Committed for Better Business

Companies that use LinkedIn for growth are deliberate about planning for success.

The other day I was approached by a businessman who told me that he hadn’t seen any financial results on his LinkedIn profile yet. When asked how often he checks his plan and engages with others on LinkedIn, he replied, “I don’t have a plan, but I check the site every six months.” Unfortunately, this is a common scenario.

Many companies don’t know how to effectively use LinkedIn as a lead generation tool. To help solve this problem, I’ve compiled a list of LinkedIn best practices to help you accelerate revenue growth this year.

1. Make a list of 10 thought leaders

Identify 10 thought leaders in your industry who share high-quality content that is valuable to your customers. Include friends and associates who will help you with cross-promotion. Connect with them on LinkedIn, follow them on Twitter, join their Google or Triberr groups. Set up a process to review your content and republish it to your network.

2. Update your monthly LinkedIn goals

What are your LinkedIn lead generation goals for this month? How was last month? Now is a good time to review goals and adjust strategies and metrics. What gets measured gets done.

3. Identify 3 industry leaders

Create a list of the top 3 leaders in your industry that you would like to meet. If you are in sales, these could be prospects. If you are looking for a job, they could be employers. If you’re a business consultant, think about non-competitive joint venture partners. Make a list and then learn about them. LinkedIn and Google are great places to start.

4. Check social panels

Evaluate the effectiveness of your current social panels. Are you using them effectively? Need to update settings or adjust posting criteria? Is the expense a worthwhile investment? If you’re not already using a social panel, consider signing up for one. My favorite is Hootsuite. It’s easy to use, will post to a multitude of accounts, and costs less than a designer cup of coffee every month.

5. Download LinkedIn Connections

Do it now. It only takes two minutes. Go to your LinkedIn contacts list and at the bottom of the page you will see “Export Connections”. Export to Outlook and save as a .CSV file. It can be opened in Excel. Why is this important? Connections are a business asset. LinkedIn has closed profiles without notice, so protect your assets. While this is unlikely, disasters are equally unlikely, but still buy insurance. Think of this as free insurance: set a reminder to download your list.

6. Protect your LinkedIn asset

Download your LinkedIn profile. You’ve worked hard to craft the right message and collected details from the past, such as years of graduation, articles published, and achievements. Sign in to LinkedIn and go to your profile view. Just to the bottom right of your profile picture is an edit dropdown menu. Look for the ‘export to PDF’ option. Click on it and it will be saved to your machine.

7. Update your profile summary

Go to your profile summary and read it from a customer’s point of view. Is it convincing? Does it inspire you to reach out and connect? Is it memorable? Do you feel that it is written exactly for you, the reader? Is it written in the first person? Can you easily find their contact information? Update based on information you learned in the last month about your industry or customers. Did you run a webinar? Teach or take a class? Helping a client achieve an incredible goal?

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