You are hopefully using social media to promote your business. You may even be comfortable using Twitter or Snapchat to get your message out. But even the most savvy social media maven may feel lost in the world of LinkedIn. It’s an important venue, too, because LinkedIn connects over 450 million professionals worldwide. Not only can you connect directly with decision makers, you can create a profile of your own that positions you and your business as a thought leader in your industry. In turn, a respectful presence on LinkedIn can grow your business through increased sales.
Now that you’ve been convinced you need to use LinkedIn, follow these five steps to turn your connections into sales leads:
1. Optimize your profile
LinkedIn is about making personal connections. You will be sending out invitations to others to connect with you, becoming part of your network. Your profile and your invitation are the first impression you make on the people you want as part of your network. Therefore, a good profile picture is a must. Additionally, an impressive (but accurate) title and any licenses or certificates you hold can go in the title field. From there, fill out the rest of your profile, including background and skills. When people get a good idea who you are from your profile, they will be more likely to connect.
2. Identify targeted prospects
Once you have a profile worth seeing, you’ll want to make sure you’re sending invites to the right people. If you own a company that conducts background investigations, for example, you would likely want to target human resource professionals. Alternatively, if you market directly to consumers, you likely know a few key details about your best customers, such as education level and industry, and can target people who match those criteria. Data Axle Genie can help you obtain these details if you want to collect them.
3. Make your own profile a resource
You can build your LinkedIn reputation by demonstrating your expertise in your field. Any blog or newsletter you publish is likely appropriate for Pulse as well, Linkedin’s news reader app. Sharing thought-provoking content builds credibility with your network. Additionally, your connections may be inclined to share your information with their network, a group of people you might not otherwise reach.
4. Create your own group
To keep building your reputation as a thought-leader, you’ll want to create your own group. The purpose of a group is to share information and engage in meaningful discussions on relevant topics. If you mostly market to human resource professionals, title the group something appealing to that target – for example “Human Resource Elites.” It’s okay to make it prestigious-sounding. If you mostly market to consumers, you’ll want to appeal to their need for your information. So something like “Dog Owner Forum.” Make sure you have a logo, then start seeding the group with articles and open-ended questions.
5. Contribute to other groups
Don’t just share your valuable information on your feed, or in your own group. Be an active member of the overall LinkedIn community. Respond to questions in other groups, contribute where you feel your knowledge can help. Additionally, celebrate others’ achievements. If you come across any good news about a client or a prospect, share it with a direct “@” mention. You will gain a reputation as a well-informed, reliable source of information.
LinkedIn plays a little differently than other social media, but you can easily find quality prospects by investing a few minutes a day in this channel. Data Axle Genie can help you identify the right LinkedIn profiles, and use lead status to track your efforts on LinkedIn, then compliment your efforts with a tailored email campaign.