Many people still think of LinkedIn as a glorified job search board, this professional social networking site is actually an amazing business-to-business marketing tool, if you know what you’re doing. Here is a guide to help you turn LinkedIn into a lead generation machine.
Your LinkedIn profile is the single most important element on the site. It’s your first impression, a quick and easy way for people to decide if you’re relevant to what they care about. Below are tips to create a profile that gets your message across without losing readers along the way.
1. You need a picture
This a pet peeve of mine, no picture for a LinkedIn profile, nobody will take you seriously if you don’t have a picture. The best pictures have solid color backgrounds with your face taking up as much of the frame as possible. The image upload tool in LinkedIn includes a cropping feature to make this easier.
2. Headlines matter
The headline that appears below your name is included on every reference about you on the site. Make sure it includes your title and company. Don’t get caught up in trying to be clever that you’re hard to understand.
3. More than your job
A big mistake people make with their profile is excluding non-work related experiences. If you belong to a local networking group or other affiliations, add them. The more experiences that you add, the easier it will be for LinkedIn to connect you with others within their network.
4. Connections that matter
Schedule some time every few months to update your contacts within LinkedIn. A general rule of thumb, ask yourself, would you feel comfortable picking up the phone and calling this person? If not, don’t add them to your contacts. One of my favorite ways to add contacts is using the People You May Already Know tool. The “trick” is to make sure you have done a thorough job of adding all of your work and non-work experiences. Don’t forget to prune a few out as well. By using the “would you call” benchmark, you may find that are a few names to drop. Keep your contact list relevant.
5. Work your recommendations
An easy way to enhance your reputation is to obtain as many recommendations as possible. The best way to get recommendations is to start writing recommendations for others you know. You will be pleasantly surprised how many will reciprocate.
6. Don’t waste your summary
Don’t use a lot of empty verbiage about your “team-oriented, results-focused goal setting” qualifications. Instead, use the summary as a place to answer a simple question, Why do you do what you do? Think of your summary as the human element of who you are, the backstory to everything you’ve done so far.
7. It’s in the details
A new feature of LinkedIn is the Add Sections tool, a way to modify your profile with additional details about your qualifications from other online sources. Give your LinkedIn viewers a well-rounded sense of your digital presence.
8. SEO benefits
Make your profile page public, search engines like Google and Bing will index it. Take the time to optimize your summary, using your full proper name versus “I” or “me.” You might want to enter links to websites you want to highlight. Give your profile page some link juice by creating a link from your website biography page to your LinkedIn profile page.
LinkedIn gives you plenty of powerful toys to play with that can make your business-to-business marketing more effective. This short guide represents a few of the many ways you can connect with the right people.