Using LinkedIn for Direct and Indirect Marketing
There are many social media tools available, but many business owners would agree that LinkedIn is a very helpful and useful tool for most business people, and one of the best tools for making valuable business connections. It is great for connecting with prospective clients, research prospects, stay in front of prospective employers, build awareness of your company and expand your circle of business contacts.
The first step toward getting started with LinkedIn is, of course, setting up your profile and optimizing it with as much information about you and your business as possible. The next thing you will want to do is create your personalized LinkedIn URL. If you are active on Twitter, connect your Twitter account with LinkedIn by clicking on the “Twitter” link above the “Public Profile” link. Now every time you update your status on LinkedIn, you will be sending a tweet about it.
The next step is to grow your LinkedIn network by joining industry related groups. Click on the “People” link and drag it down to “Groups”. Here you can type in an industry or subject you’re interested in. When you do a search, LinkedIn provides suggestions in “Groups”, and also in other categories such as “Connections,” “Companies,” “Features” and “Skills.” Feel free to reach out to people you know or want to get to know, and just be sure you are not pushing your products or services on them.
The first approach is the direct approach, providing valuable information to prospects and connections on LinkedIn, keeping their interests in mind. If you have ever been to a party or business gathering and someone approached you and talked about themselves and their business for ten minutes, you will remember that as an unpleasant experience. But if they spent ten minutes talking about you and something of interest or value to you, there is a much better chance that you will be interested in what they have to say. Try to be helpful by offering advice, industry insights or general information.
Another approach is the indirect approach, in which you still start out by offering free advice or helpful information, but once you’ve connected with your prospect, you will drive them to a landing page on your website where they can download a white paper, sign up for your e-newsletter or get more information on your products or services.