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Published August 4th 2014

5 Ways LinkedIn Can Help You Boost your Business

LinkedIn is easily the premier social networking site for businesses and business professionals. While Facebook and Twitter may get the lion's share of ...

LinkedIn is easily the premier social networking site for businesses and business professionals. While Facebook and Twitter may get the lion’s share of popular attention, they simply do not offer the business building opportunities available with an active and well-crafted LinkedIn account.

That being said, many people fail to take full advantage of their LinkedIn profile to generate rewarding leads, and to market their business’ brand. And that’s a real shame, because LinkedIn makes business outreach easy and effective – two adjectives every business owner likes to hear.

So, if you have yet to tap into the full potential of LinkedIn for business outreach, now is the time to look at a few ways the social networking site can help you build your business and market your brand.


Searching for Opportunities

The heart of LinkedIn, like any social networking site, is making connections. This is the most basic way to reach out to potential new leads.

You can begin by joining a few LinkedIn groups, all of which should have some connection to your niche industry. This will help to spread awareness of your brand to a wider audience.

Next, using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search, you can begin to target a specific market. LinkedIn’s Advanced Search allows you to fine tune your search parameters according to industry, company, educational background, and job title. You can even perform searches that target specific keywords that are relevant to your industry.

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The connections you make on LinkedIn will help to generate leads all by themselves, but to maximize their potential you will want to make personal contact.


The Power of the Personal Message 

One of the cardinal mistakes people make when setting up a LinkedIn account, is to assume that their profile will do all of the heavy lifting.

It won’t.

You have to be proactive, and the best way to be proactive is to reach out to your connections with a personal message.

Now, these messages have to be carefully crafted. They need to be more than simply a sales pitch.

Quickly review the LinkedIn profile of the person you intend to contact, and look for areas of interest that can be used to personalize your message. Try to find a personal connection between you and your potential lead.

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You might be members of the same LinkedIn groups, or you may have similar hobbies or mutual LinkedIn connections.

With this information in hand, craft a brief message introducing yourself. Highlight any areas of mutual interest, and explain how working together could be beneficial to both parties.

Finally, ask for the opportunity to speak directly with the person, either in person or online.

A well-crafted personal message can help you generate the kind of leads that quickly turn into real business opportunities.


Leveraging the LinkedIn Group Experience

Creating a LinkedIn group is not only a good way to generate leads for your business, it is also a great way to make new connections and establish yourself as an authority in your field.

Before you tackle starting your own group, however, spend some time reviewing some of the more popular LinkedIn groups. This will help guide you in setting up your own group.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 11.45.41 AM

Some tips to remember when creating a LinkedIn group:

  • Use Keywords in your group’s title and description to make it more searchable in both LinkedIn’s internal search function, and in Google.
  • Link your company’s blog and website to the group page to help drive traffic to your primary sites.
  • Include your blog’s RSS feed on the group page, so members can directly receive any new blog posts.
  • Send regular messages to group members. These should offer valuable information, and not simply be weekly advertisements. Include a link to help drive traffic to your website.

Creating a LinkedIn group will help to generate leads and to drive traffic to your business’ website. However, make sure your conversion funnel is properly optimized so that the leads you generate can be effectively converted to sales.


Hosting an Event

Hosting a LinkedIn event can help you build awareness for your brand, as well as generating actual leads for your business.

Creating an event is relatively simple, and LinkedIn offers an easy to use Event Platform for its members.You will have to answer a few questions about your event, and fill in a few forms, but once that is done you can begin inviting key LinkedIn influencers to attend.

Remember, as LinkedIn is a social networking site, every time one of your guests RSVPs it will show up on their live feed. This will help your brand and business reach a wider audience, leading to more LinkedIn connections and a greater number of potential leads.


Using LinkedIn Answers to Build Your Online Authority

Using the LinkedIn Answer feature is a great way to build your online authority, establish your credibility within your industry, and generate awareness and leads for your business.

Simply set up the Answers Application on your home page, making sure to only select those topics with which you have a real expertise. This will allow other LinkedIn users to contact you directly with any questions they may have on the topic.

LinkedIn-Help-Forum-and-Answers

When you receive a question, consider the following tips before answering:

  • Consider the person who is asking the question. Check out their LinkedIn profile, and look for any information that will help you to personalize your response.
  • Be as helpful as possible in your response. If necessary, include links to websites with further information or referrals to experts who might be better able to provide the necessary answers.
  • Keep the conversation going. Answer the question to the best of your ability, but leave your reply open ended and encourage your contact to stay in touch, and to contact you with any other questions they may have.

Using LinkedIn Answers will help you to improve your online credibility.

It will also help you to build new relationships that can be used to make more connections and to generate more leads.

As the premier social networking site for business, LinkedIn offers a unique way to generate leads and to grow your business.

While the kids are playing on Facebook and Twitter, the professionals are hard at work using LinkedIn to promote their businesses and establish their brands.

These few tips should help to illustrate how you can leverage your LinkedIn profile to make new connections, generate valuable leads, and ultimately grow your business.


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