Don’t be a Linkedin Lurker. Article by Lucy Pitts from Strood Copy

Don’t be a LinkedIn lurker – make sure you maximize the potential of LinkedIn with Philip Waite’s erudite advice.

Last week, a small but perfectly formed group of women in business met at Carmela’s Horsham to be both entertained and educated by Philip Waite of Three Tier Media. It was a lively group and Philips’s talk on the subject of how to use LinkedIn to its full advantage provided food for thought for even the most confident and seasoned online networker.
Free but effective marketing!
Yes you read that right and there really still is such a thing as Philip explained, if you’re prepared to put the effort in. Most of us have a profile on LinkedIn these days, particularly if you’re service or product is predominantly B2B. So here’s a quick summary of Philip’s advice about how to maximize LinkedIn’s full potential:
1. Make sure your profile is complete.
Yes that means having your photo, not a logo (cue Lucy running home to change hers) and customising your URL. But it also means having some decent content – or in other words, having a compelling headline and remembering to write in terms of “benefits” or “what’s in it for your readers”. If you struggle with this, just remember the cake shop analogy. The successful baker puts their most delicious and mouth-watering cakes in the window…not a list of her qualifications or last week’s stale bread! It’s not about you, it’s about what your clients will get out of a relationship with you.
2. Don’t just connect and then never follow up. Nurture those relationships!
Philip reminded us, that as with all your marketing, it’s important to have an objective in mind when you approach LinkedIn and you need to know who it is that you want to connect with. Don’t just connect after a networking event and leave it at that (and how many of us are guilty of that) and don’t join the groups where your competitors hang out, but hunt out those groups where your potential clients are instead. Remember to share content with your connections that they’ll find useful (as opposed to just pitching at them) and if someone looks at your profile, get in touch with them to see if there’s any mileage in taking the relationship further.
3. Be proactive and don’t forget to shine!

Before most people choose to do business with you, they need to like and trust you. That means you need to be consistent and make LinkedIn part of your regular marketing routine. But it also gives you an opportunity to shine and show your passion and your talent. Add to the value of the conversations (not just to the noise) that your part of, start discussions and both create and share information (and Philip gave us lots of ideas of where to find meaty and relevant content).

4. Get off LinkedIn and don’t forget your ABC.
And finally, don’t forget to arrange those one2ones, whether it’s by Skype, in person or on the phone. And finally, finally, as Philip reminded us, Always Be Closing! You are in business after all and not just on LinkedIn for the fun of it!
I can’t begin to do Philips’s talk justice in a short blog but if you want to know more about LinkedIn or Philip and his many talents as a social media expert and educator, web designer and his IT and business backup you can reach him at www.smallbitemarketing.com or via LinkedIn of course at www.linkedin.com/in/philipwaite1 It’s the kind of down to earth, practical assistance that we could all do with as small business owners.
And in other news.
Only 2 more WIB meets until Christmas and that includes this week’s Christmas extravaganza at Carmela’s on Wednesday night. This is a great chance for those of you that work solo to enjoy a Christmas party which isn’t just you, your computer and a glass of cold mulled wine. Reward yourself for making it through another year of business and doing what you love (and all that other stuff you don’t love but have to do), book your taxis for midnight and don’t forget to tip off the fairy godmother that you might be late. Pumpkins and slippers standby – Cinderella has her party shoes on. See you there.

Brought to you by Women in Business and Lucy Pitts of www.stroodcopy.co.uk

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