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. Continue reading

Article Categories: Advanced LinkedIn, B2B Advice for LinkedIn, Business Development on LinkedIn, Content Marketing, LinkedIn Strategy, Using LinkedIn
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Getting Ready for 2019 on LinkedIn – Keeping Secure

As more and more business and personal activity happens online, we have an increasing challenge of both remaining seen (and heard) while at the same time also staying safe – luckily there are some security aspects built into the LinkedIn system that you may like to consider and apply.

I’m not talking about getting your homepage spam free – that’s a topic I’ve talked about elsewhere – but rather ensuring your access and activity on LinkedIn is as secure as possible. After all, it’s your own personal information, professional information and connections that are all built up in this site.

So, I’m going to encourage you to have a look at 6 areas that I’ve outlined below which will keep you – and your information – that little bit more secure on LinkedIn going forward.

1. Where are you logged into LinkedIn

I don’t know about you, but I log into LinkedIn from a number of different places and a number of different devices – I might do so from the comfort of my own office but I will also do so in clients’ premises while running training sessions for them or from a coffee shop where I’m doing some work when on the road. And that’s not forgetting the mobile app too of course. Continue reading

Article Categories: B2B Advice for LinkedIn, LinkedIn Updates, Security on LinkedIn, Using LinkedIn
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Treat people right – LinkedIn Advent Calendar (Day 3)



Participating on LinkedIn – or any online environment – comes with its own particular set of challenges & concerns. One of those concerns is often “What is the etiquette of using it?”

In response, people have written a whole range of pieces of advice and there are there are massive tomes advising on how to go about it. While they have their place, I honestly feel they vastly over complicate the whole thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand people’s misgivings. However, for LinkedIn, I feel most of us have an inbuilt understanding of how to do things, because it’s exactly what we do naturally face to face or over the phone every day. We meet new people, we introduce ourselves and ask about them … essentially, we talk to them!

However, on LinkedIn, either we disregard all of this accumulated knowledge Continue reading

Article Categories: LinkedIn Strategy, LinkedIn Tips, Using LinkedIn
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Dress Appropriately – LinkedIn Advent Calendar (Day 2)



In the real world, when we meet someone face to face but before we have the opportunity to speak, they are already starting to build a mental image and first impression of us. They create a back story, imagine what we sound like and even how the conversation would start. It’s instant, it’s automatic & it’s based on what they see.

The same thing happens on LinkedIn … except there, all of this is conjured up by and based on our Profile.

In particular, the top part of our Profile – the Introduction Card – serves exactly that purpose and creates this first impression. Above all, it has two very visual parts that we need to use to influence and, to an extent, direct that first impression.

Those elements are the banner & our photo.

Let’s take the banner first. This is “prime real estate” Continue reading

Article Categories: LinkedIn Advice, LinkedIn Tips, New LinkedIn Profile, Optimise your Profile
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Get Personal – LinkedIn Advent Calendar (Day 1)



Let me ask you a personal question.

You’ve been to networking events, haven’t you? When was the last time you went up to someone at one of these, stretched out your hand and, to introduce yourself, uttered those immortal words “Please add me to your LinkedIn network”.

Or if we put it in a slightly different context, when did you last walk into a sales meeting and say “I’d like to add you to my client list”.

That long, eh?

So, my question to you is, why do people continue to do so on LinkedIn when they send a Connect request? You may recognise the phrase – it’s the default invitation that the system sends out & I still receive loads like that. Perhaps you do too? Continue reading

Article Categories: LinkedIn Advice, LinkedIn Marketing, LinkedIn Tips
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