With each passing New Year comes that overpowering feeling that we must kick everything in our business up a notch in a renewed effort to make this year the best ever. Yes, I am one of those people so I was naturally pleased to see the debut of the new LinkedIn 9 A Day, a section on the world’s largest professional network dedicated to building your personal brand in only 9 minutes a day.
I really like that they did this because it helps to dispel the myth that you need to spend hours every day to get anywhere online (although that certainly helps). There are, in fact, several tasks that can be done in under 10 minutes every day that will enhance and progress your personal brand. LinkedIn consulted experts from around the world to come up with the magic number 9 and included over 20 tasks that you do in under 10 minutes a day.
Although LinkedIn 9 a day seems more aimed at building careers, most of the tasks it suggests are transferable and beneficial for entrepreneurs. I took the time to put my own little entrepreneurial spin on it to focus strictly on business and added a few extra tasks for the superstars out there. Enjoy!
27 LinkedIn Marketing Tasks For Entrepreneurs In 2014
1. Speak Publicly
My business and credibility began to quickly skyrocket when I started speaking in public on various social media and LinkedIn topics. If you are at all comfortable with speaking, this should be your number one goal this year to enhance your position as an industry leader.
2. Research Clients With The LinkedIn Mobile App
Impress your new (and old) clients by doing your homework on them. I recently won a contract just because it was obvious to the prospect that I had done extensive research on them. They immediately stopped talking to the three other social media agencies they were considering. Research rocks!
3. Discover New Contacts
Do your best to connect with new people this year and when possible meet them in person. Whether it is people you work with or a new prospect, get out there and start sharing knowledge with others.
If this isn’t your specialty, I highly recommend checking out The Business Guide To Networking On LinkedIn.
4. Update Your Social Profiles With Your Wins
Did you win any awards or acquire any new distinctions in 2013? It’s time to start leveraging them in 2014 by telling the world about it. Displaying any and all social proof can give you the credibility you need to give new prospects the confidence to reach out to you on LinkedIn and get a conversation started.
5. Create Video Content
For the past few years in a row, video marketing has steadily increased in popularity and importance for entrepreneurs using content marketing. If you’re still just thinking about those videos you are going to create by 2015, I guarantee you’ll have already missed the boat.
6. Join A Professional Association
I’m a big supporter of professional associations and have even been guilty of committing to more that I should with my limited time constraints. Most professional associations these days also have LinkedIn groups that you can use to interact with other members, but never forget that offline networking is where the real magic happens.
7. Complete Your Profile
If you didn’t see our top social media blogs of 2013, my article on creating the perfect LinkedIn profile was the most popular blog on my website for the entire year. The importance of completing your LinkedIn profile is paramount because it gets you found in more searches as well as gives you an opportunity to impress potential prospects.
8. Grow Your LinkedIn Network On The Go
Got downtime when travelling? Use it to connect with your professional contacts that aren’t already 1st level connections on LinkedIn. This will increase your network and open you up to more 2nd level connections on LinkedIn.
9. Message Those In Your Network
How many people do you think you could reach out to with a message in 9 minutes? I would venture to guess somewhere between 3-5 people. Whether you are catching up with an old colleague or just keeping the lines of communication fresh with clients and strategic partners, it’s never a bad idea to stay fresh in peoples’ minds.
10. Showcase Your Work
LinkedIn did so many great updates to profiles in 2013, there is no reason you should not be proudly displaying some of your work by using the rich media feature. Be sure to add video and other multimedia to your profile.
11. Build Your Network
Commit to regularly building your LinkedIn network. Connect with new offline contacts, colleagues or take it to the next level by meeting someone new inside a relevant LinkedIn group.
12. Write A Recommendation
It’s important to give recommendations and endorsements, not just receive them. Taking the time to give credit where credit is due can also dramatically increase the odds of it being reciprocated for you.
13. Comment On Blogs
You should be following any relevant blogs in your industry and make a point of getting involved in discussions to maintain a presence. This is also really effective to do inside of LinkedIn groups and will get you in front of highly targeted groups, if you choose them well!
14. Browse LinkedIn Pulse
LinkedIn Pulse sources news stories and organizes it for you like an online newspaper. You can access it from the Menu under “Interests” and you can also download the Pulse app for iPad and iPhone.
15. Request LinkedIn Recommendations
Did you do an amazing job for a client recently? Don’t be shy…ask them for a recommendation! If you have truly done great work then it is highly unlikely that anyone would say no.
16. Update Your Profile Image
Make sure you have a professional headshot with a clean background! If the one you are using no longer looks like you then you will want to get a new one taken. Either hire a photographer or walk down to Walmart and get their in-house photographer to do it on the spot.
17. Perform Competitive Analysis
Your competition is online but do you know what they are doing? Stay in the loop by following competitor company pages, news and any other information you have public access to. Knowledge is power!
18. Participate In Or Start A Forum Discussion
I’m a HUGE proponent of LinkedIn groups and the power they have to propel your credibility within a highly targeted cluster of people. Start by leading discussions within groups, which can quickly get you noticed, especially with the brand new top contributors feature.
19. Share Great Content
Update your LinkedIn status daily with valuable content that is engaging to your target market. You’ll be surprised to eventually find out how many people actually pay attention to what you post.
20. Start A Blog
Blogging is a great way to have regular discussions with members of your community. Blogging is an excellent way to position yourself as an authority on your topic.
Creating quality blog posts is a powerful form of education-based marketing that will enhance your credibility and draw more people and opportunities to you.
BONUS SUPERSTAR GOALS
21. Start A LinkedIn Group
Now this takes a lot of work to get off the ground but once you’ve done it, the benefits are massive. I wrote an article a little while back on how to build your own LinkedIn group and make it work for your business. If this interests you, I would also recommend checking out an interview with the founder of LinkedIn’s biggest social media group and how he got it to include hundreds of thousands of members.
22. Create A More Compelling Headline
People won’t engage with your profile if your headline isn’t compelling enough to entice them to check it out. Learn my 4-step formula to creating a kick ass LinkedIn headline every time.
23. Start Using Social Selling
Whether you’re a sales leader, a sales professional or you are simply looking to attract more clients to your business, you can’t ignore the power of social selling. If you don’t know where to start, check out this article on the 5 Steps To Social Selling. Make 2014 the year you start successfully using LinkedIn for lead generation.
24. Brush Up Your LinkedIn Etiquette
Stop turning people off without even realizing it and get up to speed on The 20 Do’s & Don’ts of LinkedIn Etiquette. I see so many people making business killing mistakes that cost them money, shatter their credibility and turn off any potential leads. Don’t let that be you!
25. Run A Sponsored Update
Although expensive, LinkedIn sponsored updates for your LinkedIn Company Page give you an unparalleled opportunity to get in front of key decision makers. I will warn you…they are expensive but they are extremely effective. Give it a shot when the time is right!
26. Use LinkedIn Contacts
Hands down, LinkedIn contacts is the single greatest feature to ever hit LinkedIn. If you don’t know what it is, read this guide on 9 Steps To Getting Started With LinkedIn and prepare to have your mind blown, especially if you’re in sales or rely on getting new leads, prospects and clients into your business.
27. Consider LinkedIn Premium
Should you upgrade to LinkedIn premium? Many ask me about this and I can’t say that I have an answer that works for everyone. Check out these 3 reasons for upgrading to LinkedIn premium and find out if it’s right for you.
How Are You Going To Kick Ass In 2014?
Do you plan on using LinkedIn for business this year? Let us know in the comments what your plans are to kick things up a notch for your business in 2014.