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Leveraging LinkedIn for Business Networking

160 million professionals are on LinkedIn around the world.  Of these, 74% have a college degree or better..  1 million users join every 12 days (there were 4.2 billion searches in 2011).  It drives the most customers for B2B organizations; outpacing Facebook and Twitter.  The following are the main reasons to consider using LinkedIn:

LinkedIn MerlinWizard
LinkedIn MerlinWizard (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)
  1. The average household income for members is $109,000.
  2. Half of users are decision makers in their household.
  3. Connections can be exported with a single click.
  4. Groups represent one of the biggest online opportunities.
  5. LinkedIn is all about business.
  6. Recommendations allow you to build social proof.
  7. Automation features are available, which can be leveraged.

Linked offers a search capability to find peoople and check out their credentials, which makes it possible for B2B service offerings. It is easily geo-targeted to find local people or to target any city you are interested in. As an example, “SEO Tampa,” averages 155 searches per month.

Popular serarches include: SEO, Mobile, LinkedIn, Web Design, Lead Generation, YouTube, etc. Greig Wells, uses Linked in to generate over 2,000 leads each month for his business, using “the Faucet” method. What strategies can a local business use to position themselves to receive leads, or for a local consultant to generate local leads in their local market?

LinkedIn (Photo credit: Christopher S. Penn)

Ninja Networking  – “I’m a local internet marketing consultant…but that’s not why I’m contacting you today.  Actually, I’m looking for the top CPA in  [insert city name].  Can you recommend a great one to me?  This will lead to 2 of 100 who actually recommend someone.  But some will answer “no” and maybe even ask to know more about what you do.  Then respond to the “no” respondants, that you’re compiling a list of the best CPA’s in the area.  Finally, contact the top recommended CPA’s and tell them you’d like to refer them to local businesses needing a CPA.

SEO Profile – Your keywords need to be strategically placed in your profile.  Keywords can be determined by looking at people’s profiles that are currently in the top 10 of search using word cloud, which is a fast keyword method.  Once you determine the keywords, you need to add to the following:

  • HeadLine
  • Current Position
  • Past Title
  • Specialties
  • Summary

Conversion strategies are equally important.  It is vital to have a “call to action” in your profile, i.e., “Call me for ___.”  Additionally, a deep network is needed.  Only your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level contacts can find you in a search.  To expand your network fastest, use the advanced search to find superconnectors (sorting by # of connections) in your field.

Third level reach is your key to unlocking the power of LinkedIn

Becoming a superconnector on LinkedIn will put your networking on autopilot.  People will be connecting with you everyday.  Once you have over 500 connections, you will be at the current highest level of success, since noone can see how many connections you have over 500.  Greig Wells offers a complete marketing system in his Local Lead Ninja over the shoulder training.

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