how to use linkedin

If you are a consultant, a lawyer, or run a one-person business, you need a simple process for doing social media marketing – one you can do automatically, without a lot of effort or time.

Today we’re going to talk about a LinkedIn system that can be accomplished in under 2 hours a month.

We’re going to assume you have a strong LinkedIn profile. Your profile should speak to prospects, telling them what kind of clients you work with and how you help them. It should build credibility, showing where your expertise came from. You also want to share a little of your personality, so people can feel comfortable with you. That’s a necessary foundation for everything else you do on LinkedIn.

Now here are the two pieces you need for your system…

Like, comment, share
Keep LinkedIn open in a tab on your browser. When you are waiting for a WebEx meeting or conference call to start, go to your home page on LinkedIn and see what your connections are posting. Find a couple things to like, comment on or share.

Or download the LinkedIn app. When you are in line at Starbucks or waiting to pick up your kids, check out what’s in your news feed. Like or share something.

You want to create the habit of checking your LinkedIn news feed, seeing what’s new, and interacting with people. The easiest way to build a new habit is to attach it to something you do regularly now.

Build your network
Block out 10 minutes on your calendar each week to build your network. The ideal time is one that isn’t typically taken up by client meetings – perhaps at the end of the day or right before lunch.

Take the business cards from the people you met that week and send each one a connect request, mentioning where you met.

Also connect with any new prospects. Follow their companies so their news goes into your news feed. (You can follow individuals too, which is useful if you are not quite ready to connect but still want to keep up with them.)

That’s all you need to do!

If you do those two simple tasks, you will look good in social media. You will be continuously expanding your network. You will be aware of the latest news from your connections, which will give you opportunities to get conversations started. And you will be keeping your name in front of everyone by liking, sharing and commenting on interesting news.

For over-achievers… Share your ideas
If you want to take it to the next level, set yourself a goal of writing one blog post every quarter.

Here are some simple topics that will work for almost everyone:

  • What is one thing you wish all your clients understood?
  • What is the most interesting trend you are seeing with your clients?
  • What is one question you get asked over and over again?
  • What was the most useful takeaway from the last conference you attended?

One trick that makes blog writing easy is to decide on your topic at least a week before you want to write it. Then block out a half hour on your calendar to write a first draft. You will find that by the time you sit down to write, the blog post has almost written itself.

Block out another half hour a week later to edit and polish your blog post. Then allow another half hour to find an image and upload your blog post to LinkedIn.

Your blog post will be shared automatically with all of your connections, and it will stay on the home page of your profile so anyone who googles you can see it.

Writing blog posts is a great way to educate prospects, maintain mindshare with people who can make referrals, and build your reputation online as a thought leader.

So get started! Set up your first social media marketing system this week, and see how you can use LinkedIn without taking up too much of your time.

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