So, you’ve tried LinkedIn as a sales tool but it’s time consuming and never seems to lead to much in sales or job prospects?

Personal branding expert Jane Anderson says it’s not unusual for people to give up on LinkedIn and go back to old sales methods.

Anderson, who was in New Zealand recently to address the Global Speakers Summit, says there are three essential steps to generating leads on LinkedIn.

1. Search engine optimisation

2. Positioning

3. Connection

LinkedIn is first and foremost, a search engine. This means you can turn up in a search if you have the right word in your profile. Search engine optimisation is about having the correct words in your profile so that you turn up in search results and are found.


1. SEO: Use relevant keywords, variations and phrases

Key words, and key word variations, are important. For example, somebody looking for rust repair services might enter ‘rust repairs Hamilton or mobile rust repair Hamilton or rust repair shop Hamilton.

ii) Mention your location (town, city or suburb) in your profile, and also your geographic service area e.g. Waikato.

iii) Differentiate your profile from your competitors by stating your point of difference. For example, mobile rust repairs.

2. Positioning: Maintain a professional profile

You have micro-seconds to make a positive first impression on a prospect, and most people will judge a book by its cover.

Make sure you have a good quality photo blanks don’t get clicks and avoid social photographs; prospects do not want to see you with a bottle of beer in one hand.

What others say about you is more important than what you say about yourself. The importance of testimonials and case studies cannot be over emphasised. The evidence that you can do what you say you can do, is invaluable and gives people hope as well as trust in you, says Anderson.

3. Connection: How clear are you on what you do?

Firstly, be clear on how you can help an employer or customer.

Secondly, know who you want to work with so define your LinkedIn audience – and personalise your interactions because using default settings make people feel like a commodity and that you don’t really care, says Anderson.

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