You have a LinkedIn account. You’ve set up your profile, you’ve made a few connections…and that’s where it ended. Now your account just sort of languishes in the shadows of your other more active social media accounts. You get connection requests, job opening notifications, group discussion updates…and you ignore them because LinkedIn has never proven beneficial to building your brand.
Have you ever wondered if there’s more you could be doing? And if a time investment in building your LinkedIn network could give your brand just what it needs to push ahead of the competition?
Well, you don’t have to wonder any more. I have the answer.
And that answer is YES!
It’s my guess that LinkedIn has a lot of features you aren’t using, and that it holds massive opportunities that will prove invaluable as you build a brand.
Today, I’m going to talk about some LinkedIn activities that I have used to make some of the most lucrative connections of my brand-building and business-growing career.
Let’s get started.
Build a Brand with LinkedIn
I’m not going to waste your time by giving you all the conventional LinkedIn advice you hear on a regular basis: You know, like putting up a great profile picture. Instead, I’m letting you in on some of the things I’ve used to build an impressive, opportunity-rich network.
- Add the Acronym LION to your LinkedIn Name. LION stands for LinkedIn Open Networker, and when other LIONs see this, they will know that you are open to the possibility of connection with anyone. This doesn’t mean that you will accept every request; it does, however mean that you will entertain all connection requests, and that you’re approachable and willing to network. I would suggest that you add (LION) to your name on LinkedIn, and then use the Advanced Search option to find other LIONs.
- Join Groups. If you’re hoping to increase the number of quality connections in your network (and who isn’t?), one of the best ways to accomplish this is by joining LinkedIn groups containing high concentrations of your ideal customers and/or collaborators. Because when you’re in a group with someone, that gives you the ‘in’ to connect with them. I would not suggest joining more than three groups, or else your inbox will moan under the weight of all the notifications. Instead, choose wisely, based on your interests and what your brand offers—and then always cite the group you both belong to when requesting to connect with a fellow member.
- Get Personal when Connecting. I have a rule. If someone requests to connect with me on LinkedIn, and the connection request is generic in nature, I do not accept. This tells me that they’re really not interested in connecting with me for what I have to offer (and for what they can offer me), but instead, just to build the volume of their list. Always accompany your connection request with a personalised message telling the person how you know them, what you have in common, who you both know, how your businesses complement each other, etc.
- Be Selective. I would not suggest connecting with direct competitors, people who do not demonstrate professionalism, or those who seem to like stirring up drama. Instead, keep your eyes open for articulate business-minded people who act professionally and who understand the need your brand is filling, the problem your customers experience, or the specific passion you’re exercising every day. Look for brands that complement your own and those people who are your ideal customers or whose lists include lots of your ideal customers. Also, be cautious of accepting connection requests from your competitors; they could be wearing the guise of collaboration, but really just want access to your list.
- Get Descriptive with your Profile Title. If you’re describing yourself as Managing Director, CFO or Marketing Specialist, ideal customers and lucrative connections have probably been looking right over your profile. Instead, use the primary benefit your brand offers, along with your passion or top-ranked skill, to describe what you do. Chief Happiness Architect, Financial Abundance Curator or General Manager of Magnetic Achievement and Business Success might be better options.
- Be Creative about Making Lucrative Connections. If you NEED to connect with someone—because they are your IDEAL customer, because their brand would fit nicely with yours, or for any other legitimate brand-building reason—you can always contact one of their connections and ask for an introduction. This is always more productive when you decide, ahead of time, how you’re going to add value for both the introducer and the ideal connection.
I hope these tips will get you started on the path to build a brand, in a more efficient and lucrative manner, with LinkedIn. Of course, should you have any questions about the tips I’ve offered here (or others you’ve heard of), please contact me.
In the meantime, why not join the How to Build a Brand Facebook group, where motivated business owners striving to build a brand are congregating, networking, gathering advice, building lists and supporting one another in establishing global presences? I’ll see you there.