The great thing in life, if we wish to be happy and prosperous, is to miss as many political debates as possible.
There can be few marketing professionals who remain unacquainted with LinkedIn. It’s a professionally credible site which allows freelancers and businesses to draw attention to their services and communicate with others who need their skills and products.
To network successfully on LinkedIn, it’s important to create a professional profile which highlights your USP and showcases your work. Supplement this by including a link to your other websites. This will assist greatly with marketing opportunities.
Business marketing – be proactive
The businesses that benefit most from their LinkedIn connections are those that proactively position themselves at the front of the pack. Begin by targeting a few key fields that you want to work in, and start contacting people on LinkedIn through those fields. For example, if you’re marketing a niche IT service, you should be targeting individuals relevant to your product.
LinkedIn provides search functions specifically for this purpose. Invite these people to link to you on the site. When they see from your profile that you’re interested in them, they’ll let you know right away if they have a need for your services. And even if they don’t have an immediate need, you’ll at least have made an impression so that you’ll spring to mind in the future.
Stay in touch
Critically, make sure to stay in regular contact with your LinkedIn connections. This is definitely the most effective way of profiting from LinkedIn. It pays to build on relationships, rather than making a contact feel like a stepping stone. Many of my clients also run regular polls and surveys (which are very quick and easy to set-up on LinkedIn), and typically receive a good response. We once received 1,048 replies from a cross-section of IT and telecoms sales and marketing professionals. Running surveys is also a great way of assessing whether your communications are being read and, if so, what people actually think of both you and your business.
If you don’t have one already, consider creating a newsletter and ask your LinkedIn connections if it’s OK to add them to your mailing list. Likewise, make use of the LinkedIn message system on the site to send an update to your network of contacts about your current work, availability, etc.
LinkedIn is one of the best networking sites for professionals. Unlike other sites, it’s exclusively focused on business development. For this reason, it’s a great platform for enhancing your status as a ‘thought leader’ and, by association, your brand. If, for instance, you’ve written a book or had an article published, LinkedIn can be a great (and free) vehicle for getting the word out there – fast! By all means be a ‘late adopter’, but ignore LinkedIn at your expense.
If you’d like to join us on the LinkedIn network, you can find us and follow us here: http://uk.linkedin.com/company/b2b-lead-agency