Ace StrategiesThis article comes to us courtesy of Heather Doering of Ace Strategies. Ace is a Jottful Community member that helps B2B professionals across the U.S. who know their ideal clients and referral partners are on LinkedIn but struggle to find the time or don’t have the expertise to unleash the power of the platform.

LinkedIn, like all social networks, was created to build community.  Sometimes, that’s easier said than done. Let’s face it – it takes a lot of time to find and connect with the ‘right’ people, to start (and continue) the conversation, and to build your personal brand in an engaging, professional manner. 

The following tips will save time and frustration and will hopefully enrich your LinkedIn experience.

1. Perfect your profile

Check out Jottful’s blog entitled The Five Things the Best LinkedIn Profiles Have in Common for some great profile-perfecting tips.  In addition, include a professional profile picture, customized banner image, and interesting title.

2. Use LinkedIn’s search filters

LinkedIn’s filtering capabilities let you search by several criteria – people, company, education, etc.  To find prospective clients, connections, and referral partners, follow these steps: click in the “Search” window at the top of LinkedIn, click “People,” then click “All Filters.”  Choose filters like industry, geography, title, 2nd connections, etc to build great lists.  Reach out with a personalized connection request, and then…

3. Build relationships

You’re connected, now what?  Continue the conversation. Ask your new connection what an ideal client looks like or who makes a good referral.  Send birthday and anniversary greetings. Keep in touch through occasional ‘how are things going?’ messages. Like and thoughtfully comment on others’ posts. 

Making the extra effort is a differentiator.

4. Create a content strategy

Have you ever sat down, logged into LinkedIn, and thought, “What am I going to post today?” 

Coming up with fresh, interesting content can be a bit daunting.

A good strategy might look like this:  Monday – a great quote to start the week; Tuesday – a helpful tip; Wednesday – a post that spotlights your business; Thursday – an insight or share; Friday – an insightful article relevant to your audience.  Your strategy should follow the 80/20 Rule (4 of 5 posts should be interesting and relevant to your audience and not specifically about your business).

5. Use a third-party scheduler

LinkedIn does not have an internal scheduling tool, so it may be helpful to use something like Buffer or HootSuite to schedule out your posts.  This allows you to ‘set it and forget it.’ You’ll take a tiny hit from LinkedIn’s algorithm (it favors posts made directly into your feed), but the convenience far outweighs the slight.