LinkedIn marketing part 1

Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn, Part I

More than 900 million people use linked in, and 48.5% are active users. Whether you’re looking to hire, land a new job, network with peers, or promote your brand, I’ll help you get the most out of your LinkedIn profile.

What Can You Do With LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is much more than a networking site. The possibilities are truly endless, but here are a few of my favorite ways to use this platform:

  • Awareness of your products and services (especially for B2B)
  • Build a profile that draws people in like a magnet for inbound sales
  • Build a huge network so you get contacted by journalists and potential customers
  • Sales research to know your prospects’ interests
  • Brand yourself as a thought leader
  • Close sales
  • Find funding
  • Recruiters can find talent
  • Drive traffic to your site and content
  • Get noticed by journalists
  • Promote events
  • Get and give free advice
  • Make global contacts
  • Meet influencers through referrals
  • Build trust with recommendations
  • Land a dream job

This just barely scratches the surface with what you can do. But it’s a solid starting point for most people.

15 Ways to Develop a Strong Personal Profile Page on LinkedIn

Add a compelling unique value proposition, who you are, who you help, and how you help them. Also explain how you got to be so good at what you do, and add an inspirational statement about your mission. For ideas, look at competitors who do a great job of making profiles as well as LinkedIn experts like Dan Sherman.

1) Character limits for each field in the LinkedIn Profile

  • Company Name: 100
  • Professional Headline: 120
  • Summary: 2,000
  • Specialties: 500
  • Website Anchor Text: 30
  • Website URL: 256
  • Headline: 120 characters
  • Position Description: 200 minimum and 2,000 maximum
  • Interests: 1,000
  • Phone Number: 25-character limit (Viewable only by first-degree connections)
  • IM (Instant Message): 25-character limit (Viewable only by first-degree connections)
  • Address: 1000 character limit (Viewable only by first-degree connections)
  • Skills: 25 skills with 61 characters per skill
  • Status Update: 700 characters (unless used for Twitter Feed, then it’s 140)

2) Complete Your Profile 100%

Incomplete profiles say that you don’t think LinkedIn or its members are worth your time. Update the information at least once every quarter. Refreshed content leads to higher LinkedIn rankings and visibility to everyone in your network.

3) Add Keywords

Add keywords to your Professional Description, Summary, Headline, Current Position, and Past Position (job titles and company names), Skills, and Recommendations. LinkedIn generally allows 15 keywords in the same field. Use the maximum number of keywords.

4) Embed a Quality Head Shot Photo

Make sure it is business-oriented and professional-looking—no party snapshots, please!

5) Make a Compelling, Keyword-Rich Headline

Here’s an example of how I’d write mine:

SEO and social media marketing expert who loves to share advice | 18 years’ experience | Author | Speaker

6) Website Section

You can list three websites here. Make your own custom benefit-oriented titles that link to your sites/pages. Here are mine:

  • Free Internet Marketing Tips
  • Interactive Agency Near Boston
  • Search & Social Seminar

7) Summary

This is a critical part of your profile. In 2,000 characters, give people a feeling for who you are, who you help, how you can help, and how to contact you. Make it scan- and skim-friendly and include a call to action.

8) Skills

LinkedIn gives you one box in which you can add up to 50 keywords. Viewers of your profile can click on a keyword and learn more about that particular skill, including companies in which that skill is common, other professionals with that skill, and LinkedIn groups with that skill.

9) Work Experience

List as many relevant jobs as possible that help you brand yourself.

10) Sections

Use sections to further personalize your LinkedIn profile. Enhance your profile by adding information about patents, publications, certifications, charities, and languages. Or choose specific applications to showcase your graphic (artistic, photographic) or written skills. Upload PowerPoint (and other format) slide shows via SlideShare or YouTube videos via Google Docs (or also via SlideShare). Add Amazon reading lists (great for authors promoting books), import your blog, and so on.

11) Make Your Contact Information Stand Out

The whole point of LinkedIn is to connect, so include a real email address as part of your professional description and repeat it again at the bottom of the profile in the contact information. Add your phone number, as you never know what amazing lead might call you.

12) LinkedIn Recommendations

Social proof is the key here. Seventy-eight percent of people trust reviews by their peers while only 14% trust advertisements. That puts the power in the hands of the people and lets them choose based on people who come highly recommended. Send unsolicited recommendations regularly as these often prompt people to respond in kind or simply helps you to make friends. Ask for recommendations and offer a first draft you write yourself (including keywords) that really highlights your strengths. Your contact can use your draft “as is” or add to it. Indicate that they can always change it, but generally they will use what you give them. Having more recommendations also helps you rank better in the LinkedIn search engine.

13) Get at Least 500 Contacts!

One or two hundred contacts is good but over 500 is great. Over 10,000 and you are a networking superstar. You won’t connect deeply with all the people but it opens the door for greater connections. Use LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search to search by company and job function to find prospective customers and invite them to become contacts. See if you know someone who knows that person and can make a recommendation or introduction.

Connection levels

Level 1 – Message them for free

Level 2 – Get a level one to introduce you to make them a level one

Level 3 – Similar to level two

LinkedIn etiquette is to forward all requests for connections as the person who receives a request doesn’t have to say yes. So it is common for people to share your requests with their peers, as they know they can ignore it if they feel like it.

You can contact second- and third-level connections directly in a few ways:

  • Send an InMail. This is a message using the LinkedIn system. Unless you are a paid member of LinkedIn, InMail costs money.
  • Join a LinkedIn Group that person also belongs to. As long as they have not blocked the feature on their end, you can communicate directly (through the LinkedIn system) with anyone you are in a group with.
  • Find their email address in their profile.

Introductions are best, but if your network of connections isn’t working, there are some alternatives you can try.

14) Don’t Invite Too Many People You Don’t Know

Understand the etiquette. If you don’t know someone, be very careful reaching out to them if they are not in an Open Networking Group. When you invite someone, they have a chance to say “I don’t know you” (known as an IDK). If five people say that (essentially marking your request as spam), you get put on LinkedIn’s blacklist. At that point, you have to put in someone’s email address in order to invite them, which can slow your progress to a crawl in many instances.

Here’s how you fix it:

Send an apology to LinkedIn’s customer service at, and they might let you off the hook one time.

15) Follow Up

Develop a note template that you can customize and send brief notes to all those who have accepted your invitation to connect. Wait two weeks so you don’t seem over-eager.

7 Golden Rules of LinkedIn Marketing

Now that you’ve built your profile, make sure you follow my golden rules whenever you’re using LinkedIn for marketing purposes.

  1. Know your audience.
  2. Know their hopes, dreams, and what keeps them up at night.
  3. Listen first and then engage by starting conversations.
  4. Be honest and authentic.
  5. Give content and advice freely. Deepen relationships by answering and asking questions.
  6. Only offer your product or service once they know, like, and trust you, and you are in their sphere of influence.
  7. Build fans first and then customers! Don’t expect pushing your ad in front of people’s faces to work here.

LinkedIn works best when you have tons of contacts. Make sure you have a strategy to generate a couple thousand contacts or more if you can, if you really want to take full advantage of the system.

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