Using LinkedIn to Generate Leads

It’s no secret what you need to do to get to the top and stay there – and social media is one of the keys to doing so.  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others are great tools to reaching your customers.  LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site used to network with fellow professionals.  It’s a way for you to build your professional network and approach marketing in a completely different perspective than going direct to the customer.  Word-of-Mouth is a valuable commodity and LinkedIn is one of the places to generate it.

With that said, we’ve got 10 tips for you from on maximizing the potential of your LinkedIn profile.

  1. Keep your list of connections updated.  Regularly browse your connections and clear any of them you do not remember, or have not been in contact with in a reasonable amount of time. If you’d like, you can first send them a message asking them for an update to see if they’re still doing what they were doing and if you feel they are a still a good connection – if not, delete them.
  2. Expand your network by adding coworkers and friends or search thru the connections of your connections for people you might know or want to be connected with.  LinkedIn has a great tool for matching you up with other members who you might know.  You can also search by email addresses as well to find people you regularly are in contact with.
  3. Don’t leave unanswered invitations in your account.  Always look through your invitations and add people that would be a benefit to be connected too.
  4. Review your profile often.  Update old information and use keywords that are relevant to what others are searching for.  Utilize the space you’re given and provide content rich descriptions throughout your profile.
  5. Be generous with recommendations.  The best way to get a good recommendation is to give one!  Browse your list of connections and give glowing recommendations to those who’ve really impressed you and provided you with what you needed.  Be sure to include your contact information in that recommendation so you get the additional exposure.
  6. Ask others to give you a recommendation.  The main reason people don’t provide recommendations is because they don’t know what to say.  Ask someone to comment on a previous job you had together or a specific event you worked on together.  Make a specific request and give them some ideas on what to say.  Get them started.  You’ll find they pick and choose from your suggestions and provide you with something spectacular!
  7. Keep your profile up-to-date.  Your resume is never finished – it’s always a work in progress.  Be sure to always include items like awards, honors, qualifications, licenses, etc. all up to date in your profile.  Nobody likes to find a great candidate and then see awards from 10 years ago!
  8. Peruse the jobs and hiring tabs for information on vacant positions within your industry.  Not only could you offer an opportunity to someone looking to hire a person but you can also stay on top of what others are offering their customers and what’s the most relevant in marketing your field at any given time.
  9. Network and start conversations with other professionals.  Watching the network updates of your connections are great ice breakers and offer opportunities for new business relationships.  Don’t view it as a sales opportunity right away – cultivate the relationship first so you have something strong to start with.
  10. Look at your statistics.  See how many times your profile has been viewed and who has viewed it.  Continue to modify your keywords and profile content until the traffic to your profile is what you want it to be.  See what keywords get you the most hits and which do not.  Change your profile accordingly.

As with much of the web content – LinkedIn a lot of trial and error.  See what works and stick with it but always be sure to measure your progress.  I guarantee you’ll get out of it whatever you put into it.