Leveraging LinkedIn

Social media has been touted as an effective and inexpensive method for business development; but for many people, it is time-consuming and overwhelming.  In her hour-long teleseminar for SkillBites, Bobbie Raffetto, co-founder of All About Leverage, demystified the way to exploit LinkedIn to build a massive pipeline of ideal prospects.  She addressed in particular how to create an effective profile centered around business development, how to leverage your network to reach your warm market and how to effectively leverage groups on LinkedIn.

Raffetto advised that the LinkedIn profile is one of the first things that people look at when deciding whether to connect with you, so it is paramount that your profile be effective.  Starting with the photo, Raffetto went through each of the aspects of the profile and shared tips for increasing profile effectiveness.  Here are a few of the profile tips she shared:

  • Put a border around your photo to make it stand out.
  • For your headline, put what services or products you provide that others may be seeking, rather than your company name.
  • You can customize your LinkedIn link.  Instead of www.linkedin.com/pub/judy-weintraub/5a/206/5a0/, for example, that can be changed to www.linkedin.com/judyweintraub, which is much easier for people to remember.
  • Add your contact information to make it easier for people to get in touch with you.
  • Add personal interests to show your personality and connect more with people.
  • Include key words in your profile to make it easier for people searching for your expertise to find you.

Raffetto has 700 1st level connections in her network. She is very choosy about who she connects with.  If they don’t meet the criteria she has established, she doesn’t connect with them.  With her 700 connections, she advised that over 38,000 2nd level connections (that is, people who connected with her 1st level connections) were added in just the past 3 days!

Raffetto does weekly searches to identify new 2nd level connections that meet her ideal prospect profile.  For each prospect that results from the search, she sends an email to the 1st level connection who can introduce her to that prospect, to try to set up a meeting.  By doing that, she gains hundreds of new warm prospects every week.

Raffetto also tags all of her contacts.  She makes sure that no more than 50 people get assigned the same tag.  LinkedIn will not send out posts to more than 50 people at a time, and will randomly select the people to receive any post going to a list of more than 50; so by limiting your tags to 50 people each, you can ensure that everyone with a given tag receives your post sent to that list.  You can send out emails to everyone with a certain tag automatically, and schedule them to go out to several lists over time.

Raffetto recommends joining the LinkedIn group for every organization to which you belong, such as Chambers of Commerce, NAWBO or other associations, and posting on those groups 1 to 2 times every week.  She also recommends joining a few groups that pertain to your industry as well as 2 or 3 groups that your prospects are likely to have joined.  If you join more groups, it is much harder to be active in them.  And she recommends frequent updating of your profile, to keep it current.  By spending about a half hour every week posting on groups and getting out updates, you’ll get your name in front of people often enough that they begin to recognize you as a thought leader and person of influence.

Raffetto offered a one hour complimentary consultation to review your profile and map out a plan for you to exploit LinkedIn.  She can be reached at bobbie.raffetto@gmail.com.

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