to a broader audience.
But how do you find influencers on LinkedIn? The easiest way is to do a content search.
Go to the LinkedIn search bar and set the filter to “Posts.” Then, let’s say you’re looking for LinkedIn influencers who regularly share information about living a healthy lifestyle. Type in “healthy living,” and you’ll then see relevant content.
Take note of posts with a high level of engagement (e.g., reactions, comments, and views). This suggests that the person probably has a big audience and may be an influencer you could work with.
#4: Make Use of the Analytics
So, how do you know if your content strategy is paying off? You’ll have to look at your LinkedIn analytics data; there are two parts to this:
- Posts: Every post you publish or share on LinkedIn has its own analytics. You can access these directly on the post, quickly getting a sense of how many users have engaged with your content (e.g., view and like count). You can even get details into the companies your audience is coming from and the location of the accounts that are viewing your posts.
- Dashboard analytics: Your dashboard analytics provide valuable insight on the total number of views of your profile over the past 90 days. (Note: The Premium service allows you to see who, exactly, has looked at your profile.) Other data points include post views and search appearances, including where your searchers work, what your searchers do, and the keywords your searchers used. It’s a wealth of information.
It’s essential to track your results. Knowing the effectiveness of your marketing campaign (or where it’s falling short) can guide you on the next steps to take.
LinkedIn can be an invaluable part of your overall content marketing strategy. The platform’s ability to help you reach an audience you might otherwise miss with other social media platforms highlights its potential to accelerate the growth of your health and wellness business.
Of course, as with any marketing effort, start small. Focus on finding the audience you want, and develop your marketing strategy accordingly.