- Posted September 23, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
How to Succeed (And How To Fail) On LinkedIn
If your company is looking to LinkedIn for leads (and it should be), you need to make sure you’re making a good first impression. Sunil Saxena and Stephanie Rosendahl have the right ideas about building LinkedIn credibility and using it to generate new business. Let’s illustrate these points using Goofus and Gallant to show you what to do and what not to do on LinkedIn.
1. Goofus’ profile is a blank slate, with a small, blurry, out-of-date photo and little information provided about his current job or his past accomplishments. If you saw his profile on a dating website, you wouldn’t give it a second glance.
By contrast, Gallant’s profile is comprehensive, with an executive summary detailing his accomplishments, a recent photo, and information on his education history. Gallant’s profile lists some recent job positions he’s held so readers have a better understanding of his business acumen and of his capabilities. He’s even reached out to some LinkedIn connections and has received recommendations for his work, giving him credibility.
2. Goofus rarely signs into his LinkedIn account. When he does, he reads a few articles on his News Feed and closes the tab without leaving a comment.
Gallant signs up for Groups relevant to his industry and is sure to Like, Share, and(most importantly) Comment on articles he finds interesting. By sharing his opinions, Gallant increases his visibility and his trustworthiness – which makes it more likely other Group members will refer clients to his business.
3. Goofus creates content for his own company’s site but doesn’t link to it on LinkedIn. He doesn’t want to toot his own horn too much, after all.
Gallant is sure to share relevant content from his company with Groups he participates in, always asking for feedback from other Group members. Gallant understands that there’s a difference between shameless self-promotion and using one’s own content to start a discussion.
Stephanie sums it up thusly:
"Most sales people stop at the end of the sales process. They go through the same cycle of prospect, present, close, follow-up. That sales strategy has worked in the past, but to build your company, you need to build relationships and become known as an expert in your field. You need to be known as a person of value. If your customers value the knowledge and expertise you offer to them, then the easier it is going to be for you to maintain a relationship after the sale has been completed."
If your current LinkedIn strategy resembles Goofus’, social media management solutions could help you be more responsive. Above all, you should see LinkedIn as an opportunity to build your business – and yourself – as a trusted authority that others will gladly refer clients to.