Used well, LinkedIn can be an incredibly powerful tool for your business, however almost everyone I meet admits to not really understanding the platform. In professional services this is prolific, it appears firms are saying that staff should be using the tool but not actually helping them work out how to get the most from it. This seems very odd.
In this post I’ve outlined 6 tips for effective use of the platform, I hope it helps you.
1. Complete your profile fully
This might sound obvious but the majority don’t. Anything less than 100% complete is too little. Having a fuller profile helps others find you. You need to include information on your previous positions as well as your current company – think of it as an online CV if you will.
2. Start finding people
Numbers matter on LinkedIn – A slightly controversial comment perhaps but this is not just for ego. The more people you are ‘connected with’ the better the chance of working the tool you’ll have. Start searching your local area and contacts and asking to link with those people you know and trust. Over time you will naturally start to build this number quickly but in the beginning you need to give it a bit of a push.
3. Get found on Search Engines
Make sure your profile is set to ‘full’ – you can do this in the edit profile settings section. LinkedIn is very well respected by Google so the chances of you showing up in the results if you are active are that much higher. Do you rank in Google for your own name (I hope you do because your prospective clients will be searching for you)? If not, get working this site. A quick search on my name Alastair Banks actually shows two results on LinkedIn in the top 10 meaning I get even more bites of the ‘search cherry’.
4. Did you know LinkedIn has other Search Engine (SEO) value?
In your profile you are able to link to 3 external sites – perhaps your blog or company website. Many people don’t realise these links have SEO value, so you need to make sure you name the link and include a keyphrase that is descriptive of your website or business. Check my profile to see how I do this.
5. Do your homework
I use LinkedIn to find people that I’m meeting. The power of a little knowledge on their education, company history and interests can be the difference between winning a pitch or not. Bonding is such an important part of sales that you shouldn’t overlook this.
6. Ask for Recommendations
You can ask for recommendations from your contacts. Don’t be embarrassed, get on and do it. Someone saying something nice about you is that much more powerful than you saying it yourself. The more you can get, the better and don’t forget to return the favour when someone is nice enough to recommend you.
This really is the tip of the Iceberg when it comes to this powerful social networking platform. I strongly recommend integrating this into your everyday work.
If you want to know more about how to to do this then I’ll be running a new LinkedIn course on the 9th of November in Exeter with my good friend Julian Summerhayes where we’ll focus on how to get leads and sales from this fantastic tool. Sorry for the shameless plug but this course really is a great chance to tap into our knowledge at a low cost. The value of what you’d get from it far outweighs the small cost for joining us that day. Places are limited so make sure you get in quick: http://areyoulinkedin.eventbrite.com/
Hope to see you there
Now Your Thoughts
- What are your views on LinkedIn?
- How does it fit your strategy?
- I’d love to hear success stories you can attribute to the tool