Geesh… there are sooo many articles on LinkedIn. I almost wasn’t going to even attempt to add to the pile, but I have been able to get a good deal of business from it so it is worth putting out there*. So, do you want to do LinkedIn Like a Boss? Of course you do! Below are some tools and techniques that I have used to grow connections and get leads and I hope they can help take your LinkedIn game to the next level!
COMMIT TO NETWORK, NOT SELL.
LinkedIn isn’t a sales platform, it’s a networking platform – remember that above all else. The fastest way to lose credibility is to message a bunch of people and push your products or service. Only do this if you wanted your message deleted and you removed as a connection.
You must focus on building relationships.
Do this by searching for people in your industry, or in your area, or even for just something you both have in common. LinkedIn is great about helping you out with this, when you click on connections it offers people from you address book along with other suggestions of people you might know.
You find someone? Great- when you go to connect add a note as to why you are wanting to connect.
“I see we both went to (fill in the blank) college and are now living in (fill in the blank), I’d love to connect”
“Hey, looks like we both know (fill in the blank)! We should connect!”
If you previously met them in real life send them a note and remind them when/where you met. This small bit of personalization will go such a long way.
GET INVOLVED WITH GROUPS
LinkedIn has a group for just about any interest and industry. I recommend joining any group associated with any real-life professional organizations you are a part of. For me, I joined the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers groups, along with some other Commercial Real Estate related groups. Be sure to join your alumni association as well.
Additionally, think about what groups your ideal customer or client would be a part of- join that group too.
Okay, now that you have joined you need to get involved in the discussion, capeesh? Think of each group as a little cocktail party you’re at- you aren’t going to meet anyone if you stand quietly in the corner sipping your red wine. Read the comments, share your opinion- act as if you are actually joining a real-life discussion. Add value and find ways you can legitimately help someone.
Speaking of adding value. If you are serious about growing your network, you must add value and give more than you take. What is something free you can offer your connections? Maybe it’s a how-to video, an article you found interesting, or a piece of advice. Give it away!
Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook principal should be applied here. Give, Give, Give and then, and only then, can you do some self-promotion.
Recommendations help to build credibility and the best way to get recommendations is buy giving them. Think of someone you’ve really enjoyed working with, go write something nice. Often, they will do the same back or give you an endorsement on one of your skills. However, do not expect it or get disappointed when they don’t give on back. Just keep sending out the love!
If you want to directly ask for a recommendation from one of your contacts that is cool too. However, be sure you have worked with them in the past. Here is a quick little script that works well:
“Hi (name), I hope you are doing great, I really enjoyed working with you on (insert project/job, etc.). I have a small request for you. I aim to keep my LinkedIn profile updated to show an accurate picture of my skills and experience. With that in mind, I’d love if you could write me a quick LinkedIn recommendation that highlights my skills in (area) and (area). I would so much appreciate it. Thanks in advance for your time. Hope to see you soon!”
Simple as that!
This is such an underutilized tool but has provided a lot of leads. If you haven’t heard about LinkedIn ProFinder you have been missing out, not to worry though – I got you boo! Basically, you apply/sign-up for your profession (real estate, web designer, photographer, writer, consultant, coach- the list goes on), make sure your profile is up-to-date (having recommendations helps here) and then leads magically come to your inbox!
When you get a lead/proposal from a prospective client be sure you respond quickly and with all the info that was requested. I always suggest setting up a phone call or meeting because they might be considering a few different people and the personal touch can help you stand out. ProFinder is truly a great resource for service related positions and I suspect it will become more and more popular over time.
MAKE YOUR PROFILE BEAUTIFUL
Too many LinkedIn profiles have gone horribly, horribly wrong: blurry photos, outdated photos, missing information, inaccurate information, etc.
Take 15 minutes today and look over your profile. Use the following as a guide to Pimp your Profile just as Xzibit did with cars.
- Use a professional headshot (or at least one that doesn’t look like it belongs on Tinder)
- Change out the background photo to something relative to your business or industry (Don’t have a photo? Use one for free from Pexels).
- Make sure all your work experience is accurate and up-to-date
- Link to the actual company so the logo appears
- Add a brief description of the company and your role there
- Check to see if your education section is fully complete
- Aim to get at least 2-3 recommendations
- Under skills & endorsements make sure your skills are the ones you want highlighted. Adding these not only optimizes for those keywords, you’re also creating opportunities for endorsements
- Make sure that your headline matches the services you provide on ProFinder
- Add any licenses & certifications you might have
- Under Accomplishments add any organizations you are a part of, along with and publications you’ve been in or awards you’ve won
- Link to your website or blog
- Check for any typos or grammar errors
- Customize your LinkedIn Profile URL- don’t just use the default which is a jumble of numbers – learn how to do this here.
Simply put, the more you put into LinkedIn, the more you’ll get out of it. Spend some time on this and remember LinkedIn isn’t just for finding a job- it is for growing your network and your business. Now you have all the tools to do LinkedIn like a boss!
I hope these tips help you create a killer LinkedIn profile that not only you are proud of but that drive business!
After I wrote this post a question popped in my head…
I wonder how much money I have actually made from business I got through LinkedIn?
So, I did some digging…. It took me a while to come up with the answer. I went though old messages that resulted in real life meetings or calls. I cross referenced those with deals that got done. Truth be told, I should have done a much better job tracking lead sources- hindsight is 2020.
Anyway, there was a total of 9 over the last 7 years. 9 connections that turned into real business. That may not seem like a ton, but total the amount of commissions to me on these 9 deals equaled $111,013.43. (I even added it up twice) Eight were leases, one was a sale.
If I hadn’t focused on LinkedIn- I would have lost out on over $100K.
Plus, I would have missed out on connecting with a ton of really great people.
So, all this to say- LinkedIn is totally worth it.
It may not blow your mind today- but give LinkedIn some effort and maybe 5-7 years (hopefully less) and hit me back when you join the $100K LinkedIn Club. This isn’t a real thing- I just made it up, but we can totally get matching shirts made.