Harnessing the Power of LinkedIn Grow Your Business with LinkedIn expert, Wayne Breitbarth
Once a skeptic and now an outspoken proponent of LinkedIn, Wayne Breitbarth is passionate about helping business professionals—from entry-level to CEO—learn how to combine their previous experience and relationships with this innovative tool to more successfully brand and market themselves and their businesses.
11 years ago, Wayne decided to transition out of owning an office furniture dealership to launching his company, The Power Formula. When a friend approached him about LinkedIn, Wayne was adamant that he wanted no part of social media. His friend told him, “don’t complain about business if you’re not going to listen to ideas like this.”
The breakthrough for Wayne was when he shifted his mindset about LinkedIn away from the social media space and towards it being the best database of business professionals, we’ve ever had access to for free.
Most people have a LinkedIn profile, but they don’t understand what to do with it.
Wayne shared that a lot of people still have a LinkedIn profile simply because someone told them they should. They aren’t asking the key questions that would help them utilize it successfully: Why should I have a LinkedIn profile? What should I do with it? What should my profile say?
Having a profile just to have one isn’t going to cut it anymore. If you want to be successful on LinkedIn, you need to put the time and effort into optimizing your profile so that it works for YOU!
A bad linked profile could really be hurting you.
The reality is, having no profile doesn’t hurt you as much as if you have a really bad profile. It’s not so much about how much of your profile is “done” or “not done.” The thing that is hiring most people is that their profile is not written to reach their target audience. It’s usually written like a resume to show the last time they switched jobs, as opposed to being a resource for the customer, clients, and prospects they are trying to build.
How do I improve my profile?
Think about your target audience. What would they like, be turned on, learn from? Eliminate statement on your profile that will turn off that target audience that might be visiting your profile.
Want to see how good your LinkedIn profile is? Check out the LinkedIn Social Selling Index.
Accountability is key
No matter how much great advice you get, if you don’t follow through with the changes, then you’re wasting your time. It’s essential to put effort into implementing these changes as well as going back down the line and reevaluating what changes you might need to make in the future.
How many connections should I have?
Some people are of the school of thought that quantity is better than quality. They are focused on getting that number of connections up and don’t focus on interacting. The other school of thought is all about heavily interacting with a very small group of people and don’t focus too much on growing that number of connections. Wayne shared that both can work, but it depends on what you’re trying to do. It depends on what you’re selling. If you are selling a book for $15, you’re going to want to focus on more connections to get your book in front of as many people as possible. If you sell consulting services and you only need 5 clients a year, you’ll be more focused on cultivating those few connections that could turn into clients.
The key is to look at your connections and ask yourself: who’s in here? How are they helping me? And how can I grow this strategically?
Paid Vs. Free account
The question if you need the paid version of LinkedIn (if you ever do) boils down to these issues:
Are you running out of searches?
On free LinkedIn, they let you only do a certain amount of filtered searches each calendar month.
Who’s viewed your profile?
On free LinkedIn, you can only see the last 5 people that have looked at you. Premium will give you 90 days of who looked at your profile.
The free LinkedIn only allows you to set 3 search alerts for prospects.
What’s the value of LinkedIn for people not in sales?
If you ever think you’re going to make a ca beer move, you need to get LinkedIn right. It’s the only database that the HR people, recruiters, and head hunters are using to find people. LinkedIn is also beneficial for nonprofits who want to find donors and sponsors.
Most Common mistakes made on LinkedIn
The biggest mistake is not having a strategy behind your profile and your connections. Another big mistake is not having a LinkedIn cadence. That means coming into the site every few days and engaging.
A new addition to LinkedIn: Featured Section
This new section is another chance to make a good visual first impression on anyone who visits your profile. In this featured section, you can upload anything, you can link to any webpage, or you can also feature any article or post you’ve put on LinkedIn. It’s the first time where you can click on a piece of media and go straight to a person’s website.
If you don’t have features, go to the blue box right next to your picture and click the “add profile section.” You’ll see all the optional LinkedIn sections you’re not suing, and one of those is “featured.”
Something that you can do RIGHT NOW to improve your LinkedIn profile
Go down to your current job section and say to yourself, “if my target audience read the 2,000 characters in this section, would it be interesting enough that they want to take a phone call?”
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