“I know I need to be on LinkedIn, I just don’t know what I should be doing to grow my business.”
Sound familiar? I hear this all the time from our customers. With a large network of business owners, this was a familiar pain point, and one I heard often as someone they know uses LinkedIn on a daily basis to grow my own business.
I've been on LinkedIn for nearly as long as it's been around and in that time, I’ve figured out the best ways to leverage LinkedIn as a business development tool. Here’s how I use LinkedIn on a daily basis to connect with prospects, generate leads, and establish thought leadership:
LinkedIn for Business Development
1. Start with a Solid Foundation
Put yourself in your customer's shoes for a second. Think about your best customer and what their biggest challenge is. How do you solve that challenge for them? Now go to your profile. Is it clear that you can solve this problem for them? If not, I’d recommend rewriting your profile so that it is customer centric.
(Not a writer? My team can take care of that for you and set a solid foundation that will attract prospects rather than recruiters. Email me for more info!)
2. Don’t be Coy: Ask Your Network for Referrals to Generate Leads
One of the best things about LinkedIn is that as a professional platform, everyone in your network is (or should be) thinking about business. So, this is one instance where directly asking for a referral or introduction isn’t tacky or forward, it’s helpful! Share an update or a post that clearly states who your ideal customers are, and what solutions you offer them, and ask your network to introduce you to someone in their network who would benefit.
3. But don’t be “that guy”: Build relationships before asking your network for favors
Though I offer many other tips, hacks, and tricks to make your daily activities on LinkedIn easier, personalization is one area worth investing your time and energy. Rather than simply scrolling through your feed and liking every post (a bad idea for a number of reasons), take a moment to evaluate whose shared updates you’re seeing. See anyone who fits your target customer? Comment on their shared update with a thoughtful, or better yet, insightful comment.
Pro Tip: Make Yourself Memorable by Commenting on Prospects’ Posts
If you want to make an extra impact, follow prospects’ posts. Any of them who are taking the time to write and share content will notice and pay attention to people who consistently like or comment on their posts. (I know I do!)
4. Be Sure Your Network Thinks of You First When They’re Looking for Your Solution
Establish yourself as an industry leader by share relevant industry articles and resources with your network. Consistently sharing this kind of content will mean your network will start to think of you first when your industry is mentioned, and most importantly when they have problem that you can solve for them.
Set Yourself Apart From Your Competition Using LinkedIn
Many business owners know that LinkedIn is the most important social platform for professionals, but don't know what to do on a day to day basis. We’ve documented all of the best practices and designed a process for leveraging LinkedIn as a consultant and/or business owner through our LinkedIn Game Plan. Not only do we outline what day to day activities you should do in a step-by-step plan, my team actually writes the content for you, so that all you have to worry about it connecting with your target customers.
Have questions about LinkedIn as a business development tool? I’m here for you. Reach out if you want tips that will help you generate more qualified leads, establish industry expertise and thought leadership, and easily build, nurture, and grow relationships.