Are you using your LinkedIn profile to its fullest potential? Instead of using it to list all of your experience and past accomplishments, optimize it to reflect your fullest potential and start reeling in prospective leads. Here are five ways to utilize your profile to attract new business contacts:
1. Emphasize your value. When potential prospects are checking your profile, they don’t typically care about the things you have done in the past; they want to know what you can do for them now. When you are filling in your profile, keep in mind who it is you want to see it. Emphasize your skill set that will help solve common problems in your industry. Set out to specifically tell companies within your industry what you can add to the success of their business, such as increasing sales numbers, developing marketing campaigns, and so on. Instead of listing your past accomplishments, write down some goals that you will work to achieve once you are hired.
2. Use your profile as an effective marketing tool. Since LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, it is ideal to use it as your own personal marketing network. A lot of people use LinkedIn as an online resume, which is fine. However, it can be much more beneficial when used as a way to brand yourself. For instance, you can utilize the Experience section to educate prospects about how you solved a problem, citing specific tactics or methods you used to achieve the end result. Adding in pertinent details as to how you solved that problem can highlight your expertise.
You can also include additional information that back up your claims, such as linking to case studies you have written, videos you have made discussing how you solved a certain problem, slides from presentations you have given on the topic, and so on.
3. Spend some time reaching out. Once you begin to develop some contacts by connecting with those whom you know, take some time to reach out to those who are on the “People You May Know” list. This list is generated by LinkedIn based on your industry as well as those who you are currently connected with. Use this list to make as many connections as you can; as your list builds, you will be provided with even more potential contacts to add to your network. However, take care not to add everyone that shows up on your list; mass “connecting” can often be seen as spamming, which is frowned upon. If you want to connect with someone you don’t know personally, be sure to offer an introduction and ask if you can connect.
4. Keep tabs on what is going on in your current network. When you are working to build up your list of contacts, you should also keep an eye out for any businesses or “big name” clients that you would like to be connected to. Take some time every few days to follow those pages to see if there are any developments or potential work coming down the pike that you might be interested in.
5. Join groups and answer targeted questions. Another great way to generate leads on LinkedIn is to join some groups related to your industry. Try to join those that are likely to be frequented by people who you hope to work with. You should also try to join groups that are active with members who are posting in discussion groups. You will notice that people ask questions in these groups, and answering some questions in a professional, concise manner can really help you establish your credibility within the group. When you are answering a question, make sure to be detailed as you can, use professional terminology, and always be courteous. Also, remember to go back and follow up on your answer, as there may be additional questions that you can help with. By using your expertise to provide accurate, professional solutions to others problems is a very productive way to get people to connect with you.
When you are building your LinkedIn profile and connecting with leads, your goal should be to position yourself as an authority in your industry. By using active statements that explain your value and interacting with others in your field is the key to developing a solid network full of leads.