I’ve had a LinkedIn profile since 2005 and its produced absolutely no leads whatsoever. So I have wasted hours of time which could have been used elsewhere. In 2014 that is all going to change because I know LinkedIn is the place for professional networking online, with thousands of potential leads, so I am going to make it work hard for me, and here is how.
We use the SMART model for setting goals at Newedge, so with that in mind here are my personal monthly goals for LinkedIn which I will reporting in my “Monthly Uplift Report” for all of Newedge’s digital marketing.
Connect with 10 decision makers that fit our primary customer persona range
Start a conversation with 3 of those new connections (i.e. get a reply and engage with multiple messages)
Get 1 meeting or request a quote from those new connections
Now I have a focus for using LinkedIn instead of just visiting it now and again, flicking through the status updates and maybe tweaking my profile, which for over 8 years has produced squat.
Getting my profile right
This is my opportunity to convert prospects. Now a conversion doesn't have to be a direct quote request, for me its a connection and the ability to nurture that connection over time into becoming a valuable part of my network. So my profile pays an enormous role as a landing page, when I request a connection thats the first thing a prospect will see.
Using a professional photo that is cropped to your face will definitely increase your visibility and findability on LinkedIn. Quick Tip: Use a tripod with a decent camera, stand against a white backdrop and use some back lighting to get rid of shadows (even a lamp will do, just place it behind you).
This is your “elevator pitch” and should describe exactly what you do and make a great first impression. Remember to try and get keywords in there as this is used by LinkedIn’s search system as well.
An obvious one but missed a lot of the time, ensure you have all your professional contact information (email, telephone, business address), twitter account and links to any of your websites.
Top Tip: Make sure to claim your own “Personal URL” within your profile edit screen.
Ensure your summary is keyword rich so that LinkedIn’s search system will bring you up in results. I like to write in the first person to and also speak directly with the reader to show what expertise I can bring to the table - if not why should they accept the connection?
Add your contact details to the bottom of the summary as another call to action and potential conversion catcher.
Add your current and past roles to prove you have the experience and knowledge to backup your inspiration elevator pitch! This is another opportunity to sell yourself, your services and give out specific contact details.
This is a great area to show off your portfolio, recent project completions and add even more links out to your websites, blogs and social media profiles. Make sure to use keyword rich text, and add other team members to the project within your company. Aim to add at least 3 projects within the last 12 months and keep it up to date with new interesting projects that will excite your target prospects.
Awards and Recommendations
A lot like eBay’s seller feedback system, LinkedIn offers the ability for you to be endorsed on your skills and expertise, this offers social proof that you are indeed good at what you say you are. Reach out to your current network asking people to endorse you and give recommendations as this will further improve the likelihood of a new prospect connecting and engaging with you. A good start point is to have at least 5 recommendations, remember the latest 2 will always show your profile.
You can join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn. Use these wisely, personally I have joined local networking groups that I attend, some yearly exhibitions and trade shows, professional directories and some personal interest ones to show I am not all work work work and have a bit of interesting sideline chats.
Well you should be off to a good start now with some actionable goals and a profile that will attract and convert prospects into connections.
In part 2 of this series I will be looking at how you can generate leads using LinkedIn.