With such a powerful tool at our fingertips, I’m surprised how many people I meet are not taking full advantage of LinkedIn.

If you provide products and services to businesses, or I should really say other business people, as we do business with people not companies, LinkedIn should be an important part of your marketing mix.

Does this sound like you?

When was the last time you looked at your profile? Do you have a dodgy photo that gives the wrong impression? Does your About section (also known as profile summary) read like a mini CV rather than explaining how you help your customers? Do you log in infrequently, like the odd post or two and forget to look at messages or notifications?

If you are a regular user of LinkedIn and this doesn’t sound like you, please bear with me as you could still be missing a trick on LinkedIn.

I’ve been wondering why, for some, LinkedIn doesn’t seem to be important or worth investing time into.

Numbers don’t lie

There are some compelling statistics that ought to convince anyone to put more effort into LinkedIn. Thankfully, someone else has already done the research! Take a look at 46 Eye-Opening LinkedIn statistics for 2019.

LinkedIn is not an electronic CV

If you think that LinkedIn is just for people who want to find a job and you’re going to be pestered by recruiters, LinkedIn has moved on. Or perhaps I should say expanded. Whilst it still serves a career purpose, LinkedIn provides a perfect platform to market you and your business.

If your profile reads like a CV, then you’ll attract the recruiters. If your profile promotes your business, you’ll attract prospects.

LinkedIn is a time waster

If you think you don’t have the time for LinkedIn, I’d like to convince you that, with a plan, your time is extremely well spent.

10 reasons why you should put more effort into LinkedIn

LinkedIn supports so many activities that are carried out to grow and develop a business. Check out how many of these ways you currently use LinkedIn.

1) First impressions

Your LinkedIn profile is one of the first places that a prospect goes to check you out. If it doesn’t give a professional image, you may lose the opportunity before it’s even started. I recommend spending time to create a complete profile, including adding your business branding.

LinkedIn profiles also rank highly on search engines, so it could be a Google search that gets you found, which is another reason to get your profile spot on.

2) Boost your networking

If you add up the amount of money and time you spend networking, it could be one of your most expensive marketing activities. By connecting on LinkedIn with those you meet networking you can improve your RONI (return on networking investment), by staying on their radar and continuing to build the relationship.

3) Build your reputation

Trust is an important factor in the decision-making process. LinkedIn allows you to demonstrate your expertise through posts and articles. Don’t forget to ask for recommendations. A happy customer saying how brilliant you are gives others confidence.

4) Prospecting

Your ideal customers are just waiting for you to find them. Even on a free version of LinkedIn you can create targeted searches. The next step is to work out the best way to approach them. Do not be tempted to dive in with the sales pitch, this rarely works.

5) Collaborate

An additional way to raise your profile is to like, comment and share others posts. This is a two-way activity as you can ask colleagues and networking contacts to like comment and share your posts too. The more interactions you get the more visible your post is. Don’t forget to add #Hashtags, which will help your posts to trend and increase the reach even further.

6) Industry knowledge

LinkedIn is content rich and it’s a great place to keep up with what’s going on in your industry. You can follow influencers in your industry. You can also follow #Hashtags that are relevant to your industry to keep up to date.

7) Competitive analysis

You may start researching a competitor by looking at their website, which if it’s been created properly will tell a good story, but it’s a story about the business. Now check out what the decision makers and managers are saying on their LinkedIn profiles and posts. Are the messages consistent? Do you get the same feel about the company? Where are your strengths compared to theirs? How can you differentiate yourself from what you’ve learned?

8) Look for opportunities

If you’re dipping into LinkedIn irregularly you’ll miss posts that say “Can anyone recommend…..” or “I’m looking for help with….”. If you do spot one and it’s not in your field, tag someone who you know can help. To tag someone type @their-name and you’ll see a drop down and choose the person you want to tag. A good deed like this comes back one day!

9) Time saver

LinkedIn can save you time!

Going to a networking event can wipe out ½ a day once you’ve factored in travelling. Think of LinkedIn as networking in the virtual world. You can message or comment on posts of those already in your network to keep in touch. You can ask your 1st connection to introduce you to 2nd connections.

A bonus of networking in this way is that, as well as saving you time, it also save so you money on networking fees and petrol and reduces the impact of your carbon footprint.

10) Find nearby

Have you checked out the ‘Find nearby’ function yet? It works on your mobile and shows you people close to where you are. They also need to be using the function, so this is great for finding and connecting with people at conferences or networking meetings. Give it a go!

Next steps….add LinkedIn to your marketing mix

There are more ways than I’ve covered here to explain how LinkedIn can support your marketing activities, but I hope that these have either convinced you to start using LinkedIn in a different way, or if you are already a regular user, you’ve gained one more idea of how you can use LinkedIn to your benefit.

I run in-house LinkedIn Training workshops and open workshops. Interested? Get in touch.