Businesses which use LinkedIn to grow are deliberate about planning for success.
The other day, I was approached by a business man who said he hadn’t yet seen any economic results from his LinkedIn profile. When asked how often he reviewed his plan and engaged with others on LinkedIn, he said “I don’t have a plan but I visit the site every six months”. Unfortunately this is a common scenario.
Many businesses don’t know how to effectively use LinkedIn as a lead generation tool. To help solve this problem, I’ve compiled a listing of LinkedIn best practices to help you accelerate revenue growth this year.
1. Make a list of 10 Thought Leaders
Identify 10 thought leaders in your industry who share high quality content which is valuable to your clients. Include friends and partners who will help you by cross promoting. Connect with them on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter, join their Google or Triberr groups. Set up a process to review their content and re-post to your network.
2. Refresh Your Monthly LinkedIn Goals
What are your LinkedIn lead generation goals for this month? How did you do last month? Now is a great time to review goals, and fine tune strategies and metrics. What get’s measured get’s done.
3. Identify 3 Industry Leaders
Create a list of the top 3 leaders in your industry that you would like to meet. If you’re in sales, these could be prospects. If you’re looking for a job, it could be employers. If you’re a business consultant think about non-competitive joint venture partners. Make a list, and then go learn about them. LinkedIn and Google are great places to get started.
4. Review Social Dashboards
Evaluate the effectiveness of your current social dashboards. Are you using them effectively? Do you need to refresh settings, or adjust posting criteria? Is the expense a worthwhile investment? If you are not yet using a social dashboard consider signing up for one. My favorite is Hootsuite. It’s easy to use, will post to a multitude of accounts and is less than the cost of a cup of designer coffee every month.
5. Download LinkedIn Connections
Do it now. It only takes two minutes. Go to your LinkedIn contacts list and at the bottom of the page, you’ll see “Export Connections”. Export to outlook and save as a .CSV file. It can be opened in Excel. Why is this important? Connections are a business asset. LinkedIn has closed profiles without notice so protect your asset. While this is unlikely, disasters are equally unlikely yet you still buy insurance. Think of this as free insurance: set up a reminder to download your list.
6. Protect Your LinkedIn Asset
Download your LinkedIn profile. You’ve worked hard to craft just the right message, and gathered details from the past like years graduated, papers published, and accomplishments. Log into LinkedIn and go to your profile view. Just to the bottom right side of your profile photo is an edit drop down menu. Look for the ‘export to PDF’ choice. Click on it and it will save to your machine.
7. Update Your Profile Summary
Go to your profile summary and read it from a client’s view point. Is it compelling? Does it inspire you to reach out and connect? Is it memorable? Do you feel like it’s written exactly for you the reader? Is it written in first person? Can you easily find their contact information? Update based on information you learned during the last month about your industry, or clients. Did you lead a webinar? Teach or take a class? Help a client achieve an amazing goal?