What’s Working for Me on LinkedIn – Quick Tips for Event Professionals
With over 500 million users, LinkedIn’s potential to be a powerful tool for finding and engaging with relevant professionals is obvious. However, what isn’t obvious to many professionals is how they can tap into that potential and take full advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer.
After about a decade of using (and experimenting with) LinkedIn, I’ve developed a system for myself that’s works – in fact, about a third of my business now comes from LinkedIn. Here are some of the actions I’m taking and features I’m focusing on:
1. Set Realistic Expectations
LinkedIn isn’t magic. It’s a tool that, when used strategically, can support some business goals. For example: although a third of my business comes from LinkedIn, I don’t use LinkedIn to close sales. Instead, I use LinkedIn to support my sales process (identify prospects/partners, get to know them/their needs, help them get to know me/my value, etc.) and then I take the conversation “off line” when it comes time to close.
2. Get Comfortable with Change
Even before Microsoft bought LinkedIn, things were always changing. This can be frustrating (especially when my favorite features are tweaked or discontinued), but remembering that I don’t own LinkedIn and that their leadership team may choose to change their product as much and as often as they’d like (just as I can do for my company’s offerings) helps me. What else helps? Continued research and testing to ensure that I’m utilizing the features that are right for me, in the best way I can, for as long as they’re available – and backing up my data regularly.
3. Live It
They say that the most effective way to lose weight isn’t to choose a fad diet but to make healthier habits a part of your lifestyle. The same is true for LinkedIn – if you want to be effective, you have to be consistent and dedicated. LinkedIn is one of the first things I check when I wake up and one of the last things I check when I go to bed (even standing in line at the grocery store, for example, my “go to” time filler is the LinkedIn app).
Bonus! Try These Features:
Profile: Your profile should feel authentic and remain up-to-date. Don’t write it in the third person (it’s distancing and a little pretentious) or post a profile picture that’s ten years old. Instead, share what will help your ideal contact realize they need to connect with you now.
Publishing: Long form posts are a great way to share your expertise. Write about what you know and what your audience cares about, and don’t obsess over your views, likes or shares – general content gets bigger numbers, but specific content resonates with the right people.
Timeline/Groups: Quick likes and comments in your newsfeed or groups can help in boosting visibility and remaining top of mind, but be mindful of the types of posts you make (especially those that are angry or silly) – your professional reputation is always at stake.
Outreach: Use messaging to keep in touch (this is one medium where it’s okay to reach out “just to check in” on occasion) and seek out new professionals to connect with often. Customize your requests and find meaningful (not salesy) things to talk about with each new connection.
LinkedIn isn’t for everyone, but it has been a big help to me and my business. Consider taking the actions above to get more value out of your participation.
Robyn Davis teaches exhibitors the strategies required to make their trade show participation even more worthwhile through her speaking, training and consulting services.