Are you using LinkedIn beyond giving status updates?
LinkedIn is host to all of your valuable contacts (and their valuable contacts) and a wealth of information about all these contacts. When used properly, LinkedIn is a powerful professional network that can help you strategically grow your small business.
Today’s marketing buzz is all about “content marketing” which is giving your target audience valuable, shareable content. (The Content Marketing Institute shares a more in depth definition here.) But let’s cross platforms and take this concept and apply it to a LinkedIn networking strategy. Successful business growth strategies involve helping your clients and prospective clients, and that might not always be with services or support you offer. It might be through connecting them with people in your network who can help. There are many ways to use LinkedIn in this fashion, but I’ll share three ideas around the “content marketing” concept.
1. Connect using the advanced search feature.
I use the advanced search feature to connect my network to each other. For example, recently a client of mine asked me about hiring strategies and what resources companies are currently using to vet employees. I used the advanced search feature on LinkedIn to scout out recruiters and human resources specialists in my network. Then I sent a message to a small group and received fantastic recommendations. I introduced my client to a couple of the contacts and she received the help she needed.
2. Reach out through LinkedIn groups.
For me, LinkedIn groups are like valuable focus groups. When you post a question or request information to a group, I find that you often receive well though out responses and more information than expected. I use group discussions to find answers to questions for my clients but also to test ideas. For example, when I put together a marketing campaign, I often reach out to other marketing strategists for their input and ideas. I also target groups that include members of my target audience and ask members for their feedback and input.
3. Polish your profile.
You’re not the only one taking advantage of the search and group features on LinkedIn, which makes having a polished profile critical. I recommend taking your best work and showcasing it on your profile. Sharing a job description is great but adding real world examples to your profile proves that you can do what your job description states. The more robust your profile, the more often you will show up in search results on LinkedIn. I also integrate my profile with my other marketing platforms to help make my content more valuable. (I invite you to view my profile and connect with me.)
These scenarios put you in the powerful position of the “go-to resource.” You’re the one people can count on. You are giving your audience valuable, shareable content. Following strategies like these will help you establish trust with your clients and prospective clients while building a mutually beneficial relationship.