If you want to promote your personal brand online. Their is no better option to have a personal website. All social media handles including Facebook, Twitter , Linkedin and Youtube. If you are a professional, you really need to give some more time to Linkedin because it is the biggest social platform for professionals.
I used linkedin in the past for lead generation and my personal brand. Here is what i did to grow my Linkedin Connections to 10,000 within 6 Months.
Optimizing Linkedin Profile
First step, i optimized my Linkedin Profile. With a clear tagline and summary. And a professional photo of myself including a cover photo. And a clean job History with no exaggeration whatsoever.
I saw lot of people on Linkedin exaggerate their skills and when they not meet on their skills in front of potential buyer/costumer. It ends up with disappointment.
So be honest, put what you have passion to do and you have done in the past.
Adding Linkedin Connections
Once i setup my profile. I started sending connection request in my niche. If you have a paid Linkedin account, you can search users based on keywords, skills and almost every thing. Linkedin has a great filter which you can use to really narrow down your criteria and only add laser targeted potential leads.
Here was my criteria :-
1) SEO Companies CEO’s and executives which has more than 10 employees.
2)The person must have “SEO” in the title and description
3) Must be in the US.
After adding the above mentioned filters, i started adding 50-100 Connections per day. With a unique customized message for each connection. I ended up getting 80% acceptance rate.
Acceptance all depends on how you structure your intro message and how relevant the people are to your profile. The more your laser target the leads, the more its get easy to get your invite accepted.
Starting the conversation
This is the most important point when it comes to linkedin networking is starting the conversation with potential buyer/costumer. At end of the day, your goal is not to add 10,000 bots or totally irrelevant people. You must add contacts that really matters to you.
After you get accepted, you need to start the conversation with the buyer. Do not pitch your service right away. Ask some questions from the buyer to really prove that you are not another linkedin bot who is sending spam messages out there.
Continue the conversation and wait for couple of days, Connect with them on skype for one to one meeting where you might close potential deal.
The problem with most linkedin folks is that they just continue to add connections and pitch their service right away. This type of approach mostly back fires. So be careful how you craft your messages.
To Increase your acceptance rate, you can add some Followers to your Linkedin Profile. It helps you a lot to already have an established linkedin account which provides a good impression.
Is there any benefit of getting more Linkedin Followers and Connections ?
The fact of the mater is that you need high quality leads. The number of Linkedin Followers and connections does not matters. It depends on how big your ticket price is. With low ticket prices, you tend to add more people and close the sale quickly ad in high ticket item you can laser target and build connections very slow and steady. Because people are not going to buy a $2k per month service right off the plate.
Getting engagements through content marketing within Linkedin
The is the most white hat and organic strategy to build your followers. You must be creative to produce and share high quality content on your linkedin wall in your niche. Linkedin algorithm is build that shares and promotes good content automatically and gets viral and you can get tons of Followers, connections and endorsements that way.
You can use a tool called Buzz Stream this tool helps you to identify trending topics in your industry. You can find out the articles that has most shares on social media in your niche. You can simply take that topic and write a killer content and share on your linkedin wall.
This build your personal brand and authority on the subject matter and once your content gets viral you get tons of engagement for almost free. You dont have to beg people to add you.
Its sort of Inbound marketing in Linkedin. You are engaging and making new connections with the power of Content marketing with linkedin.
Never follow any strategy step by step. Take Tweaking and testing in your own hands. Something worked for me, may not work for you. So take guidance and only do tests based on your own niche and industry.