You know you’re supposed to be on LinkedIn, right? But if you’re like most people, you don’t really know exactly what your supposed to be doing there.
Most people see LinkedIn as a place to find a job, or for employers to find candidates. However, if you aren’t looking for a job, why would you still have a LinkedIn account? The answer is simple: LinkedIn is where your business friends hang out.
Think about it: The majority of the people on LinkedIn are professionals in their fields. They are not there looking for work; they are on LinkedIn looking for solutions, referrals, and partners. They have a problem or a need, and they’re looking for a person, a product, or a service that can help them solve that problem or fill that need.
That probably describes the majority of what all of us do online all the time. And yet, when you browse LinkedIn profiles, what do you mostly see? Resumes. A bunch of people who look like they’re hunting for a job, even if they’re not.
So what should you be doing in order to take advantage of the opportunity?
The first thing to do is think of your profile as a sell sheet instead of a resume. You must make yourself appear useful to your potential prospects on your profile. Stop cramming your profile full of language about how great your product or service is and how many years of experience you have or you will turn them off. They don’t know you yet so they have no reason to trust you.
If you want to take advantage of LinkedIn’s full potential, you have to let your prospects see themselves and THEIR needs on your profile. What problems do they tell you they have that would cause them to need your product or service? Ask some of those questions in your summary instead of how great you were when you worked at such and such company.
Your profile should be a resource for your best clients. What do they need to see? Think about what would most interest them. Adding those things will attract more clients like your best clients. Make sure you have website links that are also useful. Sending everyone to your homepage doesn’t help them. Sending them to an informative blog post on your website could be more useful.
LinkedIn is the “know, trust, like” network so really, it’s all about making meaningful connections with people you “know, trust and like and those who “know, like and trust” you. If you are connected to people who don’t know, like or trust you, how can they possibly refer you?