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10 Tips to Generate Business with LinkedIn

Posted Friday, June17, 2011

1. Build your Network. As a permission based platform, we are still able to accept or reject connections. As you start to build your network, there are the obvious places to start.

a.People you know. Your friends, colleagues, people you have worked with, people you have done business with. The key here is to connect with people you trust and will treat LinkedIn as a professional platform and not a personal let’s have a play date with the kids.

b. Outlook Contacts. Do your contacts in Outlook have profiles on LinkedIn? Do you even remember who is in your Outlook contact list?

c. People you want to get to know. Are your friends connected to someone that you want to get to know? Is there a 2nd or 3rd connection to you that is connected to someone at a company you want to start connecting with? Ask them for a introduction or see if the person you want to connect with is part of a group that makes sense for you to join and be a part of.

Once you are connected, you remain connected if the person changes jobs. This shows the importance of having more than one connection in a company that you have been eye-balling for a while and also opens the door to connect with some new people when your connection is at the new job. Recently LinkedIn has added a new feature via email where they alert you to how many of your connections have changed jobs.

2. Join Groups. Groups on LinkedIn are one of the easiest way to to build your network, be active and also learn. Searching for groups via industry or specific keywords is quite advanced. Closed groups does make you have to join the blindly. The larger groups are inviting as once you are a member, you can connect easily with people within the group as a member by asking for a connection through the drop down “how do you know”.

3. Sharing. Sharing an article that you learned from, enjoyed, commented upon, etc through your status updates and within the groups you are a member of is an indicator of your commitment to your industry and also how you network. Sharing articles that you read with others not only showing them who you read and why you read, it also gets you in front of them again.

4. Recommendations. Recommendations are great and show connections that you are trusted and well respected. How do we get them? I am not a fan of asking for them as it can make someone uncomfortable. However, if you know the person well enough or when it is client, they may just need a bit of push.

5. Blog Linking. Linking your blog to your profile is another way to interact with your connections. While this is somewhat self promotional it gives them a reason to interact through commenting and sharing your post while at the same time learning more about you. Do not stop at blog linking; link your presentations, ebooks and webinars.

6. Status Updates. Updating your status on LinkedIn seems one way as you post and there is not a way for connections to respond as they do on other platforms but this should not deter you from updating your status. A profile that has not been updated sends a message to would be connections that you are not really there.

7. Direct Ads. Ads on LinkedIn are very targeted if you want them to be. They are the traditional pay per click or impression where you set a bid for the keyword and also the maximum for the day. LinkedIn advertising is effective through the targeting and the ability to have multiple ads to see what performs best.

8. Referrals. Referrals are golden. How many businesses on LinkedIn are you using? Is there area within your business that you outsource or will be outsourcing that you could look to your community on LinkedIn? Part of building your network is to create a team behind you that you can easily refer to and receive referrals from. If you are not looking at LinkedIn to build your network for referrals, how could you expect others to do so?

9. Answer Questions. Answering questions on LinkedIn we hear a lot about. Answering questions helps the person asking by showcasing your area of expertise, which for them is very useful. Your name is now in front of them again and also everyone else who is reading and answering the question. By subscribing to the RSS of a few categories allows you to take a quick look at the questions posted and jump in to answer them.

10. Ask Questions/Create Polls. Asking questions once again gets your name in front of people and helps you get the answers that you need.