LinkedIn: The World’s Largest Professional Social Network

Natalie Hannaford

Natalie Hannaford

May 21 • 6 minute read

Why Is It So Important?

When you consider that there are 467 LinkedIn members and 106 million active users per month, you quickly realize that the world’s biggest professional social network is a goldmine for finding business prospects.

If you’re looking for a particular kind of business prospect then this network’s importance only becomes more significant with the countless segmenting and filtering options ensuring you reach super targeted audiences.

LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation

Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that 41% of millionaires use LinkedIn and 22% of CEO’s also have active accounts, then combine this with the fact that LinkedIn is 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook and Twitter, it’s really apparent how invaluable this resource is.

Whether you’re looking to reconnect with existing contacts and prospects, using their database upload feature, or whether you want to broaden your reach and find new clients matching certain criteria, using their search options; either way you’re sure to find an abundance of great prospects.

Through LinkedIn’s intuitive 1st, 2nd and 3rd connections, it’s like a 24/7, 365 days a year networking meeting. This quickly allows you to name drop mutual friends’ names in a bid to start profitable conversations.

If you’re looking to find like minded individuals then why not join one of the countless groups, focused on every kind of subject matter you could possibly imagine.

However even though this resource is fantastic, and there are a couple of really quick and convenient features allowing you to connect easily, they don’t come without their pitfalls.

Don’t ‘Auto-Connect’

Because LinkedIn makes it so easy for businesses to connect with other people at the click of a button, this is what 90% of members do. But don’t fall into this pitfall! It starts your connections off in a really impersonal manner, which isn’t conducive to effective networking and certainly not sales, orders or contracts.

Personalisation is Key

So it’s important to remember that ‘personalisation’ is key with LinkedIn. ALWAYS remember to connect on a one-to-one basis with each new contact. Also don’t be afraid to mention mutual connections or groups that you’re both members of, when asking someone new to connect.

The personal route shouldn’t stop at the point that you gain them as a connected contact. No! Try to send all your new contacts a personal message, saying ‘thanks’ for accepting your connection request or asking to connect with you.

Be personal on LinkedIn with Viral Effect Digital Marketing

It’s important to be personal on LinkedIn

Complete Your Profile

When you consider the level of detail shared on other social networks, it would probably surprise you to see the number of ‘incomplete’ profiles on LinkedIn. The importance of LinkedIn is not to be underestimated, so make sure that you’re profile is fully set up, with images, up-to-date employment info, compelling headline and keyword-laden summary.

Customise your URL

If you’re looking to generate more traffic to your profile the new ‘customisable URL’ will be key for you. Previously your profile would be assigned an automatic URL, comprising mainly of your name.

However now you can choose to customize your URL. I strongly advise you to include your keyword/keyphrase in this URL function. Not only is this searchable on LinkedIn, but on Google too. Your display name would remain unchanged on your profile – just your URL will change.

Go Offline ASAP

Whilst LinkedIn is great for finding and connecting with business prospects, it’s important to try to get your prospects off it as soon as possible. After all having 100’s and 100’s of connections is just pure vanity if you don’t try to monetize them in some way (that also imparts the befits of working with you at the same time).

Making Personal Connections With Prospects

Get prospects out of LinkedIn and into your sales funnel ASAP.

Create Your Own ‘Lead Magnet’

I’d highly recommend developing some kind of ‘Lead Magnet’; this will entice people into interacting with you and get them to talk about your product/service.

Ideas for your free Lead Magnet could include:

  • Best Practice Checklist pdf
  • Access to a webinar
  • White paper
  • ‘How To’ document

You might well be thinking that this will only add more work to your already large workload. But it doesn’t have to!

There are software subscriptions, like Acuity Scheduling, which will not only facilitate the sign up procedure (allowing people to request your Lead Magnet through shareable links) but also entice prospects into arranging telephone/one-to-one appointments with you to discuss their needs.

What Is A Lead Magnet Designed For?

The Lead Magnet is simply a vehicle imparting wisdom and value on your prospect and getting them to ‘raise their hand’. After this you can swoop in and display how you can solve that problem, in a way that leaves the prospect feeling like they’ve got real value from you, without you having to try to sell to them.

Once they start to feel this value exchange, they’ll want more from you. This is where the software comes into it’s own; quietly arranging your appointments on autopilot 24/7.

Attract Only The Clients You Want

If you’re only interested in spending time on prospects that fulfill certain criteria you can also implement a ‘questionnaire’ policy on all appointments with Acuity. This would require everyone who requests an appointment with you (after they’ve received the Lead Magnet) to answer certain questions. Their answers would then inform you as to whether they’re worth spending time with and talking about your product/service further.

Keep At The Forefront Of Your Prospect’s Mind

To help you keep at the forefront of your prospects’ minds then you’ll love the Google Chrome extension ‘Found.ly’. This clever program will automatically visit your prospects’ profiles, which will then lead to that prospect getting a notification to this effect. Therefore they’re more likely to visit your profile/company page to find out more about you.

If you’re not already an ‘all-star’ on LinkedIn, then snap to it – or you could be loosing out.

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