By Jon James
When it comes to social media platforms LinkedIn can be an excellent tool to generate leads for your business. Its primary function has always focused on businesses looking to grow their network.
Understanding the best ways to use it to your advantage can be the difference between closing a sale or kicking yourself over a missed opportunity.
What are some of the things you can do to keep leads coming in? Keeping reading to find six quick tips to get the most out of LinkedIn.
Update Your Profile
Keeping your profile up to date is a major benefit for your LinkedIn profile. The first benefit is that every time you make an update a notification is sent to your connections. This will give them the opportunity not only to check your profile out and see what has changed.
This can be beneficial if you are looking to target a high-value client in a specific market. If someone is looking for a contractor or consultant in your niche having an up to date profile will jump you up the search list.
Accurate information is always the best and you don’t want to have a potential lead view you in the wrong light because of outdated information.
Take a Professional Photo
We can’t stress the importance of a professional looking photo. It will help you stand out from the crowd of competitors. There are a few ways you can have a professional photo taken. The first is hire a photographer (you can also consider bartering services to get it done without spending money).
This is the most ideal option because a seasoned photographer will have the tricks needed to come up with the best picture possible. The second option is to create a professional backdrop and have the picture taken on your phone. Make sure to dress in your best work attire.
Make Your Headline Appealing
The headline will be one of the first things prospective leads will see when looking at your profile. It needs to be eye-catching but also specific to the services you offer. You don’t want to have general terms in your headline that keep you in a big pond of potential businesses.
When you look up the term “restaurant consultant” you get over 500 company profiles at your disposal. If you narrow it down to “French restaurant consultant” it drops down to 14!
That takes your chances of getting by a lead from less than 0.2% all the way up to 7%. This can greatly increase your odds of landing the client’s business.
Creating something vague won’t help you stand out from every other business in your market. Bring something to the table that will make the lead reach out to you.
Use SEO Strategies to Your Advantage
After creating the appealing headline for your profile, the next step should be focusing on your professional summary. You can put anything you want in the summary.
It’s important to use keywords that will draw you to potential leads. The same way you use specific terms when finding prospective clients is the same strategy your clients will use to find your business.
Including SEO strategies doesn’t stop with your summary. Place keywords in your headline and for every job description possible. This will alert Google and increase the likelihood your profile pops up on page 1 of a Google search.
Create Links back to your website through blog posts or your “hire me” page to increase traffic to the main business website as well.
Putting these strategies in place will only increase the awareness of your business in the long run.
Nurture Your Connections
As you start to network and grow your list of connections, try not to focus on the round number. Yes, it’s good to have 1,000 connections but if you aren’t interacting with anyone what good is the connection? If you reach out to people when you are trying to sell your product or services they will completely blow you off.
You can use your initial connection request to send them a personalized note. Be sure to express the reasons why you wanted to make the connection. If you see they are active on their page leave comments, and reach out to them on a regular basis to build up a genuine relationship.
As you nurture the relationship you can express interest in either solving a problem they have, or offering your services to make their lives easier in any way possible. They may initially turn you down but keeping the option open for them could lead to business down the line.
The lead may also spread the word to their colleagues. Word-of-mouth is still very effective and could be a gold mine of revenue for your business.
Stay Active in Groups
The LinkedIn groups you join should be specific to the clients you are looking to target. By focusing on the groups area of the platform you will be able to find quality leads from general conversation on specific topics.
Come off as genuine in your groups. Provide insight and analysis on topics you are comfortable talking about. If someone posts an article make sure you not only read the article but ask probing questions to spark conversation.
You will be surprised at how many leads can be created through LinkedIn groups. A comment on an obscure topic could lead weeks or months of future business.
Try Premium Out
There’s a reason why LinkedIn premium is so popular. The upgrade can provide you with excellent features you wouldn’t have at your disposal under a normal profile.
The biggest benefit of a premium profile in our opinion is the ability to send emails (known as Inmail) to third connections. These connections will not have anything in common with you, giving you limited access to them.
Sending a warm email is a great way to start a future relationship with a potential lead, something that wouldn’t have been available to do under normal circumstances.
The other big benefit you receive when trying out premium is looking at everyone who has viewed your profile. Sometimes when someone looks at your profile they do it anonymously.
This will only give you the main headline on their profile page. You are left wondering who viewed your profile and you don’t have any way to contact them. The premium option will give you all of their information with the opportunity to send an email to take things a step further.
It is a worthwhile investment if you can add it to your expenses.
Use These Six Quick Tips on Your LinkedIn Profile Today
After looking at the six quick tips you can use to get the most out of your LinkedIn profile, which ones stand out the most? Be sure to install these changes today if you want to see your lead generation skyrocket from the business networking social media platform.
Jon James is a certified inbound marketing consultant and co-author of “Leadership For a Lifetime with Tony Morris.”