Three steps to grow your business with LinkedIn

By Marc Guberti

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Are you missing out on LinkedIn? Most people are because they primarily view LinkedIn as a social network for getting a good job. The logic is that if you already have a good job and don’t see yourself switching anytime soon, why even consider LinkedIn?

If that’s your logic, then you are missing out on the social network that can change your life.

People are not just using LinkedIn to get a job. Some people use it to acquire more customers or get featured in big-time media outlets. Many individuals have achieved these results using the social platform.

LinkedIn emphasizes building relationships. From a strong marketing perspective, every social network possesses a mixture of interaction and self-promotion. The interaction available on LinkedIn is legendary and if done right, you can get access to virtually any opportunity imaginable.

GET SPECIFIC

What is your end goal? Are you after media exposure, more leads, customers, or something else? Once you know what you are after, get more specific. The difference between aspiring to get more customers this month and aspiring to get 10 customers this month is enormous. If you get an extra customer this month, you got more customers, but getting 10 customers this month adds that layer of specificity.

FIND THE PEOPLE  WHO WILL HELP YOU

The type of communication on LinkedIn is very similar to a series of emails from one person to the other. While email is the best form of communication, the advantage with LinkedIn is that the social network makes it very easy to find people who will help you.

If you are looking to get featured in a media outlet, you can use LinkedIn’s search engine to find the editors of that particular website or magazine. If you are looking for customers, you can build connections with people interested in your profession. You can find these people by going through your competitors’ LinkedIn audiences and connecting with the most promising prospects. Even building relationships with competitors and cross-promoting each other is another useful way of acquiring more customers.

If you are a local business, LinkedIn can and will still work for you because of its advanced search engine. You can find people based on their interests and location. If you wanted to connect with individuals who live in Westchester County, LinkedIn is the place to go.

BUILD HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

This stage is the make-or-break part of the process. If you build a healthy relationship with the person you are trying to connect with, you will get the opportunity. If the relationship goes south, you’ll have to start all over again with someone else.

Some helpful ways to build a healthy relationship are to know the person in advance — doing some research will suffice — showing admiration, asking a quick question and being concise.

If you are trying to get a lead or customer, create a conversation based on what you are offering. Briefly introduce who you are, provide your credentials, and ask if the potential lead is interested in receiving a free offer in exchange for an email address or if the potential lead has any questions for you.

You never start a relationship by demanding what you want upfront. I’ve gotten many emails that were paragraphs long and read like this, “I’m awesome. Here’s why. I see you offer this opportunity, and I want to take advantage of it. I’m waiting for you to say yes to me.” Except for bestselling authors, TEDx speakers and anyone of that nature, I almost always delete those types of messages. Getting what you want doesn’t create the relationship. Creating the relationship allows you to get what you want.

Marc Guberti is a student at Fordham University and a social media and business blogger and author. He’s on Twitter @MarcGuberti and can be reached by phone at 914-722-6005 or email at Marc@MarcGuberti.com.

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