On Halloween, I did a Lunch and Learn at work about using LinkedIn to build your personal brand. Most people think of LinkedIn as a tool for their career search, but recently there is new functionality that now makes it easier to use for business networking.
Did you know:
- 1 out of 3 professionals on the planet are on LinkedIn?
- There is an average of 200 conversions a minute occurring in LinkedIn groups?
- 79% of users are 35 and older and the average age is 41?
- 74% of members have college degrees
- 39% of members have salaries over $100,000/year
Step 1 to using Linkedin for business is making sure your profile is effective. If you reach out to people, they are going to come and check out your profile. Here are some tips:
- Model yours after one you admire
- Make sure you enter your zip code
- Include your business email address
- Add your professional biography
- Include your photo (headshot +11%) and background
- Add a portfolio, publications and case studies
- Include schools and colleges
- Recommend your colleagues and/or connections
- Integrate your Twitter account
- Manage your privacy and settings
When creating your social media strategy, here are some business development tactics to think about for how to use LinkedIn:
- When you feel comfortable with a contact – go through their contacts and send them a direct message with a short list of people you would like to be introduced to. Include a blurb that the person can use as a short intro.
- Participate in discussions and share a link – there are targeted discussions for almost every niche. These people are looking for answers. Join the group and give your expert knowledge freely and start a relationship. Soon you will build credibility to post a link to a promotional landing page and capture an email as a lead.
- Search for connections in Google – use this handy trick, in the search engine put in the LinkedIn URL and a keyword and Seattle. Hit search and all the people on LinkedIn will come up. Narrow this down to find prospects.
- Find common interests – in groups you are able to send free messages to any member of that group regardless if you are connected. This is a potential huge reach. Make sure you provide a MUTUAL benefit when you send a message.
- Flattery will get you everywhere – an effect approach is to ask people about themselves and their business. Then when they respond, that is when you can starting discussing potential partnership opportunities.
- Collect leads – make sure you have a strategy to collect leads. You can use LinkedIn ads or you send people a link that goes to a landing page with an email capture form. Getting a person on your email marketing list is step 1 to building awareness and a step closer to becoming a customer. Cultivate them with an email stream that includes exclusive content.
- Watch your profile views – look at your profile data to see who has visited your page. If you are connected, follow up with them. If not, research and reach out to them to connect.
- Advanced search (some of this is only available with premium) – search by company or relationship, and also by function, seniority level and company size.
- Stay active – shoot for one post a week. Connect your Twitter with LinkedIn. Now every twitter update can be re-posted to your LinkedIn followers. Stay aggressive; you never know when it is the right moment.
Hope this gets you interested in using LinkedIn for business. Join our small but mighty group for Agile Marketing Strategy and let us know your thoughts!