1. Know Your Target
This is basic marketing 101, but it never ceases to amaze me how many companies and or individuals do not have a clear view of who their target market is. Once you understand that LinkedIn can perform as a search engine, making it even easier to find your clientele, the skies the limit for sales. Think about your perfect client and what key words would represent their LinkedIn profile. Would such words as small business, sales, insurance, banking, real estate exist within your client's profile? Then begin to search for your "Ideal Client Profile" using those key words. Begin with your 1st connections and see how many possible clients exist just within your first connections alone!
2. Know Your Uniqueness
What makes you stand out from the 300 milliion LinkedIn crowd? What are you offering that differentiates you from the rest? Once you understand what makes you and your products different from the rest, you'll want to pepper these key words within your own LinkedIn profile, so that your potential clients can easily find you as well. Remember, they're searching for you, just as much as you're searching for them. So make it easy for the both of you to find one another.
3. Create a Call to Action
So you've built an incredible LinkedIn profile, but it means nothing if the leads aren't coming in, right? Just like email marketing, you need to have a call to action. You need to instruct your prospects what you want them to do and how you want them to do it. It may be a phone call, an email or just a visit to your site to sign up on the mailing list. Even a message as simple as "First Time Home Buyer? -- Click HERE" can have significant impact for real estate agents. You can't simply expect someone to call or email. You have to ask them. Also, be sure to collect their personal information so you can continue to connect with them.
4. Get Active
You can simply start by answering questions within your groups (groups that hopefully encompass your Ideal Customer Profile). Choose a question you are completely comfortable answering. You want to position yourself as the expert in your field, without overtly pushing your products/services onto your Ideal Customer Profiles. Once a conversation has begun offer a private phone call to be able to help even further. Upon the conversation wrapping up offer your soltuions at your normal rate..if further assistance is needed.
So long as you look at LinkedIn as a place where you can bring value to others, you'll be way ahead of the game.