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Seven ways to get linked up using LinkedIn

March 12, 2009

Seven simple tips can better position you in the LinkedIn community.

Seven simple tips can better position you in the LinkedIn community.

LinkedIn uses digital word of mouth to create sales opportunities

If you are not realizing the power of the LinkedIn social network to uncover marketing opportunities, we strongly suggest you take some time to get linked up using LinkedIn. We have landed some work lately through the power of LinkedIn, so we thought we'd post some ways you can make the most out of LinkedIn to help your own sales networking opportunities.

I was in the middle of writing this very blog post when a prospect called with an exciting LinkedIn story. I had previously mentioned to him that he may want to create a LinkedIn profile to start building some online connections of his own. Well, he did just that and he was happy to tell me soon after he made his LinkedIn profile, a customer of his from 25 years ago found him and sent him an e-mail. He was amazed and excited to tell me about it.

Here are some tips on making the most of your LinkedIn strategy:

1. Add a blog

What better way to establish you as a thought leader in your industry than to share information with others. LinkedIn allows you to drop in the "Blog Link" application which allows you to add your RSS feed from your blog. Not only does this appear on your page when someone is checking you out, but it is also shared within your network of connections.  A blog is a good way to engage your audiences and position yourself as an authority, and it gives you just another avenue to push your content, your story, your brand.

2. Put a face behind the name

Just because the channel we're dealing with here is online doesn't mean it has to be impersonal, and you can't do some things to personalize the networking experience for your contacts. Posting a picture of yourself on your profile helps people identify you and can be a big step to building relationships. People like to see who they're dealing with. Pick a good picture, crop in tight, and don't worry if the pic's not fashion magazine quality. Even if your picture is shot from a webcam or cell phone, it brings you one step closer to the virtual world and makes you more approachable.

3. Join a group

There are group discussions out there to which you could contribute valuable information. Provide answers whenever you can. Ask a question to stimulate some interest in your own product or service offering. One thing I've learned about leveraging social media is you have to give a little to get a little. There are probably all kinds of groups you can join and gain valuable insight, but offer up some of your own valuable insight in the process. Join some groups and answer some questions. LinkedIn has very easy to use-easy to participate groups that allow you to offer up your unbridled knowledge, further positioning you as an authority, or at least someone to go to for answers

4. Dig around for connections

Being charged with drumming up new business for my company, I've learned that the next new client could come from anywhere. Qualified leads and referrals from existing clients are no doubt golden, but for stirring up new biz, you might be surprised at what a little digging around via LinkedIn might bring. What other place do you have such easy access to this virtual 'who's who' in business and industry? Chances are if you take the time to do some searches and shake some bushes, you can make a connection. Just yesterday, I found a web director via LinkedIn, and have already begun an online dialog with someone who could prove to be our next client – or point us toward the next one.

5. He said, she said

Nothing like a referral or recommendation to vouch for your own experience. Experience is not only the best teacher, it can be an endorsement for your product or service. Having a recommendation on LinkedIn can only help you when someone doesn't know much about you and is checking you out. He or she will quickly learn about you and find out you are a credible professional.

6. Get your own people linked

Make sure you always have current bio information of your key team members and use the strength of their credentials to invite people to your LinkedIn page. All you have to do is put in a link. (And if you had a nice web content management system, that would take mere seconds -- shameless plug.) You will be surprised how many people will make connections from your site just based on your employees being part of it.

7. Pay attention to the Network Update

On the main home page of LinkedIn, you will see all of the network updates. By keeping an eye on this, it will help you discover connections by seeing the new connections being made and the activity in groups you are part of. Routinely take a peek at this and you can learn who has been sniffing around your site. 

Tags: cloud computing , linkedin , Social media , social networking

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