The key to raising your profile and making LinkedIn work for you needs to be more than just an impressive profile and joining the right groups. It is all about having the right discussions with the right people on the right topic, encouraging them to see you as an expert in your field.
Most importantly, never put across sales messages either as a status update or as part of a discussion post. Others will see this as “spammy” which will in turn have a negative impact on how people see you. Worse still, it could also see your discussion moved to the promotions section or worse see you removed from the group altogether!
Instead, try to share ideas, ask questions, request feedback and opinions. And otherwise encourage others to engage in discussions with you in the field you are working in. The more you interact without others, the more they will know, like and ultimately trust you. They will then be more inclined to connect with you, meet with you to discuss business, recommend you to others as a ‘trustworthy expert in the field’ and ultimately buy from you!
So how do you get a discussion post going?
A great way to get discussion going is to base it around your blog as way of introduction then invite audience feedback e.g. If you work for an IT support company you could write a blog article about Windows 8 and then use it as the springboard to get feedback on the product. The key is to find a subject which is not only topical but which people also feel strongly/passionate about. This will mean group members are more likely to respond to your invitation to join in your discussion.
Once you do start interacting with people it is important to show appreciation of their involvement and comments by following them, liking their comments and even connecting with them. You can even use your interaction with them as the reason for the connection request e.g. “I was particularly interested in your comment about xxxxxx. I wanted to connect with you and find out more about your business”.
The point to remember is that if you take an interest in group members and what they have to say, they will then take more of an interest in you. Positive interaction is the key to business leads and ultimately relationships via LinkedIn.