Maximize Your Profile
The first and foremost thing you can do with your LinkedIn profile is fill it out to the max. While this may take some time, it’s definitely worth the effort. Include a professional quality headshot with your profile. Even if you don’t a professional headshot don’t use a low quality photo. In this day and age where everyone has a high definition camera on their smartphone there is no excuse why you can’t get someone to snap something decent for you. Choose a professional headline that uses keywords people would be using to find your profile. This is important because you want your profile to be found within LinkedIn via search, and externally by search engines. The more data you include about your experience the more likely you will show up in search results. Even if you’ve optimized your profile previously it’s good practice to check in every few months to see if your profile is up to date. LinkedIn has added lots of additional fields and ways to highlight your work experience including the ability to add documents, photos, links, videos and more to your profile.
Give To Get Recommendations
One of the most powerful things you can add to your profile is a recommendation from colleagues who have worked with you. The best way to actually get a recommendation is by being willing to give them. Recommendations do take some amount of time and effort to write, so the best way to spur someone to write one for you is to write them for other people. LinkedIn solicits skills and endorsements from your contacts about you all the time, but getting a personal recommendation for your work is far more valuable.
Maximize Who You’re Connected With
LinkedIn has quite a few methods to connect with people you already know. Connecting your email address book is the best tactic for shaking out all the people who you know on the platform. You can also upload a csv or txt file with your mailing list. It will then match up those email addresses with who is using LinkedIn. You never know where your next lead could come from. Maybe you played soccer with a guy 5 years ago who’s in the market to sell. Maybe you’re connecting with him right at a pivotal point in his process and get a lead by being right place, right time per say. Expanding your network on LinkedIn is crucial to generating leads. Comb through the People You May Know feature often. Since it’s a social network LinkedIn starts trying to figure out who you might know through shared connections. If you share multiple connections with a certain person there’s a decent possibility you may know that connection.
Share Great Content And Be Active To Keep Top Of Mind
When you make a connection with someone on LinkedIn odds are this person isn’t going to be in the market for your services right then and there. Updates are a great way to keep yourself on someone else’s radar. When sharing great content it’s always a good idea to offer your own insights on the share to provide context. When you share content, like an article or update your profile these changes will often be visible to your contacts in the news feed. Actively engaging on the platform keeps your name and title in at the top of their minds, even if they don’t realize it. Social media mentions have been shown to trigger purchasing decisions, so getting your name into someone’s short term memory could really pay dividends when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision.
Direct Mail Campaigns With Sponsored InMail
LinkedIn allows you to create direct marketing campaigns with Sponsored InMail. Allowing you to target prospective leads using geography is a great way to find your next customers. LinkedIn can target users in a specific zip/postal code and make sure your message is delivered to active LinkedIn users in a particular neighbourhood you want to market your services. LinkedIn claims a 100% delivery rate for sponsored InMail. If a message isn’t read, you don’t pay for it, which is pretty handy. Catering your messaging to particular local audience can really yield results.
Curate Your Online Professional Image
Using LinkedIn is a great component as part of a larger strategy to manage your online brand. LinkedIn profiles rank quite well in search engines and will often show up on the first page of results. When curating your online image it’s important to make sure when people search for you and your business that they’re finding the right kinds of information. Your company web page and social media profiles all help you control the messaging, branding and information that can be found online about you. I know professionally when coming across a new contact I will always Google someone to find out a little more about them if I’ve never met them before. Having a fully fleshed out LinkedIn profile can really help someone who may not be familiar with you get a sense of what you’re all about and give a great first impression.