Image via Flickr user mariosundar.
Many marketers consider Twitter and Facebook to be the most powerful social media sites out there. Yet when marketers overlook the potential of LinkedIn
for business promotion, they are missing out on a great opportunity. As a freelance graphic designer
, a successful LinkedIn marketing strategy can help you establish expertise, and connect you with potential partners and clients. Beyond the simple suggestions, such as completing your profile and uploading contacts, here are three tips for actually engaging on the business social network: 1. Add a unique value proposition
A unique value proposition is a statement that describe your business, who your target customer is, and what separates you from the competition. On your LinkedIn profile, where it says summary you need to let other users know right away, and in very clear language, what you do and what it is that makes you unique. This little paragraph is like the elevator pitch
of social networking. It's OK to say you do print design, but it's even better if you can say you design annual reports and corporate collateral for Fortune 500 companies. Avoid using too much technical jargon and write in a first person "I" to make it conversational and engaging. 2. Search, ask and answer questions
Ever wondered what small businesses were looking for in a graphic designer? Why don't you just ask them? LinkedIn Answers is a feature where users can pose a question in a specific industry or category and get insights back from the general user-base. Try searching for questions related to your core services or offerings. It is likely that the people asking such questions are potential customers. Providing an expert response may initiate a conversation that leads to a working relationship. 3. Join groups and start discussions
Join industry groups where your colleagues, clients and potential clients are already members. Groups are a great way to meet new users outside of your network. Engaging with someone in a group discussion is a natural way to then request to connect with that person. If you don't see a discussion you like, start one yourself! Outside of groups, you need an introduction through a shared connection to connect with second- and third-degree connections on LinkedIn. The groups feature makes it possible to connect with other members outside of your immediate circle of connections. Have you had any success marketing yourself on LinkedIn? Please share any further tips or success stories in the comments.