As you network with people, it is common for you to hear about how LinkedIn is fast replacing the business cards holders that people used to maintain. LinkedIn is used extensively by businesses to effectively reach their target audiences and start creating a positive impression about their products and services. It is used both as a thought leadership medium as well as a channel to reach people directly, soliciting for business. How exactly do you put together a strategy to start leveraging LinkedIn for your business ? That may be one thing, that’s been on your mind for long, but have not been able to answer.
Here are some tips to help you start leveraging LinkedIn for your business, based on some of the engagements that we are currently doing, managing LinkedIn profiles for our clients and really helping them ensure that they are able to start leveraging LinkedIn for their business. How to create a LinkedIn business profile
1) Complete your profile
Make sure that you have a completed profile. Your profile should talk to your potential customers and help build confidence. Make sure that you use the right keywords and highlight the right experience through your profile. A professional headshot goes a long way in making your prospects comfortable about who you are. Have a good headline, which talks about your unique skills and capabilities. Your profile should also have clear CTA (Call to Action) letting visitors what to expect and why they should contact you.
2) Expand network, but don’t spam
Expand your network by connecting with people who you know or have references into. If you have too many requests that go unaccepted, then it is quite likely that LinkedIn may block you from sending any further requests. Moving to a paid account does not solve this problem. Remember social networking is like a cocktail reception party. It provides great networking opportunity, but you still need a warm connect. If you accost people, they may not appreciate it
3) Join LinkedIn groups and contribute
Join relevant LinkedIn group, which have a congregation of your intended target audience. Contribute in these groups. With just a few responses, you can quickly become a trending contributor on the group and can build good friends. Once you are able to establish this credibility, you can slowly start sneaking in your content as well and people will not object. As a member of a group, you can send upto 15 free messages to members within the group.
4) Be genuine
When you are participating in a discussion or responding to a post, be genuine. Just posting for posting sake will mean that you are not generating enough value for your prospects. Knowledge and experience are on your side and what you have is unique. By participating in posts or responding to posts, you are not essentially giving any of your knowledge, but only helping to generate more curiosity and demand for your business
5) Be consistent on LinkedIn
Decide how much time per day/per week you can spend on LinkedIn and be consistent with your decision. Being on and off on LinkedIn may not help you create a consistent presence that you are trying to build. If you are generating content on a regular basis, make sure that you are able to promote that content with text or image posts multiple times, so that you can engage with your potential prospects effectively. Here is where Xenia can help as well.
6) Accept connection requests
As you send connection requests, so will others send requests to you. Make sure that you accept these requests. If there are several connection requests that you have made, which have not been accepted over a period of time, withdraw these requests so that you have opportunity to send more requests over time. This is called as ongoing account maintenance and must be done.
7) Effectively leverage LinkedIn Pulse
Pulse is LinkedIn’s own blogging platform. Leverage it to post content. While posting, make sure that you complete the keyword tags and also post an interesting image for the header. You can promote the blog via social share buttons on LinkedIn. If you are a premium account user, you will also come to know how visitors are interacting with your post and can potentially provide you meaningful leads. Every pulse post can be promoted across groups to spark off discussions or posted on your Share across LinkedIn, Twitter to keep the interest alive. Your posted content can also be converted to white paper like documents on your company template to keep the engagement active and generate more business leads.
8) Move from online to offline
As you nurture some of your relationships using LinkedIn, make sure that you start moving these relationships offline as well. Move into emails/calls so that you are able to build that relationships and potential business with your prospects.
We hope this checklist will be useful for you as you start leveraging LinkedIn for your business. If you need help we are just a call away. Do take a look at what we offer in terms of Social media marketing and some examples of how we have delivered results to customers.How to increase your Twitter following with 6 simple steps?
Atul is Founder & CEO at Xenia Consulting. He has over 22 years of experience in marketing, across corporates as well as SME,start-ups. Over the last 5 years, he has gained significant expertise and has helped several companies drive growth leveraging digital marketing