Practical Tips to Leverage LinkedIn for Success

TMSA Affiliiate member John Boyens is no stranger in helping his clients to be more successful in their business strategy and development. In fact, he's also been the lead presenter at two TMSA Seminars last year to help small- and medium-sized business executives to enhance their overall business success through various strategies. One of these strategies is to leverage LinkedIn to qualify leads and warm up dialogue with prospects. 

Boyens also presented a TMSA webinar, "Never Cold Call Again: LinkedIn Prospecting Secrets," where he taught members how to create and optimize their LinkedIn profile, what to do when they receive (or send) an invitation, how to effectively manage your contacts, and how to behave with your LinkedIn network for results. Click here to view TMSA's On-Demand Webinar: "Never Cold Call Again" (free to TMSA members).

Helpful Tips to Avoid Common LinkedIn Mistakes
Boyens identifies eight common mistakes people make when using LinkedIn for their prospecting, and offers practical tips to avoid them:

1. Make sure your overall positioning is strong. One of the most common mistakes is to have bad positioning. He urges people to focus on what your target market wants to read or hear. 
2. Optimize your headline. This is one of the first things your LinkedIn network will see about you. The first 120 characters are the most critical - and have the potential to make the strongest impact on your connections.
3. Does your summary speak to the target audience? Boyens suggests that you use an effective "elevator pitch" in the first-person so you're speaking directly to them.
4. Not search optimizing your profile. Make sure to use two- to three-word phrases that prospects would search for on LinkedIn. 
5. Do you use advanced search capabilities? Make sure to always "save" searches for future use to save you time and energy, and to keep you focused.
6. Make sure to engage news feeds.
7. Leverage your ability to "follow" companies that are most important to you. This could include not only your company, but your customers, your prospects, and even your competitors!
8. Make sure to leverage LinkedIn Groups to connect and engage with those in your LinkedIn network - and even those who are not.

Practical Advice on How To Strengthen Your LinkedIn Profile
There are several steps you can take to create a professional, impactful profile in LinkedIn. You can then use this professional URL in all of your communication to your key targets, including in your email signature:

  • Add a LinkedIn background photo to your personal profile. Make sure it's visually appealing and communicates a message of who you are, what you do, and/or what you stand for.
  • Optimize your headline and make sure your summary speaks to your target audience.
  • Search optimize your profile by using keywords (or search phrases) in your profile.
  • List all relevant past positions, and be sure to include keywords for each title.
  • Include keywords in the Skills and Expertise section of your profile.
  • Request Endorsements and recommendations for all positions you've previously held - and even the position you're currently in.
  • Add, remove, and rearrange entire sections of your profile.

Like the preliminary advice you've read here? Take in many more helpful tips! 
View the TMSA On-Demand Webinar, "Never Cold Call Again: LinkedIn Prospecting Secrets" (free to TMSA members).

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