How to Use Your LinkedIn Account to Bring In Extra Money
Think LinkedIn is just for connections? Think again. The popular social network has many opportunities for monetization, especially for people who already have an established business or brand. If you haven’t tried any of these LinkedIn techniques, you may actually be leaving money on the table. It’s time to update your profile, flesh out your brand story, and start making connections. How does LinkedIn make money for you? Read on to find out!
First Steps: Preparing for Monetization
1. Build up your LinkedIn profile: You can’t go straight from “basic LinkedIn profile” to “money-making machine.” Baby steps. First, you need to make your LinkedIn profile as complete as possible, including adding a recent, good-looking picture and filling out the all-important professional portfolio section. A resume tells people what you’ve done; a portfolio proves it. Once you have this done, remember to:
~Post every morning…at least. If you need to, use HootSuite to schedule an entire week’s worth of posts in advance.
2. Tell a Brand Story: Your LinkedIn profile can’t look like you’d be willing to accept any old job or opportunity. You need to clearly create a brand story — a mission for yourself or your business. You aren’t waiting for your career to happen; you’re already off and running, halfway to achieving a specific goal.
~Add your LinkedIn badge to your company website, wherever you describe your core mission. Also, be sure to feature any LI customer reviews you get.
3. Form relationships: I know you’ve probably ignored a lot of those “Invitation to connect on LinkedIn” emails. You’ve probably also ignored the “So and so’s new job” emails. Time to dig into your email archives and start responding. The more connections you have, and the more you interact with those connections, the stronger your LinkedIn network becomes. It’s also important to write and solicit recommendations — not just the “endorsed skills” type, but the actual written recommendations that appear on your profile. These help prove that you are trustworthy and that you have strong relationships with former and current colleagues.
~Create LinkedIn groups where your target market engages, study and participate in their interactions to see what kinds of topics are drawing engagement. Address these topics in your company stream.
~Upload many relevant files on a regular basis (not just pictures from time to time–pdfs, videos, and infographics every day) and keep it organized.
~Ask questions and hold contests using Targeted posts for select audiences.
Next Steps: Using LinkedIn to Earn Money
4. Leverage your salable product or service: There are many ways to make money on LinkedIn, but the first and easiest way is often to create a salable product. Many people choose to monetize information products, such as motivational guides to success in their chosen fields or how-to technical manuals for their areas of expertise. Information products are great money generators because they are nearly always digital (ebooks, PDFs, etc.), meaning that they do not cost much money to manufacture or ship. Other salable products include hardcopy books as well as products related directly to your business. If you sell bespoke shoes, for example, make sure people can buy your product by clicking to your store from your LinkedIn profile.
~Use targeted Recommendation Ads to promote specific products and services.
5. Offer consulting services: If you have expertise in a specific area, make sure your LinkedIn connections know that you offer consulting services. Many people make plenty of extra money every month by talking to other businesses or entrepreneurs about what they’ve learned. If you go the consultant route, make sure it is fully integrated into your brand — you don’t want anyone to think you’re hustling for consultant jobs simply because you need a little extra cash.
~Again, targeting specific audiences with Recommendation Ads are the best way to increase engagement.
6. Promote Affiliate Products: Affiliate marketing is a stable way of generating money online in general. Essentially, it consists of advertising or promoting another company’s product or service in exchange for a percentage of the sales that result from your recommendation.
~Go into your groups and answer some of the questions there with relevant affiliate marketing review posts.
~Post your affiliate posts in your Publications section too, as well as sending it to your email list.
These are only a few of the ways that you can use LinkedIn to fund your business or your new product. Have other ideas for LinkedIn monetization? Enjoyed this take on how does LinkedIn make money for you? Let us know in the comments.
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Allison Maslan, CEO of Pinnacle Global Network, is the Wall Street Journal Best Selling Author of Scale or Fail, which is endorsed by Daymond John and Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank. Allison’s built 10 successful companies starting out at age 19.
Now she and her team of CEO Mentors pay it forward by helping business owners scale their companies, fast-track their success, and create a more meaningful life. Pinnacle Global Network, a world leader in scaling companies and empowering business leaders has guided thousands of CEO's and Founders to success over the past decade. Allison’s been featured in Inc., Success, Fortune, Fast Company, and Forbes Magazines, is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, and a featured expert on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox across the US. She is also the host and producer of The Scale or Fail Show podcast, and the Women Who Own it Podcast in partnership with WBENC, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in North America.
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