Defining your target audience on LinkedIn

LinkedIn’s changed a lot over the last few years, but it’s still the number one way to network with thought leaders in 2023.

You’ve got a platform to reach thousands of potential clients and candidates every day, and it lets you stay in regular contact with people you’ve worked with in the past without having to put them through a 15 minute Zoom every other month.

As a business development and candidate generation tool, it’s invaluable: practical, direct, and efficient.

When we started Hoxo, we had very little marketing experience. We knew YouTube and Instagram got huge reach and traction online, and we could see LinkedIn going in a similar direction.

We released our first video on the platform in 2017 and launched The RAG Podcast in 2019. Today, we reach tens of thousands of listeners every month, get millions of views on LinkedIn, and hundreds of quality inbound leads.

Basically, the plan worked.

But it wouldn’t have, if we hadn’t thought it through. When it comes to building a compelling brand, you can’t leave that to chance.

This is the one thing we did early on that all our subsequent success followed from.

Define Your Audience

The single biggest mistake recruiters make on LinkedIn is putting out content that tries too hard to please everyone. It’s the ultra safe stuff you see in your newsfeed that reads just like everyone else’s:

How many times have you logged on to be confronted by post after post about “market leading, industry pioneering, bespoke agile custom tailored solutions”?

Does that tell you anything valuable about the service? Does it make you want to learn more about it? Are you compelled to seek their services out over a competitor?

Instead, ask yourself a question:

“If I could fill a room with the very people I want to do business with, who would they be?”

When we first started Hoxo, our answer to that question was “Progressive Recruitment Agency Leaders” and it informed the approach we ultimately took to market.

Yours might be ‘disruptive HR directors’. Or ‘Line Managers in the startup space with a signed off budget for recruitment’. Or you might have more than one answer to that question.

That’s fine. Write it all down. This will help zero in on who you need to be targeting with your branding efforts, which will make building and cultivating a following much easier.

Building An Audience

Knowing who you’re talking to is one thing, but to be successful in your marketing you need to know what makes them tick. What their values are, what keeps them up at night, and what they think of when they consider the future.

You might know this just from talking to your market. You might want to ask intentional questions to target profiles and capture their answers in a spreadsheet. Either way, identifying who you want to talk to is the first step in deciding what you talk about.

Once you’ve identified your target audience, you want to build a name for yourself in those circles. These steps will help you do just that.

Connect with your target audience

You can’t just send out a flurry of connection requests to new people and expect your network to automatically expand. You need to give people a reason to interact with you.

Comment on their content. Like it. Share it to your network. Tag them in a post on a similar subject. Get involved and encourage the involvement of others.

A lot of people focus on whether or not their connection request comes with a well thought out note attached to it. If they already know who you are, do you even need one?

Focus on making yourself known first, and the connections will start coming to you. And if that’s not happened yet, it probably means you’ve got more content to produce.

Create content every day

But not for the sake of it. It needs to be engaging for your target audience.

General interest topics are great for capturing attention and generating engagement, but you’ll convert more with content targeted directly at the people you want to work with.

Regularly posting on social is much easier when you have a plan. We’ve put together a Weekly Content Planner so you can come up with a strategy, track your objectives, and stay on top of what you’ve got going out and when. It helps keep things both consistent and fresh at the same time.

Download your free copy and try it for a week. Get Hoxo’s Weekly Content Planner.

Speak directly to your audience

This applies to everywhere your target audience is likely to find you online, not just the content you’re putting out on social. Think about the journey a prospect would take to become a client or candidate of yours. Where are they likely to look for you online?

Your company website? Your individual LinkedIn profile? What about Google or Glassdoor?

You might not have a say in all of those different touchpoints, but consider whether they make it easy for a prospect to get in touch with you. 

Build, Test, Tweak, Repeat

Consistency is key with personal branding. You have to commit to being in it for the long haul. So it’s not just a case of queueing up a couple of clever posts and praying for instant results.

Mistakes are not only encouraged but expected, and if you let them, they’re useful too. You’re not supposed to have all this personal branding stuff figured out. You’re supposed to do it consistently because the results will come if you do.

The recruitment industry is no stranger to consistency. While no two days are the same, they’re all driven by a series of core, repeatable actions you take every day without thinking about it: get your ads up, search the database, reach out to your network, headhunt, send a certain number of inmails, hammer the phones etc.

These are all daily actions we’ve been conditioned to believe are vital – and they are. But where does personal branding come into it?

If you understand the benefits, how much time should you fit into your day?

Knowing where to start with personal branding can be bewildering. While it’s helpful to begin with working out who your target audience is, and then building that network up so they’re better placed to receive your content, it’s not the whole story.

There’s a huge amount that goes into building and maintaining an effective personal brand as a recruiter. If you don’t quite know where to start, visit our Personal Brand Academy page to find out more.

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