4 Ways to Profit From LinkedIn

social media book reviewsAre you a LinkedIn newbie?

Do you struggle to network and show off your expertise?  Do you want to secure new business?

If so, the most important thing to know is that LinkedIn is not just a modern Rolodex or a glorified resume.

It contains more valuable information about a contact than you could imagine.

All this information can be used to start an interesting conversation that could lead to great business opportunities between you and him or her.

opportunity ahead sign

LinkedIn contains information that offers great business opportunities. Image source: iStockPhoto.

LinkedIn Relevance

Bill Waterhouse is a regional director for Technical Innovation, a company that provides audiovisual products, streaming media, videoconferencing and other services. He has a sales background and was the first person at his company to use LinkedIn.

Shortly after he began using his email contact database to grow his LinkedIn connections, Bill was messaged by someone on LinkedIn—someone he had tried (and failed!) to get business from before—inviting him to respond to a new RFP (request for proposal) that led to a $450,000 contract!

The only reason Bill was considered was that he happened to pop up on that client’s LinkedIn radar. As you can see, one employee on LinkedIn resulted in almost a half-million-dollar payoff for his company!

In his latest book, LinkedIn for Business, Brian Carter reveals some compelling facts (from Quantcast) about LinkedIn:

  • 54% of LinkedIn users earn more than $60K per year and 36% earn more than $100K annually.
  • LinkedIn has 29% more six-figure earners than the average website.
  • LinkedIn users are more affluent and more educated than the average website visitor.
  • The 35- to 49-year-old demographic uses LinkedIn 19% more than the average website.
  • Almost 25% of LinkedIn visitors come back at least 30 times per month.
  • 51% of LinkedIn users visit at least once per month.

So if you’re looking for new potential customers for your business, LinkedIn is a great place to find them.

Here’s what you should know about LinkedIn for Business.

Author’s Purpose

author brian carter

Brian Carter, author of LinkedIn for Business.

The goal of this book is to deliver a complete system for profiting from LinkedIn. Through numerous case studies and riveting research, Brian Carter explains how businesses just like yours can achieve amazing bottom-line results by applying tried and tested online marketing principles to your LinkedIn space.

What to Expect

linkedin for business book cover

LinkedIn for Business.

At 240 pages, the book describes a system that advertisers, marketers and salespeople can leverage to get more leads and sales for their organizations.

You’ll learn:

  • How to strengthen brand awareness and spread key messages
  • How to find “hot” potential clients through quick LinkedIn prospecting
  • How to convince prospects that your company is the best one to solve their problems
  • How to accelerate the sales cycle with LinkedIn
  • And much more!

Highlights

#1: Set Up a Weekly Routine

There’s a lot of initial setup needed to make your LinkedIn marketing successful. Things like deciding on campaign goals, making sure your business profile (and your employee profiles) are findable and presentable, and are consistent sources of valuable content.

Once these initial activities are done, you will just need to follow a weekly routine. Ideally, part of your routine will look like this:

  • Promotion—Post new content to LinkedIn groups, your company page and your profile (minimum 30 minutes, maximum 2 hours).
  • Answers—Look for new questions to answer in LinkedIn Answers (minimum 15 minutes, maximum 2 hours).
  • Groups—Participate in LinkedIn groups and reply to posts where appropriate (minimum 15 minutes, maximum 2 hours).
  • Other content marketing—Produce new content for LinkedIn such as white papers, infographics (minimum 1 hour, maximum 8 hours).
  • Networking—Search for journalists, media and industry peers, accept connection requests and initiate connections with others (minimum 1 hour, maximum 3 hours).

If you’re creative and the ROI is there, you might find ways to spend less time on some of these activities. Focus on what fits your goals and results.

#2: Generate Leads With LinkedIn Groups

As with all social media activity, remember that it takes multiple exposures on LinkedIn to make an impression, so patience is key. One of the best ways to get leads is to comment in relevant groups.

Find discussions that you can contribute to and add something useful, valuable or even funny. Make this about 80% of your comment strategy. Then mention briefly in an “oh-by-the-way” fashion that your business solves this or that problem.

Stand out in the group by being more of an expert, voicing customer needs and challenges more accurately, and then sharing information, tips and news to help them. The key is to remain visible by being a valuable resource.

#3: Create and Optimize Great Ads

great george street

Use creative images and ad copy to get the message across. Image Credit: Zhing Hong under Creative Commons License

Successful LinkedIn advertisers optimize! They’re always asking, “What can I do to get better results?” They’re the ones that create, test and improve. Here’s a process you will repeat again and again to optimize LinkedIn ads:

  • Target your audience. Laser-focus on who they are.
  • Choose creative images and ad copy to get the message across to this target. Create 5 to 10 versions of the same ad (each containing different images, text and headline) so that you can find the best ideas and combinations.
  • Run the ads and wait for results.
  • Get the results, then run the reports.
  • Analyze the data. Look at your key metric (e.g., click-through rate) and ask yourself how much did your audience respond to these ads? Compare the ads with best and worst results. What should you focus on to duplicate the success of the best ads and what should you eliminate?
  • Go back to step one and repeat the process.

#4: Find New Customers

There are a couple of additional places you can find potential customers—in the newsfeed and from existing connections. Many people completely ignore the newsfeed, but you can filter it by new connections. If you see that one of your contacts has just connected to someone you’d like to connect with, now is a good time to get that introduction.

Similarly you can filter your newsfeed by recommendations. If someone just gave or received a recommendation, there’s a lot of positive vibes in that relationship, and the chances of your introduction succeeding is even higher.

If you’re looking to connect with a decision-maker, the first thing to do is go to the LinkedIn company page and see which employees are your first-degree connections. Find people at the target company who are willing to connect you with the decision-maker. Once you get a formal LinkedIn introduction, you can then call the decision-maker the next day while you’re still fresh on his or her mind.

Personal Impression

Many people consider LinkedIn to be a boring space with little room for valuable conversation. But for many of us, the problem is that we don’t have a good plan of action for using this platform.

Brian Carter does a great job showing how useful and practical LinkedIn really is—perhaps even more than other social media channels—when you consider the number of influential people hanging out there.

What I liked best about LinkedIn for Business was the “Get it All Done” section where Brian suggests what your weekly LinkedIn marketing schedule should look like.

For marketers who do not have a daily or weekly activity plan, this is a fantastic section that removes the guesswork and adds tons of value to your LinkedIn experience.

Personally, this is the most useful LinkedIn resource I have come across and I highly recommend you pick up a copy as well.

Social Media Examiner gives LinkedIn for Business a 5.0 star rating.

What do you think? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.

Images from iStockPhoto, and Zhing Hong under Creative Commons License.

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About the Author, Patricia Redsicker

Patricia Redsicker writes research reviews for Social Media Examiner. She is the Social Media Manager at US Pharmacopeia, a public standards setting organization. Follow her on Twitter at @predsicker. Other posts by »




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

    Great post Patricia! I agree with you, LinkedIn is definitely the social media page to use if you want to reach people with higher business potential. I just want to raise one question and concern in connection with the length of time people spend on LinkedIn, since I think most LinkedIn users seem to be more occupied than people on Twitter or Facebook. Do you think it is worth it to spend more time building and updating your LinkedIn profile and page? Your thoughts?
    Thanks in advanced and I am definitely going to check out the book, LinkedIn for Business! Keep rockin! Have a great Thursday SME peeps! 

  • Ian

    Thanks Patricia..where can i pick up a copy?

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  • http://entrepreneurshowdown.com/ Joe Cassandra

    You can meet tons of new people with Linkedin Groups, some are spammy, but others can generate new connections and customers, great work Patricia

  • http://www.mysmartblog.com Mikel Erdman

    Thanks Patricia! This post has a number of really good, actionable tips for people who are looking to maximize their LinkedIn accounts.  I especially liked the breakdown of a weekly plan with time limiters.  I think using that strategy will help people stay focused and actually get things done.

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  • http://localmotivesmarketing.com/ Megan

    Thanks for the great information. How long should you let the ads run to collect data? 

  • Joy DeKok

    I just ordered the book for my Kindle. Sounds great. I enjoy my LinkedIn connections – I meet a lot of interesting people out there, and am making connections that will benefit them and me in the future. Thanks for this information.

  • http://www.60SecondMarketer.com Jamie Turner

    Another great book review, Patricia. Thanks for keeping us all posted on great sources of inspiration and content.

    Cheers,
    Jamie

  • http://www.forwardprogress.net/ Joe Karns

    Great article.  It’s amazing how much Linkedin is evolving and continues to be an awesome source for business players to meet and network with like minded folks.  Great article and keep up the stellar work.

    Cheers!
    Joe

  • Sarah Bauer

    Thank you for highlighting Brian’s section on establishing a weekly routine for LinkedIn activity. Many business owners struggle to understand how much time they need to invest in social media to achieve ROI. This practical guide softens the hurdle by dividing up the activities and time minimum/maximum. I’m excited to show this to my clients!

    Cheers
    Sarah Bauer
    Navigator Multimedia 

  • Tendayi Mnemo

    Great article and seems to be a book to have. How do I get my hands on it Patricia?

  • Corina Ramos

    Hi Patricia!

    You share great tips for those of us who isn’t familiar with Linkedin. I enjoyed the read! I’ve got some homework to do toight! Thanks again and have a wonderful day!

  • Gareth Lathey

    Hi Patricia,

    Thanks for such a comprehensive review. Your tips also were fuel for some ideas I will apply to our company page.

    One question, you mention following key people like journals etc – excuse my ignorance but how do you connect/ follow an individual as a company? I know how to do this as myself but not as the company. Thoughts anyone?

  • http://www.socialsinergy.com/ Adam Dukes

    Yes, there is a lot of noise on LinkedIn, but I am finding success by answering questions and offering my opinion/advice in my LinkedIn groups. More and more people are liking my comments and then checking out my profile. 

    I just learned though, when adding a comment, have a link to your blog in the comment. Anyone have thoughts on this? 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/RobertDArtist Robert Decker

    Hey Adam,
    If you blog regularly, and it is active, then link to it. If your blog is “lazy” then all the great work you have done to create an active presence will be shot down.

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  • Sam Platten

    I like this post, but I would also that some of the best advice I received at an offline networking event was to think about my connections could be helped by new people I meet and connect with… I find this even more applicable with linkedin, I love having a conversation with someone and being able to say,.”oh, I can introduce you to someone that can help with that!” they remember it in the future and your relationship is cemented – linkedin makes it REALLY easy to do this, and endorsements and recommendations provide peace of mind.

  • http://www.socialsinergy.com/ Adam Dukes

    Thank you Robert!

    No, I have ignored the whole “content is king” thing for to long and am actively blogging. I used to do it “when I got around to it”, but that wasn’t often enough. 

    It was funny, yesterday on a LinkedIn group someone asked about SEO and immediately a guy posted a link to his site and said, “Check us out”. I cried inside. That’s not how “social” media works, but so many people get it wrong. Even the “gurus”

  • http://about.me/kirsten.lambertsen Kirsten Lambertsen

    Sometimes I think you guys have my office bugged – this is exactly the kind of resource I am looking for right now! Keep up the great ESP ;)

  • http://www.qnary.com/ Lauren Welles

    Be sure to use LinkedIn to your advantage.  It is a great place to network and meet new people in the professional world.

  • http://statusengage.com/ Rob Lons

    I’m finding a lot of value in using LinkedIn. Truth be told I think it is one of the best platforms out there. Social media is definitely shifting from a ‘brand’ image to connecting with the people ‘behind the brand’. LinkedIn allows that. Great post! Keep up the good work!

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  • predsicker

    Hi Ian,

    here’s the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/LinkedIn-Business-Advertisers-Marketers-Salespeople/dp/0789749688/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352755948&sr=8-1&keywords=linkedin+for+business+brian+carter

  • predsicker

    Thanks so much Joe :)

  • predsicker

    I agree Mikel, that was one of the highlights for me as well!

  • predsicker

    Not too sure about that Megan – I think the book will have more details that I wasn’t able to cover in this post :)

  • predsicker

    You’re so welcome Joy, thanks for reading :)

  • predsicker

    Thanks Jamie, good of you to stop by. How are you?

  • predsicker

    Cheers Joe – thanks for your kind comments :)

  • predsicker

    Glad the review was helpful to you Sarah. Thanks for reading.

  • predsicker

    Thank you for your great feedback Corina. I’m glad these reviews are valuable to you :)

  • predsicker

    There’s a link in the article but here it is again in case you missed it - http://www.amazon.com/LinkedIn-Business-Advertisers-Marketers-Salespeople/dp/0789749688/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352755948&sr=8-1&keywords=linkedin+for+business+brian+carter

  • predsicker

    I’m certainly no LinkedIn expert Adam, but from what I’ve heard/and seen, you might want to go easy on throwing your link onto every comment. People feel like you’re just trying to spam them and they might get a little put off. I think once in a while it’s good to throw in a link to a relevant piece of content on your blog when answering a question. But you must be careful not to be overly self-promotional. My 2 cents :)

  • predsicker

    Great advice Sam, thanks for sharing!

  • predsicker

    Good to hear that Kirsten. Thank you for reading :)

  • predsicker

    Hi John, thanks for your great feedback – as usual :)  

    I think it’s a good idea to spend time building your LinkedIn profile to make sure it’s as professional and positive as ever. But once it’s complete (100%) the best thing to do is just connect with folks and comment in their groups. Building your profile is great but it’s self focused. Reaching out to others is (in my opinion) where the value really is.

  • http://www.felicityfields.com/ FelicityFields

    I don’t do much with LinkedIn, so this was a really fascinating post to read. Going to give LinkedIn some thought for my 2013 planning!

  • predsicker

    Thanks so much for your absolutely smashing feedback Rob! Glad to have you as a reader :)

  • http://statusengage.com/ Rob Lons

    No problem. Got to give credit where it’s do!

  • predsicker

    Thank you Felicity. Honored to hear that my article changed your mind :)

  • http://www.socialsinergy.com/ Adam Dukes

    Thanks for your feedback! yea, I haven’t added my link yet as I do think it tends to be “spammy” as well. I may link to a specific post from my site if it deals with what the person is looking for. 

    Again, thank you for the help. 

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  • Jackie Harder

    I hear Questions is going away at the end of the month…yes? No? Maybe, maybe not?

  • Jon Stanway

    Great post, I particularly like the section with notes on a weekly routine. With all the different plates to keep spinning linkedin sometimes goes to the bottom of the pile (at least in my case), not any more!

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