Friday, September 26, 2008

Marketing Your Business Using LinkedIn

If you’re not quite ready to jump into utilizing the complicated and detailed power of the internet to grow your business, LinkedIn is a good place to start.

You know what I mean - you’re not quite ready to go all the way with internet marketing (you know, the ezine sign up box, the monthly ezine, the information products) then starting with LinkedIn might be just right for you.

I remember the first time someone sent me an invitation to join LinkedIn. I had never heard of it before and honestly didn’t think it would be worthwhile to join. But I set up a profile, checked to see if others I knew or did business with had a profile, sent invitations, and pretty soon I had a veritable “who’s who” of contacts and connections to utilize when referring business opportunities for my clients.

For the beginner: Create a profile on LinkedIn. Use your profile to highlight your skills and where you want to go with your business. After attending a networking event, go through the cards you collect and determine who you made a meaningful connection with. Send those folks an email within 24 hours letting them know how much you enjoyed meeting them and letting them know you’ll be sending them an invitation to LinkedIn.

Add your website address to your profile. Make sure you select the “Other” option rather than “my website”. This will allow you to use the actual words that make up your website name rather than the “masked” version they give you. See my profile for examples.

Add a photo. You know the old saying “a picture is worth 1000 words”. By adding a photo you make yourself real to others, not just a name.

After you’ve completed a project, send your clients a request for a recommendation (make sure you did a great job before doing this).

For the advanced: read this article on BNET about How to Get Started With LinkedIn. It has all sorts of advanced options for how to maximize LinkedIn to build your career. One advanced technique that I’m using is to promote my LinkedIn Profile with a LinkedIn button on my blog. If you don’t have a blog you can use this button on your website’s bio page.

Suzanne Muusers
Business Coach for Entrepreneurs and Financial Advisors

No comments: