Do you know how to use LinkedIn to grow your business? LinkedIn is one of the largest social media platforms with over 200 million members. LinkedIn is also the 13th most visited site on the Internet. It’s free to use and is a great way to generate more leads, drive traffic to your website and increase your income.
Getting Started with LinkedIn
Getting started with LinkedIn is an easy three-step process.
- Sign up for a free LinkedIn account.
- Complete your profile.
- Upload a photo.
I personally have a LinkedIn Premium Spotlight account. I think it costs $9.95 a month and gives you quite a few added benefits. This isn’t necessary if you are just getting started with LinkedIn.
Your LinkedIn Profile
Plan to take some time and thoroughly complete your profile. I used Viveka von Rosen’s LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day to help maximize my profile’s exposure. Her book is a great starting point and is well worth the time to read it. You can also take a look at my profile. Feel free to copy whatever you want. Just make sure to fill your profile out completely.
Calls to Action
Your LinkedIn profile can be some very valuable real estate. At the top of you profile I like to use calls to action. Let people viewing your profile know exactly what you do and how you can help them.
The first line of my profile starts with an offer and the link to my website. I then prefer to use bullet points to quickly convey exactly what I do.
Next use short paragraphs to let people know what you do, a little background and recap your services.
After your brief introduction let people know why they should hire you. It doesn’t matter if you are looking for a job or clients, they still need to hire you.
You should then tell them what you can do for them. Bullet points work best. Since LinkedIn doesn’t allow any bold formatting, don’t be shy about using caps to gain attention.
You should then add yet another call to action and a free offer such as a consultation.
I like to then add a way to contact me. Don’t make people have to look for your email address.
LinkedIn uses keywords when a user searches for skills or services. You want to add as many relevant keywords as possible. The best way to do this is to just create a section that lists your specialties or areas of expertise. I prefer to add this to the bottom of the summary area.
I can’t tell you how many network requests I have received from members that haven’t taken the time to upload a photo. I don’t care who you are if you don’t have a photo I will not add you. All of our cellphones take pretty good pictures. I can’t take you serious if you aren’t willing to take ten minutes to put on a nice shirt and have a friend take a photo. Your photo doesn’t need to be taken by a professional photographer. Just a nice head shot with a nice background. No selfies!
Taking LinkedIn to the Next Level
LinkedIn is a free platform to both grow your network and your business. There are quite a few courses that will help you make the most of this free platform. I really like Lewis Howes’ Linkedinfluencers course. I took the course a while back and it took me less than a week to get my first client using what I learned from his course. The course isn’t free, but it is about the same price as dinner at a nice restaurant.
If you are using any paid advertising, you should consider taking this course. You’ll attract higher quality clients and build your personal brand. If you are in the job market, this course will help you get found by recruiters or even find business partners.
You’ll want to allow LinkedIn to access your contacts. When you do, LinkedIn will look for them on their network. This is the easiest way to get your first hundred connections. When you use any LinkedIn premium services (even the $9.99/mo Spotlight account) you’ll get suggestions on who to connect with. When you connect through suggested connections, you won’t need to go to the user’s profile. You just click on “Connect” under their image. I find that real estate agents will always accept invitations. If you are a local business, start with other local business owners. Once your reach 500 connections, LinkedIn will no longer show the exact total of connections.
LinkedIn is a great platform for networking and building relationships. Join relevant groups and contribute. This leads to more profile views and you’ll be seen as a thought leader. Continue to connect with new people and grow your network. When you offer to connect with someone, they’ll most likely check your profile. It’s not unusual to have over a hundred profile views a week. Not bad for ten bucks a month!
Are You Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Business
You now know what steps you need to take to get your basic profile set up. You may want to even get Viveka von Rosen’s LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and make the most of your efforts. I would also suggest that you take Lewis Howes’ Linkedinfluencers course and take LinkedIn to the next level.
Let me know what you are doing on LinkedIn. Did I leave out any tips? Let me know in the comments and connect with me on LinkedIn.