How to Use LinkedIn for Business – 7 Tips for Success
I am sure that you have heard by now that LinkedIn is the #1 professional social network. I can personally attest that it is a gold mine for any business owner who is willing to invest the time. Now if you know anything about mining for gold, you will know that the reward comes after hard work. What I am saying is that you won’t have people knocking down your door to give you money, just because you joined LinkedIn, or because you decided to get active on LinkedIn. But, if you are consistent, it should pay off. I have personally developed lots of strong business contacts and can track leads, prospects, and closed business directly to my LinkedIn activities.
You could spend hours on LinkedIn every day, and if you don’t have enough business, you might want to at least spend an hour per day there developing content and market exposure. The key to being effective, is to know what works. With that, here are 7 tips for success in using LinkedIn.
1. Make sure your profile is 100% complete. The more information you share, the more opportunities you give people to be interested in you and what you do. Make sure you use a relevant photo (of you, not your logo) because social media is about creating relationships and seeing your picture gives people a stronger sense of connection.
2. Create a company page if you don’t have one. This is free online real estate for your company, and you can use the Products sections, to highlight what you do in detail.
3. Join groups and start to interact. I recommend starting with one group related to your industry to network within your industry and two groups related to your location to connect with other local business folks.
4. Visit LinkedIn Answers and search for open questions to answer in your area of expertise. Not every industry is well represented in LinkedIn answers, but if yours is, this is a great place to show your expertise. you will find that people will engage with you just based on answering their questions and sometimes, you can provide the exact product or service they are looking for. (LinkedIn Answers closed in January, 2013)
4. Create Your Own LinkedIn Group. You can join someone else’s party, or you can start your own. Here is a simple tutorial that will show you how to set up a group.
5. Leverage your blog. I assume you are blogging and if not, you need to get started ASAP. You can add your blog to your LinkedIn profile, so that as you post on it, your blog content will be shared on your profile. Also, you can share blog posts in groups, but do so sparingly, and make sure it is relevant and not just advertising. Lastly, if you have written a blog post that relates to a question being asked in LinkedIn answers, you can leave a link to your blog as the reference. And of course, there isn’t anything to say, you can’t create that blog post if you haven’t already.
6. Check in to LinkedIn daily. Update your status daily, respond to questions and invitations promptly, and be one of the first to answer questions in your field.
7. Lastly, but most importantly, be a giver not a getter. You can’t out give the law of attraction. Be genuine and generous and it will come back to you.
I hope that helps. If you need any help with your LinkedIn marketing strategy, feel free to contact me.