It’s time to talk about using LinkedIn to gain clients and strategic partners.  I have written two previous articles on setting up a professional LinkedIn profile and effectively utilizing Groups on LinkedIn.  Now that your profile looks professional with a fairly current picture with all relevant items completed and you have joined a few select groups, it’s time to focus on using LinkedIn to gain clients and strategic partners.

Probably the two most common questions I get regarding LinkedIn (and other social networking sites such as Facebook) is “how often should I post?” and “what do I say?”.  Let’s tackle the “how often should I post?” on LinkedIn first.  First and foremost is whether you are truly committed to using LinkedIn as a business development tool to gain clients and strategic partners.  If you are, then I would recommend posting 2-3 times per week.  Alas, here is the tricky part.  Do not post on LinkedIn just for the sake of posting anything.

That brings us to the second question, “what should I post?” on LinkedIn.  Here are some ideas that may help inspire you:

  • Blogs and articles that you have written – if you’ve had something published, remember to put that on your LinkedIn profile under Publications
  • Articles that others have written that are relevant to what you do and to your target audience – be sure there is a Share button and NEVER take part of an article – always the entire article
  • When posting either your blog/article or someone else’s always put a Comment with it – perhaps give your opinion and ask what others think about a specific item
  • Think about who your strategic partners are and either write or find articles and blogs that will help them in what they do
  • Do Not discuss what you had for dinner, what type of puppy you just got, what your kids are doing this weekend or any other personal information.  Save that for your personal profiles on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest on your personal profiles. You’ll notice I didn’t mention Twitter here, there’s a reason for that.  Perhaps a blog coming soon.

As important as posting on LinkedIn is engaging with others who post on LinkedIn.  Here’s some ideas on engaging on LinkedIn.

  • Engage with others on the Home Page – write a Comment about someone’s else’s post.  If you are commenting about an article they shared, please read it before you comment.  Click Like if you Like something
  • Sending a LinkedIn congratulatory message for a work anniversary or a happy birthday is fine – it is another way of reaching out and “touching” someone.  You can find this under Connections and then Keep in Touch at the top of your LinkedIn Home page or LinkedIn Profile page
  • Remember to engage in your Groups – write Comments, ask Questions, start a discussion

Remember to be polite, respectful and use proper English.  It’s okay to take some license when writing a blog but its never okay to use profanity or be rude when commenting or addressing someone else. LinkedIn is a professional network where you can absolutely gain clients and build strategic partnerships.  Next time we’ll look at Connecting on LinkedIn. Happiest of Holidays!!

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