Your 10 Point LinkedIn Strategy for Connecting With Purpose

Your 10 Point LinkedIn Strategy for Connecting With PurposeYears ago you set up a profile for yourself on LinkedIn. Maybe you set it up because someone told you that you should, or maybe you set it up because you needed to look for a new job. Whatever the reason, you have a LinkedIn profile setup, but because you don’t have a LinkedIn strategy, you never use it.

This is the problem I see time and time again with clients in all industries. They think that LinkedIn is for job searching or is just a good thing to have. But if you are not actively leveraging LinkedIn to promote yourself and your business on a regular basis, you are missing some of the best benefits LinkedIn provides.

Let’s get this out of the way right now – LinkedIn is NOT just for job seekers. Yes, it is a very useful tool for connecting with potential employers or employees, but the benefit of LinkedIn actually comes when you are not looking to make a career change. The true benefits of LinkedIn come when you establish and develop your relationships long before you try to connect asking for a favor.

So how can you use LinkedIn to build the connections you are looking to make? Follow these 10 steps to develop a LinkedIn strategy for connecting with purpose.

1. Complete Your Profile

Make sure your profile is complete before reaching out to others. An incomplete profile tells everyone who looks at it that you are only here because you have to be to find a job, and that’s it. A complete profile makes you look more professional and stops the guessing game.

2. Change Your Title

If you are in sales and are looking to connect with prospects on LinkedIn, don’t let your title be something sales related – it is an instant turn off. Instead, change your title to be less salesy, like, “solutions provider” or “{industry} solutions architect”. This will arouse more curiosity and will not make them instantly think you are trying to “sell” to them.

3. Stop Being So Private

Set your profile to public and allow connection requests. Don’t make it hard for people to contact you. Give them the ability to request a connection with you. You can always deny their request if you don’t see a benefit. If you do accept a request from someone you don’t know, always respond with a “thanks for connecting, how may I be of assistance?” message to get the conversation started.

4. Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile

Your LinkedIn strategy should not only be outward focused, but inward as well. LinkedIn is a type of search engine and you want to do your best to optimize your profile for the words and phrases you want to be known for so you will come up in search results. Make sure your job title and summary in particular contain these keywords and phrases.

5. Utilize LinkedIn’s Publishing Platform 

Did you know LinkedIn has a blogging platform now? It’s called Pulse and if you’re not using it you are missing out. Rewrite and repurpose your blog content and publish on LinkedIn’s blogging platform to gain more followers and views to your content. Just make sure to link your blog back to your website.

6. Post Your Content to Groups

Groups are one of the best benefits of being on LinkedIn. If you’re not already a member of groups that contain your prospect customer, join some and post content that would be relevant and valued within that group.

7. Engage With Others

It’s not enough to simply post content and never engage. Take the time to comment on the content of others, especially content posted by your customers and prospects. Everyone likes to be noticed and you will certainly stand out and benefit from participating.

8. Connect With Your Connections

It may seem strange to connect with people you know personally on LinkedIn but you are missing a big benefit if you don’t. Even though you have the phone numbers of your current customers and target prospects, connect with them on LinkedIn as well. Follow them to learn great information about them and their interests and create conversations to deepen your relationship. Following this LinkedIn strategy may uncover opportunities you would never know about otherwise.

9. Follow Your Prospects

If you are looking to connect with a prospect, LinkedIn is a great way to do it. Start off by researching their profile and finding the groups in which they reside. Consider joining the group yourself and look for ways to connect with them over the content they share.

10. Practice Proper Etiquette 

This is a big one. Just because you can connect with someone directly with no prior relationship or reason does not mean that you should. If you reach out to someone you don’t know personally, give them a reason why you’re reaching out, beyond simply wanting to share your sales pitch with them. Be genuine and don’t assume they have any interest in what you are selling. Particularly if you are sending a connection request to someone you don’t know, customize the message you send to state why you want to add them to your network. They will be more likely to respond positively to your request if you give them a good reason beyond sales.

LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful marketing tool if you have a LinkedIn strategy. For help building your plan, download our free social media calendar. 

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