At the time of publication, there were more than 450 million+ LinkedIn users. Probably you. Oh and just about every professional you’ve ever met. That includes colleagues, clients, customers, prospects and future prospects. Or put more simply – everyone you could possibly want or need to meet to reach your business goals.
There is major demand for assistance and resources to get ahead on LinkedIn. I’ve led workshops and delivered seminars on LinkedIn essentials to hundreds of professionals across the country. And with good reason.
Most people aren’t getting anywhere on LinkedIn.
That’s right. You might be on LinkedIn. Everyone you know might be on LinkedIn. But most of you aren’t seeing any results from it. And here’s an important note: It’s not LinkedIn’s fault. Right now, LinkedIn offers the most potential for you to grow your business and make meaningful connections. Many of its best features are free and are relatively easy to use. It’s sitting there, waiting for you to take advantage.
But for right now, you’re not getting anywhere. Never fear, though, I know why:
No one actually knows you’re there. Yes, 450 million+ people are on LinkedIn, including probably everyone you know. But unless you’re specifically asking people to connect with you (or initiating contact with them), you’re probably not connected on LinkedIn. Which means that you’re not staying top of mind, providing value and establishing thought leadership. Whenever you attend a networking event, speak with a new prospect on the phone or are introduced to a new person, send a request to connect on LinkedIn within one business day. Include your LinkedIn URL (and/or the LinkedIn icon) on your business card and in your email signature (along with a call to action to connect with you). Make a habit of referencing your LinkedIn profile during meetings and phone calls. Spread the word!
Your profile leaves much to be desired. There is no excuse for an incomplete social media profile today – especially when it comes to your photo. I receive requests to connect from individuals I don’t know – this is not inherently bad, but when you don’t have a professional-looking photo (or any photo), it is far less likely I will accept your request. Looking past the photo, dig deeper into your profile. Is it complete? At a minimum, every section of your profile needs to be completed. Then dig deeper into each section – how are they helping to tell your story? Does your headline go beyond the ‘title and company’ that most people have? Does your summary tell people not only what you do, but why you do it and what you deliver? You can also attach websites, video and other media to your LinkedIn profile, yet I very rarely see these features enabled on profiles. Stop treating LinkedIn like an online resume and as more of a storytelling and connecting tool. Craft a profile that feels like you – in other words, like a human, and it’s much more likely to resonate with people to make a positive impression.
You’re guilty of ‘set it and forget it.’ Maybe you’ve completed your profile and even put some extra effort into it. But rather than coming across the finish line, your work on LinkedIn is just getting started! LinkedIn provides you with an opportunity to stay top of mind with your clients and prospects (and to be introduced to prospects you haven’t even thought of), so why aren’t you posting? From industry news to company updates and more, posting content several times a week not only keeps your name and picture in front of your connections, it helps you provide real value and essentially sell your business without actually selling. Do you have the time and resources to contact all your clients and prospects multiple times per week? Probably not. Plus, most clients and prospects would be frustrated by sales calls every week. Posting valuable content on LinkedIn allows you to not only stay top of mind with your connections, but to indirectly sell them on you and your expertise in a non-pushy way. And once you get used to posting content regularly, you can go even further (posting in groups or writing LinkedIn Pulse posts – I won’t overwhelm you now, but let’s just say that the free resources on LinkedIn really are impressive!).
LinkedIn offers incredible opportunity to nurture your real-world connections and make new ones. Start following through on its key features and you’ll start to see real progress.