12 pieces of LinkedIn advice you’ve (likely) never heard
Are you a lurker on LinkedIn? Eighty percent of us are.
We watch and read what’s on the network, but we’re not proactive. We don’t use LinkedIn’s newest and best features to our advantage.
If you’re in the business of creating new business, start using these 12 secrets:
1. Message people in groups for free.
This is like having unlimited InMails. Just search for a person’s name in a group, and click “message.” However, use this function very judiciously. I’m not condoning spam. Your message must be relevant, useful and add value to the recipient.
2. Follow second- and third-degree connections from groups.
When you follow second- and third-degree connections in the same groups as you, you’ll see their updates on your homepage like they were first-degree connections. Strategically following group members is incredibly useful when you’re looking to start conversations with prospects or prospective business partners. Like, share and comment on their updates, and interact in ways that will spark new connections and business relationships.
3. Upload multimedia content to your profile.
Upload videos and presentations to your profile, or provide links. Multimedia can be much more compelling than words. Plus, people can view this content without leaving your profile.
You can also load all kinds of calls-to-action within your content to get people to contact you for your services or products.
4. Track your links.
Wouldn’t it be great to know if someone clicked on a link you sent him? It’s possible with bit.ly. Create a free account and send each prospect a custom link.
5. Collect leads directly from your profile.
Do you collect leads directly from your LinkedIn profile? It’s easy. If you have a white paper or eBook that you or your company uses to produce leads, why not use it on your profile?
Build a free Web form with Google Drive. Place links to the form in your Summary section, and share the links as updates.
6. Congratulate contacts when they appear in the news.
Congratulating your connections on appearing in the news is a nice ego stroke. I use Newsle (which LinkedIn recently acquired) to monitor first-, second- and third-degree connections.
Connect your LinkedIn profile with Newsle.com to quickly see if your prospects have been in the news. If they have, message them your congratulations.
Gagein.com is also useful for tracking people and companies in the news. It includes many custom filters to choose from.
7. Share valuable news with your network.
Custom sections on Google News are a powerful way to curate news your network will find useful. Once you build a custom section, you can get industry and competitor news to easily share on LinkedIn. All you need to build a custom section in Google News is a Gmail account.
Share the news you curate as status updates, and send them to individual connections.
8. Stay organized.
The more active you are on LinkedIn, the harder it will be to track everything you do and stay organized. That’s why you need a tool like FiveHundredPlus. FiveHundredPlus connects with your LinkedIn account to track who you need to contact and when.
9. Get a premium account.
People ask me all the time whether a premium account is worth the money. If you’re in sales or business development, the answer is an emphatic yes. All you need is the basic premium account. It has everything you need, including advanced search.
10. Teach, don’t sell.
A Corporate Executive Board survey of more than 1,000 IT leaders found that people who teach and provide insights were perceived as far more valuable than people pushing a new product or service.
Stop leading with your services, and lead to your services. Targeted content curation is an effective way to move your prospects into a sales funnel. Create free Paper.li and Scoop.it accounts to easily find content to share. You should also set up a custom news section on Google News (tip No. 7) to find relevant industry research and competitor news.
11. Don’t be afraid to connect with people.
It’s essential that you connect with as many new prospects as possible. In a recent comScore report titled, “The Social Bridge to the IT Committee,” two out of three IT professionals are open to connecting with vendors on LinkedIn. (That means people who look and sound professional.) You should also focus on connecting with people in finance, operations and marketing.
12. Make your profile your professional website.
Far too many professionals don’t care about or pay attention to their profiles. Consider this: Nine times out of 10, your LinkedIn profile is where prospects, customers, partners and future employers will go to find and judge you online. Use it to your competitive advantage.