Knowing what to post on a social media platform where your potential clients are hanging out can be a real challenge these days. I get these questions all the time from my LinkedIn course students:
- What should I share?
- How often should I post?
- What will resonate with my ideal clients?
- Will my ideal clients even see my content?
- How can I engage with my clients’ content?
These are valid questions. And if you’re asking them, you already know the value of engaging on LinkedIn, where your clients are also spending time. So, let’s break down the answers to these questions, keeping in mind that every translator and interpreter will have a different ideal client in mind.
Start with knowing who your ideal clients are. First, you need to understand who your ideal clients are. And you may well have more than one—most of us do!
What do you know about the ways your clients use LinkedIn? This may require some research if you don’t already know, but it’s worth doing for your own business development. You never know what you’ll find about your clients that could improve your marketing strategy. Start with your favorite current clients. Connect with them on LinkedIn and check out their profiles.
Research how your clients use social media for work. Once you have a good idea of who the clients are that you would like to appeal to on LinkedIn, you need to understand the way they use the platform. What features are they using? For example, take a look at the Activity section of your current or potential clients’ profiles. My own Activity section looks something like Figure 1 below.
You can see your clients’ most recent activity at the top of the Activity section. Then, if you want to see more activity than what’s shown from the past few days, just click “Show all activity.” (See Figure 2.) Take a look at what they’re posting, sharing, commenting on, writing, etc. Use the filters at the top if they have a lot of activity to review. (See Figure 3.) This should give you a good idea about how they’re using LinkedIn. Doing this will help you see how your clients are showing up on LinkedIn, which informs your own strategy.
Be selective with the features you use. There are so many features on a platform like LinkedIn. You don’t need to (and probably shouldn’t!) use all of them. Make a list of the features that make the most sense to use—ideally the same ones your clients are using. Consider things like posts, articles, commenting, sharing, LinkedIn Groups, etc. And don’t forget to add direct messaging to your list!
The LinkedIn features you plan to use should be beneficial to your business. This way, you can spend only the time you need on the platform to market your business and engage with potential clients. No one wants to spend additional time guessing if what you’re doing makes sense or will even be seen by the right people.
Once you know what features you want to use, consider the times of day and days of the week your clients frequent LinkedIn. You can see this by paying attention to when they comment or post. This will help determine how often you should post and engage based on your ideal clients’ activity and your own schedule. If your clients are not that active, try sharing content during their working hours.
Decide what content will appeal to your clients. What to post? This all depends on what would interest your potential clients. Think about what they’re doing on the platform, what’s important to them, what challenges they face, their goals, and why they might want to engage with a professional who provides your services.
Whatever you choose to share, be sure it’s digestible. If you know your clients don’t have much time to spend on LinkedIn, make your posts short, write articles that are easy to skim-read, or share content from others that they can consume easily and quickly. Remember that LinkedIn likes to keep people engaged on its own platform, so sharing content that can be read or watched directly in the app is preferred. If you do share content that links to other sites or pages, include an image or visual with the content.
Keep it manageable. As you begin to figure out what you’ll post on LinkedIn to engage with clients, start small. All you really need is 15–20 minutes a day, a few times a week. Whatever you do, be consistent. Follow and engage with your current clients regularly. Comment on their content and share yours with them, too.
The best thing about LinkedIn is the relationship-building that comes from using it. So, have fun with it and make the most of your time there. As you promote your business and share valuable content that supports your clients, you’ll start to find that it becomes easier to offer information and content that’s engaging and interesting to the very clients you’re trying to reach.
Madalena Sánchez Zampaulo, CT serves as president of ATA. She is the owner of Accessible Translation Solutions and a Spanish>English and ATA-certified Portuguese>English translator. She served as chair of ATA’s Governance and Communications Committee (2019–2021), Membership Committee (2018–2020), and Public Relations Committee (2014–2018), and as administrator of ATA’s Medical Division (2011–2015). She is also a consultant for the University of Louisville Graduate Certificate in Translation. You can read more of her articles on her blog at www.madalenazampaulo.com/blog-home. firstname.lastname@example.org
“Business Practices” will alternate in this space with “The Entrepreneurial Linguist.” This column is not intended to constitute legal, financial, or other business advice. Each individual or company should make its own independent business decisions and consult its own legal, financial, or other advisors as appropriate. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of ATA or its Board of Directors.