Developer agencies

LinkedIn basics for developer agencies

How to easily ensure your company LinkedIn profile works for, and not against, your marketing and sales.

Every client who has any clue what they’re doing will check your company LinkedIn profile and use it when building their overall picture of your agency:

  • Who are the people working in and managing this company?
  • What are your capabilities?
  • How credible and trustworthy you are?
  • Should I do business with this company?

Also remember that in the selection of a subcontractor, the client may have a lot of different people involved, not only e.g. the engineering manager visible in the meetings. Legal, finance, sourcing, and HR department might have an important say on which supplier to work with, and they may not evaluate your open source contributions in GitHub, but look at the tools they’re more familiar with, and that often includes LinkedIn.

If and when you have a chance to meet your clients f2f, and have them visit your office personally, the importance of online presence will usually be less important. But if you’re trying to convince a client on the other side of the world who has never seen you in real-life to sign a contract…

Better do anything you can to increase credibility, transparency, and ultimately trust!

 

Company headcount

“See all 12 employees on LinkedIn”

Your sales pitch says you’re an agency of ~40 designers and developers, but your company LinkedIn page has 12 people, of which 4 are management and assistant, and rest half-empty profiles of your employees?

Without saying, that is not going to help your sales. Maybe a potential client won’t pass you because of that, but it can trigger questions you’d rather avoid:

  • Which one is true, the sales guy’s 40 or the LinkedIn headcount?
  • If there are 40 people in the company, why they are not listing the company as their current position?
  • Are they simply incompetent, or is the company brand as an employer such that you rather not talk about it?
  • Why is the management not ensuring their employees show their best side in the LinkedIn? Are they worried people would be more prone to leave to the company?

Make sure all your employees have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile (see separate LinkedIn HOW-TO for individuals) and connected to your company. It will also make your own sales easier, in addition to showing CVs to potential clients, you can also send LinkedIn links to add more credibility.

Q: If my employees have attractive LinkedIn profiles, they are easier targets for other companies to poach?

A: If you have talented people and that’s your main concern, not using LinkedIn will not solve your problems. They will leave anyways.

 

Updates, sharing, posting

Be consistent!

Either share something to your company LinkedIn page regularly or never.

Is a regular posting of “relevant and valuable” content for your followers a good investment? That’s a whole another topic, but one of the easiest methods to evaluate the company’s “pulse” is to check their social media feeds.

A completely empty feed is ok. It can be even seen as a statement “We’re not a social media company, we’re busy building software for our clients.” And a lot of serious business decision-makers actually will appreciate that.

But having a history of active sharing and posting in LinkedIn (or any other social media), that somehow stopped 6 months ago, is always a signal that something has happened. For the B2C companies it usually means closure, but also for B2B it’s difficult to be interpreted as a positive sign.

So whatever you do, share actively in LinkedIn company page or never, be consistent.

 

We’re hiring!

Every company either tries to grow or will die. And no one wants to work with losers.

Of course a bit black-and-white statement, but again true when it comes to clients (and job-seekers!) evaluating software agencies. You must give the impression that you a winner, a successful and ambitious company looking for growth.

One the simplest, and easiest, ways to do that is Always Be Hiring (A-B-H (sorry, a stupid sales joke…)). That not only doesn’t show your focus technologies (e.g. “We’re hiring React developers”) but also that you’re moving forwards and targeting to growth.

LinkedIn (paid) Jobs may not be the forum you want to use, especially if you’re not urgently looking for at the moment. But you should still in the company introduction, or even in the headline or background picture share your recruiting message, and provide a link to more details. It may lead to more candidates, but also gives potential clients the right message about your company’s growth ambitions.

Q: What if I can’t right now hire anyone, should I still post job openings?

A: Yes, especially on the free channels like your website, and add a link to the LinkedIn profile. If you get too many exceptionally good candidates wanting to join your company, that is a positive problem. For more information, read the Just-In-Time Recruitment HOW-TO (TODO: add link).

 

Company profile

LinkedIn’s own instructions are quite self-explaining, so follow those and fill in:

  • Tagline (max 120 characters)
  • Call-to-action button: Typically visit the website, or contact
  • Phone
  • Website

Think about description (max 2000 characters) as a summary of your website: If a visitor reads only the description from LinkedIn, will he or she get the right summary about what your company is and what it’s doing?

 

Look-and-feel

LinkedIn doesn’t give many options to play with your company brand look-and-feel, just the company logo, and background picture. Just make sure both are consistent with your brand in other online services, and work well in both desktop and mobile screens.