I’m frequently asked by those who have service and product-oriented businesses to provide some tips on how to make LinkedIn more effective as a marketing and promotional tool. As someone who’s reaped the rewards of LinkedIn on multiple occasions, I’m often seen as somewhat of a LinkedIn ‘expert.’ It takes time to really get to know how to use LinkedIn’s many free tools (and even more time if you are a Premium member). So to save readers having to spend their precious time learning what I already know, I’m sharing 5 helpful tips today to give you ‘a leg up’ as you use the world’s leading social media site for business.
But first, I want to tell you my story: When I first got on LinkedIn back in the early 2000’s, I set up my profile and began making connections, and then… I waited for something to happen. After about six months went by and nothing really changed, I began wondering why LinkedIn wasn’t working. Given that I didn’t know much about using LinkedIn, I then decided to research it further by taking live and online classes on social media marketing. With that knowledge, I then started applying what I had learned to my own business as a content, marketing and public relations writer and author.
Those lessons paid off because it got me to invest time in setting up my own professional profile and then creating a strategy for connecting with others and initiating my own PR and marketing efforts using LinkedIn. Here’s what I learned – maybe it can help you too.
- A professional LinkedIn profile is of utmost importance. If your profile is incomplete, not written to engage or impress the reader or doesn’t highlight your experience, hire someone to write it for you. This is the very beginning of your journey into LinkedIn and every eye is going to be focused on your profile.
- Connect with anyone who you know from business, past and present. This should include any organizations that you have been affiliated with, any charities that you serve, and people who you meet at networking events.
- Communicate with others: Those who you accept as connections are now part of your Circle of Influence. Think of them that way and value the connections that they may have for generating business in both directions. Start by looking at who they are connected with and seeing if you have any common connections. After you connect, write them a short response thanking them for connecting and asking them to stay in touch if you can help them in any way.
- Post weekly: On LinkedIn, you can post ‘updates’ or ‘posts.” Posts are the same thing as blogs – LinkedIn offers you a free blog site to write and share your content. Once you post your blog, wait a few days then post it again as an update. The update section is great for sharing news about your business or your industry. You can also share stories that others in your company have written to strengthen your overall company marketing campaign.
- Be a part of the virtual community. There are those people who sit on the sidelines and those who are out ‘front and center.’ Be one of those people who are front and center. By engaging with others, even to share short items of interest, you will be getting your name and your company ‘out there’ for others to see and remember. Keep in mind that repetition is the main component in any marketing campaign. Be present for your LinkedIn connections and serve them as a resource – even if it’s as a ‘free resource’ right now. In time, that may change.
For help with setting up a professional LinkedIn profile, writing content for your company blogs, or generating press releases to showcase your accomplishments, please visit: www.writerpatkramer.com or email: [email protected].