By April 1, 2019Blogposts

LinkedIn has quickly become a leading tool in the modern era of business.

Here are a few stats to share with you, courtesy of LinkedIn (January 2019):

LinkedIn now has over 500 million members. …
2) 260 million LinkedIn users are logging in each month. …
3) 40% of monthly active users use LinkedIn daily. …
4) LinkedIn’s reported user goal is 3 billion.

Another key component of the popular business networking community is in lead generation, with recent polls showing the majority of entrepreneurs cite LinkedIn as their leading source of B2B leads, surpassing Facebook and other popular social media sites.

Having a LinkedIn profile will do far more for your business than simply having a virtual business card and online CV.  Sure- it can provide you with that, as well as a professional network to validate you as a driving force in your respective line of expertise.  But if that’s all you’re using it for, you’re missing out.

Start with your profile picture.  Does it convey the image you’re looking to represent?  If you’re a developer, then why is your display picture a low resolution selfie from a trip to Cancun 4 years ago?  Try hiring a photographer and get some professional portraits taken, overlooking a draft table, or perhaps take some shots in front of a concept model of a project you’re currently working on.  The idea is to accurately showcase your image.  Make it flattering.  Try several outfits and locations for your photographs.  You can use these to develop your personal branding, so hire a good photographer and it will be worth your while.

You should also develop a strong personal bio.  Is it updated?  Think about this.  You’re trying to pitch your image and personal branding to your entire network, and beyond. 

Now that you have a nice start on your LinkedIn page, make sure you have the app installed on your phone and check it regularly.  Post articles, like articles, socialize with your network.  Host or attend events.  Meet people for coffee.  Really grow your network.  Social media should be called Active Social Media, because there’s nothing social about activating a profile and then leaving it idle.  You have to participate to grow it. 

All of the connections that you have should be first in mind for any future projects, referrals, etc.  For example, remember that photographer you hired for your photographs?  Well now you can recommend them.  Endorse them within the application and tell anyone that speaks positively about your profile who it was that took the pictures for you, and how they were.  Link them and their bio when you first post your photographs. 

If there’s a clothier that you frequent, perhaps you’ll want to reach out to them with regards to endorsing their business.  Chances are, you’re wearing their clothes in your new pictures.  In time, that clothing store will be hosting an event, in which case you will attend and they may be willing to collaborate in some way with your business.  Could you provide a door prize for their event? 

You have a realtor on your profile, so perhaps you would like to discuss cross-promotions with them?  They see and speak hundreds of clients a month and could become a great lead source for your business, as you could become for theirs. 

Look within your network and converse with them.   Identify opportunities to collaborate.  Don’t just send the pre-written replies to them.  They’re real people with reputations within your network- and beyond- and have real lead opportunities for you. 

Remember- if you utilize this tool appropriately, and you use it to promote and build up those who truly deserve your endorsement, then they will likely reciprocate. 

You believe in yourself and your abilities.  You have a brand that you’re trying to grow and you have an authentic belief in yourself and your business.  Make that belief known to your network, and they’ll do half of the selling for you.

By @MarkPavelich CEO The Mark Consulting & Marketing

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