LinkedIn is a fabulous business networking tool and should be utilized to the fullest to maximize your business development activities. Here are some quick tips on using LinkedIn effectively and with a purpose:
1. LinkedIn is a free service and you don’t need to upgrade to a paid member to use it effectively. They give you a ton of invites, so start invting people to connect that you know!
2. LinkedIn shows you who has viewed your profile. You can then send them a message or connection request and mention you saw they stopped by your profile. Paid users can see more profile viewer info, so that can help in that regard.
3. When someone you have invited accepts your connection request you will receive an email, send them an email thanking them for accepting and start the conversation. Similarly, when you accept someone’s connection request you can send them a message thanking them for the connection and telling them what you do and ask when they do, etc.
4. Joining multiple LinkedIn Groups in your Industry will allow you to post your articles and blog posts into those groups, which can be a powerful syndication strategy for your content. But don’t post company profiles or promotions or it may get you banned from the group. It also increases to the number of connection requests you will receive if your content is good.
5. Leave LinkedIn Recommendations for others first proactively and they usually will reciprocate with a Recommendation for you. LinkedIn Recommendations can be really powerful at convincing people you are great to work with because they are usually really positive.
6. Look through your LinkedIn connections’ contacts and then send “connection requests” through your connections to the people you wish to connect with. This is the best way to do business development through LinkedIn in my opinion and its extremely under-used, so don’t be afraid to send connection requests through your contacts, thats what LinkedIn is for. Note: be nice, friendly and professional in your connection requests and don’t look at it as a “means to an end” outreach tool, and it will be more effective.
7. Any LinkedIn Group you join you are permitted to contact 500 members of that Group even if you aren’t connected to them. This is a great little secret that you can use to do a ton of business development within Groups.
8. You can customize your LinkedIn Profile to feature any aspect of your profile higher up on the page. You can add add-ons to your profile from 3rd parties which can really ramp up the functionality of your Profile. I have dragged my Recommendation up the top so they will be featured.
9. You can connect your Twitter account to your LinkedIn Profile so your tweets get posted on your LinkedIn profile. You can also connect other services as well.
10. LinkedIn has become more like Facebook, so you have to monitor the “status updates” of your connections and then proactively interact with those posts to increase networking and building up good social karma (where people will reciprocate for your links and comments).
11. You can set-up a Company Profile on LinkedIn that you can build out with content, add staff members, and collect company recommendations which can be powerful at convincing people to work with you.
12. You can export your LinkedIn connections to a spreadsheet so you can look at them all at once and send email to people you want to contact. You can also share your contacts with trusted people that will reciprocate…talk about getting ahead quickly!
These are a few tips for maximizing your LinkedIn time and efforts. LinkedIn is a fantastic business networking tool, but most people just don’t use it enough. So I’m on a little bit of a missions to get people using it more like it should be. Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any questions, comments, or more ideas! thx!