How To Use LinkedIn for Business and More Qualified Leads

LinkedIn is the professional networking site on the internet.

Business owners, executives and professionals know that using Linkedin for business can help them generate leads, make strategic connections, establish credentials, and find qualified employees.

What Facebook is for consumers, LinkedIn is for businesses. And while Facebook can definitely be used for strategic B2B marketing, LinkedIn, with its well-educated and more professional users is without doubt the best of the social media for B2B marketing and networking.  If you are a business owner or executive or a professional, you need to be on LinkedIn.  Contact us for detailed help on how to use LinkedIn for business, successfully.

Your LinkedIn Profile
BioYour Profile is a KEY factor in determining how effective you will be in creating profitable relationships, generating leads and establishing your credentials on LinkedIn. Since all content on the site is searchable, you need to provide information that shows your experience and expertise in a given field or fields. When you create your LinkedIn profile, a “streamlined” version of it will show up in search engine results and can be viewed by people who aren’t signed in to LinkedIn.

Your educational level should be included in your profile – especially if you are a professional. However, most  important is your expertise and experience, and what you have accomplished. Some very successful, influential and wealthy individuals never even completed high school or were college dropouts.

Along with an overview of your experience and other qualifications, your profile needs to include a good photo of yourself smiling directly into the camera. Although it is business oriented, LinkedIn is a social site. Inject some personality into your profile.

graphic of man pointingDon’t be faceless or invisible! Use keywords in your profile so people can actually find you. Do some keyword research based around the points in your profile that you want to build an audience with. Those could be the industry you are in, the specific type of knowledge or experience you have, etc.  Remember, people use LinkedIn for business.  So ask yourself, “Why should people search me out?  What do I have to offer the audience I want to attract?  What search terms would they use to find what I have to offer?”

Also, if you have some interesting client projects you can detail, do so. It’s good for your profile, and it also gives a plug to your clients which is always appreciated.

Important: Don’t try to create a corporate page on a personal profile. A corporate page is different from a personal page. To create a corporate page, you can do so from the “Add a Company Page.” This is the page where prospects can learn about your company, its brand, the services or products it provides, employee opportunities, and so on. You can watch a video on how to set up your company page. Consult the Help Center for more info.

connected-300x211Get Connected
You can start making connections by inviting people you know to join your professional network. If the person you contact accepts your invitation, they become a 1st-degree connection. You both are now added to each other’s connections list. LinkedIn recommends that you “only send invitations to people you know well and trust.” But don’t worry…if you do make a mistake and need to remove someone from your list, you can do it. There are several ways to connect with someone in LinkedIn. Learn how to do that correctly as part of your “homework.” It’s fairly easy.

LinkedIn’s 3 Degrees of Connection
There are 3 degrees or tiers of connection in LinkedIn. 1st Degree is the people you are directly connected to. 2nd Degree is comprised of people who are connected to your 1st Degree connections. 3rd Degree is comprised of people who are connected to your 2nd Degree connections. To build a significant presence on LinkedIn, you need to continue  building up your connections. Yes, it takes diligence and persistence. But the rewards can be very good if you just keep at it.

LinkedIn Groups
Group-Leader-199x300LinkedIn Groups are a place where business owners, execs or professionals in similar industries or with similar interest can share viewpoints and information, get answers, post job opportunities and so forth. You can establish yourself as an expert and a thought leader in your field by joining some targeted LinkedIn Groups and participating in relevant discussions to provide useful comments, suggestions or advice. This is also a way to generate some reaches for what you have to offer. There are also polls in which you can participate.

On the “Groups You May Like” page you can find and join various interest groups. Or you can search for groups using the Search field at the top of your homepage. There may be several groups for each interest, organization, or affiliation, and you can join up to 50 at one time.

When you feel ready, start your own LinkedIn Group

After you’ve completed your basic homework and research on LinkedIn, and have participated in some discussions by providing relevant suggestions, answers or advice, why not start a group of your own?  You start by filling out the fields on the “Create a Group page.” You will be the owner and manager of any group you create, but you can also assign other members to be managers or moderators. Upload a logo, choose a unique name, and enter supporting details such as a description (which contains keywords), summary, and website link.

Important Note: Social media sites are continually updating and changing things around, so be sure to monitor the ones you are participating in, and keep up to date. What is there today, may be someplace else or changed tomorrow.

Pay-Per-Click-300x225Using Paid Advertising on LinkedIn
When using paid advertising on LinkedIn you can choose between pay-per-click (PPC) ads or CPM ads – cost per 1,000 impressions. And you can segment your target markets by industry, job titles, job functions, age, gender, company name or size, etc.

The ability to select specific audiences gives B2B advertisers on LinkedIn a distinct advantage over those using some other forms of paid advertising on the net. Your paid ads will be eligible to appear on any or all of the most prominent pages on LinkedIn including the home page, profile page, search results pages and on pages in LinkedIn Groups.

LinkedIn can be of real benefit to your business. Start by putting together a good profile. Then begin making connections and building up your list of connections, participating in groups, starting a group of your own, and where applicable, utilizing LinkedIn’s powerful B2B paid advertising capabilities. You can definitely establish your credentials or expertise, generate leads and convert a percentage of those leads into clients or customers. Your lead generation ratio should improve as you get more familiar with the ins and outs of this business-oriented social media site.

Several of our staff at Results Professional Marketing specialize in helping clients
market successfully on key social media sites such as LinkedIn.

Contact us for more information on how to use LinkedIn for business, or for help with all of your social media marketing.
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