LinkedIn is used by 11 million professionals in Canada alone, and it packs a powerful punch in corporate circles. One in three Canadians use the platform, and the vast majority are GenX, age 45-54 with nearly half earning $100K-$250K. These stats alone make it prime online real estate to promote brands, network and find emerging markets or new partners in the global economy.
But like most technology, users are struggling to keep up with exactly how to use this platform for best results. MKT has combined some of the most effective LinkedIn strategies and tools that we’ve found the most success with in the past year and combined them all here. So consider the following your LinkedIn Bible – until 2017 anyways. Enjoy and the best of luck to your business in 2016!
1. Get Strategic: Create a detailed prospect profile that includes your targets e.g. ideal customer, certain sectors, company size and key position titles. Then build targeted first-level connections with people who meet your prospect criteria and either request their connection, or view their profile (statistics show profile views do lead to connection requests) to start building your network.
2. Be Professional: Present a professional appearance by creating a compelling LinkedIn profile page, including:
- A professional, branded banner
- A professional-looking profile photo (Quick Fact: This one simple step can give you 14 times more profile views).
- Fill out the Contact Information section on your profile – it’s located to the bottom right of your Summary section. Include your website, email, phone number and social media links.
3. Ban the Template: Don’t try to make new connections using LinkedIn’s generic connection request,
“Hi _________. I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.” Instead, explain why you are worth being a connection, and your value to your proposed connection.
4. Take the time to fill out the Skills section of your LI profile – your profile will be 13 times more likely to be viewed. Hint: Don’t use this section to reiterate your resume – make it your brand statement that sums up the core problems you solve as an individual or business.
5. Interact: Set aside small chunks of time on a regular schedule to review endorsements, new connection requests and to review new articles or updates posted by your network. Be personal, not promotional, and your connection may be more responsive down the road when you approach them to offer a free consultation or other service.
6. Write article posts (500 words or less) about your area of expertise to create brand authority, and take time to include a short, active headline, formatted text and a strong photo or graphic element (most LI users prefer these over video). This is your opportunity to build a following as well as your reputation as an influencer.
7. Make sure you insert yourself into the LinkedIn conversation, by following the groups, organizations and other LinkedIn communities. Not only will you learn a lot, but you just never know when a new connection turns into your next and best new customer.
If this all sounds like a lot of work, it can be. But trust us, if you put in the time you will grow your network and business opportunities. If you’d like to learn how MKT can help you in your Linkedin and other Social Media efforts, Contact Us.
Special thanks to professional network strategist Eric Pye with CPA (Chartered Professional Accountants) Alberta for sharing his LinkedIn expertise during The Social Summit conference in Calgary late last month. Find him on Twitter as @ABCareerCoach or connect with him on LinkedIn (just don’t use the standard greeting)!