Joining LinkedIn has been an educational, rewarding and sometimes frustrating experience. The social media platform has taught me how to network better and acquire more customers. During the past few years, I have used LinkedIn to grow my business by 40 percent by learning to use every element of the platform to my advantage. Are you using LinkedIn to its fullest potential?
Below are LinkedIn tips to help you build your business and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
Upload a good photo
A photo is worth a thousand words. What is your profile photo saying about you? Be creative but professional.
Write a catchy headline
Your headline is seen everywhere: in comments, on posts and when you share an update. Is it saying, “Connect with me”?
Complete your profile
Who are you, and what can you do for the person looking at your page? Write content that is relevant to you and your industry, but be sure to set yourself apart from the rest.
Include a “must-read” summary
You have seconds to grab a visitor’s attention when your profile pops up. You need to get them to want to read more — your summary is your elevator pitch. If your content isn’t unique or well written, then visitors won’t read past the first sentence or two.
Make quality connections
LinkedIn has over 300 million members and is largely composed of key business decision makers. Ideally, you want 500 or more quality connections. Connect with as many members as you can, but remember to be selective because your connections are a reflection of your character. The power of LinkedIn lies in the relationships you build with your connections. The saying that “the size of your network is the size of your net worth” holds true on LinkedIn.
Interact with as many of your connections as you can, and ask them questions about what you can do for them. I recently connected two people who will potentially do business together. I took 20 minutes out of my day to make a connection that resulted in a new “tribe” member for me. People in my tribe trust me and will ultimately do business with me.
“The execution of networking for mutual benefit on LinkedIn is quite simple and based on a single word. Give.” – Teddy Burriss, LinkedIn trainer, Burriss Consulting, Inc.
Develop a tribe
Your “tribe” is composed of your closest circle of LinkedIn connections who like, comment, and share your posts, updates and comments. This will boost your visibility and ranking. In turn, do the same for them. I have benefited from my tribe though referrals, clients and new business partners, which equal income.
Join groups that are active and that are in your industry. Engage in conversation and learn from the other members. Join groups that your potential clients or customers may be a part of. Groups may be private, accessible to members only or open to LinkedIn users in general; in both cases, however, you must join in order to post messages.
Get and give recommendations and endorsements
Recommendations from your colleagues are third-party validation of who you are and help to support your skills, ethics, personality, etc. Always thank people for their recommendations and reciprocate and write a recommendation for them.
In addition to recommendations, it is important that you endorse other business professionals for their knowledge, talents and experiences. When others endorse you, make sure the endorsement is accurate for you and thank them!
Once your profile is complete, be active in groups and on the home page. Posting relevant information about your industry helps you become the go-to guy (or gal) for your clients. Build relationships. If they are local, by all means invite them to have a cup of coffee. Remember, this is not to sell or promote your products or services. It’s to build a “know, like and trust” relationship! What can you do for THEM? Who can you connect them to? I also have one-on-ones with LinkedIn members across the nation via web chat or Skype.
I follow all of the guidelines I listed above, and as a result, LinkedIn is allowing me to grow our business locally, nationally and globally with connections in different countries, so as our company goes global, I will grow with it.
To learn more about what LinkedIn can do for you, connect with me at tinyurl.com/mhp9djh.Bob Shrum has always been a “connector” and found his home as a network marketing professional with Rodan + Fields. His passion for connecting people led him to co-found the popular Gainesville Networking Challenge as a way to help others grow their business. Bob spends his days teaching the importance of networking online by connecting professionals around the globe.