Customer stories with Clarene Mitchell
If you’re looking for ways to build engagement, get clients, and promote your business creatively on LinkedIn, Clarene Mitchell, LinkedIn coach and trainer, has tips to share.
Clarene, a.k.a. The LinkedIn Results Ignitor, runs TCM Communications, a consulting firm that helps businesses grow their online presence and make a mark in professional networking circles on LinkedIn. She started her business in July 2017 after a traumatic period of unemployment that motivated her to create a job for herself.
Today, TCM Communications serves multiple clients in the United States and globally. Clarene’s clients have gone on to amass thousands of followers for their LinkedIn personal profiles and business pages as a result of her coaching and expertise.
Clarene currently has just under 10,000 LinkedIn followers, and that number is on the rise. We sat down with her to ask her how she reached this number, why LinkedIn is one of the best online platforms to promote your business, and what foolproof strategies she recommends for people to grow their LinkedIn reach.
How to use LinkedIn for business
Hi Clarene! Can you start by telling us why you think LinkedIn is the ideal platform to promote your business?
LinkedIn sign-ups and activity really exploded during the pandemic, which means a lot more businesses are choosing to leverage its many tools for promotion purposes. When everything went online, LinkedIn was the only way for people to network and conduct business across geographic boundaries. Now, engagement on LinkedIn is at an all-time high so new businesses should definitely shift their focus towards it.
Also, in recent years, LinkedIn has done a lot to facilitate content creators. They have special tools to help them get exposure, some of which I’ll be sharing with you in a minute. And right now, there are no pesky paywalls. So if you’re on a budget, LinkedIn is the perfect place to be.
Finally, for me, I’ve noticed that it’s much easier to grow organically on LinkedIn than it is on other social sites. I create dynamic graphics in minutes using PosterMyWall, post them on the site, and watch new reactions, comments, and connections roll in soon after.
1. Offer valuable tips to demonstrate your expertise
Let’s get into your promotion strategies. You ran a content campaign on LinkedIn in 2020. Please tell us a little bit about that.
One thing I’ve noticed is that if people can see that you know what you’re talking about, they’ll be more likely to follow your work. The content campaign was my way of sharing my knowledge with my network and giving them a taste of what I had to offer. Also, LinkedIn works best when you provide value-added content versus direct promotion or selling.
Every day in 2020, I would post a LinkedIn tip in graphic form. The tips helped people build their profiles and reach during the pandemic.
If you’re running a campaign like this, I strongly recommend using PosterMyWall to create your graphics. It will make your campaign look better and more professional, and it’ll save you tons of time. I also recommend you create a custom hashtag as a way to easily index your campaign.
2. Make the right first impression with custom LinkedIn banners
How can businesses optimize their LinkedIn profiles?
I tell my clients that first impressions are key. Making the right first impression involves creating the perfect banner for your profile page. I help my clients create a custom banner that reflects their brand and personality.
To do this, I introduce clients to PosterMyWall. If they’re unfamiliar with the site, I help them work through the editor and pick colors, fonts, and images. The special banner templates are truly awesome. Once they get the hang of it, they’re able to create their own graphics and update them whenever they need.
3. Create a content calendar for your posts
How can businesses improve their Linkedin presence?
Part of my coaching process is to make sure my clients create consistent, compelling content for their LinkedIn pages. Consistency is what drives engagement on LinkedIn.
So I sit down with my client and together we come up with a posting schedule. We decide what to post and when. Then, I use PosterMyWall to create a customized content calendar for them that they can keep and follow. It works beautifully.
4. Use a live LinkedIn show or broadcast to engage your audience
You run a LinkedIn live show called “Imposter Syndrome Disrupted.” Can you tell us more about that?
I launched “Imposter Syndrome Disrupted” in January of 2021. This show is specifically for female entrepreneurs, who I feel often struggle to own their brilliance. I want women business owners to leverage LinkedIn tools and grow their reach.
So, every second and fourth Tuesday of the month, I talk to women entrepreneurs. They tell me about their professional journeys and share valuable tips and insights for other businesswomen looking to make a mark on LinkedIn.
The show is a hit mainly because so many women are looking for that kind of advice. It’s all about tapping into an unexplored market and using that to promote and grow your business.
How do you promote your live show to your audience?
I upload social media graphics that I make on PosterMyWall a few days before the show. Apart from LinkedIn, I share the graphics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I build anticipation by letting viewers know I’m looking forward to their engagement in the chat.
5. Start a LinkedIn newsletter to educate your audience
What are the different ways to keep your audience educated and engaged on LinkedIn?
One way I keep my audience educated and engaged is through my LinkedIn newsletter, “Shine Online Bulletin.” The newsletter helps me promote my business and establish my authority and credibility. It also allows me to be a thought leader and expand my network. Last year, the newsletter was recognized as a top pick by LinkedIn, which added to my credibility.
A newsletter is also a brilliant way to establish your brand. You can curate an image for yourself and share things you feel are important.
That sounds like a really cool idea. What goes in the newsletter and how do you promote it?
I promote it within my LinkedIn network and via my other social media platforms as well. I make sure to accompany the post about the newsletter with relevant hashtags so that it can reach the right audience.
As for the content, I keep it professional and advisory. I want my readers to take away valuable information from the newsletter, and so all my writing is focused on making that happen.
6. Be easily accessible to potential clients
Once people have a chance to scan your profile and go through your content, how can they contact you? I believe that’s important since that is your end goal.
I use the Featured section on my profile as the landing page that people can go to to contact me. This section allows you to add links, documents, and images. I have a form in this section that people can fill to schedule a free 30-minute Zoom session with me in which I give them a custom assessment of their LinkedIn profile.
I make sure to direct people to this section during my live show promotions and in my newsletter.
7. Introduce yourself with a cover story video
Are there any other LinkedIn tools or strategies that a business owner could use to boost their profile?
Use the cover story video to tell people about yourself and your business. Under your profile image on LinkedIn, there’s an option to record a 30-second video called the cover story. Think of it as an elevator pitch. Or a quick introduction to what it is that you do. It’s also an opportunity for people to put a face to the name.
Other than this, leveraging tools like banners and the Featured section are an excellent way to optimize your profile and increase your reach.
8. Be consistent and reliable
How do you build engagement on LinkedIn?
First of all, have an optimized profile. The strategies I’ve mentioned above will help you do that seamlessly. This is important because not having an optimized profile is like going to a pitch meeting without being appropriately dressed. Right off the bat, you’ll set the wrong impression.
Secondly, build a solid network. This is what sets LinkedIn apart from other social sites — the ability to connect individually with people and target your promotional efforts to them. Choose quality over quantity when building your network i.e. find your target audience.
And finally, post consistent and valuable content. Your content should improve people’s lives. It should be informative, and not look like you’re selling a service. Most importantly, you have to establish reliability by posting regularly.
9. Give yourself a chance to fail and grow
Let’s talk about PosterMyWall. Since you recommend it for LinkedIn promotions, what advice would you give to someone just starting out on it?
Don’t get overwhelmed. There are so many template options to choose from, that it’s easy to get lost in the maze. Instead, focus your efforts. Use the search bar to find what you actually need. Once you’ve settled on a template, figure out its size and promotion. You can customize this easily in the editor.
And after this, the fun begins. The editor is super easy to use so just take your time, play around with colors, and create something beautiful.
Remember that branding on all your graphics is key. Add your company logo and colors so that your content is easily recognizable. I also recommend business owners get a paid account so that the PosterMyWall watermark is removed.
Finally, remember that designing, like most things, takes practice. Your first graphic may not be your best but as you keep learning and getting familiar with the site, you’ll make incredible progress. There are other platforms similar to PosterMyWall, but PosterMyWall is my go-to because the templates are more visually appealing…they pop more!
This is great advice. Thank you, Clarene! We wish you the best of luck and hope to see you take your business to great heights.
New to PosterMyWall? Go through our templates and start working on a design today!