When was the last time you were on LinkedIn? It’s not full of political rants and pictures of the grandkids, like Facebook. You don’t see high quality, stylish photos as seen on Instagram, and there aren’t celebrities waging Twitter wars with each other.
However, LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for business owners, giving them the ability to network with other entrepreneurs. There are over 650 million professionals on LinkedIn; so, you can easily use it to generate leads and sales for your business.
Here are some of our favorite tips and hacks to get the most out of LinkedIn. Use these ideas to make new connections and form professional relationships that’ll be beneficial to you and your company.
Tip #1 – Create a custom URL for your profile.
It will be a lot easier for you to share and for others to remember; and, it’s super easy to do. Log in to LinkedIn and go to your profile page. Go to “Edit Public Profile URL” and change it to something simple that will help others recognize you (like your name).
Tip #2 – Change the “Connect” button to “Follow.”
Changing this button gives you more control over your new connections. Plus, since it takes an extra step to request a connection with you, those requests should be a higher caliber. Here’s how you can change it:
Go to “Profile Settings” in the LinkedIn app and click on “Privacy”. Scroll down to “Who can follow you”. Then, select “yes” for “Make follow primary”.
Also, when someone follows you, you don’t need to do anything. There’s no request or approval required, and these followers still count toward the number of your total connections.
Tip #3 – Finding content to post
Manu Goswami, CEO and Founder of SuperFan Inc., goes to Medium or other popular blogs to find ideas. You can do the same by seeing what topics are trending that day; then, write a post on LinkedIn sharing your thoughts on that topic.
You can also repurpose your material and publish it on LinkedIn. When you publish a blog post, wait a week; then, post it on LinkedIn using the built-in Publisher. No need to worry about Google tagging it for duplicate content.
Also, when re-posting and sharing other people’s content, pull out a key fact or figure from the article and mention it in the comments on the post. By doing this, you’re adding value even if they don’t take the time to read it.
Tip #4 – Get more space in your headline to use keywords
If you edit your headline on the LinkedIn app, instead of on a computer, you’ll get 100 more characters! Use this space for essential keywords about who you are and what you do, without being spammy, of course.
Tip #5 – Test out your profile picture
Use a website like Photofeeler to test your profile image, and find out if it conveys the reactions you’ve intended. Use a couple of different pictures and see how people respond to them. You’ll see which ones come back as being friendly, competent, and influential, and which image might not hit the mark.
Tip #6 – Take your competitors off your profile page
Did you know that LinkedIn defaults to showing the profiles of other people in your industry right on your profile page? They show up in the “people also viewed” section. Here’s how you can remove them:
Go to the “me” tab and then navigate to the Privacy section. In that list, there is a “viewers of this profile also viewed” link – click on that to turn it off.
Tip #7 – Build connections with the right people
When it comes to LinkedIn, the term “friends” translates into a looser definition. You can include people you’ve connected with on other social media platforms, like Instagram and Twitter.
If you’re mutual followers, and especially if you’ve ever exchanged comments or DM’s, look them up on LinkedIn and ask for the connection.
Think of other people that you know, such as old high school friends, local business owners, and other casual contacts. Any of these connections will help you grow your network.
Tip #8 – Keep it authentic and personal
When you do ask for a connection, please don’t send the generic message that LinkedIn provides! Use any information on how you know them to make your note personal and meaningful. Even if you say, “Hey! We follow each other on Twitter; so, I thought it would be great to connect here on LinkedIn.” Take a moment to say something that shows you see them as an actual person and are truly interested in learning more about them.
Also, when responding to content in your feed, take time to leave a comment. Comments stand out; and, if you use the poster’s first name in your comment, it can make a good impression.
Tip #9 – If you don’t have someone’s email address, there’s a workaround
Sometimes LinkedIn will ask you for a connection’s email address when you try to send them an invite. The purpose is to block users from spamming accounts, but it can be a problem if you don’t have their email.
There are two ways you can get around this issue. If you use the mobile app, you’re less likely to get this requirement, so, try to make your connections on your phone.
The other way is to find the person in a LinkedIn group that you are both members of; if you’re in the same group, you can send them a message even if you’re not connected. Go to the group’s main page and click on the number that shows how many members are in the group. Find the person you’re trying to connect with on the list, click the envelope icon and you’ll be able to send them a message.
LinkedIn is full of business people looking for your product or services.
LinkedIn can be one of the best ways for you to find new clients and business. Many of us forget that it’s another social platform, but with its focus on business, it is also a targeted audience. If you follow the tips and hacks, you can navigate the site with ease. You will hopefully forge new relationships with other business owners, ultimately leading to opportunities for you and your business.
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