The secret to finding new business on LinkedIn is simple. Create a credible profile (shop window) then find ways to engage with the sort of people you want to do business with. That’s it, you say? Well, pretty much. Don’t believe me? In that case, I am going to share with you ten practical actions that you can do this week that will help you to get business from LinkedIn.
1. Review and refresh your profile.
Your profile is your professional window. It’s a good idea to review your profile at least every three months. Check all sections have been completed fully, including – most important – the summary section. As a minimum, you should aim for an All-Star profile strength. This rating is normally shown on the right-hand side of your profile page, if it is missing (a temporary glitch on the new version) you can also see it on your profile page on the mobile app.
Ask a customer or colleague for feedback on your profile. It’s surprising how easy it is to leave off something that is really important.
2. Review the keywords on your profile.
Your Linkedin information can be searched from within LinkedIn and externally by search engines like Google, and Bing. Your LinkedIn profile will invariably be the first result that surfaces when people Google you.
LinkedIn’s inbuilt search engine is not as sophisticated as the commercial search engines, it relies heavily on keywords. It is very important therefore that you identify the keywords and phrases that you want to be found for and include these in your profile. In particular, make sure that you use these keywords in the following fields:
3. Follow up people who view your profile.
This is an easy win. If someone has looked at your profile they have expressed an interest in you. This is one of my top sources of new business. I don’t mean that you should follow up everyone, be selective. I have a premium account so I will use a LinkedIn Inmail to send a short message like this:
“Hi, John, I noticed you dropped by my profile recently. It was probably a casual visit but I just thought I would ask, is there anything I can help you with at the moment”.
If you have a free account, and the new desktop, LinkedIn have made it much easier to send personalised connection requests.
This week’s action: Monitor people who view your profile every day and follow up selectively.
4. Actively build your network
Most people on LinkedIn spend more time accepting invitations than sending them. Think about this for a minute. What it means is you are allowing someone else, often strangers, to shape your network. It’s OK to accept invitations (selectively) but you also need to be actively sending invitations to the people you really want to connect to.
Tip: Always send a customised invitation. It’s a better way to start the relationship and is more likely to be accepted.
This week’s action: Send at least one, ideally two invitations every day.
5. Follow up people who send you invitations
Having accepted an invitation from someone you feel could be relevant now is the time to build on that with a follow-up message. Here is an example:
“Thanks for the invitation. A pleasure to connect. I notice (mention something you have in common). I was wondering was there anything in particular that prompted you to reach out to me?”
Easy peasy. I regularly get business from this.
Tip: To save typing out a message every time, create a templated message in word and tweak it to fit individual circumstances
This week’s action: Follow up everyone whose invitations you accept, even if it is just a simple thank you.
6. Endorse your connections and thank those that endorse you
This one is really easy as LinkedIn regularly prompts us to do this, but do it with integrity only endorse connections for things that you know they know about.
Take the opportunity to say thank you and add a little personal message when someone endorses you.
This week’s action: Be generous with your endorsements and say thanks when you are endorsed.
7. Post one update every day
Updates are the lifeblood of LinkedIn and one of the best ways of staying front of mind with your network. Here are some ideas of things you might post about:
- Organisation news
- Achievements or awards
- Industry news, research, and reports
- Product launch or review
- Topical stories
- Request feedback, advice or opinions
- Tips and how to guides
- Examples of excellent practice
- Case studies
Tip: It doesn’t always have to be original content, as long as you are sharing something that is relevant to your audience
This week’s action: Post one (at least) update every day
8. Write an article
If you feel comfortable with writing, then publishing an article on Linkedin is one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert on Linkedin. If you are new to writing on LinkedIn you might find this article useful: Be Known for What You Know.
As a guide, I find it usually takes me about 2 hours to write an article; most articles are 500-1,000 words.
This week’s action: If you are comfortable with writing, publish one article.
9. Reactivate existing contacts
I guarantee that sitting in your LinkedIn network are some great opportunities that you have overlooked. One of the quickest ways of spotting these is simply to export your connections to an excel file and visually scan through them. Your brain will make the links and spot the opportunities.
Here is a link to the export your contacts option.
This week’s action: Export your contacts, review and re-engage with selected contacts.
10. Be Active in Groups
You can join up to 100 groups but it would be impossible to be active in all but a few. I suggest choose two or three where you know that your target audience is to be found in some numbers and stick with these. Regularly join in conversations. Consistency is more important than frequency. This is a great way to raise your profile in your chosen niche or location.
This week’s action: Join in at least two group conversations
Summary of Actions
I appreciate you are busy and I am asking you to fit something else into an already busy week, that’s why I have deliberately set some modest targets. With the exception of writing an article, if you choose to do that, everything else will take just a few minutes a day.
Here is a summary of the week’s actions:
1. Review and refresh your profile
2. Review the keywords on your profile
3. Monitor people who view your profile every day and follow up selectively
4. Send at least one, ideally two invitations every day
5. Follow up everyone whose invitations you accept, even if it is just a simple thank you
6. Be generous with your endorsements and say thanks when you are endorsed
7. Post one update every day
8. If you are comfortable with writing, publish one article
9. Export your contacts, review and re-engage with selected contacts
10. Join in at least two group conversations
If you enjoyed this article and found it useful please like and share it.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Front of Mind Coaching website on February 10th:
Greg Cooper is an independent LinkedIn consultant and trainer based in Bristol, UK. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing. For over twenty years Greg ran an award-winning direct marketing agency working with leading technology companies like IBM, SAP, and Siemens. Today he teaches SMEs how to use LinkedIn more effectively to find, win and keep customers. He runs public and in-house courses including the LinkedIn Essentials Master Class, Sales Navigator, and Social Selling workshops, and Employee Advocacy training. For an individual discussion of your business's needs call +44 (0)7917 360222. or email firstname.lastname@example.org You can also follow Greg on Twitter