5 Ways to Communicate Your Message on LinkedIn (Part 8 of 10)

When I first joined LinkedIn my thought was that this would be a good place to network and connect to other business professionals.  What I’ve learned since is that LinkedIn is a great place to communicate your message to millions of business professionals.  Most often through indirect methods.

Most people think in term of communicating directly, but that’s a traditional perspective.  Social networking/media has its own rules in regards to sales related activites and most often using a direct sales pitch will fail and potentially cause damage to your brand.

There are a few ways to communicate directly on LinkedIn.  The most obvious is to send a direct message to your first degree connections.  Personally when I receive a direct sales message I immediately archive it.  Most often it’s from someone I’m connected to but do not personally know.  If I receive several I simply remove the connection.

If you want to sell to me you have to first introduce yourself and then start a conversation.  It all starts with the three requirements necessary for someone to choose to do business with you.  First they have to know you, second they need to like you, and finally they need to trust you.

Connecting or interacting within LinkedIn groups can accomplish the “getting to know you” requirement.  Moving to like and trust requires time and interaction.  You’re going to have to share value over time for this to occur.

Here are some of the ways that I communicate my message to tens of thousands of LinkedIn members each week.

  1. I have replaced my title with a tag line… from “social media consultant” to “Showing businesses how to leverage Social Media to Build Communities and Monetize their Business”.  Now everytime my mini profile is displayed I’m indirectly telling people how I can help them rather than what I am.

    Action Step:
    Modify your elevator speech to 160 characters and replace your title with it.
  2. I’ve used my status update to communicate to my direct network.  Most often I use it to share success stories…”Sean just helped a client create a social media strategy and implement it”.  With the new Twitter integration now I can simply Tweet my message and it’s displayed in my status.  Be sure to only integrate your business related tweets.

    Action Step:
    Either update you status manuall or use the Twitter integration.  Keep your integrated tweets business related.  You have two choices:  Post only business related messages or use the #in hashtag for messages you want to display on LinkedIn.
  3. I’ve written the Social Media Sonar blog for two years now to help others more effectively utilize LinkedIn.  I share a lot of value in my posts.  I add each post as a news article in the 50 groups that I belong to.This drives traffic to my blog and helps people get to know me.  If they like the information they will normally grow to having a favorable opinion of me (Like).Over time this consistent sharing of value leads to building trust.At this point if they have an issue that I can help them with there is a high likelyhood that they will contact me.

    Action Step:
    If you write a blog or articles join the groups where the information will be relevant and post these as news articles.
  4. Another great way to share value is to engage inconversations in group discussions.  You can add your own discussion topic or join a conversation someone else has started.  Participate enough consistently and over time you will go from know to like to trust.  The key is in how you interact and the value you provide through your comments.Also if you add value be sure to share a link to your blog or website.

    Action Steps:
    First make sure you have joined as many relevant groups as you can find.  These can be location, alumni, industry, or topic specific groups.  These should be groups where you prospect belong.  Once a member join the conversations and participate.  Just be sure to conduct every conversation as you would if you were speaking in person.
  5. Answering questions is a great way to share value and communicate your message.  This is your opportunity to provide value by answering another person’s question and to demonstrate expertise if the questions is related to what you do for a living.You can also ask questions.  Both the questions you ask and answer will be viewable to your profile visitors.

    Action Step:
    Be sure to periodically look to answer questions in your field.  You can set up a RSS feed to see new questions or integrate them into your LinkedIn home page.  Take your time and provide well thought out answers.  Remember every answer either adds to your brand or subtracts from it.

These are only some of the opportunities to communicate your message on LinkedIn.  You should explore the various features to see how you can put these to use.  Utilizing the various means to communicating my message has led to my receiving from 3 to 5 inquiries a week from fellow members needing help with the services I provide.

What are some of the ways not listed that you have used to communicate your message to your fellow business professionals on LinkedIn?

Published by

Sean Nelson

Sean has been a Keynote speaker at Norvax University, conducts social media workshops and webinars, and has released three books on LinkedIn and written several social media guides. Sean currently runs Social Media Sonar, which in addition to providing free resources, manages social media strategies and tactics for companies. He is also a partner in Surge Labs, a conversion rate optimization company, helping companies improve conversions and profitability through scientific testing of Landing Pages, Websites, Email communications, and Shopping Carts.

13 thoughts on “5 Ways to Communicate Your Message on LinkedIn (Part 8 of 10)”

  1. This is an excellent article. It outlines exactly what to do, why to do it and the action steps to put it into action. Thank you for setting forth how to execute the strategies including RSS.

  2. Lisa Marie,

    Thanks for the comments.

    When you are in the Answers section click on a category of questions. On the right side you below the different links for the category you will see text that says “subscribe to question in…” There is also a RSS icon. click on it and it will allow you to select a RSS reader. Then whenever new questions are asked it updates your Reader with the new feed.

    I use “My Yahoo” but you can also use a Google reader and some others.


  3. Hi Sean,
    thanks a lot for the article. Very interesting and useful. I’ll revise my profile according to your suggestions.I have to train myself in RSS !!!!
    Kind regards

  4. Sound advice here Sean, Linked In is an incredibly powerful tool when used effectively. Thanks for sharing your knowledge, it’s much appreciated.



  5. Hey Sean, good stuff.

    I would only disagree with sharing blogs to groups without some very strong proviso’s.

    I would hesitate publishing your Blog to a group without first checking that founder/admin allowed it (of course EVERYONE reads group rules, don’t they?) & if necessary, also ask permission directly with the group owner/moderators that they want you doing that there. If you haven’t got visibility in the group for real interaction, I would think asking this premature & presumptuous.

    While in an ideal world people would only join groups where what they write is relevant and appreciated, plus the quality of that blog would be evident (& not an ad-word monetized mess) and in an ideal world people like yourself, even if they used the ‘Share To Groups’ function, actually do go into, & contribute to those groups – the reality is far from that, so far I would say Blog promotion posts as you suggest, would only be welcome in:

    a) A badly moderated group, where value (to everyone and so to you too) is reduced significantly by the sheer volume of exactly what you’re suggesting people do, and much worse (straight spam)
    b) The group is well managed and the topic of your group so relevant & your blog posts so appreciated, you stand out in the group as someone who adds value to the group. I guarantee you that will not be the case if more than say 40-50% of your group interaction is shared Blog articles.

    Personally, unless someone is an absolute regular contributor of intelligent and two way discussion, a commenter and well recognized in the group, sharing blog posts is as rude as you can get without actually spamming something like a sales page, money scam or MLM.

  6. Jason,

    Good points. This blog post was originally written back when LinkedIn had a News board within groups specifically for news and blog posts. Worst mistake I’ve seen LinkedIn make was removing that group functionality. Their new news feature works for larger companies but does nothing for small businesses.

    Thanks for sharing your comments.


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