Doing business on LinkedIn – Part 3

From Jade McAuley, Rebel Marketing

Ok we’ve got your profile sorted and you’re connecting away like Lego, now you’re ready for the final frontier – it’s time to venture out and get yourself seen.
LinkedIn is for professional networking – that means that if you sign up, make a profile and that’s it, you’re basically standing in the corner alone at the party. Someone may take pity on you and talk to you, but isn’t it better to be a bit proactive and mingle? Making connections is only half of that story – the other side of online networking is getting off your profile and into the world of sharing.

> Contribute content
The status updates on LinkedIn can work in a similar way to your Facebook brand page. Share news, articles, tools, ideas, videos and more that have caught your attention, because – chances are – they could appeal to the people you have connected with also. Then, when people engage with your content, you are not only catching their attention – but possibly also the attention of others who are connected to them.
Remember our most important LinkedIn rule – it is a professional networking platform, people can get pretty testy if you start posting items that don’t have some substance (ie funny videos, life quotes etc) so leave that stuff for Facebook.
Bonus > When posting a link to something of interest, don’t just put the link in there – write a line or two on why you think it was interesting, or what it made you start thinking about. That way, you’re not just posting content out there – you’re inviting others to engage with you.

> Ponder on posts
On the other side, when someone else posts something pretty cool – yes you can like it, and that might make people give you a momentary thought. But if it’s a really good article/piece of news/whatever – go the whole hog and write a comment as well. Adding your own opinion to the mix is just another way for other professionals to get to know you better, and perhaps get a glimpse of your expertise as well.
Bonus > When commenting, you can include your own link as well – maybe to an article that presents another angle on that issue, or a ticket link to an event that’s mentioned etc. In this way, you are really opening up the conversation and showing others your level of understanding. And, just like before, make sure you don’t just post the link – include in the comment why you are posting it, and what benefit the person will get if they click on it.

> Give in groups
There are a few Mackay groups starting to get some legs but if you look further afield, there are a ton of state, national and – of course – global groups that you can join within your area of expertise. Groups operate by people adding posts and others commenting on it – but within the group, rather than out on the main newsfeed. So this means that, if you post or comment on someone else’s post, the people who are in your group (whether you are connected with them or not) will potentially see what you’re contributing. This can lead to more connections and, therefore, more opportunities for your business.
Bonus > Create your own group! Not for your business – but on a topic that your business specialises in and is of interest to your prospects. For example, if you have an IT business that operates predominantly in Mackay – you may make the “Mackay IT Forum”, where IT people can talk issues, and other business owners may come for answers etc. Yes, you will be offering your opinions for free (give yourself boundaries so you don’t overshare) – like with all content contribution – but you will be setting yourself up as the region’s expert on the topic, while gaining exposure for your business. When it comes to trust-building, this can be an absolute winner!

> Publish on Publisher
LinkedIn’s own blogging platform is super easy to use and is a great way to get you started on writing blogs because you don’t have to worry about frequency. There’s a lot of content being shared here already, so just start small and get one up there to kick it off. Once you start seeing the views/likes/comments on your posts, I guarantee you’ll be keen to put the next one out there!
If you already are blogging, make sure you repurpose the content by sharing it onto LinkedIn as well – either as a link in a status update or by using the in-built blogging platform.
Bonus > Send your blog content along to me and it could get featured in Wild Oats, a weekly email that goes out to over 1000 Mackay business people. Pretty nice, huh?

I am now expecting to see a rush of super savvy profiles, connection requests and content from the Mackay business community – looking forward to seeing what you can produce! And, if you missed parts 1 and 2 of this series, you can find them here and here.