The LinkedIn Tutors

Build your business with LinkedIn


Secret of social media – amplify the voices of others

There is a thoughtful blog on making the best use of social media for marketing on LinkedIn’s new ‘thought leaders’ pages from Tim O’Reilly, founder of the publishing and event company O’Reilly. The key nugget, I think, is his belief in the value of amplifying the voices of others, particularly in a community where you share common interests, rather than simply shouting about yourself or trying to get others to tout your services:

In short, the secret of promotion in the age of social media isn’t to promote yourself.  It’s to promote others.  Success comes when your success depends on the success of your customers, your suppliers, your end-users, and when you spend more of your time thinking about them than about yourself.

It’s an inspiring perspective, and it fits well with age-old practices of successful human networking through helping others to make connections. How could you make use of this principle in the way you use LinkedIn (for example how you take part in LinkedIn Groups) and your other social media activities?


Is LinkedIn a replacement for face-to-face networking ?

I’m a LinkedIn coach, so of course, I am very keen on LinkedIn as a marketing and business development tool.  But does it replace face-to-face networking?  Absolutely not!

Some people have the misconception that if you simply have a LinkedIn profile, the business should starting rolling in.  LinkedIn activities are most effective when they are used in conjunction with offline networking.  LinkedIn can help you raise awareness and interest in your offering, keep you ‘front of mind’ with current clients and reveal potential new clients.  The key is to take your online networking activities offline.

If you are in the professional services sector (lawyers, accountants, architects, designers, etc), you will rarely gain a new client through purely online activity.  Usually a phone call or face-to-face meeting needs to take place before the prospect knows you well enough and trusts you to give you their business.

Use LinkedIn by all means, but always focus on how you can take your online relationships offline — and watch your business grow.

Do you have any examples of how your LinkedIn activities have resulted in new business?   I’d love to hear from you!


No more hit and miss when joining LinkedIn Groups

Until recently, if you wanted to join a closed LinkedIn Group, you could only see which of your connections were group members before joining.  You may have joined groups based on this information and then found, once you were a member, that the group wasn’t what you thought it was and you had little in common with the other group members.

That’s all changed now.

If you want to learn more about a LinkedIn Group (closed or open) before joining, you can look at the group’s statistics (found on the right hand side of a group’s landing page) before clicking on the ‘join’ button.

This handy statistical infographic provides the titles of the group members,  where they are based, the group’s discussion activity level and much more.  You now don’t have to join a LinkedIn Group blindfolded only to find out it’s not for you.

Which new LinkedIn tools have you found helpful?


Your online professional presence – manage it or let it manage you!

Let’s face it –  an online presence is imperative if you want to thrive professionally in the 21st Century.

Potential clients/partners/employers will look at your LinkedIn profile to check you out before they meet you or afterwards.  Your profile is a piece of important marketing collateral for you and for the organisation you represent.  What does it say about you?  What does it say about your organisation?  Could it be:

That you don’t care about communicating your value to others?

That your organisation has a disjointed brand message?

That you don’t see any value in using 21st Century communication channels?

NOT having a decent LinkedIn profile speaks volumes.

LinkedIn provides a powerful channel for communicating your brand and the unique value you offer to clients and partners.  Get it right, and see your business grow.

What does your LinkedIn profile say about you?


Show you care through LinkedIn

According to a new report by the Rockefeller Corporation, the main reason customers leave a company is because they do not feel that the company cares about them.  This reason was chosen by 68% of the respondents. Surprisingly (or not, depending on your point of view) price and quality were not mentioned as reasons for changing companies.

In the professional services sector, the sector I’ve had over 15 years’ experience in, the ‘company doesn’t care’ reason for leaving a provider could score even higher.  In this sector, people buy people.  You only feel that a professional service provider cares about you if you know, like and trust (#klt in the twitter world) them.  If you don’t know, like and trust the provider, you will not use their services for very long.  As the report highlights, dropping your price won’t help you keep your clients in the long term if they don’t think you care about them.

LinkedIn provides us with an extremely efficient and effective way to connect with prospects and clients and show them we care.  I’m not saying that LinkedIn can replace offline relationship building — I’m saying that it can turbo charge your existing marketing/business development strategy and therefore speed up the ‘know, like and trust’ process.  The result? Increased revenues and more referrals.

Here’s some suggestions for building relationships via LinkedIn,

  • Share your client’s LinkedIn profile with another LinkedIn contact. Use the ‘share’ button to send his/her profile to someone you think your client should meet.  This shows you are not only interested in taking their money – you want to help them grow their business as well.
  • Invite a client/prospect to attend an event they might find of interest.  Locate the event through ‘Events’ (found in the ‘More’ menu) and then use the ‘share’ button to send the event details to them.  It’s a great opportunity to suggest a meeting while at the event.
  • Transform a cold call into a warm one.  Locate a prospect in one of your LinkedIn Groups, contribute to their discussions and then follow up by emailing them via LinkedIn to suggest an offline meeting or telephone chat.  Your online conversations will make that first offline conversation much warmer and effective.

What other ways have you used LinkedIn to show your customer you care?

Source:

Smashing Magazine article, Rockefeller report. http://bit.ly/qQdOFc


Focus is the Key

LinkedIn has so many marketing and business development tools you can use to build your business.  The question you need to answer to get best value out of LinkedIn is — what am I trying to achieve through my LinkedIn activities?

Once you know what you want from LinkedIn, only focus on tools and Applications that help you achieve your goals.  Don’t clutter your profile with Applications, etc just because they are available.   A LinkedIn profile with every bell and whistle available takes the focus off of you.  And let’s face it, your profile really is all about you — so make sure that your skills, expertise and character come shining through  by focusing on the tools that will help you highlight the person you are.


Why bother with LinkedIn?

Everyone I know is busy (and so am I!).  Why should you add another task to your ‘to do’  list?  Is it worth spending time on your LinkedIn profile and figuring out how to use LinkedIn?

If your answers to any of the following questions is YES, then add LinkedIn to your list of business activities.

1. Looking for a job?

2. Need to research companies? Prospects?

3. Looking to gain information on business topics?

4. Want to raise your profile? Your company’s profile?

5. Need to build a professional network?

6. Want to reinforce current business relationships?

7. Want to spot potential business opportunities?

8. Want to help others with their business queries?

9. Want to introduce your contacts to other contacts?

10. Want to market your services?

11. Need to meet key business decision makers?

12. Want to be known for your skills and expertise?

13. Want to know what people are saying about your company?

14. Do you need to track trends in your industry? Or in the business sectors you serve?

LinkedIn can help you achieve these goals in a time efficient and effective way.  Add LinkedIn to your business activities — you won’t be sorry!