LinkedIn can be viewed as simply “Facebook for Business People.” But it can be more, and until recently, I did not understand the platform it provided for lead generation among many other business functions.
LinkedIn is big. It’s a growing network that is approaching 70 million business professionals around the world. The average household income of members is over $100,000 annually. A new LinkedIn member is added every second. And, a very important factor, over half of the members have decision making authority within their organizations.
Make sure you have an account. Make sure your profile is complete and thorough. And them get rolling.
Here are some basic uses for LinkedIn members that can lead to new business.
1. Form connections. Don’t go about trying to connect to people you don’t know, but be thorough in hitting everyone you do. HINT: Personalize all your invitations. It’s a chance to begin a new conversation.
2. Create awareness. Use LinkedIn to make sure your connections are aware of your experience and services.
3. New offerings. With product launches or changes in services being offered, used LinkedIn to tell others.
4. Prospecting. LinkedIn is a great tool for research on prospects before making contact with them either by phone or email. Get to know them. Look for points of commonality.
5. Job hunting. Expand your range of contacts and position yourself in front of potential employers.
6. New businesses. Entrepreneurs can let people know of new businesses and ventures.
7. Small businesses. Let your customers know what is happening – keep them engaged and aware. Locate new prospects.
8. Big business. Larger businesses can use LinkedIn for marketplace positioning, major personnel announcements and communications about new products and services.
9. Join groups. LinkedIn has “groups.” These can be joined by any member that has an interest in the nature of the group. Engage fellow members of the group. Become a leader.
10. Celebrate/Endorse others. Salute accomplishments of others. And go out of your way to endorse others with recommendations. Don’t wait on them. Remember, the “giver” always gets.