Your Four Steps to Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn …

This week, I promised to show you how to leverage the premier network for working professionals, LinkedIn, to advance your freelance business.

Today, I’m giving you a four-step strategy for squeezing the maximum benefit out of your membership.

I developed this strategy with help from LinkedIn expert Valerie Curtis, who offers seminars and one-on-one training. She says the key to LinkedIn marketing success, in a nutshell, is to be an active participant.

Here’s how you do just that:

  1. First and foremost, you must have a good profile and keep it updated

    Initially, this is where you should focus the bulk of your LinkedIn time. You have to go beyond simply pasting in your resume and go into much more depth. A good way to improve your profile is to check out the profiles of people with complete and compelling profiles in your industry or niche and model yours on theirs. (Don't copy directly, of course.)

  2. Join and participate in groups

    Valerie says if you haven't maxed out the numbers of groups you belong to (you can join a total of 50), you're missing out on opportunities to connect with people. An easy way to find groups to connect with is to scan the profile of someone in your industry. If they're a LinkedIn veteran, chances are they'll have a whole string of relevant groups you can join with a couple of quick clicks. You can also do a keyword search for groups in your niche or industry by selecting “Groups” on the drop-down menu of the search box. Some good groups to join for writers are AWAI's LinkedIn Group, Claude C. Hopkins Copywriter, LinkEDs and writers, and SEO Copywriting, to name a few.

  3. Send out requests to connect

    If you just grow your network by one or two new connections a day, you'll slowly but surely build a strong network for yourself. LinkedIn (like Facebook) does an excellent job of suggesting people you might want to connect with. If you don't know them, drop them a short personal note explaining that you're in a similar industry (or whatever the common denominator is) and that you'd like to connect with them.

    If you join a group, an easy way to get new connections is to send a personal note to individual group members explaining that you're in the same group as them and you'd like to connect.

  4. Spend at least 20 minutes a day on LinkedIn

    Once a day minimum, Valerie does something on LinkedIn, even it's just sending out a relevant quote to her connections. She highly recommends answering questions in the questions area, responding to polls, creating and participating in events, and sharing information and articles. She says it's all activity that “moves you up the feed” and “puts you above the noise.”

Follow this four-step strategy and you can't help but see more positive results from your LinkedIn membership.

Do you have anything to add to the above four-step strategy? If so, I'd love to hear what's working for you. You can post your comments below.

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Published: January 24, 2012

2 Responses to “Your Four Steps to Getting the Most Out of LinkedIn...”

  1. I also recommend weaving keywords into the Summary, Education and Experience Sections of your LinkedIn profile.

    Ron KnessJanuary 24, 2012 at 5:07 pm

  2. LinkedIn is definitely the "business end" of Social Media. Your connections there are going to be far more relevant than other sites. I would also recommend that you don't just send out invites - personalise them and you'll see better results.

    Thanks for sharing on

    Guest (Sian Phillips)May 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm

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