Do You Want To Get More Business From LinkedIn?
LinkedIn has to be one of the most undervalued and yet the most powerful online business networking tools currently available.
Most people seem to use LinkedIn just for ‘collecting’ connections and then not doing anything with them. I have never understood the point of doing this unless it is all about knowing more people than anyone else!
Actually I was guilty of just adding and inviting connections too until I really took the time to understand what LinkedIn is all about and how it could grow Limelight Online's business. Now when people meet me for the first time they say ‘I really liked the advice you gave about online forms’ or ‘I see that you post regularly in LinkedIn’. These are people who don’t know me directly but know me via the connections I have made. Those connections comment on my posts and therefore their comment shows up on their connections timeline. Hopefully you are with me so far….
As with all marketing, LinkedIn is certainly about developing your business and of course, part of this is also developing your personal brand. This is exactly what all my efforts have lead to so far; recognition.
Here are 7 simple tips on how to enhance your experience of LinkedIn and consequently grow your business.
1. Build Your Profile
Before you do anything else you must make sure that you have fully built your profile and that it is up-to-date. Tell people about you, your skills, your experience, your education and your current projects. Use keywords that you would like to be found for e.g. ‘website designer’, ‘social media expert’. Don’t forget to ask for recommendations from clients as a way of building your credibility within LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has a tool that helps you with this and prompts you as what additional information you can provide on your profile.
Fig. 1. Here you are prompted to add your information to these particular sections
2. Groups, Groups, Groups
How many groups do you belong to? Join as many as you can find that are relevant to your business. Engage in the groups by responding to people’s comments or make a comment yourself or even better ask a question. People really do love helping each other out. Yes, some of the groups can be a bit ‘salesy’ so you will need to search through them to find the good ones.
If you have a look at the Activity Tab in the Group Statistics section you will see at a glance at the type of activity the group enjoys. More comments than discussions indicates that group members are highly engaged and few comments means…Well, it means walk away from this group as it is not for you!
Fig.2. On a group page this panel shows on the right. Link through to get an idea of how active the group is.
3. Start your own group
How about that for an idea? Anyone can start a group but think hard about the category and who it is targeting. The more specific you are the better. Think about your target clients and how you could help them and focus on that for your group.
Do your research by finding out what other groups there are in LinkedIn and what sort of groups people are actively engaged in. Make sure the name of your group is relevant and specific. Invite all of your connections and ‘be in it’ at least once a day. You must not only engage with your group members but you are responsible for the moderation of the group too.
4. Do you have a company page?
If not, now is the time to set one up. Use your company page to profile your work and to provide updates on product releases, new design work, company changes, industry news and customer testimonials. Ask your employees to follow your page, send out an email to your database asking them to follow your page and also cross-promote on other social media channels. If you don’t have followers your status updates will have a limited visibility.
Now is a really good time to set up your company page and for it to have visibility and market share on LinkedIn as there is currently little competition.
As with any form of marketing the more often you do it the more likely people are to remember you when they are looking for the service or product you offer. When you are posting this is what you are doing i.e. promoting yourself and therefore your company. Posting once or twice a day is sufficient. Don’t go overboard and post every half hour as you will just annoy people. Post about industry news or about a great blog you have just seen. LinkedIn is not the venue for telling everyone what you are having for dinner tonight!
Fig.3. An example of a post about a blog I liked.
6. Are you engaging?
Of course you are but are you engaging with your connections on LinkedIn? Try and comment on people’s posts whether within a group or not. Don’t just say ‘Great post’ or ‘I like this’ but take the time to think for a minute or two and write a considered comment of one or two sentences. By engaging with others all of their connections will also see that you are a woman of wisdom and they will want to connect with you too.
7. Use your connections!
You can see who all your connections are connected to. Take a look and if you spot someone that is a target of yours, either the actual person or the company they work for then ask your joint connection for an introduction. Another way of doing this is if you know who you want to connect with search their name and you will see how far removed they are from you. You will see how you are connected even if is 3 degrees of separation and then you can work on closing those separation gaps.
Of course there is a lot more that you can do within LinkedIn but these 7 steps are the must-dos and as long as you dedicate time each day to working on all of these you will no doubt start to see an increased interest in your business.
Leave a comment below on ways you use LinkedIn to promote your business.