This is the second post in a three part blog series on growing your business through LinkedIn. In the first post, we covered the basics of the network, as well as what kinds of business you should expect from it. In essence, you’ll be using your contacts to promote your business if your average annual revenue per customer is $2,000 or more.
Again, all of the tips in this article can be applied to other business, but they’re most effective when the individual ticket price of a transaction is relatively large. Putting these tips to work on the wrong type of business will prove to have a horrible ROI.
Your account and profile provide the foundation for any success you’ll find on LinkedIn. It’s important that you set it up properly if you want to turn your connections into new business. Start with filling out your work experience. Be as detailed as possible. If you spent ten years working for the same company you probably filled multiple responsibilities.
List them all if it’s appropriate to your goals. If you sell hardwood floors you might not need to list your experience working at Dairy Queen, but you would want to list any experience you had working in the construction industry. It would help to show your prospects that you’re a more knowledgeable expert than your competitors.
You should also include a bio that explains what you’ve been up to, what you’re working on, and what you hope to accomplish in the future. This is a good place to also show that you’re a real human being, so you can briefly list your hobbies and interests.Next, use a head shot from a professional photographer. You want to look like a serious entrepreneur, and your photos from the office party just aren’t going to cut it. Add any college degrees that you have, but leave out any programs that you didn’t complete.
Then, take the time to look for groups that are specific to your industry. Join them and participate for at least one or two weeks before you start growing your network any further. You’ll get to make some new connections with people you’ve never even met before. You’ll learn why that’s so important in the third post.
The whole point of the network is to be linked in to others who can help you in a professional capacity. This doesn’t just mean individuals that are willing to buy from you. It also means getting to know people who can help you find new customers.
Your goal, here, is to become a center of influence. You’re going to have a hard time doing that, at first, and it will prove completely impossible if you don’t start out with the right group of connections.
Load the LinkedIn search module and search for whatever you hope to find. Once you get those results, you can start narrowing them down. Try to find individuals who also participate in some of the groups that you’ve joined on LinkedIn, if possible. It’s easy to filter the results by these types of criteria just by poking around on the advanced search page.
You can further narrow your list of potential connections by limiting the geographic region or adding additional specifications. It’s important that you filter this list based on “second connections,” as these are people that know someone you are already linked to.
In the final post in this series, you’ll learn how to craft a prospecting message that helps you establish the connection and get the lead into your funnel.
Kevin Gao is the founder and CEO of Comm100, a leading provider of live chat software for business. As a software developer as well as a small business expert, he’s always ambitious to revolutionize the way of online customer service and communication. Follow Kevin on Twitter to find out more about him.