After using Linkedin for 5 years to generate most of my business, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that if you’re not active on LinkedIn on a daily basis, you’re missing real opportunities for new business. LinkedIn is where over 200 million users are looking to collaborate, purchase, sell, partner, exchange knowledge and expertise, and do everything business. It’s where people are looking for your product or service. Are you making it easy for them to find you?
Here’s a 4 step system that I’ve found work very well to engage people on LinkedIn while position you as an expert in your industry:
1. Design your Personal Brand:
When people look at your profile, it’s like they’re shaking your hand. It’s your first impression – and it’s important to make a good one. At a minimum, be sure to highlight what value you can provide others, demonstrate credibility, and be sure they see your face – a nice inviting photo. Also be sure to include your industry’s key words throughout your profile so you come up as a top result for searches
2. Get involved – Position yourself as an expert in your industry:
Expose your profile in 50 relevant groups in a way that adds value to people. Don’t sell anything, but seek to educate and become a source for your target market. Get involved in conversations, comment on posts, share valuable information, ask relevant and insightful questions (do this 1-3 times per day or two).
3. Invite people to connect:
Personalize your invitation highlighting something you saw on their profile, a common goal or interest, and/or a compliment. I like to mention some clients we helped to have credibility in my invitation. Keep in mind that most people re on LinkedIn to meet others and expand their business network, so if you do this in a professional way, it’s mutually beneficial to connect with others. And remember, don’t sell or offer anything other than your help.If you don’t know what to write, here’s a template (to personalize) I’ve found to work well:
“Hi Jeff,Congrats on your ____!
We specialize in software localization (Client: Adobe, Citrix, Skype, Apple, etc.). Feel free to contact me anytime if I can be of assistance. Meanwhile, I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.
Have a great day!
4. Engage in conversation:
The goal isn’t to connect, but to engage in conversation (hopefully on a call or meeting) to explore if there is any value you can provide your new connection. Once your invitation is accepted – send a thank you email with a little gift – such as an interesting article, or a basic thought provoking question that doesn’t require a long answer. If they seem open to engage invite them for a call to discuss further.
Bottom line, it’s simple. If you do this often, you’ll begin receiving emails such as following:
Roman forwarded me your email. Would you have time to talk about how you help companies like ours with the localization challenges? The sooner the better.
Of course, there is a lot more to learn about using LinkedIn effectively, so stay tuned for more posts, videos, and webinars on the topic.
How do you engage with people on LinkedIn? Have you had a LinekdIn success story recently you can share? Please leave us a comment.