"LinkedIn has value for salespeople in a few ways." excerpt from Lemonade Stand Selling
That's a short excerpt that packs a lot of punch. LinkedIn has several avenues for you to use to grow your business.
1. Connections - when you connect to people on LinkedIn you become connected to their contacts. "You can search those people or a topic and ask for an introduction to anyone who meets your criteria. You are, in effect, getting a warm introduction to a potential prospect."
2. Groups -There are many groups on LinkedIn where you can communicate with people who share your interests. You can participate in discussions, start your own, post events, and develop connections with the other members of the group. This is NOT a place to sell. Frankly, selling via social media is an interesting process and should be approached with care.
3. Answer Questions - When you answer questions in areas of your expertise you are positioning yourself as an expert in your field. You are also gaining connections with people who are seeking that very information and assistance. Once again, it isn't a place to sell. Rather, you should be sharing information and helping people solve problems.
4. Events - You can post your events to LinkedIn and share them with your contacts. This is a way of letting people know what you are up to, where you'll be, AND what you do. If you do public speaking or conduct workshops and webinars this can be an invaluable way to spread the news.
If you sell B2B it is my opinion that LinkedIn is crucial to your marketing and networking efforts. If you sell B2C the same rule applies though Facebook plays a large role as well. (We'll talk about Facebook later).
Join me next Monday for Lemonade Lesson #11 - The Lowdown on Twitter