With over 300 million users, you’d think every business person would be learning everything they could about using LinkedIn. They could be using it to generate leads for sales, needed resources, funding new employees, or even a new job. Funny thing is, most are not. Most people are underutilizing or grossly misusing this amazing tool.
Of the people that are on LinkedIn, only about 50% have a complete profile and only a very small percentage are actually interacting with others by posting, sharing and commenting in a way that is engaging.
They are making random connections and don’t build relationships, they are sending spammy sales messages or doing nothing. They have hundreds of connection requests they are ignoring and don’t check their messages let alone interact with others that could be helpful to them.
I get about 10 legitimate requests to connect each week. Ninety percent of those connection requests are from people I don’t know who don’t understand enough about LinkedIn to know they need to write a message letting me know who they are and why they want to connect.
Here are the 2 things you absolutely cannot do if you want results.
1. Have an incomplete profile.
The purpose of your profile is to engage people. Your profile is a promotional piece for you and your company. The object is to get people to read it and connect or better yet, contact you to learn more. Your photo, headline and contact information are the most expensive real estate on your profile and need to be treated as such. A good first impression will help people get to know you.
- The contact information gives them the information they need to contact you without having to search.
- Your summary has to engage the reader. Use words that will resonate with the type of people you are trying to attract.
- Fill out the rest of your profile to show that you have experience and are an expert in your field.
- Help people find things they have in common with you.
2. Do nothing.
The point of being on LinkedIn is to interact with people. If you have a profile sitting there, it’s like going to a party and standing in the corner all night. You will get limited if any results. You should be interacting with others on a weekly, if not daily basis. It’s very quick and easy to do.
- Make a list of people you want to interact with.
- Find them on LinkedIn and connect with a personal message.
- Follow their posts and click like, comment or share.
- Find an article of interest and private message it to them.
Networking on LinkedIn is like networking in person. You say hello, introduce yourself and strike up a conversation. Conversations lead to results. The next thing you know you’ll be scheduling a meeting.
Now you know what you shouldn’t do. What you can do to get results on LinkedIn is post articles. This establishes you as an expert in your field. Curate content on your topic and share it daily on LinkedIn. If you or your company has a blog, you can also share those posts. Be sure to have a good mix of sharing the content of other experts as well as your own. You can share in the activity area on your home page or you can publish it. Be sure to check your posts to see if anyone is commenting on them. You can reply and start a conversation right from the comment area. If you interact with them, they will probably ask you to connect. If they ask you to connect, they may be a prospect, potential collaboration, referral source, or even your next employee.
I get leads every month via LinkedIn. You can get the results you are looking for too. Spend some time with this powerful tool and learn to use it properly. It’s just like anything else, you have to learn it and practice if you want to get good at it. I promise it will be worth it.