linkedin-marketingFor those of you that know Robin and I at all you know that she lives and breathes on Facebook, creating engagement, sparking conversation and generating new leads for our business every day (you’ve probably already had a chat with or her or shared something together 🙂 ) and while I do use Facebook quite a bit LinkedIn is definitely where I like to spend time and build relationships and I have seen such tremendous success using LinkedIn that I wanted to share a few foundational tips I think will really transform how and why you use LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is growing faster and faster every day, right?  We all already know that!  And with the advent of tons of new options for “company pages” businesses and entrepreneurs are starting to take LinkedIn more seriously for lead generation.

I work with entrepreneurs every day both on and off LinkedIn and one of the main things I always hear are, “I know that LinkedIn can work to generate leads but how can it work for me.”

I’m sure that you’re thinking something very similar as you read this, wondering how to harness the power of LinkedIn to generate leads and build quality relationships that lead to new business and a stream of referrals because at the end of day if it’s not working for business then it’s just a waste of time, right? 

LinkedIn Marketing Must #1 – Create strategic connections that will help you grow your business.

Connections are the bread and butter to a strategic plan for marketing on LinkedIn that works for you and your business.  Many people look to just increase the amount of connections they have while the quality of those connections is very poor or has very little benefit to their business or professional goals.  The first thing I advise my clients is to know their market.  Know and understand exactly who you want to connect with and understand who is best positioned to help you achieve your goals using LinkedIn.

If you’re looking for referral partners first determine who would make the best partner for you.  If you’re looking for direct leads first understand who would be the most qualified lead for you.  What groups would they be in?  Who would they be connected to? Understanding “who” makes the ideal connection is tantamount to utilizing the lead generating power of LinkedIn.  Too often I work with clients who aimlessly connect with people and who don’t really know who they should be connecting with and why.

LinkedIn Marketing Must #2 – How do I get “strategic” connections you may ask? 

There are a few ways to make strategic and purposeful connections.  The first way by using LinkedIn’s premium” search feature to filter and by using the parameters you’ve determined in our first step.  Once you find possible connections that fit your profile, send them an invite.

The second and very highly effective means of finding strategic connections is by searching the connections of your existing network.  Many people don’t know that there is a feature that will allow you to see the connections of every person you are directly connected to.  The real benefit to this is that you are making connections with people who share a common bond or common connection with you giving you a more “warm” opportunity.

LinkedIn Marketing Must #3 – The Power of the Welcome Message

So what do you do once you connect?

After connecting, send your new connect a “welcoming” email inviting them to tell you a little bit more about them (people love to talk about themselves or their businesses).  Let them know you are looking to be a good connection (this has to genuinely true of you, don’t send messages that you don’t mean) and a resource to them and ask if there is any way you can help them.  If you have a free eBook, special report or any other free offer this is the time to share it with them.

This welcome email is one of the most important pieces in beginning to build a network of strategic connections that bring benefit to you and your business.  Don’t overlook the power of this simple task! 

LinkedIn is so full of real, genuine opportunities to connect, engage and build relationships that lead to new business, referrals and collaborative partnerships and these are just a few ways to capitalize on its power.  I’ve put together a very in-depth “LinkedIn Marketing I.Q. Quiz” that takes you through the 29 “LinkedIn Musts”.  Think you’ve got LinkedIn all figured out?  Test your LinkedIn IQ here.

 OR are you looking for insight into what more you could be doing to maximize your LinkedIn experience and start generating leads from the world’s largest B2B network?  Then this is definitely for you.  Click here to learn more about our LinkedIn Lead Generation System.

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