LinkedIn Marketing

Three Things to Cut Out of Your LinkedIn Profile Today!

Your LinkedIn profile is your “silent salesperson”, and the profile summary is actually more like a personal sales letter than anything else. I’ve been helping businesses and professionals use LinkedIn successfully for quite some time now, and often when I look at a new client’s profile, I see some of the same elementary mistakes. I’d like to alert you to these so you can fix them and watch your connections, referrals, and sales that you make from LinkedIn soar!

Mistake #1: Unprofessional looking photo! Wow! This one’s on probably half the profiles I look at. Would you go to a job interview looking like you’re chilling on the beach with a beer in your hand? If not (and I hope the question is no), why are you doing that “virtually” with your unprofessional photo on LinkedIn. You’re on LinkedIn to network in some fashion or other, and that networking is business-oriented networking. How about looking like you’re a winner instead!

Mistake #2: Showing skills that should be taken for granted. There’s no need to talk about how you’re capable of getting to work on time, or how you can get assignments done on time. Everyone can use Word and PowerPoint. No biggie anymore! So, why mention it? That doesn’t make you stand out, it makes you look old—from an era when having a skill set on PowerPoint was indeed rare! Take out the skills that should be taken for granted and put in skills that set you apart from the crowd!

Mistake #3: Mixing up personal life and LinkedIn, career-oriented life. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and other social media sites, are the places for you to talk about your dog, your kids, your vacation, and other aspects of your non-working life. LinkedIn is where you talk about work! You talk about what you do for a living, your career, your skills, your achievements. Sure, the two overlap a little, but honestly, you need to keep the person stuff on the other platforms and the business stuff on LinkedIn where it belongs.

Three Ways To Alienate Just About Everyone on LinkedIn

Even though LinkedIn’s not Facebook, where virtually anything goes, I’m still often amazed at what I see happening on the platform. LinkedIn isn’t the place to forget your manners! It’s a business networking site, plain and simple. Not everything goes as it does on some other sites, which shall not be named. (Oops! I already did!) But joking aside, your goal on LinkedIn it to create business for yourself, to network with people who can help you, or even to get a new job. Why screw it up by acting stupid? What’s my definition of stupid? Here are a few things I see regularly on LinkedIn, all of which should be absolutely avoided.

Spamming! No, I don’t mean sending out a few million emails telling people about how they can save 50% on their next order of Viagra. I’m talking about unsolicited advertising to people through messaging. Virtually every day somebody hits my inbox with yet another five-paragraph long essay about their new, “ground floor” business opportunity. I’m not against advertising. I’m in marketing, after all! I’m just against stupid marketing, and this is stupid marketing!

Pretending you know someone in my network when you don’t. Look, I’m an open networker. I won’t IDK you if I don’t know you. I even say so in my profile. So, why pretend? Perhaps you’ve got something great I need to know about. Just because we’re not currently connected shouldn’t be a problem. Just connect with me for goodness sake! Then ask me if I’d like to know more about you. I’ll probably say yes.

Downloading my email from LinkedIn and spamming me again! If I didn’t subscribe to your email list, then I don’t need to be receiving emails from you. If you want to add me to a list, then ask my permission. It’s called permission-based marketing for a reason!

Look, I’m a pretty easy to get along with guy! But seriously! Some folks just don’t use common sense on LinkedIn. Don’t be one of them!

Ideas of Live By for Businesses of All Sizes

As the world of social media makes our lives much more transparent and much more public, it’s very important for businesses to change their approach to finding, selling, and servicing their customers and clients. Gone are the days when you couldn’t sell somebody something, charge them an arm and a leg, and then offer shoddy service on the back end. You’ll hear about it, not just sooner or later, but in real time on Twitter! Reputations can be smashed in a matter of a few days online. This may or may not be a good thing, but it’s a reality for today’s business world.

I sell to a lot of businesses on LinkedIn. I also help business clients of all types use LinkedIn to market their services and products. Although not the rough and tumble world that Twitter is, negative exposure on LinkedIn is to be avoided at all costs! Okay, granted it’s rare that someone “flames” you on LinkedIn. (As opposed to Twitter where it’s a second by second occurrence.) But still, your LinkedIn connections are each connected to a lot of people. Why would you want to make enemies! True, sometimes a bad customer experience can’t be helped, and sometimes customers are just plain crazy, but if you can avoid negativity, it’s very important to do so.

In the Internet marketing world, managing all of this is called reputation management, and it’s a very important part of marketing a business online where reputations can be, often unfairly, damaged rapidly! To that end, I’d challenge you to think about how you decide to accept business, persuade people to do business with you, and especially how you service your clients. This last bit is super important! Recently it’s been called onboarding, and it’s the process of making sure you client has reasonable expectations and that those expectations are perceived as met and hopefully even exceeded by your product or service.

More Cool LinkedIn Hacks You Must Be Doing!

LinkedIn just gets better and better and better! I’ll be honest. When Microsoft bought LinkedIn, I felt a little, how shall we say it…trepidation about what they might do to the platform. Honestly, I’ve not liked all of Microsoft’s changes. Especially the part about moving so many of the free features into the paid only part. I do like free, but I also understand business. So, I get it that I should be paying for these capabilities. There are, however, quite a few things you can now do with LinkedIn that I completely adore. And, I’ll like to go over a few of those with you today. Hopefully, you’ll get as excited as I am and start utilizing more of LinkedIn’s cool features!

One of my favorite, new “hacks” for marketing on LinkedIn involves SlideShare. In case you don’t know, SlideShare is a platform where you can post your PowerPoint, Keynote and other slide presentations. It was bought by LinkedIn a while back, so it makes sense that the two easily complement each other! I make a lot of slide presentations in my business, both for webinars and for speaking engagements. I can get a lot more mileage out of those slides by making them available on SlideShare. Also, when I post a new slide presentation on SlideShare I always share it on LinkedIn. I’ve done this for my clients’ too. The results are amazing! A lot more views and a lot more interaction. Talking about branding, right?

My other favorite “hack” involves YouTube. This goes hand in hand with the PowerPoints I create. I create those normally for making into videos. This gives me a lot more content to spread around. One great place to share my videos is on YouTube. I can share the video straight to my feed, or I can post it to select groups that I belong to. This is a powerful way to get the right eyeballs on myself and my profile!

Check Out LinkedIn’s New Service for Freelancers

Although I usually work with small to medium-sized businesses, I do occasionally work with professional freelancers. I’ve had clients who are business writers, graphic artists, and digital designers. Freelancing is a great way to work because you have very low overhead and, if you know what you’re doing, you can make a killer income. The only real issue that most freelancers face is finding clients. And, that’s where LinkedIn comes is.

Last year, LinkedIn launched a new service called LinkedIn Pro Finder. Basically, this service connected freelancers with people who need their services. If you’ve ever heard of Upwork, this is LinkedIn’s version of the same idea. Potential clients come to Pro Finder and post jobs. Freelancers, on the other hand, bid on the jobs. If the client accepts the bid, then the freelancer has found a new client. This model has been tried for a few years now and tends to work very well both for clients and for freelancers who know how to make the platform work for them. (It can be a little frustrating to get rolling with this as a new freelancer!)

Looks like Pro Finder is off to a good start, too! LinkedIn isn’t revealing how many jobs have been rewarded, but just looking at the platform you can see that it’s being used by thousands of freelancers. There are over 5,500 business writers on the platform as of the time I wrote this article. Pro Finder comes with a free trial. Freelancers offer a variety of services. Everything from IT, to content writing, to digital design is there. You can even find legal services and accounting services on Pro Finder. Basically, all of the freelancers or outsourcers you’d need to get a business up and running can be found on LinkedIn’s new freelancer platform.

Your Three-Step LinkedIn Hack

If you need a way to sell virtually anything, LinkedIn is the place to be! Doesn’t matter if you’re selling coaching, books, gold, or airplanes, with LinkedIn’s half a billion users, you’re going to find more leads and more prospects than you can get to in a life time. Well, I should qualify that last statement. If you know how, you can do this. If you don’t know how, then quite frankly, LinkedIn will remain a mystery to you and honestly, just a big waste of time. So, with that all in mind, let me show you my three-step hack that I use to find more business right on LinkedIn than I can deal with. Ready to get started?

The first thing you need to do is you need to connect with a lot of people. At first, don’t worry if they’re in your target market. Your first goal is to build up your connections to at least a thousand or so. Now, don’t connect to everyone all in one day. That will look unnatural and put your account at risk. What I did when I got going was connect to fifty new people every day until I got my connections up to about two thousand, then my account built on its own.

Next, you’ll want to start reaching out to these connections. A great way to do this is to message people when they accept your connect request. You’ll want to say something generic. You do NOT want to spam people with a big long paragraph about how cool you are or your product is. Just reach out pleasantly! If someone ignores you, just keep trying every now and then until you get their attention. Remember, not everyone checks their LinkedIn account daily. So, if you’re being ignored, it’s more likely that the person just hasn’t seen your message yet.

Finally, after you’ve messaged with someone back and forth for a while, you’ll want to invite them to talk with you in more detail about your offering. This shouldn’t be a full-blown sales presentation, but more of a 15 minute get to know you session.

Do these three steps consistently, and you’ll soon have more business than you know what to do with!

How to Become a Thought Leader on LinkedIn

Being a thought leader is a good thing! They make more money, get more business, have bigger mailing lists, and in general have more influence. In today’s Internet governed business world, I’d almost venture to say that you can’t reach your potential without becoming a thought leader. So, if that’s true, and I think it is, how does one do this? Well, the good news is that you can do this right on LinkedIn. And, guess what else? There is no bad news!

Here are a few things you need to get into place and consistently do in order to establish yourself as a thought leader.

1. Be yourself! Thought leaders are first and foremost leaders! People need and are looking for guidance in various parts of their lives, be those career, relationships, health, or finances. In order to lead, you need to be a leader not a follower, and being who you authentically are is priority number one.

2. Create a lot of content consistently. You need to be creating LinkedIn Pulse blog posts probably once a week. You need to be using YouTube, SlideShare and other platforms that integrate easily with LinkedIn. People need to feel like the “see you everywhere”. The only way to do this is to have a lot of content out there—everywhere.

3. Start a Group on LinkedIn. Groups are wonderful for corralling people with like interests. If you’re going to create what Seth Godin calls a tribe, you need some way for them to communicate, get excited, and generally identify each other and identify themselves as part of the tribe. You have to be careful with groups on LinkedIn. You don’t want them to become “spam fests”, but that’s easily doable. Just monitor the group, and if someone starts treating it like their own person referral machine, just boot them out!

Follow these three steps consistently, and you’ll start to see the glorious results that all thought leaders see!

Seven Pro LinkedIn Hacks You Might Not Have Thought Of

Okay, you’ve opened an account, filled out your profile, included a great head shot, and wrote a winning profile summary as well as completed everything required to reach “All Star” status on LinkedIn. Now what? Now’s when the fun starts. In this article, I’m going to show you seven great things you need to be doing consistently in order to reach “Boss” level on LinkedIn.

Numero Uno: Check in every day! Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Yet, you’d be amazed at the number of people I reach out to on a daily basis who finally, sometimes after a few months, message me back saying that they just don’t check their account that often. What a waste!

Two: Publish an article on LinkedIn’s blogging feature, called Pulse. You don’t have to be Malcolm Gladwell. Just be you and write about what you know about. Write about what you think your target audience might find interesting. If you absolutely can’t write, hire someone to write it for you once a month. That actually won’t set you back too much and it will be well worth it!

Three: Add videos or other media to your profile. Link to examples of your work. Link to your website. Have an infographic created that shows people part of the process of what you do.

Four: Follow movers and shakers! They might not actually connect with you, but follow them anyway. Share their status updates with your audience!

Five: Connect with these people and others who you think would be important to your network.

Six: You can do this one better if you have a paid subscription to LinkedIn. But, given that you have that, you need to be researching who’s looked at your profile and connecting with them and messaging them. They’ve already shown that they’re interested. Follow up with them!

Seven: This one’s going to take some time, and you might not want to do it, but in some industries, it’s going to be one of the most important things you do. Figure out who in your contacts are local to you and actually invite them out for coffee. Yep, it’s a little old school, but it works great!

LinkedIn Isn’t Just For Getting a New Job!

Before I got on LinkedIn and started using it for business, I thought it was just for finding a new job. At best, I thought of it as sort of a virtual Rolodex. I had no clue that it is the best platform around for networking and getting new clients! That was a long time ago. Now, most of my new clients come from LinkedIn! And, the best part of it is this—I don’t have to spend hours every day beating the pavement looking for business. A few minutes each day on LinkedIn does wonders for the bottom line, if you know what you’re doing.

How would you like to learn how to rock LinkedIn for business?

Excellent! Below, you’ll find the steps you need to take to make LinkedIn your main source of leads.

1: Get a professional looking head shot and use that for your photo.

2: Completely fill out your profile. You want to get to “All Star” status. That includes filling out nearly everything.

3: Next, you’ll want to spend some time writing your profile summary. Look at the summary as sort of an online sales letter designed to sell you. Write it in first person. Get some personal stuff in there as it relates to your work or business. Talk about how you arrived where you are, what you can do for people, and what your aspirations are for the future. Think about what you’d like to know about someone before you do business with them, or connect with them, and make sure you include that!

4: Connect with people on a consistent basis. Use LinkedIn search to find people in your target audience and connect with them. When people respond to your connect request, message them and start a conversation. Some of these conversations will end up in sales presentations for you and whatever it is you sell!

Three Daily Best Practices for LinkedIn Users

Done right, you can get more business and leads out of LinkedIn than you can get to. You have to do some work, though. For instance, you need a complete profile along with a head shot that brands you as a professional, and you’ll need to spend consistent time beefing up your connections. That all lays the ground work. After that all you really need to do is to spend a few minutes on LinkedIn daily. I’ve been a LinkedIn user for years now, and I’ve got this all down to a science. Want to know how I keep my LinkedIn account humming along at peek proficiency? Here’s three things I do daily with almost religious fervor. Do this and you’ll never have to prospect for business again.

Just as with most social media, the first of you daily tasks is to update your status. Just as with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms, every day you need to let folks know what you’re up to and what you’re doing. Doesn’t have to be earth shattering. Doesn’t have to even qualify for interesting. You don’t have to give details if details aren’t warranted. Just say something about your normal business day. If you want to get organized about this and save yourself some time, use Hootsuite and load up status updates in advance!

Your next daily task is to check your network and accept inbound connection requests. The more people you’re connected to the better LinkedIn is going to work for you. Each of these requests is taking you one more step towards your goal of turning LinkedIn into a prospecting and business machine. Accept these requests on a daily basis!

Finally, you’re going to want to message people who’ve connected with you and who’ve accepted your own outbound connection requests. Your goal is to build a network, and you can’t do that by being a wall flower and never communicating with anyone!

Do each of these tasks daily and watch your LinkedIn account become your single most important business asset!