With 175 million members, LinkedIn has rapidly become the captain of the advertising industry. By linking into this social media site designed to make networking among business professionals easier, affiliate marketers and managers gain access to global business leaders, decision makers, industry experts, other affiliates, fresh leads, and untapped markets. But if the time and effort you’ve put into LinkedIn isn’t paying off, chances are you are doing something wrong. You might be failing if …
You’re Selling Offers Vs. Selling Yourself. I don’t mean “selling yourself” in the traditional sense of the phrase. That would be weird, not to mention illegal. What I mean is, LinkedIn is less about selling products and more about selling your skills, expertise and knowledge. You do this by creating a robust and professional profile. A LinkedIn profile that is 100% complete gets the most attention. Include a photo and make sure the information you provide is truthful and well-written. Remember, this is a site for business professionals. Save the personal stuff for Facebook.
You’re Linked But Not Connected. LinkedIn is a networking site. Slapping up a profile isn’t enough. Get out there and participate! Ask and answer questions. Analyze your current connections and determine if they have connections that could be useful to you. Create a list of 5-10 people you want to reach out to in your niche or category, then find a way to connect with each person in a meaningful way. Join groups that will hook you up with others in your niche and/or within your industry.
You’re Not Recommended. One way you build trust on your web sites is through testimonials and product reviews, right? The same thing applies with LinkedIn, only on this platform the reviews are called Recommendations, and they focus on you. Essentially, your connections write recommendations that help sell you and your skills, experience and knowledge. Don’t be shy about asking someone to write a recommendation for you, as long as you return the favor.
It’s important to keep in mind that LinkedIn is about building relationships that can generate revenue down the road. It might seem like you are wasting time and effort, but stay the course. Develop a plan that includes lead generation goals, regular views of your profile, and people you with whom you want to connect with. When that one sizzling lead pops up, it will be worth it. One last thought, while LinkedIn and other social sites offer mind-blowing networking opportunities, face-to-face interactions still trump virtual meet-ups. Find local and regional events to attend, and try to make it to industry conferences every now and then.