95% of the professionals on Linkedin are not realizing anywhere near it’s potential. Potential that allows you to:

  • Promote your personal brand
  • Be a Proactive Networker
  • Check References and Backgrounds
  • Look for a Job, Seek and Hire Candidates and be better prepared for interviews
  • Generate Leads and Accelerate Sales
  • Ask for Advice from your own network as well as “Crowdsource”
  • Find Experts and Partners
  • Improve your Personal Productivity with all of the different LinkedIn tools, Widgets, and Apps.
  • Research trends and industries, gather opinions by running polls as well as track company news.
  • Finally and most importantly, LinkedIn can provide you with the perfect and simple platform for a Referral System, which we all know, is critical to success in business.

You can read more here about WHY LinkedIn is the Greatest Personal Branding, Publicity and Sales Tool for B2B Markets here.

If you want to be a ‘power user’ and maximize your time investment into the most useful B2B Social Medium, then you’ll need to get the basics right:

1.     Develop a unique profile; if your profile reads like everyone else’s then it will be much harder to stand out! Be creative, controversial, funny, but most importantly be yourself. Make sure that your profile is still considered ‘professional’ by your intended target audience; prospective employers, recruiters, prospective clients. What works in the advertising industry maybe simply too much for the banking industry.

2.     Make sure you complete your profile; it’s likely to be your most public face to the world. People spend so much effort on their resume that they use intermittently yet their LinkedIn profile contains barely any information. If anything, your LinkedIn Profile should be more detailed than your resume. Today it’s absolutely fine to be an accountant by day and a fashion blogger by night. Your LinkedIn profile can easily and professionally reflect your many pursuits and passions.

3.     Optimise your profile. From the way you personalize your Public Profile and Website links to optimizing your keywords to make sure you appear in searches that matter when prospects look for professionals that have your skills.

4.     Develop a Company Profile and make sure your entire team connect to it.  Due to the simple and free nature of LinkedIn with all of its benefits we now recommend that start ups, from consultants to trade professionals, develop a great personal and company profile, especially until such time that they can afford a website that is professional. The result is a very basic but powerful online presence, while the website is being developed.

5.     Connect with clients, suppliers and prospects. Make sure you personalize the invitation and provide a reason to connect when you invite people you know or just met. Make sure you have a policy on who you connect with, your network is a reflection on you.

6.     Use the LinkedIn Productivity tools: Web Browser Toolbar, Outlook Widget, Events, Polls, etc.

7.     Ask for Recommendations, they are your testimonials and are vital in developing trust and credibility.

8.     Participate in Groups, make sure to listen first, and add value rather than sell! Social Media is about communication and education not promotion! Success comes from helping people achieve their goals.

9.     Answer questions in Answers section.

10. Build relationships, try to meet people over a coffee, pick up the phone if you are in the same geographical location.

11. Social Media is about developing unique content and then promoting it. Make sure you do both. There are multiple ways to promote your content on LinkedIn, which is why it is an amazing online PR tool!

12. Get in front of the people you need to get in front of, through correctly using the search function and then leveraging your existing relationships to make the appointment by asking for Introductions or asking the connector to forward your message to the intended recipient.

13. Test LinkedIn Mail as well as LinkedIn Advertising.

If you don’t use it, you lose it! Start with 10 minutes a day, track your progress and get LinkedIn or become Locked Out!

If you need assistance with your LinkedIn Profile, or are looking for LinkedIn Training or LinkedIn Coaching then check out http://www.influenceyournetwork.com/linkedin-training