When I first joined LinkedIn many years ago, I was reluctant. The only reason I joined was because the person requesting me to join was a guy in YPO organisation that I respected, and I thought I should say yes. It was long before everyone else got on board, and I didn't see the relevance as I was a business owner - but something said to me that it would play a big role in the future of marketing.
Why building your database through LinkedIn is important

I wasn't sure exactly how. I was never going to be looking for a job - but low and behold, it has been one of the most powerful marketing tools on the planet. Few platforms have been able to achieve what LinkedIn has achieved in a B2B environment.

From a recruitment perspective, I take it with a grain of salt. People make up stuff to get jobs or to try to influence perception.

I have had a love hate relationship with LinkedIn. As they changed algorithms and capabilities, it has at times been quite frustrating for me. When publishing first came about, all of a sudden my blogs went through the roof. One received a modest 76,000 plus readers and thousands of comments, but many of those were deleted (possibly because they had swear words in them). 

Then nothing. LinkedIn possibly stopped pushing my blogs and that became the issue and many of my friends who have few connections on LinkedIn say that they never see the blogs I write anymore. It must be an algorithm issue.

LinkedIn now has no meaning in recruitment for us, nor for blogging, and even our company page which has a modest 7,300 connections (we never push this) - doesn't play a big role in our business. 

But what does is something that we learned from a company Salesloft a few years back, when they were scraping LinkedIn for databases and consequently LinkedIn changed what they did, and allowed people access to email address of people they are connected to.

When you end up with a database that LinkedIn freely gives you that hits tens of thousands, all of a sudden you are in business. If you can take the time to segment that database, you will truly develop a good base to start communicating with, and as relationships develop, you will be able to fine tune who you can do business with, refer business, employ in the future or ask relevent questions to. The bigger you build this database - pre LinkedIn closing this option down, your business and you will benefit immensely.

Some things that you might like to do to enhance your profile:

LinkedIn allows you to be a publisher of your own material. More than anything, it reinforces your opinions, thought-leadership and your area of expertise. Use LinkedIn publisher to:

  • Increase in influence as they allow others to follow you even if they aren’t part of your network
  • Serve as blogging platform for your business without any technical know-how or expertise requirements.
  • The unreal opportunity to reach the largest target audience of professionals assembled on a single platform.
  • Posts become a part of your professional LinkedIn profile and build your credibility positioning you as a thinking/ industry leader.
In general, LinkedIn is brilliant for:

  • Generating leads
  • Building personal network
  • Driving traffic to your site
  • Connecting with a lot of users
  • Sending direct messages and weekly mails.
Don't discount this medium even though it is now over-cluttered and trying to be everything to everyone, for lead generation and increasing your connections. Importantly, export email addresses because at some point, if LinkedIn doesn't clean up its act, it may be disrupted by another new platform that is more authentic.
Mellissah Smith is a serial entrepreneur and business leader with more than 20 years' experience in marketing.
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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert, author, writer, public speaker and technology innovator. Having worked with more than 300 companies across technology, medical device, professional services, manufacturing, logistics, finance and health industries, Mellissah has a well-established reputation as an experienced marketing professional with more than 20 years experience. As the founder and managing director of Marketing Eye, she has taken the company from startup to a multi-million dollar enterprise with offices in Australia and the US. Mellissah is also the Editor in Chief of Marketing Eye Magazine, a quarterly magazine that cover marketing, entrepreneurship, travel, health and wellbeing. #mellissah #marketingeye

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