Use LinkedIn to become an online networking rock star.
In a previous blog post, I shared some simple tips for staying active on LinkedIn. In this article, we’ll get a little more advanced. Here are three ways you can use LinkedIn to become an online networking rock star.
Advanced Tactic #1: Create a Prospect List Using Search, and Keep in Touch
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for growing your network and sharing content—and it’s also a database of over 450 million professionals worldwide. Use it to search for prospects that match your target criteria. For example, let’s say you target business owners in your area. Here are five steps you can take to build a prospect list and keep in touch with them through content:
- Go to the Search bar at the top left corner of any page, and type in a relevant keyword such as “owner,” or “principal.” You’ll probably see about 20 million results! But don’t worry, you can narrow that down using the filters at the top of the page.
- Filter your list by selecting your desired criteria. In the example below, I’ve selected “People,” filtered by my location (Greater San Diego Area), and then opted to limit the results to my 2nd connections. This last filter is valuable because it’s now only showing me friends of my friends. In other words, these are people my current network can introduce me to.
- Based on the above search criteria, LinkedIn has now generated a prospect list, more-or-less organized by the number of shared connections we have in common. Browse through the list and view the profiles of people you might want to meet.
- Ask for a mutual connection to make the introduction, or send them an invitation to connect, and include a personalized message.
Sample message: Hi, Lisa. I noticed we have a lot of connections in common, and I thought it might make sense to connect. I’ve helped a lot of business owners with their complex financial needs. If there’s ever anything I can do to help you, please let me know.
- Keep in touch with your contacts by sharing helpful information. Somewhere around 30% of your invitations will likely be accepted, and now you have a new audience with which to raise awareness of your unique value and expertise. Share relevant content to build trust and reinforce the benefits of working with you.
Tip: LPL advisors and institutions can use the free social media content library to stay active with your posts and save time. Go to the Resource Center on ClientWorks, and search for “social media content library” to get started.
Advanced Tactic #2: Become a Published Author to Boost Credibility
In addition to sharing articles, you can also WRITE them. Why would you want to do this? There are certainly pros and cons, but the pros are incredibly valuable. For example, only about 0.2% of all LinkedIn members have published articles on the site, so it sets you apart from the competition. It also has great pass-along potential, providing an opportunity to expand your reach to people interested in the topics you’re writing about.
To publish your own article, click the “Write an article” option on the LinkedIn homepage:
As a best practice, always include an image with your article to help it stand out in the newsfeed and get more engagement.
Advanced Tactic #3: Sign up for Sales Navigator
For really advanced users, upgrading to the Premium version of LinkedIn called Sales Navigator has several benefits. Here are just a few:
- Save key prospects and businesses, and view only their updates in a separate news feed
- Get lead recommendations based on saved search criteria
- See the full list of who’s viewed your profile over the past 90 days
- Receive valuable sales updates on the people and companies you’re targeting
- More advanced search options
You can sign up for a 30-day free trial to test it out, after which the annual cost is around $780. For more information, visit the Sales Navigator page of LinkedIn’s Sales Solutions section.
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Sarah provides custom marketing and social media consultations for LPL Financial advisors and investment programs. In this role, she consults with and supports clients in effectively marketing their business in today's increasingly competitive environment. View full bio.