Many people say to me that they don’t generate any business through LinkedIn. I have a simple reply. You’re doing it wrong. 

There has also been some debate recently on the Econsultancy blog around whether Facebook is more effective than LinkedIn for B2B marketing.

To counter this argument, here are five best practices to make the most of LinkedIn and achieve your business goals…

1. Get your profile right

If you have a half complete profile, no summary, no job description, no photo, no company page, no content updates on either your personal page or your company page then don’t be surprised when you get no engagement and your inmails don’t work.

2. Fix your personal profile

Add in a summary section, add in a simple but interesting description about your job and your company and add in visual content/YouTube/pdfs/website links.

On LinkedIn pictures really do say a 1,000 words. Bring your profile to life, because if you don’t your competitors will.

3. Fix your company page

I am still amazed at the amount of companies (both SME and MNC) that either have no company page or have nothing more than a brief description of their company and have no showcase pages. 

It’s a free way of marketing your business to 300m people and you have either outsourced it to HR or just prioritised something that no one visits (your corporate website) over a platform where there are 300m potential customers.

The more shocking thing is where you see a company page has thousands or even tens of thousands of followers but no content updates or just jobs, jobs and more jobs.

What a shocking waste of an engagement opportunity.

Think about it for a minute. 20,000 people have said that they want more information about your company, your products/services and it will appear in their content feed and you can’t be bothered to update them.  

That is 20,000 brand advocates that you have not engaged or empowered. If you don’t inspire them your competitors will.

4. Create a content marketing plan 

Everyone has one. If you do nothing your plan is reactive. If you share content you should be thinking about what and when and how it reflects on you, your personal brand and your company brand.

Better to have a proactive content marketing plan and engage potential customers than to wave goodbye to another opportunity to win new business through content engagement. Again it’s a free marketing tool. Use it or your competitors will.

5. Now it’s time to send out new business inmails

When you have done all of this is it time to start sending out new business inmails. Then and only then is it time to create a target list from LinkedIn’s excellent data analysis tool.

Then create a very simple, to-the-point inmail that reflects your business in an easily digestible form.

The way that you do this is a short and simple inmail with a short and simple headline that captures the imagination and communicates key points about your services.

Two paragraphs maximum or one with some bullet points and that should be enough. If you can’t pitch your service in that simple way then you’re doing it wrong.

If you’re trying to sell people on an inmail you’re wasting your time. The objective of the inmail is simply to gain a meeting or Skype call, no more.

What will happen next?

The recipient will look at your profile, if that is incomplete your inmail will fail.

The recipient will then look at your company page. If that is incomplete, has no showcase pages and no recent content updates then your inmail will fail.

If both of these are active, full of life and exciting then your inmail stands considerably more chance of being read and from there it’s down to you and your business.

LinkedIn is not rocket science but too many people make it look that way. Keep it simple and it will work for you too.

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