Before getting into the six ways to use LinkedIn to generate leads, let me say this: one of the keys to success with LinkedIn, as with all the other social networking platforms, is to use the site often especially when it comes to your profile. You’ll want to get yourself in the mindset to check in on and engage with LinkedIn on a daily basis, if not more often. It is hard to find the time, but in my experience, diligent use of the site will pay off, an incentive that likely makes up for the investment of your time and resources. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn if we’re not already connected.
I’ve spent some time scanning the Internet to find useful tips on ways to generate leads for your business using LinkedIn from several different sources. Read on to gain insights.
This is one of the more useful and under-utilized tools on LinkedIn. It’s a section where people who want to ask questions about business go to get advice. Just browse the current questions, whether you look at those posed by your network or narrow them down from one of LinkedIn’s recommended categories. When you find one that you can answer, go for it! What you’re hoping to achieve is to be selected as a “Best Answer.” When this happens, you’ll see a badge appear on your profile saying you’re an expert in a certain category. This will certainly open the door for others to contact you regarding prospective opportunities.
2. LinkedIn Applications.
LinkedIn Applications allows you to add new and interesting apps that will enrich your profile, share and collaborate with your network and will overall improve the experience people have on your LinkedIn page. You can add your blog posts to your profile page, add what business books you’re reading or you can set up simple polls to find out what’s on the minds of your customers and prospects. Every application comes with easy steps to implement them.
3. Share content.
One of the keys to LinkedIn is remaining visible and active. Think of LinkedIn as a fast-moving information stream. Every time you make a connection, edit your profile, post content or participate in a group, you (and your profile) show up in LinkedIn’s stream. This is a mini-marketing message to your connections and the fact that you’re visible and active on the platform lets them know you’re serious about LinkedIn and it’s power. An easy way to maximize visibility is to share content on a daily basis (or even more frequently, if you can.) You probably consume a lot of content throughout the day, so why not share what you’re reading with your connections? If you want to highlight your expertise or skills, stick to sharing information that aligns with a particular industry or subject matter, and take time to write a couple of sentences that detail your thoughts on the piece when you post.
If you haven’t already joined LinkedIn Groups, consider this your wake-up call. You can join up to 50 groups. Take advantage of all 50. The trick here isn’t just joining the obvious groups in your industry—it’s joining groups that are outside your industry that might help you grow your business. When you post content to your LinkedIn profile, you can also specify that the link be shared to certain groups, which is a great way to cross-post to several different areas at once and gain exposure. Think of groups as a smaller, more niche networking opportunity, but equally valuable in helping you maintain your LinkedIn visibility, expanding your reach and positioning yourself as a thought leader.
If you’re heading to a sales or other business meeting or even an interview, it’s not a bad idea to spend a little bit of time doing some preliminary research. Look up the meeting attendees on LinkedIn to familiarize yourself with their backgrounds and work experience. You’ll also be able to see if you have any connections in common and, if so, name drop a mutual friend’s name as a conversation starter. Any time you can demonstrate that you’ve done your homework and have taken the time to get to know the people and the businesses with which you’re working, you make a far more effective impression.
6. LinkedIn Mobile.
Yes, LinkedIn has a mobile application. If your schedule is anything like mine, you’re constantly on the go—and you probably always have your smartphone in hand. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t maximize the LinkedIn mobile app to stay up-to-date with your profile and connections. You don’t necessarily have to be at your computer to update your profile, do a bit of research or find out what’s happening with your other connections. It all goes back to maintaining your visibility on the site, and the mobile app is a key and convenient tool when it comes to facilitating a steady stream of LinkedIn activity.
Blogging can be tricky. Do you ever wonder if anyone out there is reading your posts, if it’s worth your time or if you’ll ever get advertisers, or sales or comments? The answer is… yes! But, it won’t happen overnight and there are many keys to success. I’ve spent some time scanning the Internet to find some useful tips on how to craft and promote a great blog from several different sources. Read on to gain insights.
1. Short, Catchy Headlines.
You have only a few seconds to help the reader decide whether they want to read your post or not so a headline that compels and teases the visitor to your blog or who sees your headline on a Tweet is a must in driving readership. List posts such as “10 Ways To..” or The 5 Top …” are always effective. These might seem redundant and overused but the fact remains they work.
"Your headline is the first, and perhaps only, impression you make on a prospective reader. Without a compelling promise that turns a browser into a reader, the rest of your words may as well not even exist." —Copyblogger
2. Add Share Buttons.
Make it easy share your posts by adding share buttons at the top or bottom of the post for the major platforms where your audience is hanging out.
3. Promote Your Blog.
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are important for bloggers not only in the “B2C” sectors but also for “B2B” industries. Posting your blog headline description and linking to your news feed is vital. The combination of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are where most of the planet is plugged into and making it easy for your ideas to spread is now essential not optional. Integrate your Facebook posts with Twitter by “connecting” both accounts. Your Facebook posts will automatically feed Twitter. And, if you’re integrated with Twitter, and add #in after your Facebook posts, your posts will automatically post to LinkedIn as well.
4. Add Media.
Mix up your text posts with images, screen shots, graphs and online videos but remember to not make it too cluttered or overdo it.
5. Subscribing by RSS.
Make sure you are pushing your latest content out to those readers by having a “Subsrcibe by RSS” button.
6. Write About Industry News, Trends & Customer Pain Points.
Write about industry News – whats happening today, this week and this month. Read and develop content on industry trends – where is the industry going and what are the emerging hot segments. Finally, write posts that provide solutions for your customers problems
7. Feature Popular Posts.
Featured posts provide a guide for readers to quickly discover what your blog is about and why readers are turning up. It can also provide additional page views as they click through.
8. Make Your Content Scannable.
Help your readers’ eyes by making your copy stand out. Here are some ways to do that:
"Most people read online by scanning the page for individual words or phrases, headings and other visual cues. Studies have shown that reading from a screen is more tiring and therefore about 25% slower than reading from paper – hence scanning becomes a technique that most employ.” —ProBlogger
I promise you if you just use some of these tips, you will be surprised by the increase in the traffic and the the interaction and engagement that results. Happy blogging!
If you are a novice Twitter user and have been wondering what the # symbol means, this post is for you. #Hashtags are simply text or key words and can be placed in the beginning, middle or end of a tweet and are integral to the Twitosphere*, helping users categorize trending topics. For example, using #ff or #followfriday** is a #hashtag. Just decide on the keyword you are targeting, place a pound sign in front of it, and you’ve created your first #hashtag.
Clicking on a #hashtag in a tweet shows you all the aggregated tweets on a topic from the Twitosphere. This is a great way to search for people with common interests or in a job search. You can also use a third-party monitoring tool such as HootSuite to search for #hashtags. Just decide on the keyword you are targeting, place a pound sign in front of it, and you are all set!
#Hashtags are created organically by Twitter users; some are used regularly and others come and go—like one created for a specific event.
*On Friday’s, using #followfriday or #ff in a tweet along with 1 or more @names means you recommend those people as worth following.
**Twitosphere means Twitter users from all over the world.
Cheat Sheet of #Hashtags.
To Find an Employer
These are the tags to plug into Twitter’s search engine to connect you with companies with openings.
To Attract an Employer
Strut your stuff and get yourself out there with these hashtags to help employers find you.
To Find a Certain Type of Job
If you don’t want just any old job, try searching these hashtags for that special placement you have in mind.
On a Lighter Note, Funny Hashtags.