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How to Get Attention and Business from LinkedIn

LinkedIn is one of the most powerful social platforms that business professionals and companies can use to build a profitable brand online.


When you look at a platform like LinkedIn to project your voice to hundreds or thousands of people, you have to look at it as an investment in your long-term growth. This isn’t cold calling. Sure you can try, but as the best business-development professionals know, a foundation of trust has to be built before any sales can be expected. 


So, approach your effort to build your brand on Linkedin the same way you would approach your 401(k) or IRA. Prepare to give frequent value into it, with the expectation that you will get a huge return down the road. But don’t worry, if done right, it won’t take as long as your 401(k).



Core message

The most important thing you can do on your Linkedin profile is to format your entire profile around your core message. Your core message is the one thing for which you want people to know you. For instance, I want to make sure that anyone who visits my LinkedIn profile knows that “I work with businesses to help them ensure long-term brand equity.” That is my core message, so my entire profile and all of the content that I share reflect that.


When structuring your own LinkedIn profile, sift through the sections to see how you can clearly convey your core message. Even if you had an old job that had little to do with your current position, pick out duties that you performed that helped you grow to your current profession.


Your personal brand is extremely important. When you share content-like videos, article links and photos on LinkedIn, make sure that they align with your core message. LinkedIn is not the place to share personal endeavors or interests, unless they reinforce your personal brand. 


For instance, if you are a sales manager, you might think an inspirational quote to start the day is a good idea. But does that quote provide value to potential buyers in your industry? They might be better served if you provide your unique insight into major industry changes that they might not know about yet. Now if quotes are your thing, you might want to post a quote from a CEO or other industry leader to show your audience that you are driven to make their industry a better place. 


Remember that LinkedIn is a professional social network where people go to get professional information and value. Delivering your core message frequently is your best bet at building your professional worth.


Who is your target audience?

Understanding your target audience is equally as important as focusing on your core message. In fact your core message should be influenced by your target audience.


For example, if you are a real-estate attorney, your core message could be something like, “Providing simple legal advice for complex real-estate transactions.” This is partly influenced by the fact that many of your most profitable clients are people who need your services to buy or sell property.


Identifying your target audience is easy if you’ve been in your industry for a long time. But focusing on the content that they want and need is something that you have to continuously plan for. 


Additionally, an overused but unwise strategy for building your connections is to just connect with anyone and everyone that you come across on LinkedIn. 


Remember that every time your connections post something, it will probably appear in your news feed. Your goal is to engage with your target audience, but if your news feed is cluttered with people who aren’t valuable to your career, then it will be much harder for you to see those that are valuable.


I suggest doing a LinkedIn audit once or twice a year to make sure that you are ridiculously focused on right connections.


Finding pain

The key to any good business professional is to understand your clients’ pain points, and identify how to fix them.


On LinkedIn, everyone has pain points. They have questions, they need information, and they need help. How can you help them progress their own career or business?


The easiest way to quickly identify a pain point is to ask.


Utilizing the direct-message feature on LinkedIn has helped our clients learn valuable information about their customers. By simply identifying an ideal source in an industry, then by messaging them asking for their input and expertise, you give them the power. This helps to break down the walls of instant rejection, and opens them up to showing their authority.


Here is an example of an opening message:


“Hello, I am looking for a professional who knows a little bit more about [INSERT TOPIC], I came across your profile and you look very knowledgeable in the area. 

Mind if I ask you a few quick questions?”


It is very important that you initiate from a position that is not viewed as spam. So whatever you do, don’t try to sell anything during the first few messages. 


Value and trust

Providing value is the only way to build trust in a business relationship. There is no substitute and it’s no different on LinkedIn.


Remember that your LinkedIn profile is your résumé. It sells you to everyone that visits. So you need to make sure that every section, every image, every video, and every link that you have provides value to your target audience.


One extremely valuable piece of information for your profile visitors is to show them that you know what you’re talking about. And LinkedIn’s “Recommendation” feature serves this purpose very well. It allows you to reach out to your connections and politely ask them to write a recommendation for you, which will appear on your profile. This is a powerful form of social proof that shows visitors that you are a trustworthy source of information.


One thing to keep in mind is that you are asking those people to take 10 minutes out of their day to give you value, so that you might give others value. I recommend that you in turn offer to write them a recommendation as a thank you for their efforts.


LinkedIn has beefed up their content-sharing optimization the past few years. 


In 2012, it bought professional content sharing platform Slideshare. This allows anyone to construct and easily share a slideshow presentation. It’s like a really easy, shareable Powerpoint, but prettier.


In 2014, LinkedIn opened up its publishing platform to a select English-speaking group of users. It was just announced in early January that the rapidly growing platform is now available in all English-speaking countries.


These extremely powerful platforms allow anyone to create text and visual content to both educate and engage their target audience.


In addition, LinkedIn automatically pulls visual information from links and displays them in an easily consumable format. For instance if you post a YouTube video on LinkedIn, the video can be played right in the news feed, and the user is saved from the need to click to another website. Also, like many other social networks, when links to articles are posted, their featured images are displayed along with the title and a brief description.


The goal is to get people to engage with you as quickly and easily as possible; so utilizing Slideshare, YouTube, and LinkedIn’s publishing platforms are the most valuable ways to achieve this. 


Be proactive

With all that said, the most important thing to realize with LinkedIn, as with any platform you use to project your message — you must be proactive. LinkedIn makes it easy, but it won’t do the work for you.


Make an effort to spend a few minutes to an hour each day cultivating your LinkedIn community, creating valuable content, and serving it to the right audience.       


John Timmerman is founder and CEO of Good Monster, a web-strategy company based in DeWitt. Email him at



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