When it comes to connecting with bloggers, I usually have no problem finding their Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, and even YouTube channels. What I do run into is a lot of bloggers who do not have a LinkedIn account, which is a shame because there are a lot of untapped opportunities for bloggers on this social network.
Some Interesting LinkedIn Stats
LinkedIn is the top professional social network. While it is not as large as Facebook or Twitter, it still has the following numbers to back up it’s importance:
- Over 15 million unique visitors per month
- Over 90 million members
- Google PageRank of 9/10
If those don’t impress you, how about the number of people who have the following in their profile:
- 43,112 results for blogger
- 6,243 results for video blogger
- 67,085 results for blogging
- 56,163 results for WordPress
- 4,917 results for blogging expert
Needless to say, there are lots of bloggers and people interested in blogging to network with, and you will want to network with them!
Strengthening Your Personal Brand
If you are building your personal brand (as you should be), you will want to have strong profiles on the top social networking sites, and what better network to become a part of than the top professional social network. There are many things you can do with your profile that will make it stand out. Here are the parts you don’t want to miss setting up.
Your headline is what comes up in search results, and it is also going to be your first impression on new connections requests that you send. You will want to put what it is you do, whether it is blogging, freelance writing, search optimization, gardening expert, etc. here so that people will know who you are and why they want to connect with you.
For bloggers, I would suggest using a profile photo that people would recognize, such as the same picture you use for your Gravatar, Twitter, and Facebook. You will want people to easily recognize you across all of your social media properties, including LinkedIn. Needless to say, you will want this shot to be a professional one.
Current and Past Jobs
Your jobs don’t necessarily have to all focus on what you’re doing full time. As you can see with mine, I include my full time position, my role on my own blog, and my most notable regular guest blogging position. If you offer WordPress consulting or other freelance services, those can go here too.
While there are default ways to add your websites to your LinkedIn profiles using the words My Website, My Company, and My Blog, I highly suggest NOT using those. Instead, use the Other option so you can customize your links’ anchor text.
This really has nothing to do with SEO value. Rather, you want people to make your text something that people will want to go and check out.
Don’t use one of your website links for your Twitter. Instead, add your Twitter account via the Twitter settings.
This will also allow you to incorporate your tweets as status updates. If you don’t think every tweet should go through your LinkedIn account, you can select the option to only share tweets ending in #in instead so you don’t clog up your connections news feeds with a lot of #FollowFridays and other chatter.
Custom Profile URL & Privacy Settings
Be sure to customize your profile URL so it is easy to share.
Also, make your privacy settings as open as you are comfortable with so people can learn more about you and see why they would want to connect with you.
Is your blog on WordPress (self-hosted or WordPress.com)? Then you can use the WordPress Application on LinkedIn to show either your most recent posts or posts that are tagged LinkedIn.
This is a great way to share your latest blog posts with visitors to your profile.
Amazon for Authors
If you have published a book, you can use the Amazon Application to showcase your latest two books right on your profile.
Or, if you have a friend who has recently published a book, you can share it with your visitors.
Developing Your Network
Once you have a great profile setup, you will want to start connecting with others. You will want to connect with as many people as possible as LinkedIn uses a system of 1st connections (people you’re directly connected to), 2nd connections (people who are connected to people you are connected to), and 3rd connections (kind of like the six degrees of Kevin Bacon thing). You can get certain contact information and privileges based on your relationship to someone, so the more people you know, the larger your network will become.
The great thing about LinkedIn is, unlike Facebook, your connections can’t write on your profile wall and, as a general rule, cannot drive you bananas with spam event and application invites. So it really doesn’t hurt to connect with a broad range of people.
With any network, it’s best to start with your own email contacts as these should be the people you know the best. Under your Contacts menu, go to Add Connections, and let LinkedIn peruse your email contacts to find people on LinkedIn and send them an invite.
LinkedIn doesn’t let you personalize invites using this method, which is why it is essential that you have a recognizable photo and headline. If you’re not sure that people will recognize you, you might want to go into detail on your headline and say blogger at XYZ.com so people will know who you are.
Once you’re done with your email contacts, be sure to connect with others who publicly share their LinkedIn profiles on their website or other social profiles, and likewise share your LinkedIn profile URL on your online properties so people can connect with you.
Building Your Authority
There is lots of talk amongst bloggers that the way to dominate your niche is to build yourself up as an authority in it. LinkedIn gives you several ways to prove your authority on any topic.
Recommendations are powerful testimonials that tell visitors to your profile that you not only offer something of value, but people have been helped by you. You can get recommendations for past and current job positions, which includes your blog.
So how do you get recommendations? Think of it like an extremely powerful form of commenting. Find people in your network whose work you respect, and give them a recommendation. Chances are if they know your work, they will recommend you in return. You can also go under your Profile menu to the Recommendations section, find the job that you would like to be recommended for, and select people in your network to request a recommendation from.
There are a lot of great groups on LinkedIn (yes, actual active, non-spammy groups) where you can connect with people in your niche and your industry. If you are regularly an active participant, you can be listed on the group’s homepage as a Top Influencer which can lead to more recognition.
You can join up to 50 groups, so don’t be shy about joining them to see which ones are the best if there is more than one that you are interested in. The best part about groups is you can also connect directly with members of the group without having 2nd or 3rd connections in common.
Another great way to show your knowledge in your industry is through the LinkedIn Answers area. Similar to Yahoo Answers, it is a place where people can post their questions and you can, of course, answer them. The best part – this area also highlights experts in the industry.
Again, another way to get noticed and make new connections!
Driving Website Traffic
For many, social networking comes down to how much traffic they can drive to their website. LinkedIn doesn’t disappoint in this aspect either.
To share your latest blog posts with your connections, I would suggest using the Attach Link option in your status box.
This allows you to have the link title, description, an image, and an additional comment which will make your update much more noticeable in your connections’ news feed and on your profile.
Sharing with Groups
Don’t just stop there though. Once you have shared your post, use the Share link beneath the update to go beyond just your connections and share it with the groups you are a member of as well.
With the update above going to just those three groups in the dropdown, I expand the reach of this post from just my 1,000+ connections to the groups combined 175,000+ members. Talk about an opportunity to drive traffic with new visitors! Just be sure that the group you are sharing with is open to such promotion, and that the post you are sharing is absolutely relevant to the main focus of the group.
Want to Get Results on LinkedIn?
Are you excited about LinkedIn yet? Because you should be!
This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to LinkedIn. There are so many more ways to utilize this powerful network.
Lewis Howes is a LinkedIn rockstar – literally. He and his social media savvy partner Sean Malarkey have created a great course called LinkedInfluence which helps you get the most out of LinkedIn. If you are looking to grow your network, build your authority in your niche, drive more traffic to your sites, find a job, get leads, make sales, and connect with key people in your industry, then this course is definitely for you.
I have bought it, listened to every module, and am proud to recommend it as an affiliate because I have applied some of the strategies already and seen immediate results, like going from somewhere beyond page ten in the LinkedIn people search results to the first page for some major keywords. Plus you get some great bonuses, including a 55 minute training video on LinkedIn Ads worth $97, and three eBooks – LinkedIn Master Strategies, Linked Working, and Twixplode – worth $147.
So if you want to go further with LinkedIn and are planning on investing into any course in the near future, make it this one. It’s really a fantastic deal – it seems like a lot of courses recently have been almost ridiculously expensive, but this one is only $97 for a limited time. It is really a fantastic deal. Don’t miss out on it!
Your Thoughts on LinkedIn
Do you use LinkedIn? What kind of results have you seen from it? And if you don’t, are you convinced to now?
Also, whenever you do create your profile, be sure to connect with me on LinkedIn!