Tuesday January 7, 2014
What are Your LinkedIn Goals for 2014?
I had a Google hangout yesterday with some of the top social media folks in the world. (Not to drop names, but some of them were Jamie “60-Second Marketer” Turner, Brian “Conversion Scientist” Massey and Ian “Social Media Tools Guy” Cleary and Phyllis “Facebook Guru” Khare.) We were talking about our goals and business plans for 2014. Naturally they were much more organized than I was.
But it made me think about the fact that one of the first things I do with my clients is having them clarify their top reasons for being on LinkedIn.
Here's a list of some of the typical goals or reasons for being on LinkedIn. Take a look at them (and I recommend prioritizing them to what is most important to you.)
- Better Lead Generation
- Better Research Results For Prospects
- Better Research Results For Competition
- Pre and Post Conference Strategies
- More Visibility
- More Top Of Mind Awareness With Prospects
- More Referrals
- Better Content Curating
- More Sales
- Better Branding
- Thought Leadership Positioning
- Other: __________________________________________
Most people are interested in better lead generation. In fact I've created a whole program on it here. You might want to check out our free video series here that's all about lead generation on LinkedIn. What it comes down to is:
- Creating a profile that attracts prospects
- Finding the right prospects
- Communicating effectively with the right prospects
Better Research Results For Prospects And For Competition
A lot of people just use LinkedIn to research their prospects or their competition. It's an amazingly phenomenal tool for that. I highly recommend using LinkedIn's Advanced Search combined with Boolean search to find exactly the people that you're looking for.
If you have about $80 a month, you might try eGrabber’s Account Researcher. This is one of the best ways I spend my money! If you email [email protected] he'll even give you a discount. (Tell him I sent you.)
Pre and Post Conference Strategies
To get more bang for your buck at a conference you're going to want to set up meetings with people before you go to the conference and follow up with the people you met after. LinkedIn is a great way to do this. I recommend setting up Tags for the conference name and then as you create a meeting with the person on LinkedIn, or after you've met them at the conference and have added them to LinkedIn, simply Tag their name with that conference name and then you can follow up with everyone quickly and easily using LinkedIn's new Contacts feature. (Want to know more about LinkedIn Contacts? Read all about it HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE!)
Google loves LinkedIn. That's all there is to it. If you want more visibility on LinkedIn and on Google then make sure that you optimize your profile and Company page.
Of course you're going to want to make sure that you know your keywords and have them in the right places too.
More Top Of Mind Awareness With Prospects
Once you have connected with prospects on LinkedIn make sure to set reminders with the new Relationship feature on their home page to get in touch with them monthly. When the reminder shows up, do a quick article search for something they might be interested in and send it to them via LinkedIn.
It's a nonintrusive and helpful way to stay top of mind with them. And then when they need someone like you, your name is more likely to spring to mind as someone helpful and useful. Remember what Bob Burg says: “All things being equal people do business with, and refer people, they know, like and trust.”
Here's an article discussing using tagging as a LinkedIn best practice to maintain Top of Mind Awareness.
Better Content Curating
There is just so much noise out there these days that being a good content curator might even be better being than being a good content creator!
With LinkedIn Pulse and the new Article Search, you can find exactly the right content to curate with your audience not only on LinkedIn, but in Facebook and Twitter too. Let LinkedIn Pulse and the LinkedIn Influencer posts be your one-stop shopping for excellent content to share.
In the end, isn't this what we all want? LinkedIn allows you to build the relationships you want, with the people you need to build them with, in order to sell your product or your service. But be aware – LinkedIn is not just about selling your product or your service (although that's a happy end result.) LinkedIn is all about building relationships with people first. If you just go on LinkedIn and try to hock your ware, you are not going to have much success. If you go on LinkedIn and methodically and strategically build your network and relationships with the right connections by being helpful, useful and attentive, then you are going to experience greater success in your business through LinkedIn.
LinkedIn offers us an absolutely awesome opportunity to share your branding through personal profile, your Company Page, Showcase Pages and Groups. Make sure that your branded copy is coherent through all these different LinkedIn Presences and that your visual images reflect your brand.
Thought Leadership Positioning
You know the old “fake it till you make it” adage? While it might seem insincere, in many cases you have to act like something before you become it. Take me for example. Was I the LinkedIn Expert when I claimed the name? Of course I wasn't! Probably no one was with the exception of the founders of LinkedIn – (and maybe even they weren't yet.) But over the past eight years I have developed a level of expertise. And I position myself as an expert using my LinkedIn profile.
You can absolutely use your LinkedIn profile and Company page to position yourself as an expert. You will also want to share your content with your network in updates, messages and through group discussions. It's okay to think yourself as a thought leader or subject matter expert. You just need to make sure other people do, too!
Hopefully this article got you thinking about the different ways that you can use LinkedIn to achieve your goals in 2014. I will be going into each of these different goals over the next several weeks so keep an eye on your inbox to make sure you don't miss the tips and strategies specific to your needs!
- Have you consciously set goals for being on LinkedIn?
- If yes, what are some of the goals you have set for LinkedIn in 2014?
- What changes will you make to your profile to align with those goals?
- What actions will you take on LinkedIn to align with those goals?
- What resources are you using to help you align with your goals?
- What will you carry over from last year?
- What did you try last year that failed?
- What new things are you thinking of trying out?
- What is some of you best LinkedIn advice?