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3 LinkedIn Ideas for Referral Results


3 LinkedIn Ideas for Referral Results

2011 was the third straight year of explosive growth in local businesses using Facebook more effectively to engage customers and grow their client base. Though Facebook is a powerful tool, the field of play is overcrowded, the ROI is difficult to calculate and/or understand, and honestly, the time required to be successful at Facebook can easily be divide into another site and yield 2 to 3 times the return and that site is LinkedIn.

For those who want to get a better return out of their social media business strategy in 2012, LinkedIn should be your weapon of choice. LinkedIn is the wild west of social networks; in other words, “there’s gold in them there hills” and almost no one is taking advantage of its full potential.

Now I know you’re thinking: “I’ve already got a LinkedIn and I have 200+ Connections, I have a handle on LinkedIn,” right?  –  Well, when was the last time you got a referral that was directly generated from LinkedIn?  When was the last time you got a specific recommendation that talked about something OTHER than how “professional” you are? I would venture a guess that more than 70% of people who use LinkedIn simply use it to connect with people and never take advantage of its business generation power.

If you want to get more business out of this awesome tool, here are a few things you can do TODAY to get your LinkedIn strategy going quickly!

1. Nostalgically Connect

Networking and doing business with people we know, like and trust is the ideal situation.  Like Facebook, many people are just adding anyone and everyone they can for the sake of having connections.  Unfortunately, cultivating relationships takes a lot of time so simply adding people does you almost no good in the short term.

Consider tapping into people who you haven’t seen in a while.  This could be the kid you played ball with in elementary school, old high school and college classmates and people you worked with in previous companies and organizations.  When you reconnect with someone, its like picking up where you left off and if you’re connecting via LinkedIn, they are going to want to know what you do.  Because you already have a relationship that they can trust, making them aware of what you do instantly puts you in ‘top of mind‘ for that industry and the opportunity for immediate referrals presents itself.

2. Use Keyword Research

Think of the words on your profile as  search engine food and LinkedIn is the search engine. Every day hundreds of LinkedIn users are searching for business partners, contractors, prospects, and potential employees.  Optimizing the text of your profile job descriptions, summary and specialties is the first and most important step to ensuring you are found by the right people on LinkedIn.

Another great way to optimize your profile is through testimonials.  Though you shouldn’t tell people what to say in their testimonials for you, you can ask them to use specific words and phrases when referring to your business, and the services you provided.

3. Write Recommendations

There’s no better feeling in business than to have someone you’ve worked with professionally testify publicly of a job well done by you! Writing reviews shows others you appreciate them and its a way to stay top of mind with your professional network.  It also gives you increased visibility because when you write recommendations, your name and profession is displayed in your LinkedIn news feed and the news feed of the recommendation recipient.  And lets not forget the law of reciprocity.  If you consistently write recommendations on LinkedIn, you will consistently receive recommendations and your potential clients and partners will see others talking about how qualified you are to be working with them.

Just like every other social network, LinkedIn is not about connections, its about restoring, creating and cultivating relationships. Before you add another connection ask yourself: How can I make them more than just another name on my list of contacts and how can I add value to this person and their business?

If you have a cool LinkedIn technique, share it and I’ll post it with a link to your business!  Go boldly!
Damien Smith
Social Media Consultant
Guerrilla Social Media


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