LinkedIn® provides professional services marketing and sales people with a wonderful tool for building and expanding relationships and growing business. Consider the following tips for maximizing the use – and profitability – of one the top business building tools on the Internet.
This daily game plan has 8 steps and takes 15 – 20 minutes.
- Comment on Comments – Show your connections you are paying attention.
- Make recommendations – If you have not made a recommendation for a connection, DO SO if at all possible. Please make sincere recommendations; remember, your name is on the line. If you cannot recommend someone in good faith, don’t do it.
- Make your profile publicly available – While you can set the information which is publicly available to non-members/contacts, be careful with blocking too much information as this will also be unavailable to the search engines. As a minimum, consider providing enough information for the search engines to index your profile and cache the external links you have listed! In terms of optimizing your profile, the main goals are normally to rank for your own name, company name and possibly industry keywords related to this.
- Comment on Profile Updates – Congratulate others on promotions and awards, inquire about other changes, and always offer assistance.
- Check your Inbox – Respond to requests and messages in a timely manner.
- Look in the “People You May Know Section” – Find new connections and leads.
- Check Your Groups – Look for new discussions, answer questions, and look for other items of interest. Ask questions to gather information and open new relationships.
- Use LinkedIn® Answers – This can help to build up your reputation within a field. For SEO it also builds the number of internal links pointing to your profile from within LinkedIn, therefore helping to strengthen your profile in the search engines!
A word of warning: LinkedIn® is a tool, not a religion. Relationships are still made person-to-person, not digitally. You can receive an introduction or introduce yourself on the web, but true relationship building comes from personal interaction. LinkedIn® and other social media sites help maintain and grow relationships. In a busy world, that is truly priceless!