Thursday, September 20, 2012

7 Critical Steps to Leveraging LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a very powerful tool; however, many are not using it fully (or even partially).   I was on a flight to New York some months ago, the passenger next to me shared with me that LinkedIn saved his company.  He said he started using LinkedIn’s InMails and Get Introduced features versus cold calling.    They called him back due to the combined quality of his LinkedIn profile, company page and posts.  He said LinkedIn turned his cold calls into a warm calls!
Before you get started, you should search through LinkedIn for others in your industry to see which sections they've filled in on their Profile, review which Groups’ they've joined, and even flip through their connections.   
To help your company network, sell or partner with other companies via LinkedIn, you need to complete these 7 steps.
1)   Complete all of the sections of your Profile.  Upload a professional photo (no one replies to anyone without a photo).   Get at least a few recommendations.  Connect with present & past clients, colleagues and classmates.  
2)   Create your Company’s Company Page including your Products’ & Services’ descriptions, photos and videos.   Ask some of your clients to recommend your Company Page.

3)   Join & engage in a handful of Groups were your target clients are already members.  Start posting advice.  Just like any social media platform, give 5 educational posts to every self-serving post.
4)   Optionally upgrade your account for $35/month to be able to manage your connections into folders with follow-up notes; this feature is called Profile Organizer.  Other upgrade features include being about to see more information about individuals and upgrading enables you to InMail those outside of your network. 
5)   Post or Share enticing short headlines with a link to the full online article.  Post at least weekly, but no more than twice a day.  Share these on your Wall as well as into the Groups you've joined.  
6)  Try using LinkedIn’s Introduction feature or InMail when connecting with someone for the first time - turn cold calls into a warm calls.
7)  Use LinkedIn’s Advance Search Feature when you’re prospecting, it’s POWERFUL!

Always be the Queen of knowledge for your industry, be helpful and respectful.    

 (My next LinkedIn Blog will be aimed at HR specifics.)

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