1. Get involved in niche groups
There are specific groups available for many micro-niches on LinkedIn. Becoming active and engaged in these communities is a great way to be seen as an expert and helpful resource. This leads to opportunities for lead generation, networking, partnerships and much more. The key is to give freely in those groups and not expect anything in return. Don’t be the person trying to “sell” yourself in the groups. Give value first, receive later
2. Use it for conferences
LinkedIn is a treasure trove of information. I’ve found it especially useful for preparing for conferences and events. I look up who’s going to be there and who’s speaking. I then search for their profiles on LinkedIn, and either reach out directly or through a mutual connection. The response rate is surprisingly high. A little preparation on LinkedIn goes a long way — you’ll meet the right people and they’ll know about you and your business before the event kicks off.
3. Export your contacts
A great tool is the contact list export option. Every quarter or so, I’ll export my LinkedIn contacts and share them with my valuable referral partners. I’ll invite them to go through the contacts and highlight anyone who might be a great resource or potential client for them. Generally this becomes a reciprocal practice and a great way to warm up referrals.
4. Go premium
I’ve been pleasantly surprised by LinkedIn Premium and their InMail feature. Our company has seen phenomenal success by using the Premium subscription for recruiting, business development and partnership purposes. It has given us access to a much wider range of connections with the ability to reach out directly, which is invaluable when you have limited time.
5. Help others
LinkedIn mutual connections is an amazing tool. It shows you exactly who you are connected to, and how you may be one direct introduction away from your dream customer. However, it is easy to abuse and constantly request intros. To avoid this, when you identify a great introduction you want, go to your mutual connection and tell them that you are interested in them making that introduction. However, before they make the intro, demand that you do something that helps them first. It can be something small like a user test, or an intro you can make for them. Being clear that you have an ask upfront, but making sure your contact knows you value their time and help, will get you very far.
6. Start with warm leads
We all get bombarded with emails, messages and now LinkedIn mails. It’s hard to stand out from the crowd unless there is a perception of a warm lead. The first thing to do before online marketing is to develop your offline network. Go out and meet people who are trailblazers and connectors in the sector you want to target and become their LinkedIn friends. That way, when you chose to approach someone on LinkedIn, they will notice you have many trusted connections in common.
7. Start writing
LinkedIn recently opened up their publishing platform to 25,000 members. If you are one of these members, take advantage of it and start writing. If you aren’t a great writer look to services to help polish your work before uploading to LinkedIn. Then ask your audience for feedback to help determine what to write about next. You should also respond to comments on your LinkedIn articles to start and engage conversation within your industry.
8. Simple: Invest more of your time
If you want LinkedIn to work for you, grab leads and get you connected, you have to invest some time. Logging in and checking out the “Who’s Viewed My Page” section isn’t going to cut it. Even just 15 minutes a day will really bring in results. I personally use Sprout Social to post frequently, which takes no time at all. I also use their new publishing platform where I get some pretty great social numbers on my content. I can establish my credibility with the audience that really matters: people who will need my firm’s services. So the bulk of that 15 minutes I actually use to comment, chat and reach out personally.