Using LinkedIn to position yourself as a Local Expert

Using LinkedIn to position yourself as a Local Expert

In today’s global competitive arena, if you want to attract new business, then you need to position yourself as an expert in your niche or field.  One sure fire way of doing this is through the business networking site – known as LinkedIn.

One strategy to setting yourself up as an expert is to join peer groups and other groups that would comprise your typical customer, then answer questions that group members post.

Another effective method is by using the “answers” section of LinkedIn.com. This is where members (even those not in your network) will pose questions, allowing other members to offer solutions. Once the person’s question has been satisfied, they can rate the best answer received.

Keep in mind however, there is much more than simply answering questions to becoming known as an expert. You have to answer them accurately, thoughtfully and professionally without including any spam or sales-type pitches. Remember, people do business with those they know, like and trust. Let them get to know you, answer questions accurately, and they will grow to like you. It’s a proven fact that giving a little away at the start of a business relationship, even if it’s some free advice- will go a long way in building a relationship with that someone who may become a client down the road.

Here are 5 Tips on using answers to effectively establish your personal brand:

  1. Don’t Spam – When someone asks a question on LinkedIn.com, don’t send them a private message offering your services. Instead, answer the question freely, leaving them wanting more information but feeling as if their question has been satisfied. If you want to train people to read what you say, practice never spamming in any capacity. The less we tolerate spam (or spammers) the less it will dirty up our Internet space.
  2. Answer Truthfully – Don’t hype up any answer to be more than it is. Simply answer questions that you know the answers to. Don’t type something just to see your name in print. Know the answer, answer the question, and move on. A lot of times if you answer a question effectively, the person who posed the question will respond to you privately. You can also click to send your answer to both the message board and the person’s private message in-box.
  3. Ask Follow Up Questions – If someone asks a question within your expertise but the question isn’t complete, you can ask follow up questions within your answer to keep the discussion going. If you phrase your follow up questions intelligently, you can showcase how much you know about the topic and possibly inspire someone to contact you directly. The main goal of answering questions is to establish expertise and attract interest from the contacts that you make. Making contacts will open the doors to increasing your prospects… and the more prospects you have, the higher potential to increase your client base.
  4. Provide Sources — LinkedIn.com allows you to provide links to sources of your information. This is a good place to provide a link to your own website as a source, if you happen to have a more in-depth article or blog post that you have written about the topic, or choose a link to different source if it’s more appropriate. The point here is that the source must be from a reliable source and relevant to the answer. (In other words, don’t link an answer about water conservation  to your blog post about your cat eating spaghetti.) People will grow to trust what you say if you consistently provide quality responses, backed up by facts (not just your ‘expert’ opinion).
  5. Recommend Other Experts — If you see a question that a colleague can answer better than you can, it’s a good time to promote good will. LinkedIn allows you to directly recommend another expert source to the person who posted the question. If you promote quality people, those quality people will in turn promote you when the opportunity arises.  It’s the natural human law of reciprocity.

If your answers are chosen as the best one, you can establish yourself as an expert, perhaps even be featured on the Answers home page in your niche category. This can garner even more views and links to your profile and ultimately to your webpage, which can lead to your phone ringing with new clients on the other end.Free ebooks on social media network marketing by Sally ZC OConnor

Ready to learn more about marketing your business with LinkedIn and other key social media networks?

Then sign-up now receive “Simple Social Networks Tips and Strategies” and as a FREE BONUS, you can download to my two latest publications in the “Simple” marketing series – “Simple Social Networks” and “5 Strategies on Using LinkedIn for Business”.

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