LinkedIn – top tips for professionals
LinkedIn, one of the world’s most popular social platforms, provides unique benefits to the professional services sector. With over 119 million professionals from many different industries all on one site, there’s a wealth of opportunity to reap rewards. Follow these top tips to make sure you are using LinkedIn to its full potential:
1. Connect with your contacts: Meetings, seminars and networking events can provide great opportunities for making new contacts. Use LinkedIn to follow-up on the physical networking by exploring the profiles of the people you have met on LinkedIn, connect with them and add their details onto your contact database.
2. Get networking: While you want to avoid timewasters and spammers, you can connect with people you don’t necessarily know yet. Remember, you want to grow your network so connect away. The old rules of networking apply – you wouldn’t walk into a networking event and only talk to the people you know. If you aren’t comfortable seeking new contacts without knowing them, see whether you have any shared connections and get an introduction from someone you do know.
3. Use groups: Using LinkedIn’s Groups should feature in any overall marketing strategy. This element of LinkedIn can help to raise visibility in niche audiences, placing you and your firm at the forefront of thought-leadership in the sector.
When you become a member of a group, listen to what LinkedIn users are saying and look at how they comment on posts. This will give you insight into how the group operates. Do members appreciate knowledge sharing? If so, ensure you post relevant blogs offering professional advice and be confident in posting your content – it could lead to new business.
4. Get recommended: A recommendation on LinkedIn can help to amplify you and your firm’s reputation by illustrating how well you performed through someone else’s narrative. When requesting a recommendation, it is best practice to create a personal message and include some specific projects you worked on so your recommender is aware of the particular elements you wish to highlight.
5. Stay up to date: Keep an ear to the ground in key areas of your industry and distribute relevant content. You may already share common interests with connections but people will hold you in high regard if you can offer up-to-date information.
6. Leverage the power of your network: For great insight or to tap into expert knowledge, post questions on LinkedIn’s ‘answers’ feature, it’s a great way of discovering answers or ‘market-testing’ your own opinions.
Posting discussions in groups can gain you access to free data. For example if are you thinking of launching a series of seminars, what would people in your group like to see in the topics list, what sort of advice would help them the most?
7. Keep active! Its best practice to ensure your LinkedIn profile is kept active so try and designate an hour a week to your profile – building your network and gaining recommendations for work.
There is an abundance of success stories where law firms, accountants and more have managed to turn connections into clients, or have used LinkedIn to re-connect with previous contacts. As a result, LinkedIn is too important to ignore – or you risk losing ground to the competition.
For further advice and guidance on getting the most out of social networking, contact us.