How I use Linked In for business development

Did you know that LinkedIn now has over 500 million worldwide users?

No longer just the preserve of recruiters or marketers, the Microsoft owned social network now boasts venture capitalists and management consultants as some of its most regular contributors.

Here’s what I’ve learnt since becoming a LinkedIn member way back when:

Profile – keep your profile updated. I’ve heard many business leaders say they refer to LinkedIn to check in on new contacts, making sure they are up to date and even how many contacts they have. Don’t lose out on new opportunities just because your profile isn’t up to date. Remember google searches show LinkedIn profiles high on the rankings, so your profile is important.

Photography – the better the photo, the more professional your LinkedIn profile looks. Don’t use your favourite holiday picture (unless you’re a blogger or in the travel industry), keep it smart, high res and professional.

Social proof – ask for and give recommendations from people you know and trust. When you give, you get endorsements from others too. Win-win.

Search / SEO – use key terms that people might be searching for in your industry. LinkedIn is predictive, so if your profile is up to date and is genuinely talking about what you do and what you’ve done, it’ll help relevant contacts to find you (and google will like it too).

Follow influencers – there are some excellent influencers on LinkedIn – see how they publish and share their thoughts and ideas on the network. Try following Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson for a start. Share their ideas with your networks and comment on the posts that interest you.

Publish and share – to build your network and to get engagement and feedback from your target customers, share other people’s updates or even better, create and share your own thoughts and articles about your industry. Remember to offer helpful, useful and useable content.

Use ads to find your ideal audience. I recently filled an event with interested, relevant and ready to buy new business contacts by using the ads feature. If you have content or events that you’d like to share with a specific target customer (who you might not already be in touch with), LinkedIn’s advertising is excellent. You can segment people by location and job title. Try it next time you want to appeal to a wider audience by going to Linkedin Ads

How about you, what are some of your favourite ways to find new business on LinkedIn? Please post in the comments below 🙂

Rachel Clark runs Wrapped PR, a strategic communications agency that helps companies become famous by offering truly great content, whether online, via social, blogs or in the press, radio and TV.

She works at a strategic level to diagnose issues and identify opportunities, then shapes content to help deliver your business message. You can find her on Twitter @rachelmclarkpr


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