Tuesday, May 10, 2011

55 Ways to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Business

LinkedIn can be a fantastic tool for improving your business. In order to maximize the benefits from using LinkedIn, I have asked the CarolRoth.com contributor network of entrepreneurs and experts to give their best tips for using LinkedIn to grow and improve business. Their answers are presented below in no particular order.

You may notice some similar insights, but I kept the concepts separate, as something in the way one is framed may resonate differently with you.

1. Hello to Groups
I use LinkedIn to post upcoming webinars, articles, columns, and events where I am either speaking, presenting, or I think would be of interest to all. Not only do I post this on my regular space, but I also send it to all of the groups to which I belong, which really gets the word out, helps create my credibility, and keeps my name in front of people I can't always get in front of. This truly is the paradigm shift of one to one to one to many in action.
Thanks to: Rosanne Dausilio of Human Technologies Global Inc.

2. Key to Business Support
Let's keep this simple. LinkedIn is about creating a business community so that we can support each other. Community = Join Groups + Ask Questions.

Summary: Get yourself in the crowd and get involved. The rest will just happen.
Thanks to: Haleh Rabizadeh of Little Patient Big Doctor.

3. LI Groups & Email Marketing
Join LinkedIn Groups that target your audience. Then, submit links to press releases or articles featuring your company, along with short comments and summaries on the targeted groups. The groups send out email newsletters to members and will include your link & message. This is like free email marketing!
Thanks to: Becky Boyd of MediaFirst PR.

4. Dare to Expose Yourself
Most LinkedIn profiles are boring and can put you to sleep in a few seconds! Make yours shine by sharing a bit about yourself personally in the summary section on your profile. Tell others why you are in the business you're in. Share with them about your passions or values or what makes you different from your competitors.

By sharing some of your personality, it gives the reader a glimpse into who you are
and you're likely to stand out and be viewed as a much more interesting prospect.
Thanks to: Jane Morrison of Morrison Business Solutions.

5. Announce Deals, Book Services
Like other social media sites, a LinkedIn company page is a great place to announce deals, promotions and ongoing specials. You'll quickly generate a loyal and growing following of customers to market your products and services to. And many will visit often to see what's new with your business. If you're a service-based business with online scheduling, you can even include a link that allows them to book their services or reservations at the same time.
Thanks to: Eric Richard of Appointment-Plus.

6. Answer Random Questions
If I look back at the years that I have been involved in Linkedin, I think that the ratio of questions I answer compared to those I ask has to be at least 50:1. Taking the time to look through my areas of interest and expertise, singling out the questions where I can provide value and then providing thought provoking answers has been a key to my success. As well, at the end of the post, I always put an offer to contact me for more help AND a LINK to my website. Amazing the HITS I get!
Thanks to: Ben Baker of CMYK Solutions Inc.

7. Don't Just Take -- Give!
The best way to forge relationships and get your LinkedIn contacts actively seeking business to steer your way is to give more than you take. What can you give? Advice, leads, links to relevant articles, information, compassion, your time and more. Give those things that will help others know you are a knowledgeable and helpful person who cares about others. Your contacts will soon become friends and the relationship that emerges will be mutually beneficial.
Thanks to: Susan Greene of Freelance Copywriter.

8. Each One Reach One
Use your LinkedIn connections to both give and take. Give your colleagues something to improve their lives--a tip, a website you've found, maybe even an ebook. In return, ask them to send it along to at least one of their own connections. Life and LinkedIn are all about growth and you can grow your followers by asking for help and making your helpers glad that you did.
Thanks to: Marlene Caroselli of "Jesus, Jonas, and Janus".

Read Ways 9 - 55 to Grow Your Business and Complete CarolRoth Article

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