10 Tips for Leveraging LinkedIn for Business
- Change your LinkedIn URL to your name. This way you have a public URL which you can promote and share on email footers or business cards – to showcase you. And be sure to add other URLs such as your Website, Blog or Twitter URL too. Consider this your ‘personal PR profile’ where people can find out everything about you that you wish them to know.
- Create a Search Friendly ‘Does what it says on the tin’ Headline. You get 120 characters to create your ‘Headline’ on LinkedIn. Your Headline is the first thing people get to see when looking at your profile. Your photo and your headline. Therefore, make sure it makes sense. If it just says something generic such as ‘Partner at Blogs and Co’ or ‘Product Manager’ – then that’s not specific enough. People are likely to search for you including some form of sector or specialising eg: Construction and Dispute Resolution Expert Lawyer and Partner at Blogs and Co. ‘Product Manager in Leading Inbound Marketing Software organisation Blogs & Co’.
- Optimise your profile with relevant ‘Keywords’. Following on from point 2 – be sure you continue to build the rest of the content within your profile keeping those all important search keywords in mind. This will help your profile to appear as high as possible on Google and LinkedIn searches.
- Get to All Star. Keep your profile as ‘full’ as possible– LinkedIn provide you with a gauge of ‘completeness’ (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Expert, All Star). Strive to be All Star – it really should take you no more than an hour to get your profile to All Star. Getting to All Star means that you show up more in searches – and it looks more professional too – who wants to be a beginner on the largest professional network in the world?
- Personalise all messages when inviting people to connect (don’t use the standard message). Research has shown that people are more likely to accept and appreciate the connection if you provide some personal context – eg: Great meeting you at ABC the other day – I’d like to keep in touch by connecting on LinkedIn.
- Endeavour to look at your Profile Page everyday. Every time you update your profile and show activity – you are ‘visible’. In the off-line world of networking there is a saying: Visibility + Credibility = Profitability. In simple terms – the more you are visible in your contacts’ minds the more they know what you are up to the more likely they are to contact you or think of you for a relevant reason – which may lead to business referral, hence profitability. Participation is key.
- Don’t attempt to spam or directly sell. People will disconnect with you faster than you know if they think you are just there to sell your wares. Think of offline networking, you wouldn’t start a partnership or conversation by trying to sell someone something – engage, listen and nurture your contacts – don’t spam them. If someone is specifically discussing something you have a solution for – then sure, engage – but listen in first – don’t spam. Relevancy is key. I often get spammed about social media training – or do I want a marketing plan! Er no thanks – have you even bothered to look at my profile!
- Be targeted. You may want to promote a product or service directly into an audience. And the beauty of LinkedIn is that the demographic information is really very granular (more so on social networks than on any other medium). The Advanced Search feature gives you an idea of what you can drill down to beyond age and title. It may be that you consider running a LinkedIn Ad whereby you serve advertising to a highly targeted audience.
- Grow your authority. Join relevant groups and get involved in relevant discussions and share your knowledge. With groups you can add a new topic to garner opinion or advice. If there isn’t a relevant group for what you do – then you can easily create a group and then search for relevant contacts and people and invite them to that group. If you’re not directly connected to a person – then you can always ask one of your contacts that is connected to invite them. The ‘get introduced’ referral process is very powerful for that purpose. See the Groups tab to create a Group – and search Groups to find relevant groups.
- Get recommendations. Asking contacts, colleagues, peers, clients, delegates etc for recommendations couldn’t be easier on LinkedIn. It’s a very simple process. Click your Profile and Recommendations and then you can simply select which contacts you want to get Recommendations from. There is research to say that those users with recommendations grow credibility and are more likely to get requests for advice and to be found in searches – and of course, you can use the recommendations in other marketing materials and on your website etc.
So – there are my 10 quick tips for Leveraging LinkedIn – any other tips or tactics you may have, then please do share – always keen to hear more.
This blog post was brought to you by Michelle Carvill, founder of Carvill Creative, the online visibility experts and author of The Business of Being Social – A Practical Guide to Harnessing the Power of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn for all Businesses.
If you need any help with your social media activity, blogging or creating content or any other digital marketing services, then do get in touch with us.