Sunday January 4, 2015 1 comments
If you had to choose one online network to invest your precious time with, it's got to be LinkedIn: The Business Professional Network. It's the world's largest global business network:
The image above is a screenshot from the LinkedIn training video on YouTube.
If you've already got a 100% optimized profile (you have a professional headshot instead of a "bluehead" default photo, professional and strategic headline and summary, plus the other criteria LinkedIn deems necessary for a 100% completed profile) and also have been inviting and accepting invitations, then, you're off to a good start but you're not unlocking the power of LinkedIn to more aggressively or strategically grow business.
Invest a little more time, three or five days a week to implement my 10 LinkedIn strategy tips below to get increased visibility and you will see more people following you; more views of your LinkedIn profile; more messages come in (these are openings for conversations); and more targeted traffic to your website. Best of all: you will increase the odds in your favor for actually landing a new client. I can't guarantee you will get more clients, simply by implementing these tips, because there are many factors out of my control, such as:
How well your website currently converts visitors into your trust funnel (also known as your email list or sales funnel).
How timely you respond to accepted invitations with personalized messages (thank only the VIPs or thank everyone).
Bottomline: these tips will help you get more visibility and are the first steps to building relationships with new AND current connections. After that, it's up to you to convert (or call me for help).
Implement 10 LinkedIn Strategy Tips for Visibility
LinkedIn Visibility Tip #1: Get on the radar of VIPs in your network by endorsing their skills. They will get a notification from LinkedIn that you've endorsed them.
LinkedIn Visibility Tip #2: Publish a weekly blog post in LinkedIn. This is a built-in audience, my friends! Your LinkedIn network gets notified when you've published a blog post or when you... (see next tip).
LinkedIn Visibility Tip #3: Publish a daily status update. Share one of your blog posts or share a useful article from someone else.
LinkedIn Visibility Tip #4: Spend 10 minutes once a month inviting 25 people into your LinkedIn network by using LinkedIn's suggestions. This one tip alone will increase your visibility instantly and exponentially - especially when you increase the time and increase the number of people. Why not spend 25 minutes (instead of 10 minutes) inviting 100 people? CAUTION: Be sure to invite people you know and trust and who know and trust you or else if you send invitations to people who don't know you, they could flag your account as a spammer or report you for abuse. (Thanks to one of my readers for pointing that out to me in a comment). Apply this strategy to jumpstart your network to 500 1st degree connections. The maximum number of invitations you can send is 3,000. So, be more strategic with whom you send invitations to from that point on. Bonus tip:do this tip when you've just published a helpful blog post in LinkedIn. You'll get more readers and some of them may become "followers" of your posts.
Don't Be a Pitcher: Be a Connector and/or a Resource
Even though you might get a client or two or three after implementing these tips: remember: don't use LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook, etc. or even in-person connecting to immediately PITCH yourself. That's SO 1980s. People need to check you out and get to the stage of trust before any business happens. Be a resource for others. Be a helper. Publish helpful blog posts and helpful social media content. Provide ways for website visitors to immediately feel comfortable about you when they land in your website (credibility clues that you're a credible person). Trust is the new currency. Once you win their trust, your network will recommend YOU or hire YOU.
(BACK TO MY TIPS...We're still on LinkedIn Tip #4...)
HERE'S WHERE TO FIND THE "Add Connections" link:
On your phone or tablet: Download the LinkedIn App to your phone (https://www.linkedin.com/mobile) and do tip #4 every time you're waiting in line at the bank, post office or waiting at the airport. From the app: go to "People You May Know" and start tapping the + symbol next to each person's profile. They will receive a message that you'd like to invite them to your LinkedIn network. Don't be surprised if your phone starts to blow up (in a good way) with notifications of acceptances of your invitations. That's instantaneous visibility, baby!
From a laptop/desktop computer: Login to LinkedIn and you'll automatically be on your Homepage: scroll down in the right column and look for the blue "Add Connections" button:
LinkedIn Visibility Tip #5: Use the "Keep In Touch" feature of LinkedIn. Click on the link in your navigation menu, under "Connections" Here's an image to guide you there:
You'll see rows of people's profiles appear with opportunities for you to say "Congrats!" or "Like" their anniversary, birthday, promotion or some other accomplishment that just happened or is happening. This is another quick and easy way for you to build that relationship (AKA: get on their radar again). It literally takes seconds to do yet not very many people use this feature so you will stand out.
All we're doing here, folks, is staying in touch and being helpful to people in our network. This works digitally AND in person. Do both and watch your business grow fast.
LinkedIn Visibility Tip #6: While I was writing this new post, my dear friend IRL, Viveka von Rosen, The LinkedIn Expert and founder of LinkedIn To Business, published her latest LinkedIn post with four tips for staying top of mind. (Great minds and friends think alike!). One of her tips from that article is to share a valuable article you read with one of your prospective clients by using the LinkedIn Sharing Bookmarklet. Great tip! Here's a link to her article: 4 Easy Steps to Staying Top Of Mind With Top Prospects on LinkedIn. Buy her book: Buy the book: LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day.
LinkedIn Visibility Tip #7: Ask for recommendations from your past and current clients. This is NOT the endorsements feature (see about that in Tip #8). Asking for a recommendation from someone in your network should always be a former or current client you actually got great results for. You might want to write it for them if they're particularly busy or a bad speller (you cannot edit these yourself: the person writing the recommendation has to edit it). But if not, guide them with key points you'd love for them to hit on so they know exactly what to write about. Otherwise, you'll be stuck with a short, boring recommendation. I like to phone people and ask them if they'd be willing to write one.
LinkedIn Visibility Tip #8: Use the Endorsements feature to increase your visibility once again by endorsing the skills of people in your network that you'd really like to build relationships with - I'm talking VIPs. My theory about that feature is that it was a new way for LinkedIn to draw you back into your LinkedIn profile. Why else would LinkedIn make the feature so fast and easy to use, unlike the "Ask for Recommendation" feature, which is now difficult to find. Why not use the endorsements tool to get on the radar again with your VIPs? Choose skills that you know they have: don't use skills that LinkedIn THINKS they have (sometimes these are wrong). Your VIPs will get a notification that you endorsed them - and, once again, you've got Visibility with your VIPs, baby!
LinkedIn Visibility Tip #9: Groups. Ahhh... the Groups feature of LinkedIn: it's so juicy! So much potential and so many opportunities here for you to build relationships and thus, eventually, get clients and/or new fans who'll enter into your trust funnel (email list) or who'll recommend you. Choose a few highly active and not spammy groups to join. Check out their rules before joining and be sure you're allowed to share your blog posts. How can you tell if a group is a good candidate for you? Check out their stats by clicking on the "i" to the right of the "Member" button:
When you publish a new blog post (in your blog or in LinkedIn) take five minutes to craft a discussion about the blog post. LinkedIn makes this easy to do. When you take time to comment on other people's discussions, you'll get 4x the number of profile views, too.
LinkedIn Visibility Tip #10: Pulse is LinkedIn's publishing network - it's like a magazine filled with thousands of short and long articles that LinkedIn members have published in LinkedIn. You can publish your own, as I've described above in my LinkedIn Visibility Tip #2. Find people you really want to collaborate with, who are regularly publishing posts and start supporting them with thoughtful comments and likes on their posts. Share their posts with your social networks, as well as your LinkedIn network. Most people will remember who their top fans are and be appreciative. Ideally, these authors will reply to your comments with a "thanks" or maybe even a longer comment. Soon, you're on your way to building a relationship with a VIP in your network. There's a fine art to nurturing that relationship. I always approach this in a natural way. Another way to support that person, as well as glean some more visibility is to write your own blog post about that VIP and ask her or him if they'd be willing to answer a few questions for use in that blog post. This could be a written interview or a Google+ Hangout that you record as a video. Hopefully, they will share your article with their own networks. This strategy is used a lot. Why do you think there are so many Top Experts Lists? The publications know that those top experts will share the list their on with their own networks, thus, giving the publication mega-visibility.
Whew! Would you believe we've barely scratched the surface with these 10 tips? LinkedIn has many, many features and tools to leverage with the right strategies in order to build relationships and grow business. I teach LinkedIn Workshops and consult about it, as well as all the topics listed below. Let me know when I and my team can be of service to you.
I'm filled with ideas for you to become much more visible online and am always open to your thoughts and ideas, too. So please Tweet me or share this article and let me know how you did with my tips. I want to empower you to succeed. Thanks for reading.
Lori Gama is The Online Visibility Expert and founder of DaGama Web Studio, an Internet Marketing firm she started in 1995. She works with CEOs, CMOs, entrepreneurs, speakers, coaches and authors to create visibility, credibility and profitability by leveraging web design, social networking, video marketing, Google Visibility, and content marketing.
Lori is also the author of Become a Twitter Pro in 20 Days: a Beginner’s Guide to Twitter.
She writes a popular e-zine and blog; and speaks to groups about growing business with the tools of technology and the Web. She has been quoted byCNN, NBCLatino, The Huffington Post, The Coloradoan Newspaper, as well as various other publications. You can catch up with her every day in Twitter, GooglePlus, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn or by visiting her website and blog.
Continually Self-Educate To Grow Your Business:
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Social Media Strategy
Online Marketing Strategy
Event Marketing: Using Social Media to Make Your Event Enormously Successful
Social Media Marketing for Corporate
Social Media Marketing for Solopreneurs
Social Media & The City: How to Properly Integrate Social Media in City Government
SEO and How It Relates to Social
SEO and How It Relates to Local Search
Implementing Online Reputation-Building
Fixing an Online Reputation Crisis
Effective & Trustworthy Web Design
How to Re-Design Your Website and Get It Right This Time
Ecommerce: The Do's & Don'ts
How You Can Make a Living With the Internet
The History and Future of the Internet: An Overview