For the last five years, I've been teaching people how to use LinkedIn with the main focus on high visibility. Using the platform to get you and your business noticed.
Many of my attendees thought they knew how to use LinkedIn. They had set up their account ages before.
But they all came away with tips and tricks on how to use LinkedIn better.
For those that do not yet have an account, go to www.LinkedIn.com. Enter your first and last name, an email address and a password. You've taken the first step to using LinkedIn.
How to use LinkedIn for Business
There are three ways to achieve LinkedIn success:
- Get Found - in organic search and via LinkedIn's own search function
- Find/Attract Clients - you need to know who your ideal client is so that you can make it easy for them to find you and want to know more about you.
- Stand Out - let those prospects see your expertise.
How to use LinkedIn for marketing - leverage your headline and the rest of your profile
To achieve any of these, your headline is crucial. It's the first thing that any potential customer will see in both organic search and on LinkedIn.
You go out to a networking meeting. Lots of cards are exchanged. One of your new contacts goes home and looks up your name on the internet. In most cases, the first thing they will see is your LinkedIn profile. If you have not completed it fully, giving them all the information they might need and a reason to click through to read the rest of your profile, they will move on to another card they received that morning.
Knowing how to use the 120 characters of your LinkedIn headline to their best effect is vital. It needs to contain some keywords and phrases that describe what you do. But also a compelling marketing message to make them want to find out more. One of the gurus called it making it 'clickworthy'. Make them want to click on your headline to access all the good stuff about you and your business in your Summary. Make it hit THEIR pain points.
So what are the words and phrases that a potential customer might use? Well, imagine that someone is using LinkedIn's search function. They don't actually know you yet. Or your business. Think about your ideal client. What would he or she type into that search bar to find the supplier of your product or service? These will become the keywords and phrases of your business.
How to Use LinkedIn profile edit
Click Me at the top right of your navigation bar.
Then click View Profile in the pop up that appears.
When you get to your Profile, click on the blue pencil at the top right and you will see a pop up that contains lots of fields for you to complete, including your Headline and Summary.
Now you know that these key words and phrases need to be in your Headline and Summary.
But they also need to be in the Experience and Skills sections. You can locate the sections for these in your profile and then click the blue pencil at the top right of each section to edit.
Add multimedia like videos, pdfs or slideshare presentations wherever possible. Make sure that these files also have your keywords and phrases in their titles.
This will all help you to get found AND stand out.
A professional profile picture is a must. Something that makes you look approachable but serious enough to reflect that you are an expert in your field.
Complete every section of your LinkedIn profile.
How to use LinkedIn for business - create a Company page
It's easy to do, providing you have an email that comes from the company domain as one of your confirmed addresses on your LinkedIn profile.
On the navigation bar, click Interests
Then select Companies from the drop down menu
Hit the Add a Company option and fill out the information required. Or just hit this link. You must be logged into your personal profile.
Find out more about how to create LinkedIn company page
Follow the Lollipop Local Company Page on LinkedIn to see regular updates on how to use LinkedIn for business marketing.
How to use LinkedIn for social proof
Skills and endorsements
Make sure you understand how to use LinkedIn's Skills and Endorsements section of your profile. It helps to promote engagement on the platform and LinkedIn encourages this. They ask you if you would like to endorse people for certain skills and if you agree, they email the people concerned. Then they ask them if they would like to reciprocate. People keep going back to LinkedIn.
It's important to ensure that you do have the skills you are being endorsed for. Make sure that you edit this section regularly. Delete anything that does not apply. Add in any new keywords that describe what you do. Each time someone endorses you, their profile picture is added to the list beside that skill. A full endorsement list always looks good for social proof.
You should also use LinkedIn to ask for Recommendations from your customers who are on the platform. Again, the more written recommendations you can get from business owners, the better. Especially if they have a good reputation. It's all good social proof for you.
How to use LinkedIn effectively for making connections
There is a Connect button in the centre on all personal profiles and to the right of a prospect's name in the results of many searches.
In the 2017 version of LinkedIn, you no longer have the same restrictions for sending connection requests but it is still a good idea to personalise your connection invitation by adding a note. Say how you know them or where you met. Explain why you want to connect - what's in it for them? You have 300 characters. Make them count! Never say 'I saw that you viewed my profile...' even if you did. It looks and sounds creepy and is very unimaginative.
If you don't know the person and you are not part of their 'network' you will be offered the opportunity to send an InMail message. But these only work if you have a premium account. Again, personalise your message so that they understand the benefits of becoming a connection.
If you don't know the person and don't have a premium account, you may still be able to contact them if you are part of the same Group.
If you don't know the person and don't have a premium account and are not in the same group, check to see if there is someone you know who is connected to them. Use the Get Introduced function.
Using LinkedIn for Business - Groups
There are over 2 million groups on LinkedIn and each member is allowed to join 50 of them. Join as many as you can. This is a great way to be able to see and contact business people who are not in your network.
Choose a few main groups in your industry but focus your attentions on groups that contain your target customers... or which are discussing things that you are passionate about.
Having said that, don't go into a group and start posting self-serving sales messages. This is the quickest way to have people avoid you!
Being contentious is also not the best way to build relationships and start to influence people.
Using LinkedIn for sales
Social selling is about:
- Finding Prospects
- Getting connected to those prospects
- Building relationships that turn those prospects into leads
- Taking the relationship offline - to a telephone call, Skype or face to face meeting
Having said that, knowing how to use LinkedIn effectively is key. Finding prospects does not mean that you have to connect with everyone that invites you. If you do not know that person and do not know anyone else who knows that person, you are right to be cautious. If their profile does not tell you what is in it for you then you can find out more or just ignore the request. Here's some help on dealing with invitations to connect from strangers.
Can I disconnect from someone on LinkedIn? And will they know?
These are the questions I get asked most often on my workshops. And the answers are Yes and No. Find out more here.
Learn how to use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, etc., to build a social media strategy for your business.
Of course, it's even easier to use LinkedIn to build relationships with people who want to buy your products/services if those people ask you to connect with them. Click the image below to get our free ebook on how to get customers to come to you.