LinkedIn marketing done right goes something like this. Get an account, create a killer profile, and get a lot of connections. Reach out to those connections and tell them about your product or service. Next, turn yourself into a though leader by creating tons of meaningful content. This process works, but it won’t happen in just a day. It’s going to take a few months. A year, maybe. But think of what you’ll have when you’ve accomplished the “thought leader” part. You’ll have positioned yourself as a big dog in your market area. This is positioning and branding that will serve you well for the rest of your career.

Here’s the catch, though.

It all depends on the content you create!

Most content I find on LinkedIn is dull and boring. Also, because it’s dull and boring, it doesn’t get the clicks or in the case of LinkedIn, it doesn’t drive that many people to your profile or get them to reach out to you, or even to respond favorably to you reaching out to them! If this is one of your marketing woes, good news! I have a few solutions that will help you pour proverbial gasoline onto your LinkedIn fire!

Make Viral Worthy Content

How do you know what topics are hot? Actually, on LinkedIn it’s pretty easy. If you go to your home page, you’ll see a list of trending topics. This tells you what’s igniting people! Pick a topic that can be bent to your own needs and write about that. Better yet, write about it and make a video about it. Even better create a slide show about it. Now you can post on LinkedIn, YouTube and SlideShare all in one fell swoop.

Ask Questions

LinkedIn is, after all, a social media platform. The overall goal is engagement! Asking questions is a great way to get your readers or viewers engaged! Doing this could mean all the difference between your content getting 5 clicks and 500 clicks!

One of the most important metrics to keep up with on your LinkedIn profile is the number of views you’ve gotten recently. Even with a free account, LinkedIn gives you an indication of whether or not your views are growing as compared with the last reporting time. Although you can’t always make sure your views are growing, you can generally influence them to grow, which is a very important thing to do.

If you’re not getting many profile views, there are a few things you can do about it. First off, I’d tweak your headline and possibly your profile summary. You headline and your photo appear when someone’s searching for something related to your profile. People look at all the search results and based on what your picture looks like and what your headline says, they decide to take the next step and click on you. You want that to happen a lot more, not a lot less!

Another big thing you can do is to start posting more content, more status updates, more links to PowerPoint presentations via SlideShare, more YouTube videos, more native videos. More, more, more! As you post more content, you’ll greatly increase the number of ways people can find you, which will, in turn, increase your profile views.

Finally, reach out to more people on LinkedIn! Expand your network. Consistently send out connect requests. Don’t do two hundred all at one siting. LinkedIn will notice and probably shut your account down, at least temporarily. You do, however, want to send out ten or so per day. Actually, up to 50 a day is totally safe, in my experience! Reaching out to people makes them in turn go read your profile, which will over time create a lot more leads for you and your business!

I’m amazed at how many entrepreneurs, salespeople, freelancers, and business people fail to utilize the amazing power of LinkedIn for sales and lead generation. I know what happened, though. At some point in the past, everyone got it into their heads that LinkedIn is a place to find a job, or a virtual Rolodex. Sure, it’s both of those, but it’s actually so much more! LinkedIn is the world’s top business networking platform with over half a billion users. You can connect with virtually any business person, or really anyone who’s a professional of any sort, on the planet through LinkedIn. To actually start leveraging the power of LinkedIn, let’s talk about a few changes you might need to make.

First off, you need a really good head shot. Not a picture of you, your wife and your kids on your last vacation, where you cropped out everyone but you. You need a well thought through business picture. One great idea is to have the background actually be where you work. Your logo, your company’s logo in the background would look perfect.

Second, you want a headline that really grabs people’s attention. Think about this like a sales letter writer would think about it. If you’re not that great at sales, go find someone in the sales department to help you out. They’re used to thinking like this.

Third, following up on the headline, you want your profile summary to actually sell you. It’s not a resume! It’s more of a gentle sales letter. Write it in first person. Put a little of the human factor in it. Towards the bottom, tell people what they should do next. Connect with you! Reach out to you! Click on a link and get a free report! That sort of thing.

Once you get all this set up, you can start growing your connections and using LinkedIn’s great messaging feature to grow your network!

Want a quick hack that will secure you tons of new business this year, if you apply it consistently? LinkedIn had removed this feature, then, probably due to all the hue and cry, they added it back in. It’s the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” feature, and it’s my go-to method of getting new business for my consulting business.

Think about it for a moment. Who would potentially be more interested in you and what you do than someone who searched for you on LinkedIn and took a look at your profile? That right there is a ready-made source of potential prospects!

I’m not going to tell you how to get to the web page that tells you who’s viewed your profile. You can figure that out for yourself. Besides, LinkedIn moves things around. Just Google it, if you don’t see it right away. (Hint: go to your profile!) I do want to tell you a couple of things you should be doing with this, though.

First off, you need to monitor the number of profile views you get. In general, and over time, you want your profile views per unit time to grow. If you’re doing content marketing, or having someone like me do it for you, you should be getting more profile views. Profile views are one of the main metrics I use to determine if my content marketing strategy is working or not.

Second, you want to actually reach out to people who’ve viewed your profile. Even with a free account, you’ll see a few of these people. If you upgrade to one of LinkedIn’s premium accounts, you’ll get the whole thing unlocked, plus more useful analytics.

Exactly how do you reach out to these folks? Pretty simple, actually. Just message them and thank them for viewing your profile. Ask them if there’s anything you can help them with.

If the person is a first-tier connection, you can message them. If they’re a second-tier connection, or indirect connection, you’ll have to send them a connect request first.

As the world of social media makes our lives much more transparent and much more public, it’s very important for businesses to change their approach to finding, selling, and servicing their customers and clients. Gone are the days when you couldn’t sell somebody something, charge them an arm and a leg, and then offer shoddy service on the back end. You’ll hear about it, not just sooner or later, but in real time on Twitter! Reputations can be smashed in a matter of a few days online. This may or may not be a good thing, but it’s a reality for today’s business world.

I sell to a lot of businesses on LinkedIn. I also help business clients of all types use LinkedIn to market their services and products. Although not the rough and tumble world that Twitter is, negative exposure on LinkedIn is to be avoided at all costs! Okay, granted it’s rare that someone “flames” you on LinkedIn. (As opposed to Twitter where it’s a second by second occurrence.) But still, your LinkedIn connections are each connected to a lot of people. Why would you want to make enemies! True, sometimes a bad customer experience can’t be helped, and sometimes customers are just plain crazy, but if you can avoid negativity, it’s very important to do so.

In the Internet marketing world, managing all of this is called reputation management, and it’s a very important part of marketing a business online where reputations can be, often unfairly, damaged rapidly! To that end, I’d challenge you to think about how you decide to accept business, persuade people to do business with you, and especially how you service your clients. This last bit is super important! Recently it’s been called onboarding, and it’s the process of making sure you client has reasonable expectations and that those expectations are perceived as met and hopefully even exceeded by your product or service.

Before I got on LinkedIn and started using it for business, I thought it was just for finding a new job. At best, I thought of it as sort of a virtual Rolodex. I had no clue that it is the best platform around for networking and getting new clients! That was a long time ago. Now, most of my new clients come from LinkedIn! And, the best part of it is this—I don’t have to spend hours every day beating the pavement looking for business. A few minutes each day on LinkedIn does wonders for the bottom line, if you know what you’re doing.

How would you like to learn how to rock LinkedIn for business?

Excellent! Below, you’ll find the steps you need to take to make LinkedIn your main source of leads.

1: Get a professional looking head shot and use that for your photo.

2: Completely fill out your profile. You want to get to “All Star” status. That includes filling out nearly everything.

3: Next, you’ll want to spend some time writing your profile summary. Look at the summary as sort of an online sales letter designed to sell you. Write it in first person. Get some personal stuff in there as it relates to your work or business. Talk about how you arrived where you are, what you can do for people, and what your aspirations are for the future. Think about what you’d like to know about someone before you do business with them, or connect with them, and make sure you include that!

4: Connect with people on a consistent basis. Use LinkedIn search to find people in your target audience and connect with them. When people respond to your connect request, message them and start a conversation. Some of these conversations will end up in sales presentations for you and whatever it is you sell!

Unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is just for business—nothing else! So, it would make sense that LinkedIn should be your “go to” platform for personal and business branding. In this article, I’d like to show you a few things you can do to harness LinkedIn’s amazing power to brand either yourself or your business, or even a client’s business!

LinkedIn Pulse

LinkedIn has a blogging feature called Pulse. If you’re not using Pulse, you’re missing out big time! Creating and posting blog posts on LinkedIn will not only get you a lot of eyeballs on your profile, but it will help people really learn who you are, what you know, and what you can do for them. Blogging on LinkedIn is tops!

Advertise Intelligently

LinkedIn advertising is somewhat expensive, but that doesn’t mean that using paid ads in conjunction with LinkedIn isn’t a good idea. Ads on Microsoft’s Bing network are still fairly cheap. And, YouTube’s video ads are cheaper still! Learn about paid advertising and send that traffic to your LinkedIn posts and profile!

Leverage Your Employees

If you have employees, you don’t need to be the only one working LinkedIn! Get them to carry part of the load and make regular posting part of their job descriptions. This doesn’t have to take a lot of time, and it doesn’t have to be a big distraction, either. You can multiply not only your efforts, but also your reach because you’ll be posting content on other people’s accounts.

Use SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In our case, we’re talking about how people search for other people on LinkedIn. Figure out how people are going to find you and then make sure those keywords are included in your headline and in your profile summary.

Use Video

If you’re not hip to video as a marketing powerhouse, you’re missing the boat! You, or your employees, should be creating videos, which you can post on YouTube and then sharing those on LinkedIn. Sharing is easy! Just a few clicks and now this content is available for all your connections to see.

Use SlideShare

LinkedIn owns SlideShare, which is a PowerPoint and Keynote sharing platform. Another great idea is to take your presentations, share them on SlideShare and then post them on LinkedIn. The more content you can post on LinkedIn the better!

According to Google’s online dictionary, a tribe is “a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.” Seth Godin popularized the idea of tribes in his book, aptly named Tribes. The idea being that people tend to find each other through the Internet, and also that businesses and thought leaders can take advantage of this phenomenon to sell more of their products and services. So, having said all of that, wouldn’t it be great if you…yes you…could build a tribe for yourself? Fortunately for you, LinkedIn is a great place to do this, and in the rest of this article, I’m going to show you a few things you can do to start to “tribalize” your connections. Do that, and you’ll never lack for business again!

One of the first things you have to do is to build community. You don’t want to just be connecting with people. You want to reach out to them and bring them into your world! You actually do want to build a relationship with them! One of the most important things you can do is to message your connections on a regular basis. And, when they respond, you want to deepen that relationship by actually having a conversation with them! You can easily manage this through messaging. No one’s saying you have to meet a few thousand people at Starbucks over the course of the year. You can be intelligent with this. But, if you want a tribe, you do have to go that extra mile!

The other thing you can do is to provide your tribe with pertinent information. Reports, videos, podcasts, audios of other types, all these things will serve to make people more familiar with you. You really should be considering the video component. And, those videos should show your face! Talking! Acting like a caring pro! To have a tribe means you’re the leader. So, you have to start acting like a leader. Do that and you’ll start getting paid like a leader, too!

Once you have your profile on LinkedIn all sorted out, you’ll want to use it to start getting business for yourself (or a job, if that’s what you want). There are several ways to do this, three of which I’m doing to talk about here. I’ll cover other methods in my other articles. So, check those out!
Tip #1: Understand Your Audience
Advertisers, copywriters, and salespeople of all types understand the necessity of really understanding who their target audience is. You need to too! You must understand what your target audience wants, why they’re there reading your profile, what their hot buttons are. Just like a professional sales letter writer, you need to get inside their proverbial heads and talk to them the way they’re already thinking. If you can do this, you’ll automatically mesh with your audience. They’ll not only like you, they’ll believe in you and frankly buy from you. If you alienate your audience, however, you might as well quit. This is that important!

Tip #2: Get Your Keywords Right
Keywords are the phrases that someone types into a search window in order to find web pages that match the keyword phrase. So, if you type in “restaurant Boise”, you should get a list of restaurants in Boise. Works the same way on LinkedIn. Someone might type in “accountant Dallas” in order to find accountants in Dallas, TX. I’m sure you can see how important having the right keywords in your profile are for people who want to do business on LinkedIn. So, couple of things. First off, you need to find what keywords people are using, or might use, to search for you on LinkedIn. You can ball park this by searching yourself and keeping track of what results you find. Second, you’ll need to use these keywords both in your headline and in your profile summary.

Tip #3: Make Use of LinkedIn’s Own Analytics
Although the amount of information you can get from LinkedIn varies according to whether you have a free or paid account, both types of accounts can glean a lot of useful information from your LinkedIn analytics page. You can see who’s searched for you. You can also get an albeit small list of keywords used. This isn’t a lot of information to go on, but it does help!