By now, you probably realize how effective LinkedIn is for your professional pursuits. There are so many incredible features to LinkedIn that you can leverage for your business and that can work effectively for you. All you have to do is tap them.
Using LinkedIn to increase your business
The first thing that you might be asking yourself is if you can take it to the next level and use LinkedIn to obtain more clients and thus, more revenue and more success. There are many different ways that you can approach this. You may wish to consider using an approach that can be referred to as “LinkedIn prospecting.”
There are a couple of different groups of people whom you will want to target on your journey to increasing your professional connections. Those two main groups are prospects and existing clients. The first group to consider is the prospects.
Obtaining prospects through LinkedIn: Before social media exploded on the technology scene, it was much more difficult to get a hold of prospects. In the past, it had to be done by traditional marketing and sales means and it could get expensive and extremely time-consuming. Now that you have convenient, easy, and effective means at your disposal, it is much easier and faster to obtain results that you are after and that can truly contribute to your growing professional success. In addition to being able to reach many people very quickly, you can also hear from those people and they can provide you with very valuable feedback that you would not be able to obtain otherwise. Because of the way that you are now able to interact with other people, you have an increased ability to build professional credibility, trustworthiness, and to position yourself in your niche or industry as a subject matter expert. You will be on the forefront of other people’s minds when they happen to need what you are offering.
The different aspects of prospecting: There are two main aspects of prospecting that can be done through LinkedIn. They are inbound and outbound prospecting. Of course, before you do anything at all, if is critical that you do your homework. Your focus should be on keywords and key phrases, the other person’s business and where they are located, and the person’s title and function in their business and what the business represents. If you can obtain those pieces of information, you will be able to get to the next step. You will be on your way. As you are focusing on the important aspects that have been mentioned, you should keep in mind that location is one of the most important ones. For all businesses, it is important that you get a sense of who is physically located close to where you are. This will give you the opportunity to interact with those people at various in-person events and you can start to build solid relationships with them.
LinkedIn is a very effective professional tool
If you have not been doing it up to now, you should reconsider using LinkedIn more religiously for your professional uses. There are so many ways in which it can be effective and it can truly bring your business to the next level. Making use of the LinkedIn Groups feature is a very smart idea as well. You can either join groups (up to 50 of them) or you can form your own groups and invite other people to join you. Either way, it is critical that you participate as much as you can. When it comes to LinkedIn Groups, the most important thing is that you interact and build your relationships with other people.
Reaching out to other people
As you are reaching out to others with the hope of eventually doing business with them, it is very important that you present yourself properly and professionally. That means that your LinkedIn profile is complete, you have a professional photo as part of your profile, and you follow the proper LinkedIn etiquette. Part of the concept of following the proper etiquette is that you make sure that all of your discussions on LinkedIn are conversational, not promotional. The last thing that the other person wants or needs is to feel as though you are trying to sell them anything. Your only purpose in interacting with them through LinkedIn is to help them to solve their problems and to teach them something in the process.
LinkedIn is undoubtedly one of the most effective and most used social media channels for professional people. You owe it to yourself and your business to leverage it as much as possible and to learn about all of its features so that you can apply those to your business and to improve upon what you are already doing. When it comes to your connections through LinkedIn, you can make use of your first-degree, second-degree, etc, connections. All of those connections will prove valuable to you (potentially) and it will be very easy to get to know people beyond your first-degree connections. You just need to get your first-degree connections to introduce you to them. The opportunities on LinkedIn are out there. All you have to do is go after them.[signoff][/signoff]
Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.