Here are my main takeaways (others call them hacks) from my LinkedIn networking and marketing presentation at the Barrington Area Public Library this evening – March 25, 2015. These are applicable whether you are trying to market your small business and increase revenues or looking for that ‘C Suite’ position.
1. LinkedIn is About Building Relationships
I am strictly interested in a long term return on my time investment. Hey, that’s the way I’ve always done business and I have seen the rewards come from it.
Unless you have a BIG budget (and most of the businesses and people I deal with do not), LinkedIn is not a place to try to either mass market, advertise or sell directly to others. You may get short term results but you will turn off many more than you sell.
This is social business. It’s like doing business while playing golf.
2. Your Need To Understand Search and How Important Keywords Are
I think perhaps it is my background in search engine optimization that separates me from most of the other local so-called LinkedIn experts and gurus. LinkedIn is a search engine just as Google is.
The same search principles apply. Only it is easier to implement and get quicker results on LinkedIn than it is on Google.
You must therefore understand how to determine and diagnose the keywords you are using as they compare to both your prospects and your competition to succeed.
3. Determine Your Plan Before You Start Your Strategies and Tactics
Ask and answer these questions:
- Who is your target market?
- How will you find them?
- How will you connect with them?
- How will you engage them?
- How will you be perceived?
4. It’s Not Who You Know, It’s Who Your Connections Know That Counts Most
You want evangelists to spread the word about you. That’s what we refer to as WOMA or ‘word of mouth advertising’.
If you do not understand this is the way to build businesses that last, please go back to #1 above and start all over again.
5. Your Brand Is Simply Your Online Reputation
Use the places on LinkedIn that best establish and project your image or your brand. This includes written content as well as images. Optimize your:
- Profile Picture
- Headline (Tag or Slug)
- Background (Hero) Image
- Social Proof Statements
- 50 Skills
- Rich Media Files
6. Increase Your Visibility And Stay Top Of Mind
According to some studies it may take up to 20 ‘touches’ before you close a sale. The higher the ticket item, the more touches closing a sale entails.
Sharing updates, participating in group discussions and publishing posts are a great way to gain exposure and stay top of mind.
If you have a company, sharing updates on a company page is also a must do.
7. Find Target Markets Using Advanced Search
LinkedIn is a database and therefore allows Boolean search parameters. Here is a list and learn how to use them.
- Exact Phrase – Enclose in Quotes – i.e. “Michael Yublosky”
- Exclude a Particular Term – add NOT (in caps) – i.e. sales NOT manager
- Include one or more terms – add OR (in caps) – i.e. sales OR marketing
- Two or more terms option to use AND
- For complex searches, add parenthesis ( )
- Wildcards (*) are not allowed on LinkedIn
Download the 7 Key Takeaways for Small Businesses and Executive Job Search Success on LinkedIn slideshow in pdf form.