How to avoid the 7 Mistakes of LinkedInand succeed with the world’s biggestonline Business Community“The Most Cutting Edge Information Available on UsingLinkedin To Grow Your Business”A Free Report edited and updated by GaryPerkins of TheBizLinks
1. Not taking this amazing platform seriously!Linkedin is the world’s biggest business community ever created. It can providea path way to just about anybody in business, any time for free. If you are juststarting out in business, an established sales person, a CEO or a hardenedbusiness owner key decision makers in your market.In terms of prospecting what else can give you the means to search with largecompanies, markets, locations, job titles and then provide you a clear path wayto engagement that removes gatekeepers and middlemen.The community has now grown to over 150million members with 45% of thosemajor decision makers for their companies. No matter what market you are inthere are 1000’s of people on their right now that need your services.I could go on about the amazing benefits Linkedin can bring but in so manycases it’s a waste of time because too many people just don’t invest in the timeneeded to make Linkedin really work.How to avoid this mistake!Don’t just set up a basic profile and dabble – develop a clear strategyCommit to 30mins per day of focused proactive workMake Linkedin a core part of your business strategy in most cases Linkedin canhelp you achieve your short and long term objectives.
2.Not setting any GoalsCreating a Linkedin profile and having a “presence” without any meaningfulgoals will merely create extra work and give little value in return.Linkedin is an activity just like everything else and it should be aligned withyour over all business strategy, tactics, goals and targets.At TheBizLinks we encourage our clients to set very specific goals which setsclear direction and we also like ambitious goals too because we all know thataiming for the stars means in most cases hitting the moon at the very least.The goals you set for Linkedin should in most cases be set around generatingSales since Linkedin is one of the most effective ways to find and develop newclients and customers. Don’t think that you cannot make money by being“Social” you just need to do it in the right way.An example of defining your goals, strategy and tacticsGoal: Increase sales by £x (defined amount)Strategy: Target (e.g. Marketing Directors) via Advanced Searching, use firstline network for introductions, making connection and arranging phoneconversations / one 2 one meetings.Tactics: Create a strong and value driven profile relevant to the targetaudienceBuild network of contacts with routes to targetson Connection offer a free 30min phone session on (e.g. 3 great tips for digitalmarketing) once a connection has been made.Repeat process until say 5 conversations are made per day
3. A dull and boring profile!Your Linkedin profile is critical to your success so don’t think listing yourexperience like a CV will cut it as it wont – CV’s are boring and people don’t liketo read them. You success depends on you’re key influencers taking an interestin your profile. You MUST have the following:Clear value and (What’s In It For Me) WIIFM quickly and clearlyCrystal clear Evidence that supports your valueSpecific to the people you want to engageThe people you want to engage only really care about themselves and theirown world, define your value first before your job titles etc. For examplestating that you can find talent staff that can sell is more engaging then sayingyou’re a Recruitment Manager.Keep it simple and focus on the following 4 keys areas:Profile picture – invest in a professional picture this is not Facebook!Professional headline (see below)Summary – short punchy and packed with passion!Recommendations – 20-25 quality ones that back up your value statementProfessional headlineYour headline gets noticed first and also summarises you when you appear insearches, groups etc even when you are being Google’d! You have 120characters use them all and follow this format.[Job Description] ► [who you help / value] ► [Keywords]See our Founders profile below for an example – notice he focusses on thebenefit which is making money as no one really wants training!
4.A small network of contactsYour Linkedin network works like this1stLevel (your network) > 2ndLevel (your 1stLevels connections) > 3rdLevel (2ndlevels own connections). It is important to build a decent sized LinkedInnetwork (300+) is good target to aim for and is important for the followingreasons:More opportunities and better resultsOn average each Linkedin member has around 150-200 connections; when youconnect you their network is added to your 2ndlevel network giving your newpeople you can reach via one introduction.The larger your network the more effective you can be in the communityA large network means you can help more people, get more introductions andbe viewed with more value within the community it’s as simple as that!How to grow your Linkedin networkThe key to growing your Linkedin network is to find and connect with peoplethat are in and around your key influencers and target market. Rather thatsimply mass uploading connects via webmail accounts or exported CSV filesuse the following steps to grow you network steadily making personalengagements.1. Always Be Building (ABB) Sounds simple because it is! Every time youengage a new people in business via the phone, meetings or eventsconnect with them2. Reconnect – Find those you have lost contact with in business over thepast few years, even ex-clients (you may be surprised!) Your draw ofbusiness cards is a great place to start, apart from it being good funthere is already momentum in terms of relationship.
3. Linkedin groups – Find suitable groups to join and then search andconnect with the members, stating your mutual group association as thereason.5. Not engaging your new contactsLinkedin is an amazing platform for finding contacts, and making connections.Once the initial contact has been made LinkedIn’s job is effectively done. Therest is down to you to then build the relationship ideally by picking up thephone and making a call to introduce yourself.It is important however NOT to sell, as I have lost count of the amount ofpeople who have connected with me, and then fired a generic cut and pastedsales message at me! Playing this numbers game on Linkedin will not work.The key to making a successful first contact on Linkedin is to be genuine andhelpful. Ask yourself what could you give the people you connect with thatwould be of genuine value? Free advice is always a good approach; anothervery effective first engagement approach is to be a good networker …“Thank you for accepting your invitation to join my network first of all pleaselet me know the type of people you are looking for and I will see if I have anycontacts on my network I can help you with…”This works particularly well for contacts that need clients themselves, if yourepeat this you will soon learn which contacts are more valuable to you andactively seek them on and offline at networking events.The key to being a success is to use Linkedin to help other people get whatthey want, as the saying goes Givers Gain so don’t play the numbers game andsell directly to those you connect with.
6. Not Integrating LinkedIn with other BusinessactivitiesThe potential of Linkedin as a tool for finding clients and customers becomeseven more powerful when combined in a strategic way with other businessactivities.Three examples of using Linkedin to maximise other business activitiesTwitter is not very effective at finding top people and getting initial dialoguestarted, but Linkedin is far more effective and great at developing arelationship. Used together they can complement each other very wellThe time invested in attending business events can be much more effective ifyou can plan beforehand and arrange meetings with key people. Linkedin givesyou a massive amount of information about the business events you want toattend.After attending a networking event, if you have a handful of business cards youcan connect with them on Linkedin to check them out, find out who they knowand decide on the most suitable people to engage further.Linkedin can help you increase sales, build brand awareness, strengthen yourkey business relationships, increase web traffic, improve customer service, anddevelop new ideas. The key is to think outside-the-box and see where and howLinkedin can help. In most cases it can in a big way, so use your imaginationand be tenacious.The core features of Linkedin include;Advanced search – Search the whole community for specific contactsGroups – thousands of groups specific to your types business and activityHomepage updates – your community posting their recent activityAnswers database – thousand of questions on all types of businessCompany pages – in-site into companies, their employees, activity etcList all if your current and future activity and see where Linkedin can add realvalue
7. Not making use of my help and support!As a LinkedIn user since 2007, I am in a position together with The BizLinksnetwork to help you to make the most of your LinkedIn profile and enable youto help to build stronger relationships which can positively impact your ownbusiness life.For more information or to see forthcoming events that I am running, then feelfree to either go to my own profile http://uk.linkedin.com/in/garyperkins orvisit my Bizlinks homepage at http://www.thebizlinks.co.uk/events-gary-perkins to see the current list of scheduled public events such as my monthly“Linkedin for Business Workshops”, Public Speaking Events or other freeSpeeches.We offer a full range of Social Media Coaching services ranging from theimpactful Workshops through to 1-2-1 or Group Coaching (in-house or remotevia Skype or Go-to-Meeting) as well as In-House Half Day Workshops, Full DayWorkshop and Coaching Courses and our latest programme of 30, 60 and 90day Coaching programmes which include new additional modules such as“Making Company Pages Work”, “Twitter for Business”.Please contact me or email me direct at gary.perkins@the bizlinks.co.uk or callon 01905 380920 or 07770 755846.