Last week I met with Andrea Dale of To The Point Marketing who includes LinkedIn consulting for small business owners as one of her services and she went over what she sees as the top three mistakes small business owners make on LinkedIn.
Here is a video clip of our conversation (the YouTube link is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nsNi8m4ftw and below is the text of Andrea's article. If you'd like to speak with Andrea about her LinkedIn consulting services her number is 513-561-2642.
The Top Three Mistakes Small Business Owners Make on LinkedIn (and how to fix ‘em!)
By Andrea Dale, Marketing Coach & LinkedIn Business Development Expert
1) Seeking and accepting LinkedIn invitations, without encouraging conversations and meetings.
- Create an opportunity for worthwhile meetings and conversations by seeking the "why" behind requests to link. Most LinkedIn members use the “standard” invite to reach out, which doesn’t tell you anything. Instead ask for (and offer up) why you want to connect. Use the answer to “why do you want to connect?” as the basis for a follow-up conversation or meeting.
- Make the most of your activities on LinkedIn by proactively attracting and seeking specific types of connections based on your goals. Based on your goals, you, a small business owner, should seek certain types of connections with a plan to “court” those connections with relevant status updates, LinkedIn emails, and conversation requests.
- Keeping track of your current first-degree LinkedIn network. Actually reviewing your connections with your goals in mind keeps you from wasting time courting those you don’t know or who aren’t appropriate to your goals. By analyzing your actual connections small business owners on LinkedIn can determine their next steps such as following:
a) Are a high percentage of your connections, desired and worthy of your attention? If not, proactively begin changing that with who you invite and accept.
b) Which first-degree connections have you not spoken or interacted with? When a high percentage of first-degree contacts are unknown to you (and are also a desired contact), begin reaching out to a certain number per week for conversations.
2) Not creating a cohesive, concise and complete LinkedIn profile for both SEO and prospects.
- Create a summary that makes clear who you work with, what you offer according to the needs of your prospects, and why they need to work with you, in under 300 words.
- Give that profile an identity (and help others recognize you) with a pleasant business photo.
- Create a headline stating who you work with, and the top benefit you bring your clients. For example, instead of the headline, “highly experienced CPA,” say “Helping business owners swiftly complete and keep more of their taxes."
3) Weekly random vs. planned actions on LinkedIn, due to not setting goals (strategic) and not determining how (tactics) they will reach those goals.
- Yes, you want more clients...What are the steps on LinkedIn leading to more clients? Determine those steps based on your current marketing activities and ideal clients, for example:
a) When you do lots of in-person local networking, show that with LinkedIn Events, send event suggestions to your network and talk about those events on your status updates.
b) Do you have an active blog or electronic newsletter? Use that content for updates, "share" links to that content with your LinkedIn groups, and promote your newsletter on your Profile.
c) Speakers, promote your engagements on LinkedIn events, put PowerPoint slides on your profile and seek testimonials of your speaking for your profile.
- Establish and complete a list of weekly LinkedIn tasks and track the results of those tasks, each month.
Recognize that being on LinkedIn doesn't lead to business…Meetings and conversations deriving from LinkedIn lead to business. With that in mind, encourage that next “let’s talk” step with your actions on LinkedIn, whether you're in groups, accepting invitations or posting status updates.