Learning to use LinkedIn like a pro is a great way to show your credibility, win clients, attract staff, and propel your business.
Here is a short guide to take you from the basics through to being a true pro!
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1. The basics: Connecting
At its simplest, the beauty of LinkedIn is that it’s your business rolodex that updates itself. No more wondering how to get in touch with someone once their business card is out of date when they change job. LinkedIn takes care of all of that for you.
2. Beginner: Getting your profile to 100%
If you follow LinkedIn’s prompts, you’ll be on your way to completing your profile. Be sure to fill in your work history, list any publications you’ve released and seek endorsements and recommendations from people you know.
Also start growing your network by connecting with a handful of people each week via LinkedIn’s “people you might know” feature.
3. Intermediate: Sharing content
Even if you don’t publish your own blog yet, you can easily curate the best articles you read online and post them to your LinkedIn feed. It will show your connections what content you find valuable, and if you’re sharing your own articles, even better!
You can also post YouTube videos and Slideshare slides to your profile to really showcase your interests and skills. Additionally, join LinkedIn groups you are interested in and start discussions and leave thoughtful comments there.
4. Advanced: Getting proactive
Keep an eye on who’s viewed your profile via LinkedIn’s feature that will tell you this. These people were obviously taking a look around for some reason, so reach out and thank them and see how you might be able to help them out. This habit alone can lead to many useful connections.
There is also an “Advanced search” feature that you can use for free to find ideal clients, staff or aspirational contacts. For example, my typical client is a “marketing manager in Sydney”, so I can search for these keywords in an 80km radius around the postcode 2000.
5. Pro: Mastering the tools
Once you’ve identified your aspirational clients, staff and contacts, start to gather information about what groups they are members of, what events they attend and whose blog articles they share. Then join those groups, attend those events and follow those blogs.
Use this to really understand what makes these people tick, so you are in a better position to help them when you reach out and connect. If done properly, you’ll have no shortage of business opportunities, quality staff and a great professional network.
As always, the key is to lead with generosity and get to know these people by helping them first.
LinkedIn is one part of your social media arsenal. To help develop the daily habits of social media pros, you may like to download the Social Media Planning Template.