LinkedIn is THE most popular network for social professional users. LinkedIn is able to boast that it currently has over 364 million members. LinkedIn averages 2 new members per second. Click to Tweet
Social Networks are popping up all the time and then there are the constant changes that go along with those networks. It might be tempting to skip LinkedIn, however if you ideal customer is a business professional, or could be in one of the 8,000 new groups created weekly, it just might be time to reconsider.
What actually is LinkedIn?
Just in case you are not really aware of LinkedIn the best way to describe LinkedIn would be Facebook in a business suite. Click to Tweet
Employers look for employees, the unemployed look for positions and other professionals write articles and start discussions that are business related. If you are looking for some advice, LinkedIn is a great place to get a wide variety of opinions.
You connect by connections and of course you do not want numbers as much as quality connections. Click to Tweet
LinkedIn will allow you to request a “connect” with another member, but may ask you how you know this person and depending on the type of connection you chose, you may even be asked to supply the email address of this person. LinkedIn will ask if you want to connect with your contacts and will import emails from all of the email carriers.
Your LinkedIn Profile
If you do any research on LinkedIn, you will see a strong emphasis on how important your profile is. Click to Tweet
I cannot emphasize that enough. While other platforms might get you a cursory glance at your profile, LinkedIn users tend to look in much more detail. Click to Tweet
Another important point is that if your profile is not filled out many people will not “connect”’ I get requests all the time to “connect”, and instead of just taking the easy way out and responding with a quick yes, I do look to see if the person has at least a picture and started the profile. Next I like to look and see how long they have been on LinkedIn, then I look to see if the filled out profile has been filled out to an extent that matches the start time with LinkedIn. If someone has been on LinkedIn for several years and only has a title and picture filled out, I am still not really interested. As this is a professional platform, I am interested in connections with people that are serious about their business and serious about LinkedIn. In May, I created a blog outlining steps to creating a great LinkedIn professional headline.
Marketing on LinkedIn
Developing relationships on LinkedIn is useful to marketers because it essentially “pre-qualifies” them with their connections for everything. You become a trusted advisor to each other, so if there’s an opportunity to help each other out, answer a question, buy a product, etc., you’re the first person they turn to. Click to Tweet
You’ve got an expert to answer your questions on a topic, a person to collaborate with on projects that are to big to tackle on your own, and in turn, you become the same for your connections.. When done right, it truly becomes a give-and-take relationship that can develop into much more.
LinkedIn give you the opportunity to develop relationships that turn into so much more: friendship, partnership, collaboration and even new business. Click to Tweet
Other Tips to Help You Rock LinkedIn
- Be opportunistic : Join groups that will let you connect with your target audience but are not your contacts. By being part of the group, you have permission to contact them and invite them to join your network. Click to Tweet
Be redundant: Know your top five strengths and use them in that profile. Click to Tweet If you are in project management for example, describe your project management proficiency in your summary along with multiple experience descriptions. By doing so, you will help the right audience to find you.
Endorsements are key, But ensure they are the right ones. Most people want a high number of endorsements and do not seem to discriminate. They key is to ensure that you have the highest number of endorsements in those signature strengths to further influence those that are looking at your profile. Click to Tweet If you have endorsements that are not a part of how you want to be found, have the courage to delete or reject those endorsements.
Be careful who you endorse. I used to be one to say that if someone endorses you, endorse them back as a general rule. It is actually more important to give recommendations and endorsements to those you actually admire. If you are giving an endorsement to another person, people see that as an extension of your values. Click to Tweet
It is ok to be a little lazy. There is nothing wrong with reusing and repurposing the content that you have available. This is going to amplify your particular message and show brand consistency. If you are communicating the same content into different forms of the same content in distinctive ways, it will help reinforce your message. Click to Tweet For example, convert some of your blog posts into activity updates, whitepapers and articles in your profile .
Be a groupie. You want to limit the number of groups only to your area of expertise. That is the choir singing to the choir. Branch out into area “related to your area of expertise”. Click to Tweet Also join groups that your ideal customer is going to be located in or might be looking for your service within.
Do not be a chameleon. Do not assume others know how to spell your name or know that you have changed your name. For example, for myself, I need to include Chris, Christine, Solutions with AmeriPlan, Chris McDonald NC and want2HelpUtoday.
You can sneak. You can view someone’s profile and change the view setting to anonymous in “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile. Click to Tweet
Know the limits: Be sure to know the character limit for each section so when you are working on your profile you have the opportunity to repeat key words. Character limits are here
- Content, content, content Make sure that what you are posting on updates and in group discussions is always great content. We should always be looking for ways to provide value to a prospective customer via quality content. Click to Tweet
- Of course, when the goal of this type of marketing is to establish thought leadership and when a person is ready to make a purchase, they remember your company is already answering their questions and helping them. Click to Tweet There is the same type of approach needed on LinkedIn. When you get on a discussion, the goal is not to spam the other users on the site, but to enrich the content you are already sharing with equally valuable social content. A discussion is the biggest source of leads for a marketer. That does not mean you see someone within the group and you know they NEED your product so you message them and tell them all about why they should buy from you. What it does mean is that you connect with the person, develop a relationship with them and from there learn more to give more value and hit those pain points. Do not try to sell to someone without first really getting to know them
Attract attention by being disorganized. You are able to reorder the content that is on your profile. Put those things you want to emphasize and the less important at the bottom. Most people will pick up that difference and not only are you showcasing what is important, you show yourself to be unique. Click to Tweet
Be selective in what you are sharing. I still have “Cardiac Catheterization Technician” listed as one of my previous jobs. Now that may be a fact, but it has nothing to do with social media management. A better option is to delete it or to add a section such as “My training Ground” This listing has brought me endorsements for “surgical” and “surgical nurse” when in fact I am an X-Ray tech.
- Schedule time. LinkedIn is no different than any other social media platform, you will have to stay active on the platform. Take time to update your profile, publish articles, and most of all participate in group discussions. Click to Tweet
Be Yourself, and Be the Best You. Although you may be looking for a “job” your profile is not a resume. Write the profile as if you are having a conversation with someone, and inject your personality. Click to Tweet It is alright to let people know your passions and values within limits. If you are privately passionate about porn, you might want to leave that off.
- Be a perfectionist with that profile and it is ok to be a procrastinator. You want a great profile and it is important to get it right. If you reach out to someone, they WILL look at your profile. Although the temptation is to get on LinkedIn and start getting contacts, your focus needs to be on that profile and make sure it is showing you, your values and your skills highlighted in every way possible from being clear and concise to keyword rich. Click to Tweet
Following these tips will surely get you on a path towards great leads, ideas you can use but most importantly, wonderful relationships with folks that will last a lifetime.
What tips would you have added to this list, (remember we are not covering that profile area) please share below and help others grow!!