LinkedIn is a useful career tool and mingling with the right crowd has never been easier, but over the last few years it evolved past its networking purpose and has become a vital business development tool.
Bellow, you’ll find 10 LinkedIn business development best practices:
Optimise Your Profile
Make sure that your profile is fully complete, that’s the first step. The second step is a bit harder as you need to revise your profile and use as many keyword-rich descriptions as possible.
These steps will improve your visibility when someone is searching LinkedIn for people with your expertise.
Just don’t ‘go full keyword’ OK?
Get Your Custom URL
I don’t know about you, but personally, I love customization, and custom URLs are no exception. Go ahead and claim your custom URL, just make sure it includes your name (e.g. https://linkedin.com/in/yourname).
This rather simple step is especially valuable for people who have a lot of contact with potential clients (even more valuable for those of us in the B2B sector) mainly because we have become so accustomed to ‘googling’ – we just search for people we haven’t met yet in order to learn more about them and at times, to gain the upper hand.
Constantly keep on building and maintain your LinkedIn network. Whenever you meet someone, follow up with a LinkedIn request. Being connected to a wide plethora of professionals improves your chances of finding that one person who’s connected to someone with whom you’d like to be introduced.
Simply keep on networking, and when in doubt network some more.
Thanks to LinkedIn the endless search for prospective clients and decision makers has never been easier. The ability to find the appropriate person to contact for your business is at your fingertips, and it’s called ‘Advanced Search’. Use a combination of industry keywords, job titles and company or brand names and you’re all set.
When you do find your ‘point of contact’ look at their profile, perhaps they’re connected to anyone in your networking circle who you might ask for an introduction.
If not, don’t worry there are other, more natural relationship building methods. See what LinkedIn groups they participate in, or maybe they have a Twitter account or a blog you could follow and build a relationship based on common interests.
Get Your Company ‘Out There’
Highlight your company by building a company page. Use keyword-rich descriptions for your offers and/or services and bring your company to life by using high-quality images and videos.
Form Opinions and Share Knowledge
Status updates are a great way to share valuable information to prospective clients, your employees and anyone who’s following your company page.
Your ‘personal brand’ helps in building trust in you and by extension in your company, use it to your advantage and showcase your strong points. Use status updates on your personal profile to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge.
It’s ‘Publish or Perish’ on LinkedIn. Write articles that demonstrate your industry knowledge and expertise and use the publishing feature to get your content ‘out there’.
Including a crafty ‘Call to Action’ is a surefire way to encourage further engagement, in the form of commenting on your article or contacting you for help.
Study LinkedIn’s Pulse
The most popular articles get featured on LinkedIn’s Pulse. In order to find out what content is popular (and gets promoted as a result), you need study ‘Pulse’.
Look for common denominators, latest trends and types of content – don’t forget to ‘keep an eye out’ for emerging trends.
Don’t be a ‘square’ and participate in industry groups. Finding groups appropriate to your industry is not an easy task as there’s a lot of ‘noise’ to filter, however, you’ll be able to find active, quality groups with a thriving community – it just takes time.
What’s next? Be a part of the community, start participating by answering questions, joining conversations and sharing interesting third-party articles.
Keep on doing these activities and you’ll become a trusted community member. Having established your credibility and visibility within the group, you’ll be able to share your own content with ease.
Tell, Don’t Sell
Remember, you’re among professionals, there are no ‘sheep’ on LinkedIn, only ‘wolves’, this is why it’s crucial to focus on building trust and not on selling. A sales pitch will just turn everyone away, and you won’t get a second chance.
Build trust by engaging your audience on multiple levels. Think about what’s important to them, what problems they have, what challenges they face and pinpoint their aspirations and goals.
You need to become their ‘go-to’ source for problem-solving, someone they want to become, one that always has helpful information and insight, and when they use the information you provided to fix their issues or solve a problem they will think of you.
Become your audiences guru, that’s all there is to it.
I would love to hear back from you and learn how do you use LinkedIn for business development?