Monday, January 9, 2012

Generating Leads Through LinkedIn

So what can LinkedIn do for you and how can you start generating leads?

Before I venture into some of the lead generating activity suggestions, please spend some time on your profile and settings. Make sure that your profile is complete, that you are incorporating keywords in your titles and descriptions, and above all, make sure that you describe yourself in a way that clearly delivers the value in knowing you!

1. Grow your network: LinkedIn has tools that connect directly with Outlook and has the ability to search other email accounts to see who you know already on LinkedIn. If you don't connect your email program, at least perform a monthly check for new contacts in your database for who is on LinkedIn.

Tip: Every time you go to an event carry a small envelope with the date and name of the event. Place all the cards you collect into that envelope and when you get back to your office start reaching out to those people to connect and use a personalized message such as 'it was great meeting you yesterday at the EVENT, I would love to stay in touch and see how we might be of service to one another."

2. Updates: there is a feature much like Twitter and Facebook that allows you to post an update that will show up on your profile and in network updates to your connections. Use it wisely.

3. Introductions: Give them, ask for them. The idea of 6 degrees of separation is made apparent on LinkedIn. If there is a contact at a particular company you seek, by searching on LinkedIn you will discover who you already know that knows who you want to know. Introductions make a cold call a warm call and a faster track to closing a sale.

4. Get Visible: LinkedIn provides updates to members you are connected with. Some people adjust their updates to daily, some weekly but the point is that delivered to your connection's inbox are updates and you should find ways to have your name show up in those updates. Read on for some suggestions on how to accomplish this.

5. Referrals: say thanks to someone - a vendor, partner, even a customer - for a job well done or just acknowledging some special talent or skill that had a positive impact. Chances are they will reciprocate. And don't be shy about asking customers to write a recommendation but be careful to ask only those who have actually worked with you and can speak to your professional brilliance.

6. Groups: join groups that are relevant to your business and interests and that you can contribute to meaningfully. Groups where your prospects participate are a good place to start. Much like real life, hanging out with the right people is a solid step toward successful connections.

7. Books: LinkedIn provides the opportunity to mention what you are reading or have read with a short blurb regarding the book. I could write volumes on why this is a pivotal tool but for now just let me say that sharing this information is a really good idea.

8. Events: the events feature on LinkedIn lets you browse what is happening and in some cases, people will actually make notation that they are attending. You might just find that the person you are trying to meet will be at an event in your area.

9. Slideshare: has expanded to not just power point decks but now includes video and other documents. This is a great way to show off some of that industry specific knowledge that no one knows you have.

10. Blogs: LinkedIn can automatically pull in your blog posts. If you would like to grow your reader base, or just keep your contacts in the know with the great material you are providing through your blog, don't forget to activate this feature.

How You Can Use LinkedIn to Get Success in Your Business and Professional Career? Why You Should Use It? Watch this Free Presentation at:

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