Are you wondering how to use LinkedIn for business? What is the purpose of LinkedIn for your business? Many business leaders wrestle with this question and here are some answers.
How to Use LinkedIn For Business
Using LinkedIn for business requires you to have a stronger understanding of what LinkedIn is and can be for your business. When it came out, on the heels of Facebook, there was a focus on the social aspects of it, but for business. So, if you’re operating with a “Facebook for business” mentality, we need to change your lens about social media marketing.
LinkedIn is more powerfully used as a prospecting CRM. Sure, you can connect with your existing business connections, but the real power is connecting with new potential prospects for your business.
Many marketers and business owners are still trying to figure out how to make LinkedIn, or other social channels, work for their business under this wrong lens. If we change our view, we can see LinkedIn as a powerful “social networking” tool. Let me give you an example.
How to Find a Prospect on LinkedIn
Step 1: Find an existing connection on LinkedIn who is a good, ideal client, or even a current client. The point is, they are someone you know well.
Step 2: See if you can see their connections. It looks like this in the upper right column.
Step 3: Look through their contacts for someone in a similar position, or role that would make them a good contact for you to get to know. The selection process should be well done. You can spend a lot of time doing this networking, and being you don’t have tons of time, you want to hit high value prospects, not just everyone you can.
Step 4: Connect with that Prospect. Most of the time, you’ll have a big blue “Connect” button, but even if you don’t you can still connect thorough the drop down on the right.
The key is in the delivery of the message. You’ll always want to send a customized message with your request. Don’t just connect, send a message.
Your note should include some reference as to who you are, who you are connecting through, and what the point of connecting might be. So, for example, I might type something like:
Hi NAME, I see we have many similar connections, including CONTACT. It seems like it might be mutually beneficial to get to know each other’s businesses. What do you think about meeting for coffee?
Step 5: Continue the conversation after connect. If they have not responded, look in your messages area and try to reach out to them there. Send more messages, because LinkedIn messages show up as emails in your recipient’s inbox.
The Bigger Purpose of LinkedIn For Business
Now that you see some of the tactical aspects of how to make better connections, it would be good to reflect on the details of the purpose of this software.
The purpose of this social networking tool is to give you a 24-7 pool of potential prospects. It’s not about creating a fan base, and it’s not about being a mogul. It’s about networking. Here are some ideas to think about with LinkedIn.
Are you looking to find a contact at a company? You can do this with LinkedIn by doing a company search and viewing all the employees who work there. You can also see, in some cases, whom you should connect with based on some of their connections.
A sometimes obvious, but overlooked, aspect of the competition is looking at your competition’s connections. Even connecting with your competition might queue you up to see with whom they are connecting, since most business development professionals connect with new prospects early on in the process. You might be able to invite yourself to some RFP opportunities.
Providing connections to others, and staying in touch with what is happening with others in your network, has never been easier with LinkedIn. See job changes, birthdays, etc. Also, in the same way, give them a reason to follow up with you.
LinkedIn is trying to be part of the content capital network, and while some good content is being posted there, you need to focus on your mission and vision. Post something good for your network – and potential network – so they can see how you think.
Next Steps with LinkedIn
Now that you have a different frame of reference for LinkedIn marketing, what are you waiting for? Jump into your pool of potential business and see what you can find. With more than 433 million registered user, your next client is wanting to meet you!