If you have a B2B service firm or are a service professional, LinkedIn is the place to be. It allows you tremendous opportunities to connect with prospective clients and generate new business.
But you must use it wisely. You have to have a strategy, and it all starts with your LinkedIn profile, says social media strategist Neal Schaffer who presented the webinar Linked In or Linked Out: Learn How to Generate REAL Business Using LinkedIn on September 11.
"There's a term that we use a lot in social media marketing called inbound marketing. The whole idea is that you're attracting your target audience through your content," he says. "And I consider a LinkedIn profile an inbound marketing tool. It is not a resume unless you're looking for a job. If you're looking for business, your profile should suit that. "
Key to having a sales-oriented LinkedIn profile is providing ways for people to contact you. Many people, Schaeffer says, don't include their phone number, email address, or website on their profile page, and they don't include any information in their summary.
You have to consider your LinkedIn profile the same as your corporate website, he says. You want to have a solid sales-oriented profile that not only increases the chances of someone viewing it but also converts them—gets them to contact you.
"If you show LinkedIn some love and approach it in a strategic way, I really do think that you're going to start to see leads come in," says Schaffer.