Linked In is the world’s largest professional network, so there’s nowhere better to find new business leads. First step is to make sure that your profile is accurate and complete. Once you’re profile presents an accurate picture of who you are you are ready to start networking. Here are 3 ways to “get out there”.
You will no doubt have noticed the search bar at the top of the Linked In page – but have you clicked on “Advanced”? Do so and discover a wealth of search fields that will help you to discover people “worth knowing”. With a free account you can search linked in’s massive database by area, industry, keyword or degree of connection. Premium members (minimum cost $19.95/month) can refine this search by function, seniority and company size.
LINKED IN GROUPS:
Groups provide a place for people with common interests to share content, views and expertise. You may already be a member of peer and professional groups. But consider joining the groups where your target market is likely to be. An accounting practice in Bendigo might look for local business groups or industry groups relevant to the types of clients they wish to attract.
Of course, it’s not enough just to join the group: you have to listen and share. Listen and learn from what your potential clients are saying: What are their problems? What are they talking about? Share information your target will find valuable. Participate in conversations. It’s not that different to going to a networking event – not much will come from sitting in the corner by yourself.
InMail is only available to Premium Linked In members, but it is worth the price if you are trying to build your client base. Effectively inMail allows you to directly email anyone on the Linked In network. So if your People Search or Linked In Groups show up people that you really want to reach out to, InMail lets you do this easily.
Remember if you are using InMail that you are probably only going to get one shot with this contact – so don’t send drivel. Invite them to a presentation lunch; ensuring the content will be of specific interest. Provide a direct answer to a query placed on a Linked In Group and ask if you can be of further assistance. The more personalised the approach the stronger the likelihood of a response.
EXTRA TRICK: If you want to use the advanced search functionality and InMail features that are only available to Premium Linked In users for a short-term business development program, it is possible to upgrade on a month-to-month basis (minimum cost $24.95/month) so you only pay Premium fees for the period of your development campaign.