5 LinkedIn Marketing Tips to Grow Your Business

social media how toAre you looking for ways to expand your business with LinkedIn?

With a recent homepage redesign, profile and company page redesigns, new mobile apps and the introduction of notifications and endorsements, engagement on LinkedIn is growing.

Understanding a few simple strategies that can help you become a smarter and more effective marketer can really boost your results over time.

Here are 5 high-impact strategies to boost your marketing results on LinkedIn.

#1: Review and Reboot Your LinkedIn Profile… Frequently

Most recently, LinkedIn made some major changes both to personal profiles and company pages. For a comprehensive review of the most recent updates, visit this post to learn more about how to optimize your LinkedIn profile and company page.

In addition to making sure that you adjust to the changes in your profile layout and features, it’s a good idea to “reboot” your profile from time to time. I tend to reboot my profile every couple of months or so to keep it fresh, relevant and interesting.

Each time you update your profile, the update is shared to your network as long as you have this feature enabled in your settings.

adjust profile settings

Adjust your profile settings to show profile updates in your activity feed.

Is your LinkedIn profile picture outdated?

It may be time for a new one, especially if you’ve changed your look. Do you have a new hairstyle or color? Have you updated your wardrobe?

If it’s been a couple of years, your picture is most likely outdated. If you want to be recognizable in person at meetings, conferences and events with your LinkedIn connections, make sure your picture really does look like you today!

current profile image

Keep your LinkedIn profile image current and update your headline with relevant keywords.

Refresh your LinkedIn headline

I’ve found that when I update my primary profile headline every few months, my profile views jump. Also, when you add new keyword phrases to your profile summary and new relevant skills it may help you show up in more LinkedIn searches due to the search value of these key areas on your profile.

You can review your LinkedIn profile stats provided in the sidebar of your homepage to keep an eye on the number of times your profile has been viewed, as well as how many times you appear in LinkedIn searches.

Remember you won’t be able to determine who’s viewed your profile without a premium account, but you can still access the number of views you are receiving.

profile views

Review your profile stats frequently from the sidebar of your homepage.

The more people who view your profile, the more likely a percentage of those visitors will click through to your website or blog and learn more about you!

Keeping your profiles fresh and active will not only enable you to grow your visibility within the network, it will also allow you to potentially drive relevant traffic to your blog or website.

Remember, your profiles are the foundation of your presence on LinkedIn. Don’t let them get outdated and rusty!

#2: Build a Deep and Wide Network

One of the best ways to get found on LinkedIn is to build up your network of connections. Certainly you will want to focus on having a quality network, but don’t be afraid to expand your connections.

LinkedIn does value both the depth and breadth of a member’s network, especially when showcasing search results. Every new connection you make is an opportunity to enhance your visibility.

Typically my rule of thumb is to review each invitation request received and make sure that the person has a completed LinkedIn profile with a picture.

Also make sure there is some relevant reason why it would make sense to connect.

  • Do they live in my community?
  • Do we belong to the same group(s)?
  • Are they connected to someone I know?
  • Do we or have we worked in the same industry?
  • Do we share common hobbies, interests or causes?
  • Have they read or spread my content?
  • Have they included a personal note with the invitation?

I’m much more likely to connect with people if they provide a good reason why they would like to connect, rather than sending a generic invitation.

By the way, you should use these same suggestions when identifying and reaching out to others to connect with you! Personalize your invitations when possible and provide a compelling reason why someone should connect with you.

What you will find is that as you grow the quality and quantity of your LinkedIn connections, there will eventually be a tipping point. This means you won’t have to proactively seek out new connections all the time, because they will come to you. Doors will open and more opportunities will come your way if you are more open to growing your connections!

It’s also perfectly fine to remove a connection, especially if over time you find that there really isn’t a good reason to be connected with a particular individual. If you do so, the person whom you remove will not receive any kind of notification of this action.

Another simple and effective way to build your connections is to invite other group members to connect with you. Hopefully by now, you’ve joined some groups that are relevant to your industry, community, alma mater or even your targeted prospects. If so, LinkedIn allows you to send invitations to connect with other members within the group.

group invitation

Connect with mutual LinkedIn group members who share common interests.

Be cautious not to send too many invitations to people whom you don’t know and may have never seen you before. For example, it makes sense to be consistently active within a group before reaching out to other members to connect.

To grow your network deep and wide, always be connecting! Connect with clients, prospects, partners, vendors, colleagues, community leaders, fellow alumni and anyone you meet face to face at networking events or conferences. Let those people you meet know that you’re going to be reaching out on LinkedIn to connect with them.

#3: Be Consistently Visible, Valuable and Timely

If you have a great LinkedIn profile and lots of connections, it’s not going to do you much good unless you become more active on the network. You can’t position yourself as a go-to resource unless you are visible, valuable and timely with your participation on LinkedIn.

Additionally, your most recent activity on LinkedIn now shows up toward the top of your profile. If you haven’t been sharing, commenting or interacting, nothing will show. Take advantage of this real estate and post a status update to your profile once or twice daily.

profile activity

Your most recent status updates now show near the top of your LinkedIn profile.

The great news is, you don’t have to spend a significant amount of time to truly be visible and valuable on LinkedIn. By focusing on critical activities, you will be able to stay top of mind with your connections with ease.

What are critical activities on LinkedIn?

There are activities that have the potential to grab the most attention from your connections. These include media-rich status updates (links that showcase images) with compelling headlines; thought-provoking questions; comments on the status updates of your connections; and overall the sharing of reputable, relevant and interesting content with your network. You should engage in these critical activities on LinkedIn 2-3 times daily.

Need some ideas for what to share with your network? Tap into LinkedIn Today for popular and trending news topics, as well as the LinkedIn INfluencer program to share and comment on insights from well-known thought leaders!

Although it’s impossible to keep up with every single update from your network of connections (and beyond), LinkedIn now provides some nifty tools to make sure your interactions are more timely and relevant.

Check out your Notifications at the top of your profile. This is a new feature that LinkedIn recently added to make it easy for you to review the most recent interactions from your network.

Now you can easily scroll through these notifications and respond accordingly, in a timely fashion. This feature makes LinkedIn more of a true online networking destination.

notifications

Notifications can be found at the top of your LinkedIn profile.

Another timely networking option for being visible and valuable is to filter the updates on your LinkedIn homepage by Shares. There you will find what’s trending in your network and you can jump right in to contribute to the conversation!

network shares

Filter your homepage updates by Shares and participate in trending conversations.

LinkedIn status updates are by far the most powerful opportunity to be visible and valuable with your network. Many of the inbound inquiries I receive in my business are a direct result of being consistently visible, valuable and timely through my LinkedIn status updates.

#4: Leverage LinkedIn Endorsements

Whether you love or hate the new LinkedIn endorsements feature, it’s probably here to stay. LinkedIn recently reported that over 200 million endorsements had been given by members since the launch of this feature! Therefore, you should consider taking advantage of endorsements to boost your visibility and credibility.

LinkedIn endorsements can provide a powerful “thumbs-up” visual bulletin board from your network for the specialty skills that you list in your profile.

Anytime you give or receive an endorsement, it will show up in the LinkedIn news feed for your network, which means more visibility. Although endorsements aren’t currently weighted in LinkedIn search results, it is expected that they will be.

How can you receive more endorsements? Make sure to list all of the skills and experience that you have on your profile first, and then go out and endorse your connections based on your evaluation of the particular skills they are showcasing in their profiles.

In many cases, the people you endorse will come back and endorse you for at least one skill. Don’t be afraid to endorse colleagues or competitors as well!

As you grow your endorsements, you might consider moving that section of your LinkedIn profile up toward the top for enhanced social proof, and to showcase your top skills.

endorsements

Give endorsements to your connections and showcase the endorsements you receive prominently on your profile.

#5: Participate Strategically in LinkedIn Groups

LinkedIn Groups still present a great opportunity to develop rapport with the members of your target markets and industry peers. There are over 1 million groups on LinkedIn and many of them are both active and well-managed.

Look for the quality groups to join and participate in those that have genuine discussions going on and have a visible group leader. Join up to the 50 groups that LinkedIn allows, but spend time focusing on 3-5 quality groups, rather than all 50, for the best results.

Recently LinkedIn reduced the automated weekly emails that highlight discussions from all of the groups you belong to but are not active in. In order to stay current with your groups, you are going to need to proactively visit them on LinkedIn to review and participate in LinkedIn discussions.

Post discussions that involve asking and answering questions in groups to position yourself as a resource. Point to reputable sources of information that are relevant to group members and to specific discussions in order to build relationships and credibility within the group.

linkedin groups

Win favor with fellow group members by posting relevant, reputable and informative content.

If you can’t find the right groups for your target markets or your industry, you can always start your own LinkedIn Group. My LinkedIn group has been one of the most valuable business resources that I’ve ever invested my time in. It’s allowed me to cultivate an engaged niche following and build stronger relationships with members of my target market.

Ultimately people do business with people, so make sure that you always have a relationship-focused mindset on LinkedIn. LinkedIn members are there to develop and grow their professional network and gain valuable insights.

Don’t ever spam or make public sales pitches on LinkedIn. Always be professional and you will be very successful in marketing your business.

These 5 simple strategies should help you focus on the most critical LinkedIn marketing activities.

What do you think? What have you done to boost your LinkedIn marketing? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

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About the Author, Stephanie Sammons

Stephanie Sammons is the Founder and CEO of Wired Advisor, where she teaches financial advisors and business professionals how to build digital influence to win clients. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    Great post Stephanie! One of my main online marketing efforts is focused on LinkedIn and I have created my own group not just for marketing purposes, but to create a forum where people can discuss issues and concerns about Entrepreneurship, as well as share useful articles that can enrich their venture. What do you think is the best technique to encourage engagement? Thanks in advance!

    Have a rockin Thursday everyone! 

    ~John Lee Dumas

  • Seinwin2033

    Thank,
    I got more knowledge from this article.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Hi John! The best way to increase engagement is to just be active in there. Post something at least 3-5 times a week such as a question that gets members participating and responding. Also, send the weekly email message to your members and link to new discussions there to keep them coming back. LinkedIn has stopped sending group digest to members who aren’t active, so that weekly messaging feature is going to come in handy.

  • richard

    My big problem is the number of posts that are just promotion. They do not ask for any discussion. The net result appears to be big drop off in the number of genuine and interesting discussions. Is this just a feature of the groups i am a member of or is it widespread?

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Hi Richard, I think it really depends on the group. There are some well-managed groups but many are not, unfortunately. Keep trying to find the ones that are. There are many!

  • Johan

    Thank you for a great article

    J

  • Marcia Brown

    Stephanie, I want to thank you for this great article!  As I am a fairly new affiliate marketer, this post had lots of usable information for me.  Thanks for all the awesome tips!

  • Oh James

    Many thanks for all your useful tips, which I agree with you wholeheartedly , Stephanie. 

    I will try everything possible to spread this great article in my circle of contacts and I hope you permit me to republish your post in my blogs as well.

    Awaiting for your consent before I do so.

    Cheers and thanks,

    James Oh

  • Cindy Fascetti Rack

    Thank you for this article.  One of my favorite ways to get noticed by many is to post a link to a great article, webinar or training not just on my page, but to many groups at once.  Once you share on your page, you have the option to “share” again.  The second time a window pops open and you can check “share to groups”  You can type in as many groups as you want that you belong to. Depending on how many groups you belong to, this could mean as many as 60,000 people.  I do this twice a week.  When I’m at a networking group, many people are grateful for the blogs, articles and training I post to the groups on a regular basis.  If the article is not my own, I find one on google alerts or youtube or even a group post in LinkedIn.  

  • Jill Noelle Noble

    Thank you for providing these excellent tips, Stephanie. I am in the process of revamping my approach to social media, and I’m going to incorporate some of these tips into my new plan. I’m a subscriber to your email update newsletter, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your well-researched, informative posts.

  • http://twitter.com/DonaldMafomane Donald Mafomane

    Thank you Stephanie for the insightful information.  However, I have notced lately that when trying to connect with people from the same Group on LinkedIn, there is no longer a question such as, “How do you know Joe Soap?” but that I am now only requested to insert Joe Soap’s email address and send.

  • Ochanagev

    Great article Stephanie We are our more important product Now LinkedIn is a powerful tool

  • Jr

    Thank you for this helpful article.

  • Moniza GOPAUL

    So informative.  Many thanks for keeping us posted.

  • http://www.facebook.com/HonestMohammed Mohamed Baqer

    True, it is useful for your business to make customers aware of products and services you provide through LinkedIn.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1168419283 Mags Durand O’Connor

    Great post – thanks for the streamlining at those tips into a very helpful blog 

  • http://twitter.com/dap_ing Andrej Poljanec, DAP

    Short, useful and practical. Allmost all you need to know about using LinkedIn at start.

  • http://twitter.com/CultivateM Alex Woodward

    Hi Richard – I suggest you click ‘more’ and then ‘flag as promotion’ under any ‘discussions’ that you think are simply promotions. This moves the post to promotions – self moderation in groups is key to keeping groups useful for it’s users.

  • http://triberocket.com/ James Hahn II

    Awesome tips Stephanie! I’ve been using LinkedIn more and more, and have been looking for ways to optimize my time. This is great stuff. But, can you help me with one question? I love the tip about filtering by shares. There is so much noise on the network, especially now with all of the endorsements flowing, and I didn’t even know you had that option. The problem I’m having, though, is that even after I choose to filter by Shares, if I refresh my browser, it always goes back to “All Updates.” Is there a way to set the default to view to Shares?

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  • Jenillustre

    Thank you for the tips. Do you have to be a Premium member to be able to do all of those? Can you stop some people from watching your profile?

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  • Elizabeth

    I have sadly neglected LinkedIn. This gives me inspiration! Thank you so much for the suggestions, they were extremely helpful.

  • http://www.simplicityadmins.com/ Sarah Santacroce

    Great post, Stephanie ! I agree with all the 5 strategies you outlined. It’s funny you mentioned the profile picture. It has happened to me twice already that I’ve met someone after connecting on LinkedIn and actually didn’t recognize them. The picture must have been at least 10 or 15 years old ;-)

    You might want to double check the ‘who’s viewed your profile’ sentence. I believe non-premium account holders get to see only the last 5 profile viewers, so if you check your profile regularly, you can still see who’s viewed your profile. I don’t have a premium account and it works for me. 

  • Roma Lewycky

    I loved to share your articles on LInkedin … why has that option been removed???

  • Dara Khajavi

    This was a great post. I really enjoyed your tips on LinkedIn Marketing. My firm has not fully utilized our LinkedIn. I also haven’t updated my recently, but I am definitely going to right after I finish this comment!

  • http://www.lucrazon.com/blog Alice Ly | Lucrazon

    Thanks for the article! Regarding the Endorsements section, I find that people tend to click the first 3 since those are the “convenient” spots. LinkedIn currently doesn’t have an option to “move around” your skill order so when you’re listing your skills, be sure the first one is what you want to be known for.

    Unfortunately in my case, I have changed roles, and when I wanted to “move up” my current skill, I couldn’t. It’s a bummer!

    Also sidenote: You updated your LinkedIn photo but not your Article Bio picture! :)

  • http://www.businessmapper.co.uk/index.php Business Mapper

    Thanks for the informative article.  Great incentive to kick start using LinkedIn again.  It’s like all these social tools you have to put a lot of time into it to get some benefit and targeted web 2.0 customer engagement through LinkedIn as well as other social media is the key to customer loyalty and retention…therefore, the key to business growth.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Hi James I don’t believe there is an option to set shares as the default. That’s a great suggestion though.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    No most everything listed in these recs does not require a premium account.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Great! Don’t neglect it. Linked is becoming THE professional web!

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Thanks Sarah will do.

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    Good Point. I need to update my Gravatar. Actually I think you can move your skills up or down and prioritize them?

  • http://www.lucrazon.com/blog Alice Ly | Lucrazon

    I tried again, and when you attempt to edit, it’ll only allow you to reorder skills that have NOT already been endorsed. Otherwise, the endorsed skills stay in their place and the only other type of management function is to hide/display those who have endorsed you

  • Gill Ashby

    Great article I will be reviewing Linked In and my relationship with it in a new light from now on. Thanks for the tips.

  • http://www.career-pioneers.com/ Joanne Munro

    Some really good tips here and more elaborate that the usual ones I read about. I revamped my whole LI approach over Christmas actually. I’m a Virtual Assistant who specialises in Social Media – I particularly like doing research for Social Media Consultants and Strategists and had been doing a lot of LI group analysis for one of my clients. I suddenly realised that I hadn’t been using LI in the same targeted way that I use Twitter (my favourite platform) so I decided to overhaul my whole approach.

    I wanted more Social Media clients, so I started with a huge clean-up of my contacts. I deleted anyone who wasn’t particularly relevant to my goal, and anyone who I didn’t immediately recognise or ‘know’, I also made sure that every contact was tagged as well as creating a ‘prospects’ tag for my ideal client. I then changed my profile and website to reflect my ideal client, and culled some groups that I did’t feel were being used well (spammy) or that were not useful to me in any way. 

    Then I did a search for my ideal clients job title, looked at what groups they were in, joined some of those groups, and started a spreadsheet called ‘prospects’. I went to their websites, analysed whether we would be a good match and how well they knew their subject (I don’t want a Social Media client who hasn’t tweeted for months!) I followed the prospects on Twitter and added them to a ‘prospects’ list on there as well. 

    I have since emailed 4 of those prospects and one of them has given me so much work since the New Year (I was a ‘gift from God’ apparently and my ‘timing was perfect’) that I haven’t had the time to contact any more!

    So I guess that I’m living proof that by using LI strategically and knowing what you want to get from it, it can indeed lead to more work and a heightened profile to the people I’d like to work with. Thank you again for such a good article and apologies for the long message – I didn’t realise it would be so lengthy!

    @jojomunroro

  • http://www.stephaniesammons.com/ Stephanie Sammons

    That’s a great story thanks for sharing!

  • http://triberocket.com/ James Hahn II

    Ok, thanks Stephanie!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ubaid-Khan/100003678023659 Ubaid Khan

     So I guess that I’m living proof that by using LI strategically and
    knowing what you want to get from it, it can indeed lead to more work
    and a heightened profile to the people I’d like to work with. Thank you
    again for such a good article and apologies for the long message – I
    didn’t realise it would be so lengthy!

  • http://www.egSebastian.com/facilitator_kits egSebastian

    Great article!

    I’m a BIIIG LinkedIn fan, as it’s been a great source of new leads for the past 7 or 8 years. I too started a few groups, but only one is successful (around 7000 members), the others linger at around 10 members or so for years.  I’m sharing this to remind anyone starting a group to pick a great name and a great description. I believe that the name of the group will make or break a new group creation.  I’d say the name should included 2 basic elements: Who do you serve; and How will they benefit from being members.  For example “Coaches Support Group” – it’s for coaches and they’ll get support. Yes, it’s really simple, but this is one of them that worked…  Creative fancy names are fun, but getting members to them is hard.

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  • http://www.callboxinc.co.uk/ Oliver Scott

    LinkedIn is apparently forgotten of the social media buzz nowadays. However, LinkedIn is actually a good focal point in any organization’s marketing campaign. Thanks for sharing these points:)

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com/ Nick Stamoulis

    I too have been known to not refresh my profile as often as I should. The truth is, for many of us, unless we are in the process of looking for a new job, we don’t update our profiles. However there are not plenty of new opportunities that LinkedIn has added to its interface such as awards and honors, courses taken, skills, and certifications – so we have more options to add to our profiles. 

  • Ana Urban

    Great article, to the point and easy to follow!

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  • sam

    why does an update someone made 10 hours ago STAY AT THE TOP of the page while people that updated 4 3 or 2 hours ago list below…. wouldn’t the newer updates list at the top and push the older ones lower down the list?

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  • http://spectralightsms.com/ Mark Madere

    Wow Joanne. If LI users did 1/10 of what you just did, they would have amazing results! You’re an inspiration.

  • http://spectralightsms.com/ Mark Madere

    Great article Stephanie. I opened another browser window while reading your article and did some of the things you suggested in your article.

    Here’s a tip I just picked up recently. Share webpages with your professional network and groups straight from your browser – even when you’re not on LinkedIn with the “Share on LinkedIn” button. Just drag the button to your browser toolbar to install.

    Get it by going to Profile>Edit Profile>Tools>Sharing Bookmarklet.

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  • http://www.aks-india.com/ Sarah Jones

    Just perfect timing, I have been making an effort lately to make my profile more active. Getting results as well, moved 3 positions up for my target keywords. I will surely follow SOME of your other LinkedIn tips. Thanks!

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  • http://www.tooliers.com/ Ozana Giusca

    great article , and useful hints. tks. I have already changed my profile from owner of my company (which was irrelevant indeed) to business growth consultant, which is what people are more interested in. I had never paid attention to that section.
    also, great clarification for groups updates- I was wondering why I was not receiving them anymore. now I have got the answer :)

  • http://www.myrlandmarketing.com/ Nancy Myrland | Marketing & So

    I would only flag those that are truly spammy and of no value. Someone sharing an educational or informative blog post doesn’t warrant reporting as they are providing knowledge to the group members.

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