The Awesome Power of LinkedIn: What I Picked Up from Lewis Howes

If you’re tuned in to the social media scene, you’re probably familiar with Lewis Howes. Lewis has carved out a niche as a LinkedIn expert and, among his most impressive achievements, was featured in a Hired Pens blog post last October.

Earlier today, I sat in on “How to Generate More Traffic, Leads, and Sales on LinkedIn,” a Webinar hosted by Lewis along with Derek Halpern of Social Triggers. Here are seven things I took away.

1. Accept all invitations to connect on LinkedIn.

I’m somewhat picky about whose invitations to accept. Do I connect with someone I don’t know well? What if it’s someone I wouldn’t necessarily vouch for? Lewis says don’t worry about it. The more contacts you have, the better, because it allows you to reach more people on LinkedIn (and beyond).

2. Put your list of connections to good use.

Unlike Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn lets you export your list of contacts into a spreadsheet — which makes for a great email list.

3. Improve your search ranking.

Unlike optimizing your website, optimizing your LinkedIn profile is pretty straightforward and makes a tangible impact right away. Lewis identifies five key areas where you should include a targeted keyword (e.g. “copywriter”):

  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Current work experience
  • Past work experience
  • Specialties

The goal: When people search for your keyword on LinkedIn, your name comes up high.

4. Give and get recommendations.

It’s an effective way to build up goodwill and your credibility.

5. Think local.

If your target audience is local, optimize accordingly. For example, a real estate agent serving Somerville, Cambridge and Arlington should specify that. Otherwise, you risk getting useless inquiries from elsewhere.

6. Join LinkedIn groups.

Start by searching for groups using relevant keywords (e.g. “marketing”). You can join up to 50. Lewis suggests joining some of the biggest ones in your areas of interest. Once you’ve joined, you can do things like share status updates (“Here’s my blog post on …”) that show up on the wall feed of fellow group members. A great way to start conversations, promote stuff and drive traffic to your website.

7. Start LinkedIn groups, too.

Launching your own LinkedIn group opens up all kinds of marketing opportunities. Your name is prominent, so many people try to make contact and/or check out your website. Everyone who joins becomes candidates for your email list. The “Send an Announcement” option lets you email everyone in your group. And you can create an automatic “welcome” email for new members that includes a link to your website, newsletter sign-up page or anything else you like.

Great advice from Lewis, and much of it is quite easy to do.

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