5 Tips for Making Professional Connections on LinkedIn
The land of LinkedIn can be a strange place. As professionals, we all kind of know that we need to have a profile on LinkedIn, but other than connecting with our college friends and past and current colleagues, what’s an ambitious job seeker to do?
Whether you’re currently considering a new job or trying to boost your business’s online profile, it pays to have a LinkedIn strategy in place. A few minutes per day can easily result in a network that supplies you with clients, customers, or, in the case of a startup, even cash.
Here’s how you can help make it happen:
Fill Out Your Profile in Full
It can be surprisingly difficult to talk about yourself or your business, but not populating your LinkedIn profile with well-written, captivating content is a major mistake. Hiring a social media management company is a smart idea for many reasons, not the least of which is because they generally have copywriters on staff who can turn your bullet points into a riveting bio that will make people genuinely interested in what your company has to offer.
Some LinkedIn experts recommend that you only connect with people you already know. While there is a certain logic to that argument – you don’t want to annoy strangers by cold connecting with them for no apparent reason – it also leaves you swimming in the same circles you’ve always been in. Don’t be afraid to reach out to thought leaders and other companies in your community, just accompany your connection request with a personalized message telling them what you admire about their model or mention why you think you’d be great co-marketers.
Be Active and Establish Yourself as an Authority
Building a following organically is arguably the best way to add LinkedIn connections but most people aren’t sure where to start. In short, it takes effort to get a response so you’re going to have to put in some time (or hire someone to do it for you). Join LinkedIn groups, add substantive responses to other people’s blogs, and post a few blogs of your own. A static profile is a start but being active on the LinkedIn platform will get results exponentially faster.
Include Your LinkedIn URL in Your Email Signature
Every time you send a proposal, connect with a client, or reach out to another business, you want to give them as many valuable ways to contact you as possible – emphasis on valuable. Facebook is important for connecting with consumers and it’s fun to build followings on Twitter and Instagram, but for B2B connections there is no substitute for LinkedIn. Once they connect with you there, potential clients can study your resume, browse through your portfolio, or even offer you a testimonial. It’s all about building value into a relationship and it works.
Create a Company Page
Many of us approach LinkedIn from a personal perspective but if you’re a business looking for B2B sales opportunities or recruit top talent then a company page is essential. Creation guidelines are similar to those tips outlined above:
- Make it look professional and hire help if needed
- Use your page to share important content and company updates
- Promote your products and/or services in a way that showcases how they benefit the end user
- Use compelling copy
- Incorporate branded imagery whenever possible
Doing the bare minimum on LinkedIn is doing your business and personal brand a major disservice. If you want to get to the next level, concentrate on your connections and get more active. Results will find you.