LinkedIn & Professional Services. Perfect Together.

linkedin-700x700I love LinkedIn. I’ve mentioned in earlier Strumings that I had the opportunity to visit their corporate office in Mountain View, CA last year. (Lessons from LinkedIn) Our business group heard from Jeff Weiner, their CEO. I came away impressed that LinkedIn was focused, understood itself as a business and was determined to be the best it could be.

LinkedIn is not a poor man’s Facebook, and doesn’t aspire to be. It is not as social, though it’s a lot more social now. It is not as visual, though here too improvements have been made. Yet it is the social platform of choice of business executives with more than 80% penetration. It is a powerhouse in its own right.

If there ever was a platform that was made for professional services and those who work in the field, LinkedIn is it. LinkedIn is the gold standard of networking/referral tools. What’s the #1 source of new business for  professional services–referrals?

I recently read an interesting analysis called How to Use LinkedIn to Promote Your Professional Services. It’s a good recap and it lays out 10 ways to promote one’s business (and yourself) using LinkedIn. I agree with many of the thoughts, but not all are equally powerful, so here are my top five things to focus on:

1. Your profile

This is pretty basic, but essential. Create a powerful profile laden with industry key words. Include a tight professional photo, and a full bio including the “early years”. Some of those early contacts in your career can be very helpful to you today if/when you rejuvenate your relationship.

2. Your connections

Build them, keep building them, don’t stop building them. Ever. But connect with people you know. But don’t invite strangers to connect. However, you needn’t be “close friends” to connect. A casual business relationship is sufficient. Your database is your personal gold to be used (and not abused) when needed.

3. Share information

Post status updates of value about you and your company. Share really good articles. The updates are a great way to keep your connections informed. BTW, use a visual or link when you do.

4. Create a company page

This is an ideal way to promote the company’s products, services and news. Update this regularly.

5. Used the advanced search feature

Looking to find out the name, title and connections of the key prospect at company X? LinkedIn will tell you that and more (like who you know who knows them)

Most importantly, stay active on LinkedIn. The more you share, post, and help others, the more it’ll come back to you and your company.

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