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A 5-Step LinkedIn Marketing Strategy to Grow Your Business

March 11th, 2013 ::

5 stepsIf you’ve been thinking about increasing your use of LinkedIn to boost visibility, find new leads, and snag more business, this post is for you. I’ve written about LinkedIn before, but it’s changed since then – LinkedIn Answers is gone and the layout now resembles Facebook in that you can like, comment on, or share updates from your network.

To get started, I decided to do some research on just who is using LinkedIn to make a strong case for why we all should embrace it. Hold on to your hats, because the stats I found at Quantcast are pretty awesome.

  • LinkedIn users are affluent: 54% of LinkedIn users earn more than $60K per year and 36% earn more than $100K.
  • LinkedIn users are educated: 46% have a college degree and 27% have a graduate degree.
  • LinkedIn users love the site: Almost 25% use the site at least 30 times per month.

OK, so LinkedIn is definitely a good place to focus time and energy, especially if you have a robust network.

Here’s a 5-step LinkedIn marketing strategy to help you improve your visibility and get more leads as you grow your business:

1. Get in the habit of using LinkedIn on a regular basis.

LinkedIn will not work for you if you don’t take the time out of your schedule to nurture your LinkedIn presence. Whether you choose to spend time on it daily or weekly, get in the habit of sharing curated and original content and liking, commenting on, or sharing the content your network posts. Participate in groups (more on that below) and comb your network for leads (again, more on that below).

2. Expand your definition of who should be in your network.

I’m going to assume you already actively grow your network by sending personalized messages to the people you meet at events, conferences, etc., asking them to join your network. Don’t forget to send invites to friends and social acquaintances – they have networks too – along with clients, vendors, and partners.

3. Join active groups – and participate.

Instead of joining any group related to your industry or composed of your target audience, look for groups that are active with engaged members. Start joining the conversation, adding your viewpoint or expertise where appropriate. Don’t forget that you can also start your own conversations, but always keep in mind, you’re not there to sell your product or service, you are there to help others.

4. Consider advertising.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that LinkedIn is a better place to advertise than Facebook, because LinkedIn users are highly encouraged to complete their profiles. At Facebook, you’re not, so what users share in their profiles is all over the map.

With that said, you can highly target your ads to exactly who you want to reach – by industry, company, company size, location, title, etc. Once you start advertising, make it a habit to continually improve your ads to boost their effectiveness.

5. Look for leads and ask for introductions.

You’ve built a network for a reason, so use it! You can find leads within your network, in the newsfeed, on LinkedIn company pages, and in recommendations. Look for connections, and ask the people in your network for introductions. Immediately follow up with that person and let them know why you’d like to meet them and how working with you will benefit them.

Any other tips on using LinkedIn that I missed?

Image courtesy of simplyrest.com

The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Marketing, Social Media | 11 Comments »

  • Sara

    I’ve connected with many people with whom I’d like to do business. How do you suggest I initiate that conversation to spread the word about my business’s services without being so sales-pitchy?

    • Anonymous

      Hi Sara – Because no one likes an outright sales pitch, your best bet is to create and share content that showcases your expertise – people will see it in their news streams. You could also offer free consultations (or something similar) to your LinkedIn connections and highlight how the consult will benefit them. Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    Great suggestions! I have used LinkedIn as part of my marketing platform since the creation of my company just over 5 years ago. As a boutique executive career management and recruiting firm, it has severed many purposes for us. First, I have access to a large pool of potential candidates from which to choose when looking to fill a search. Second, I have consciously been an active member of many groups and created a few of my own as well. Participation in LinkedIn Groups has given me access to great industry-related material, strengthened relationships with existing connections as well as introducing me to new contacts. Many of these connections and engagements have turned into new, paying clients.
    Ken Schmitt

    • Anonymous

      Awesome – you go! Thanks for sharing your insights!

    • Anonymous

      Awesome – you go! Thanks for sharing your insights!

    • Anonymous

      Awesome – you go! Thanks for sharing your insights!

  • Angelo, Fox Run Group, LLC

    I would suggest you be very careful of the groups you join. I belong to a dozen and most are groups
    trying to sell to each other or they put forth stupid questions that get dumb
    answer that fill your box with way to many e-mails. Groups can be great, but be very very selective.

    As far as expanding to friends and associates, again, be
    careful you don’t create a Facebook like page on LinkedIn.
    However, I agree with your other comments and LinkedIn is a very powerful business tool. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Anonymous

      Oh yeah, definitely – not all groups are created equal – just like anything else in life! That might be a good follow-up post – how to identify if a group is worth joining!

  • Matthew Jameson

    Great article! We run a mobile pest control software company and have been trying to reach more people through social media. One of the founders told us two months ago to all get a linkedin profile and start using it. Most of us ignored it until today. He has made multiple contacts through Linkedin that are now becoming fruitful. I started my profile today!

    • Anonymous

      Cool – hope LinkedIn works well for you. Given your business, I’d say it will. Good luck!

  • http://www.RiaEnjolie.com/ Tony Smith

    Thank you so much for great post.I think every small business owner must read this for increasing their online presence & growing their business.