Category Archives: Business Development on LinkedIn

5 Steps to Success on LinkedIn

Using LinkedIn: 5 steps to successThere has been much written about LinkedIn over the years and how it can work for you in business. Given that I have spent the last 10 years training companies and individuals on it, you are likely to expect that I’m going to be positive about what it offers. You’d be right, I’m a fan.

Having said that, I also recognise there is no single way to benefit from it – from job seeking to recruiting, networking to online training, business development to inbound marketing, the potential uses are many and very varied.

There are, however, some key underlying elements that we can all tap into – key steps to success if you like – and what we are going to look at below are some that will prove beneficial to using LinkedIn effectively, whatever your motives are for being on the site.

1. Decide what your current objectives are

LinkedIn is such a potentially wide-ranging tool, that you can use for a whole host of different reasons. Indeed, during your career as you enter different phases, your use will be radically different according to your current needs, situation and role.

Therefore, our first challenge is to be clear in our own mind what we want to achieve from our time spent on LinkedIn. Understanding your personal business objectives on LinkedIn will influence everything else that you do – who you want to talk to, how you present yourself, who you connect to and what you share with others. Having a clear focus will allow to present a strong and clear message too.

Conversely, the adage that, ‘if you don’t know where you are going then any path will do,’ is certainly true – on LinkedIn, to make it work effectively for you, you definitely need to know where you are going!

2. Create a focused Personal Profile

Your Personal Profile on LinkedIn is you and lies at the heart of all your activity. It creates the first impression people take away of you and needs to deliver a very clear message to the audience you outlined, in step 1.

If you are looking for a job, then it is likely to be a CV type of format talking to the people who might want to invite you in for interview – as a salesperson, business owner or consultant, you need to be talking to the potential buyers of your products or services and so your profile takes on more of the role of a sales and marketing brochure, highlighting opportunities and benefits for them.

In both cases, use the tools available to you – make sure LinkedIn’s Introduction Card (the top part of your profile) delivers a punch with a strong banner image and good professional photo, backed up with a Headline that is your statement of intent, rather than just your job title and company name. All these elements need to make you stand out and make people want to read more.

3. Get savvy about search

The search on LinkedIn is way more powerful than most people give it credit for. When you walk into a big networking event, imagine being able to pinpoint the people that you want to talk to, according to what they do, where they’re based, who they work for and whether you can be introduced by someone you both know. That’s what LinkedIn can offer you!

Understanding how to get to the Advanced Search (as it used to be called) allows you to be much more specific about the people you want to target. Don’t rely on simply typing your search in the top left-hand corner, that’s just a keyword search and not going to give you sufficient control or detail

Instead, get to the People search and then click on All filters – that will give you access to full set of elements you can search with and use to identify exactly the people you want to talk to. You’ll love the results!

4. Talk to people

LinkedIn revolves around people – you and I – talking to each other, engaging and discussing topics of mutual interest and ultimately, doing business.

We start the process by putting a personal message in our request to connect, by leaving a suitable comment on other people’s articles or updates, or perhaps by sending a message directly to people on LinkedIn. In each of these cases, the personal contact is hugely important and starts to define the business relationship that follows.

Using these aspects of LinkedIn is important – it is not just a big database. You wouldn’t want to be thought of as simply a piece of data or a cell in a spreadsheet, would you? Then don’t treat your connections and potential clients on LinkedIn like that!

Instead, talk to them – it is through conversation that we show our expertise, we get to know someone and ultimately gain their trust, ready to do business.

5. Keep visible by posting

There is a lot of information on LinkedIn and more and more is added daily. We need to be part of that, but the challenge we face is to make sure that we get seen and remain front of mind for our contacts and prospects.

Posting on LinkedIn is probably going to be our main distribution method – these posts are the news and information that appear in the newsfeed on our homepages. To work this effectively, we need to keep a consistent approach to what we are sharing, but we also need to mix up the type of content and the format we publish, just as we would in other marketing media.

Video, text and links to external content are all relevant and it’s really a case of ensuring that we deliver what will appeal to our target audience (back to the planning again!) as well as deliver, in terms of LinkedIn’s marketing algorithm too. Have a plan but mix it up – different content will appeal to different people, so let’s make sure that we cover all those key areas for you.

So, to sum up – are these 5 steps are going to guarantee your success on LinkedIn? No, sorry – it doesn’t work that way. These are, however, key tools that will put you on the right track, but it is YOU that ultimately makes the difference.

Use it in the right way, present yourself and communicate effectively and LinkedIn can quickly become a tool that allows you to identify and tap into your network, and the group of advocates you already have around you … but in a way that makes it so much more effective!

Article Categories: B2B Advice for LinkedIn, Business Development on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Strategy, LinkedIn Tips, LinkedIn Training
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Getting the most from LinkedIn in 2019

While it is the start of the year, it’s true – oh, and Happy New Year by the way! – checking and confirming that we are using LinkedIn in a focused and targeted way is something that we should ideally be doing on a continual basis.

Sounds all a bit harsh, but if we are doing to get the best return on the time that we put into our time on LinkedIn, then it’s important that we have all of the elements working together for us.

So, almost without further ado, here’s a few things to bear in mind as you do so:

1) Be clear what you want to achieve on LinkedIn

This, for me, underpins everything else. I consider LinkedIn to be a tool to achieve a goal, not a “place to hang out” – though there are clearly benefits in interacting with your target audience on here.

Nevertheless, most of us are using LinkedIn to achieve something and have our “day jobs” to fit in as well – therefore, we need to clear in our own minds what are our goals for being on LinkedIn – effectively, why are we spending time on there in the first place?

It might be to develop new business, recruit new staff, market your company or services, find a new role or simply network and use it as a personal branding opportunity. Whatever it is, make sure that you are clear about your aims and focus your efforts behind that – without an objective, you will in all probability be wasting your time on LinkedIn. (more…)

Article Categories: Advanced LinkedIn, B2B Advice for LinkedIn, Business Development on LinkedIn, Content Marketing, LinkedIn Strategy, Using LinkedIn
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Winning the LinkedIn Glitterball
(or how we are all sometimes like Ashley)

Let me quickly set the scene of my analogy today and identify a couple of the main protagonists. We are talking “Strictly Come Dancing” here – “Dancing with the Stars” for colleagues across the Pond.

As you might imagine, Strictly is ostensiously a dance competition – you dance well, the judges mark you highly, you stay in to dance again the following week, and the person who comes last is voted out of the competition after a dance off.

Except that it isn’t.

Granted, it is partly a dance competition … but it is also part popularity contest. Why so? Because it is not just the well informed judges voting on who stays or goes, but also us, the general “armchair experts” public. And while we do partly judge it on the dancing, we also bestow our voting favours on what we enjoyed and, crucially, on who we like.

And on occasions, it is the mix between these two elements which is crucial. (more…)

Article Categories: Business Development on LinkedIn, Content Marketing, LinkedIn Strategy, Using LinkedIn
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3 things to have in place before you buy Sales Navigator

I run lots of training sessions on using LinkedIn for Business Development, many just using the free account. I also do so on LinkedIn Sales Navigator and, while I wouldn’t have recommended it 3 years ago when it first came out, I certainly do now. However, not unreservedly.

My reticence is not because of the software, which is ever improving, but rather on the supporting elements we all need to ensure are in place around it which are key to it being a truly useful sales tool.

Personally I would highlight three elements to work on that are all things that you require when prospecting, whatever account you have on LinkedIn. If you can get these three things right and use all of the capabilities of the free account, then you can get a great deal out of it. However, putting them successfully in place, means that they can really come into their own when Sales Navigator is added to the equation. (more…)

Article Categories: B2B Advice for LinkedIn, Business Development on LinkedIn, Sales Navigator, Social Selling
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Getting the most from Who’s Viewed Your Profile page

Whenever I’m running training sessions, one of the areas we talk about that always gets a big thumbs up from the attendees is the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” page on LinkedIn.

In almost all cases, when I ask if people check out who’s been looking at their Profile Page, I get a resounding “Yes!” from the majority of those in the room. That’s great! However, their reasons tend to be more personal interest than anything else and any solid action that they take afterwards, using the information they find there, is much less clear cut.

For me, I’d encourage you to make it as practical as possible. It’s a source of potentially very valuable information and if you are already using it as such, then congratulations! For me, that more how it should be used, something which is much more useful than a simple area of interest as the information it contains can lead to both new potential contacts and opportunities. (more…)

Article Categories: Business Development on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Marketing, Networking supercharged
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Active status on LinkedIn

Active Status LinkedIn headerYou may have noted that LinkedIn seems to have succumbed to an attack of the measles … green measles to be precise. For some they arrived last year only to disappear for a while, but then returned last week once again and are now back with a vengeance. For others, you may be seeing them for the first time and wondering what they signify.

Don’t worry, they’re not contagious. However, they do potentially offer us some valuable focus for our interactions on LinkedIn – so let’s get to the nitty gritty of what they are all about!

What do they mean?

This is part of the LinkedIn system that is called the ‘Active Status’ indicator and quite simply it shows when your connections are actually logged into the site and, to a certain point, also when they were last active.

They come in two forms: (more…)

Article Categories: Business Development on LinkedIn, LinkedIn Advice, LinkedIn News, LinkedIn Updates, Using LinkedIn
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