A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham McGregor: How to use LinkedIn effectively

Image / Thinkstock
Image / Thinkstock

I used to think that LinkedIn was just a networking tool to keep in touch with business contacts, associates, colleagues etc.

But all of this changed, when I came across an Australian entrepreneur called Alex Pirouz.

Alex has used LinkedIn to...

•Get featured in over 50 media publications without sending out a single press release
•Grow his business advisory firms by over 328 per cent by securing joint venture partnerships through LinkedIn
•And generate thousands of leads whilst spending $0 on advertising or marketing

Here are two tips that Alex recommends that you follow when using LinkedIn as a marketing tool for your business.

Tip 1: Create a 'Value Bank'

Connecting and effectively communicating with people through LinkedIn is no different than dealing with people outside of the network.

Whether they are a supplier, potential partner or customer you need to build enough value for them to trust you in order for them to grow an interest in your company and therefore your product/service.

Alex calls this establishing a 'Value Bank.'

Alex can't recall how many times he has accepted a LinkedIn connection invite from someone to then receive an email marketing spiel about who they are, what they can do for him and how much it is going to cost him.

(This is not the way to use LinkedIn!)

To be successful on LinkedIn and in business overall you have to add value first.

Before you start emailing marketing to your contacts, think of a few ways you could add value to them.

For example it may be that within your connections there are about 100 accountants that you have recently connected and would like to potentially partner with.

Your first email could be a sending a link to a recent article you read/noticed that you thought would be useful. (This shows you were thinking of him/her.)

Your second email could be a FREE Ebook you have found that helps accountants generate more business etc.

Doing this type of thing on a regular basis will help develop trust and rapport between you and your LinkedIn connections.

The idea here is that when you do a lot of small things that add value to people you are building a 'Value Bank' with these people.

And if you have a positive credit balance in this Value Bank it is easier to request help from these people in the future.

The main key here is that you 'give before you get.'

Tip 2: Connect with a purpose

Building your connections for the sake of having a large following is not really a sound strategy if you want to effectively grow your business using LinkedIn.

Every connection needs to be linked to your goals and objectives in business.

Before growing your network on LinkedIn take a step back and think about some of the goals you would like to achieve within your business over the next year or so.

With these goals in mind now think about 'who' you need to connect with in order to help you achieve those goals.

For example when Alex first started using LinkedIn he had just launched his business advisory service and he wanted to build his business using PR.

With this goal in mind Alex then connected with over 500 journalists, editors and bloggers with LinkedIn and in a space of a couple of months he managed to get featured in over 40 different media publications.

Alex recommends that you think carefully about the types of businesses and people that you want to build positive connections with on LinkedIn.

After seeing what Alex has done with LinkedIn it's made me realise that there are a lot of things I could be doing to make LinkedIn work better for my own business.

And that's something I'm working on right now.

"Those who speak up, those who use their connections, are more likely to succeed than those who sit and wait." Madeleine M. Kunin

Action Exercise:

Alex has a free webinar coming on June 25th, 2014 where he will be sharing in detail his three step strategy for making LinkedIn work well.

I have managed to secure a few seats for a number of my Herald readers.

To claim your complimentary spot, click on this link:

(I've watched the webinar myself and found it useful.)

Graham McGregor is a consultant specialising in memorable marketing. You can download his 396 page 'Unfair Business Advantage' Ebook at no charge from www.theunfairbusinessadvantage.com

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A weekly marketing column by Graham McGregor

Graham has had 36 years 'hands on' experience in sales and marketing. He has sold a range of services including advertising, sales training, personal development, life insurance, IT services, investment property and business consulting services.

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