You won’t believe this but every second of the day LinkedIn gains a new member. Yep, you guessed it, that’s 86,400 new members each and every day. Incredible. That’s faster than the US birth rate. That’s faster than a speeding bullet. In fact, LinkedIn has about 200 million registered users in 200 countries.
The majority of their users are in the US and stats show that approximately 45% are business users. That’s the good news. The bad news is that many of us don’t know how to use LinkedIn to generate leads online. As for me, I’m still a neophyte to the platform. But as I continue to invest heavily in educating myself, I will continue to share tips and trends that I believe are accurate and meaningful. So here we go…. 5 tips to help you use LinkedIn to generate fans, leads and sales.
Enjoy and good luck!
1) COMPLETE YOUR PROFILE
Remember, your LinkedIn page is really like a website and the ideal place for you to generate leads online. You would not want your corporate website incomplete now would you? The more complete and up to date your profile is, the better chance you have of being found. Most importantly, it will drive a greater understanding of what it is that you do and will give others a chance to get to know you. In addition, it will reinforce the many ways you may be able to help them.
LinkedIn is used by many professionals attempting to connect, engage and ultimately find solutions to their problems. Use LinkedIn to your advantage and watch as your business grows and you become less stressed because you acted early.
2) JOIN GROUPS
The next critical component to generating leads online with LinkedIn is to join groups. There are a myriad of LinkedIn groups from which to choose. A tip here, spend minimal time with groups whose members are your piers. They have the same objective as you and are speaking to the same market you are attempting to engage. Groups provide an effective means in reaching out to your target audience and are great to attract more followers to your brand. We will touch on this later, but the next key is launching a discussion of your own within a group of your choosing or contributing to a discussion that is already going on.
3) COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR NEWSFEED
Communicating through your newsfeed will keep you top of mind with your audiences and will give you the ability to develop more leads online. Remember, LinkedIn is not a place to post pictures of your latest vacation. Rather, it is the place where professionals come to engage with others and research solutions for the challenges they face. It is important to be careful of topics you choose to share with others. Don’t be too commercial or self serving. That’s the quickest way to turn off your audiences. The goal is to become known as the educator in your chosen field. By frequently distributing meaningful and helpful articles, like tips, trends and how-to’s, you will soon achieve a leadership position. One final note of caution, don’t over saturate your newsfeed with messages. That will agitate the very audiences you are attempting to engage with.
4) ENGAGE WITH OTHERS
Many marketers I speak with still believe in yesteryears outbound, interruption marketing. Using tactics like direct mail, print ads and commercially oriented email won’t help you generate leads online. They think of it as a one way conversation. It may sound funny, but social networks are called social networks because we are supposed to get social on them! Imagine that you are going to attend a huge party, with say 200 million guests, what a great venue to network and make friends and let people know how you can help them. Yep, you guessed it, same thing except the venue is the universe. That’s right, the entire universe with whom you can engage and provide insight, knowledge and solutions. In addition, other simple things as liking a contacts status update will increase your engagement with your target audience.
5) GET YOUR EMPLOYEES TO PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS
If you own a company and have employees, they can help you generate leads online by getting them engaged in social activity a minimum of once a week. Make it a fun thing for your employees to do and make them realize that promoting the business is in everyone’s best interest including the employees. By making it a team effort, your LinkedIn success will drive connections, leads and sales.