How To Make LinkedIn Your Ally In Business...
Hot Tips For Creating a Powerful LinkedIn Profile For Your Company
It's great to market your business socially on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and there is a great deal of focus on these at the moment. However, LinkedIn plays a very powerful role as a new client attraction magnet and a relationship enhancer for existing clients, especially if your business is service oriented.
You can liken LinkedIn as the "Big Brother" of Facebook and on a more business / professional level. You can do very similar things in LinkedIn as you can in Facebook, for example, creating groups, post status updates, links and also reach out to industry professionals in your business networks.
Following are five powerful things you can do to grow a client list from LinkedIn:
Tip 1. Be conclusive. Be completely thorough with your profile, filling in all the photo's, details and finer points, so that you really stand out and look professional and switched on (yes, this takes a fair bit of work but it's well worth it). Be sure to use accurate and exact numbers in your profiles, for example: "I was able to help my main company x grow leads by 312.43% in a 11 month period).
The aim here is to not use LinkedIn like the other social platforms you're on, it's not for social gossip, but more for being the professional, friendly go-to person in your industry.
This is also the place to be exact with your wording, phrasing and spelling, other hubs may be overlooked as they're more casual, but LinkedIn is less forgiving and after all it is your integrity on the line here, have a professional wordsmith or a friend good with spelling and grammar check it before you go live.
Lastly, you want to drag and drop the different sections around, so that your strongest points are at the top. These could be your skills, testimonials, education or on the job results you've achieved, but have them go from the strongest at the top to best represent you early on, down to your weaker points.
Tip 2: Be descriptive with your titles. Make your titles and headlines very intriguing and powerful so as to entice your readers in further. If you need a hand at this, get your favourite book in your industry sector and read the chapter descriptions and titles to give you ideas. The homepages for readersdigest.com and news sites like ninemsn.com always have really powerful and sticky headlines where you can get ideas from also, study these and reproduce them in your own flavour and you won't go wrong.
So instead of just using a plain vanilla description of your role, like "Director, NettKnowledge" as your main title, you might think of being creative and more descriptive. Like "Helping Businesses Start, Grow & Consolidate Their Business Online." You should look upon your headlin as a summary of what you offer your prospective clients and not repeat it in your title. Of course the exception to the rule would be if your business has a well known statement or positioning line.
TIP 3: Make use of the skills section. This is an often overlooked area by many new and seasoned LinkedIn users. However, it's a very useful tool for corporates and larger businesses to look at when hiring professionals with specific skillsets.
Complete your skills list at linkedin.com/skills to allow prospective clients to find you easily.
So a prospective employer looking for your skills can easily go and find you and search for your skills, for example if you were a web designer, you could list skills like "Graphic design", "HTML Expert" and "Mobile Websites" so it best describes your broader industry and more specific niches within it.
The last thing you need to look at doing is getting endorsements. And the best way to get is to give, so find some people you know, like and have done business with and endorse them, you'll find they'll return the favour. Don't get this function confused with recommendations, which we'll be covering in Tip 4 next.
TIP 4: Send and request recommendations. Recommendations are perfect to build social proof and help prospective clients who are yet undecided to make a decision about engaging your services. They are generally more detailed than endorsements and require a good few sentences describing why someone liked your work and the results it got them.
Once again, you can jump start the recommendation process by giving them out to people you highly recommend. Keep in mind, it's best to decline requests that you know you can't honestly write a wholehearted recommendation for.
While you can ask your connections for recommendations, it would be far more authentic to ask for them personally or at least live on the phone with clients you really trust and have enjoyed working with you.
TIP 5: Make regular updates. One of the biggest killers in social media is not updating your profile with new achievements, news, awards you might have won and new services and products you're launching. By not doing this, you will lose prospects interest and it may even play a negative part as people may question if you're still around to do business.
You can also automate your profile with updates by installing a small amount of apps, you probably want to cap it at 3 or 4, or you'll risk annoying your connections and losing them. For the busines travelers, you could install an application called "TripIt" and if you read a lot of books you could look at installing Amazons Reading List application. Do't forget to post live updates of your own regularly also, just to keep things real.
Productivity Tip: If you're struggling to update your LinkedIn profile (and others) then you might wish to join the "big leagues" and have professionals manage it's outsourcing for you. I've found a group of outsourcers called Social Helpers to be very effective in increasing and growing my social media, whilst at the same time, not diluting my social marketing program's effectiveness, as I give them the content to use (or you can also have them thoroughly research it for you in your voice).
Question: Are you using LinkedIn proactively? If so, how are you using it for building and strengthening your relationships with prospects and existing clients? Please leave your comments down below and lets share with each other our biggest challenges with LinkedIn and also our biggest successes.