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A great guide for those wishing to understand what to do and why on LinkedIn. Author is digital strategist Stephanie Sammons

A great guide for those wishing to understand what to do and why on LinkedIn. Author is digital strategist Stephanie Sammons

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    The LinkedIn influence starter guide.  Author stephanie sammons The LinkedIn influence starter guide. Author stephanie sammons Document Transcript

    • ! ! Build LinkedIn Influence A Starter Guide for Building LinkedIn Influence By: Stephanie Sammons http://www.stephaniesammons.com ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! http://www.stephaniesammons.com
    • LinkedIn is the most powerful online resource of our time for professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs, and executives. The world’s largest professional network has nearly 300 million members worldwide who are active, engaged, and affluent. ! Building an influential presence on LinkedIn can help you take your personal brand and your business to the next level! ! To ultimately reap the benefits that LinkedIn can bring to your personal brand and your business, you first need to build a foundation and create a strategy plan that will position you as an influencer.   ! Unfortunately many people miss this point. When you focus on building online influence, you don’t have to overtly market or sell. ! ! ! !2 LinkedIn members are active, engaged, and affluent.
    • ! Although building LinkedIn influence is a longer-term approach, it is the right way to leverage social networking, and it's also good business! ! Remember, your professional reputation is at stake. Do you want people to like you and trust you? Or do you want them to hide your updates and mute you from their social streams. Do you want to be viewed as an authority, expert, and resource in your industry and by your existing and prospective clients? Or do you want to allow your competitors to take that position? ! Focus on building LinkedIn influence and you will build a loyal following, attract new clients into your business, and develop advocates who send you introductions and referrals. ! ! ! !3 Don’t market and sell, build influence on LinkedIn to attract new clients and customers.
    • 3 Steps for Building LinkedIn Influence ! Below are 3 first steps that are essential for creating an influential presence on LinkedIn. If you follow the fundamental steps that I cover in this guide, you will have a strong foundation to build upon and create amazing personal and professional growth opportunities.  ! #1)Optimize your LinkedIn Profile ! Your LinkedIn profile, by default, is your professional online identity. You can either neglect it, or take control of it and turn it into a powerful online reputation asset. ! Not only will your LinkedIn profile rank well in Google search results for your name, but many times, it’s a first stop for potential clients and professional connections to learn more about you. If your profile isn't credible, you’re potentially going to blow that first impression! ! Your LinkedIn profile is a dynamic and evolving digital asset. You will need to be constantly updating and improving it. ! Remember, as you grow your presence on LinkedIn, your profile will be exposed to new viewers and potential connections each and every day! !4
    • LinkedIn is continuously adding new profile features, and they do a fairly good job of alerting you about these updates. Make sure that you keep up! ! Add Some Visual Appeal to Your LinkedIn Profile ! LinkedIn enables you to upload visual files to your profile using supported services. You can display videos, images, slide presentations, and even audio/podcast files on your profile. " Add rich media content to your LinkedIn profile ! !5 Your LinkedIn profile is not a “set it and forget” it digital asset.
    • Add visual appeal to your profile and utilize video and audio assets to make a more emotional connection with those who view your profile. ! Make Your LinkedIn Profile Memorable ! Your LinkedIn profile headshot and your professional headline are by far the two most important components of your LinkedIn profile. ! Why? These are the profile components that follow you across the entire network wherever you engage and participate. ! Whether you are commenting, sharing, posting, or publishing on LinkedIn, your profile image and headline summary will be seen by any LinkedIn members you interact with. ! Having a professional headshot will help you make a great first impression and make you more memorable across the network. If you can afford to invest in a professional photographer for your headshot, do it! ! With your LinkedIn headline summary, don't try to get creative and fancy. ! !6
    • Instead, be as clear as possible about what you do, who you help, and how you help. Avoid industry jargon and avoid using symbols. ! You are limited to 120 characters for your headline summary, so experiment with this on paper prior to adjusting it on LinkedIn. ! I tend to experiment frequently with my headline to see how it affects my profile views and how often I appear in LinkedIn searches. (Any keywords you include in your headline will potentially be picked up in LinkedIn searches, so you will want to think about which keywords make sense for you) Be concise and clear with your LinkedIn professional headline ! ! ! ! ! !7
    • Complete your profile as close to 100% as possible. ! Craft a compelling summary, add your skills (for endorsements), add your website and blog urls, contact information, specialties (use keywords for this section), projects, volunteer work, publications, interests and presentations. ! Completing your entire LinkedIn profile is your chance to effectively tell your story and showcase your professional insights for everyone to see. (You will also get discovered by those LinkedIn members your profile is designed to attract). ! When you add your skills to your LinkedIn profile, your connections will be prompted to give you endorsements each time they visit your profile. ! Make sure to choose accurate terms and phrases regarding your skills for this section of your profile. Not only can you benefit from LinkedIn search results based upon the skills you list, but collecting endorsements is a nice form of “social proof”. ! ! ! ! !8
    • Your LinkedIn connections can boost your social proof through endorsements! ! Your Profile Info Determines Your Search Performance ! Did you know that there were nearly 6 billion people searches on LinkedIn in 2012?  If you don’t have a robust profile, you don’t have any chance to show up in search results. ! ! ! ! !9
    • LinkedIn’s search algorithm is extremely powerful and relevant. ! You can show up for searches based on your location, work experience, education, skills and expertise, and your network connections. To that extent, sprinkling relevant keywords about what you do and whom you help is critical for getting found by the potential clients and customers you want to attract. ! Also, growing an intelligent LinkedIn network will help you show up in the right search results. For example, when a 3rd degree connection is conducting a LinkedIn search, you might show up based on how the two of you are indirectly connected! Do not discount the power of LinkedIn search. ! Profile views lead to business opportunities, and, they are measurable. ! When someone views your profile and they find you to be an interesting and credible person, good things will happen. ! Profile views are not only measurable (check your LinkedIn home page), but they can generate new connections, website or blog visits, lead captures (if you embed calls-to-action in your profile), sharing of !10
    • your LinkedIn published posts, engagement, 1-on-1 interaction (via LinkedIn messaging), introductions, and more. ! Can you see how your LinkedIn profile is key for getting found by the right people, making new connections, and driving business opportunities passively? ! #2)Build a Robust, Intelligent Network ! One of the keys to becoming an influencer on LinkedIn is building an expanded network of connections. Not only should you focus on the quality of your network (depth), but you should also strive to expand your quantity of connections (breadth). ! This doesn’t mean your should connect with any random person on LinkedIn. You will want to use discretion to make sure that you are making intelligent connections. Don’t limit your connections. If you limit your connections, you limit your growth potential.   ! !11 The depth and breadth of your LinkedIn network drives your growth potential.
    • Think outside of your immediate network as you consider who to connect with. Do you live in the same community? Do you share common hobbies or interests? Do you work in the same industry? Do your backgrounds overlap? Do your share common connections or groups?   ! You never know who can lead to a new client or referral opportunity within your network. ! Every new LinkedIn connection is an opportunity to create a valued relationship and grow your visibility. ! Making new connections on LinkedIn is an opportunity to expand your visibility through gaining exposure to the networks of others. ! When you make a new connection, you can also gather valuable insights about that person and find creative ways to go deeper with the relationship. ! Growing your connections on LinkedIn will lay the groundwork for spreading your insights and ideas more widely. ! !12
    • Having a robust network on LinkedIn will also help to establish you as an influencer. LinkedIn members like to connect with the “movers and shakers”! By creating the perception that you are well-connected, you will attract even more connections. ! Your network can lead to all kinds of business opportunities, but more importantly, you can create opportunities for your network connections and trigger the rule of reciprocity. ! You will be in a position to creatively connect members of your network together, make meaningful introductions, and promote them above and beyond what they might be able to do on their own. ! People want to connect with the influencers on LinkedIn. Strive to get to 500 connections as quickly as you can. As you expand your network, soon you will no longer have to proactively send invitations to connect because your inbox will be flooded with them. ! !13 The rule of reciprocity is a powerful tool for building influence.
    • Your LinkedIn network is a very important piece of your LinkedIn strategy. Work every day to make new connections. Help and promote your existing connections. When you do this, the members of your network will be more receptive to what you share. ! #3)Become an Influential LinkedIn Networker ! To become an influential networker on LinkedIn, you must spend 10-15 minutes a day on the network engaging in high impact activities.  ! LinkedIn activity drives visibility, network growth, and traffic to your website or blog. ! If you’re not active on LinkedIn, you won’t get profile views. Studies show that sharing 20 or more pieces of valuable content each month can significantly increase your profile views. I’ve seen this work for me so I know it can also work for you! ! Increasing your LinkedIn profile views will lead to website or blog traffic, business opportunities, introductions, and engagement with your network. ! ! !14
    • Jump-start your activity on LinkedIn. ! To activate your LinkedIn presence, share a valuable and relevant piece of content as a “status update” at least once a day. ! Point your network to reputable sources of online information. Include an image when possible with your updates. (updates with images tend to get better visibility and engagement on LinkedIn). ! Tip: Consider uploading an image and placing the link within the text-this will make your image stand out more in the newsfeed. ! Not Sure What to Share on LinkedIn? ! Share interesting, helpful, and relevant content on LinkedIn that can help your connections solve a problem, get smarter, or achieve more. ! The more clearly you can understand and define what value means for your target audience, the better you will become at knowing exactly “what” to share.  ! Listen and observe your connections to determine what is important to them. !15
    • What are the members of your network sharing? What content are they engaging with inside and outside of LinkedIn? ! Positioning yourself as a reputable expert and go-to resource on LinkedIn for your industry will create value for your connections and help you build influence with them over time. They will begin to realize that YOU are the person they need to be tuned into. ! Avoid Pitching Paid Products and Services on LinkedIn. ! The only exception regarding pitching any products or services on LinkedIn is if you are offering something of value that is FREE, such as an ebook or webinar. ! The truth is, most people don’t buy products and services directly via social networks. Instead, you should offer a complimentary piece of content that your network members can take advantage of to “start” the process of educating them further about your services. ! !16 Gather intelligence on your connections to determine “what” to share with them.
    • Remember, when you’re building influence, you don’t have to sell. ! If you cultivate the relationship with an interested prospect over time and lead them through a process, eventually they will be ready to buy when you do present your offer, whether it be a product or service. ! Promote Your Own Content on LinkedIn (thoughtfully and strategically) ! People ask me all the time if promoting their own blog content on LinkedIn is acceptable. The answer is yes, if you do so thoughtfully and strategically with an influence-mindset! ! Make sure the content of your own that you promote is informative, relevant, educational and helpful…not promotional. Also, ask for feedback when you post a piece of content to encourage engagement from your network. ! The few LinkedIn members who do a great job with promoting their own content succeed because that content helps the members of their network solve a problem, get smarter, and achieve more! ! !17
    • You might also consider publishing your content using LinkedIn’s Publisher Platform which will eventually be made available to all members. This is a great way to position yourself as an influencer and add value to your network. Many times, I simply update and republish some of my better performing posts from my blog on this platform. This strategy has worked very well! Over time, your posts can continue to get views and engagement. ! Tip: Make sure you include a short bio and a call-to-action when you publish posts directly to LinkedIn ! Become a “Smarter Networker” on LinkedIn ! If you truly want to build influence on LinkedIn, you will need to become a smarter networker.  How exactly can you do this? ! Here are 7 quick tips to get you started: ! 1)Promote the content posted by your connections by sharing it with your network 2)Introduce and connect others within your network when it makes sense to do so 3)Leave comments on what your connections share 4)Thank someone for sharing your updates !18
    • 5)"Mention" LinkedIn members to praise, promote, acknowledge, or congratulate them publicly 6)Start and participate in group discussions and comment threads 7)Send personalized LinkedIn invitations and thank-you’s to the people you connect with ! Comments trump “likes” and “shares” on LinkedIn because they start conversations. Investing in dialogue is the most valuable form of social networking. Conversations have the potential to get more people who are inside AND outside of your network engaged with you. ! With the LinkedIn “mentions” feature, you actually have the ability to “tag” your 1st degree connections in your status updates. Make sure to use mentions wisely, as they can be a great source for thanking, congratulating, and promoting others. ! The person you "mention" will also be notified via email. By mentioning a connection on LinkedIn, you are helping them gain exposure to your network. (Mentions also flow through to Twitter!) ! !19
    • " Promote your LinkedIn connections in status updates by “mentioning” them! ! If you have the mentality that the majority of your time spent on LinkedIn is to serve others and help them grow, you will become a powerful influencer. Many people will want to connect and engage with you, and you will drive more personal and professional opportunities for yourself. ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !20
    • If you focus on the 3 steps I’ve outlined in this guide for building LinkedIn influence, the following will happen for you: ! • You will show up in more LinkedIn search results • You will gain visibility in the networks of your connections • You will increase your number of connections • You will increase your inbound invitations to connect • You will increase your profile views • You will increase traffic to your website or blog ! Get Started Now! ! Building a powerful LinkedIn presence is an ongoing commitment to positioning yourself as an influencer and growing your network. Simply creating a profile is not enough. Focus on the steps in this guide continuously if you want to get results from your efforts! ! Are you willing to make the commitment to building influence first in order to reap the business benefits later? ! I hope the steps outlined in this report will help you build an effective LinkedIn strategy. ! !21
    • To learn more about how to build influence on LinkedIn and generate leads for your business, you can check out my interview with Mike Stelzner on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. ! You can also connect with me on the following social media channels: LinkedIn (view my posts on LinkedIn and follow me to be alerted when new ones are published!) Facebook (come and join my Facebook community!) Twitter (follow me on Twitter to stay up-to-date on LinkedIn) ! !22