Getting the best out of LinkedIn for your business
I can guarantee that at some point during every working day I will be using LinkedIn. Now, not everyone uses LinkedIn quite as extensively, or for the same reasons, but LinkedIn has become a big part of many companies’ sales and marketing toolkit in recent years
Using LinkedIn can open up many different avenues, and can create links to the right people in the right companies. Part of our digital marketing offering here at Prospect Connect is to use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool, by researching companies, employees and identifying the ideal person that the campaign requires. LinkedIn provides an amazing way to connect directly to decision makers and provides a channel to speak with them one to one.
Therefore, we thought we’d provide a little bit of advice on how to get the most out of LinkedIn, and how it can really benefit your business.
Make the best of your profile
We have to start with the obvious here – it’s all well and good scouring LinkedIn for the people you want to target and trying to connect, but if you’re not providing enough information on yourself, people aren’t going to want to connect with you! Your own profile needs to be professional and engaging in order to build lasting, and more importantly valuable connections. Of course, it’s a personal choice whether you add a picture to your account, but adding a picture is a definite positive in my view. People are more likely to accept a connection request from a profile that has a picture than one without. That being said, think carefully therefore about the picture you use! Whilst you might think that picture of you drinking a pint on the beach may look fun, it’s not business – especially for a business social network. Personality is okay, too personal is not. As for the rest of your profile, fill it with interesting information – professional and personal – but don’t overdo it. Take a note of your profile’s header, as this is one of the first things people will see about you. so make sure it stands out for the right reasons. Some people prefer to leave it blank and just their job title, others like to change it, it’s whatever you want it to be.
Get out what you put in
Your best bet is to simply start connecting! It’s best to find and network with like-minded business people that are linked to your industry, and also with people that you eventually want to approach in a sales sense. When you connect with people from a similar area you can share relevant ideas and posts, and it’s also a good idea to join groups and start getting your name into the mix. The more people that see you for good and insightful content the better, so don’t just share other posts, create your own and publish them for people to read and share. Don’t make your posts all about you, as the best and most engaging posts involve people. Another good idea is to share other people’s posts, and joining in conversations on relevant topics where you can have some interesting and valuable input. There’s loads of great ways to increase your network, and all it takes is some experimentation.
Focus on the right people
There are millions of people on LinkedIn (Over 433 million registered users worldwide) so ensuring you’re targeting the right person is key. Don’t waste lots of time waiting for people to connect with you (especially at the start of a campaign, or if you have a low number of connections), go straight to them and start connecting. Focus your energy on people you can see are worth your time in the relevant area of business or someone you could eventually do business with. Look for clues that they are actually using their account so you don’t waste your time waiting for people to connect or send wasted messages. A few clues to get a better idea if someone is using their account are;
- How many connections do they have? The more connections, the more likely they are active
- Is their account filled out with plenty of information and up to date?
- Are they a member of any groups? Being involved in groups and conversations is a good sign
- Have they shared, liked or published posts recently?
You can personalise your connection message (as long as it is under 300 characters), or send a message directly once you have connected with someone. The important thing to consider is that you want to send a message, engage in conversation! A sales pitch in a first message won’t get most people to bite, but trying to discuss something with someone will last much longer. People like mutual relationships, after all!
By thinking, planning and putting more into your actions on LinkedIn, you can start to create real business connections and reap real benefits for you and your business. Why not start today? After all, there’s room for plenty more!