LinkedIn is a professional social network that has quickly engulfed the world of business, online and offline. The network is jam-packed with amazing business-focused individuals promoting their personal and associated brands, sharing informative content, and striking deals through connections.

No doubt, LinkedIn has become a powerful tool for building business relationships and an even greater asset for generating traffic and conversions for online businesses.

In this post, I’ll take you through the basics of getting started on LinkedIn and the strategies for turning your usage of the network into a machine for generating new site visitors.

Here we go …

The LinkedIn Connection

LinkedIn has been growing by leaps and bounds; it’s quickly turning into one of the most powerful forms of networking we’ve ever seen in our business society!

Gone are the days of stacking a pile of business cards in order to organize them into a rolodex. No more flustering with your phone trying to take down contact details. Everything has been pulled under one roof, LinkedIn, and it’s your best bet at creating powerful business connections.

Unlike other social networks which rely on gimmicks to engage users (such as silly cat pictures) – LinkedIn houses best and brightest in their respected fields and tapping into these connections go well beyond the one-off traffic spike: you’re reaching real connections with the movers and shakers which will lead to traffic and conversions beyond any other social platform you’ve jumped on.

So, the question becomes: how would an affiliate get started on the network?

The Basic Usage of LinkedIn: In a Nutshell

LinkedIn is different.

You’re not there to:

  • Pimp your products left and right
  • Blast endless amount of content to followers
  • Update your feed with stupid pictures
  • Overload your account with worthless connections

LinkedIn is about business.

Go ahead and start a profile on LinkedIn, and take the tour through the platform by playing around with some of its features for a half hour or so.

Once you’ve settled the initial excitement and prospect of the network – begin adding some of the important profile features, including:

  • Profile picture
  • Professional headline
  • Location
  • A background (summary)
  • Work experience
  • Skills
  • Education
  • Interests
  • Contact details

If you’ve ever filled out a resume/CV than you’re accustomed to these items; it would actually be quite easy to have your resume loaded and present while you fill out the main elements if it has been updated as of recently.

A few features that help your profile stand out includes the ability for other members of your network to endorse your skills, adding presentations to your work experience & projects, and purchasing an upgrade on your account which gives you additional features for contacting individuals and building your profiles.

Note: It’s not necessary to upgrade in order to get what you want out of LinkedIn but it certainly aids in your usage of the network if you’re on it frequently.

Connecting and Networking

Think of LinkedIn as a giant conference event with millions of other individuals.

Just like a conference, you wander around looking (searching) for potential business connections.

From the get-go, you can pull your connections through import features using email and linking to other social profiles but it’s the search features that allow you to dig into the network to find other individuals within your field, seek employees for your business, or scope the competition.

In time, LinkedIn will give you suggested users which will most likely be within your extended network which will aid in the growing of your potential when using the platform.

A word of note: Grow slowly. Don’t turn your LinkedIn profile into the next Facebook. Connect with people that matter than just for the sake of building your connection count.

Besides importing connections, you’re more than welcome to add a LinkedIn badge to your website or manually connect with people through personal contact.

That basically wraps up the basics for getting started on LinkedIn but there is still a whole load of features waiting to be explored and tapped for traffic and conversions …

LinkedIn for Traffic: The Important To-Do’s

LinkedIn can be a very powerful traffic source for your affiliate marketing business if you remember to treat the network and its users with respect. After all, the individuals on the network are fellow business associates which have a whole lot of moving power compared to the hit-and-run website visitor; these individuals can quickly spread the word in (or out) of your favor.

Here are a few ways you can begin tapping LinkedIn for traffic:

  • Groups – Browse and find groups relevant to your niche and industry; begin sharing your thoughts, opinions, and answers to questions found within the discussions. Use your website links as additional resources when answering questions and do a bit of self-promotion but generally rely on having other message or browse through your profile to do the hard selling.
  • Direct messages – Found someone that matches your goals in business? Give them a message about how you’d like to connect. Consider doing an interview with this individual to create great, engaging content on your website. Deliver them a valuable experience and they will repay the favor.
  • Post comments – Use the feeds to share your thoughts about information shared within the network. Keep coming back to answer responses. In essence, try to appear extremely active within the groups and community, at large, to keep your name in the minds of those within your industry.
  • Recommend and endorse others – Notice a skill offered by a connection that’s accurate? Let others know through an endorsement. Likewise, recommend fellow members of the network to those seeking individuals for hire. Aiding an individual in landing new work will quickly get you on their priority list of great individuals.

LinkedIn is built like most of the other social networks with many similar features so you’re most likely very adjusted to connecting with others and forging relationships. However, it’s advised that you take your time when building your presence as you’re present in front of many other business professionals so act on your best behavior and allow your connections to grow organically.

In time, as your connections grow, you’ll find your traffic generation will steadily grow as your connections share your content among groups and within their feeds. Likewise, these connections will open plenty of great opportunities to work on business ventures and promotional campaigns, together.

Develop the Real Connections that Matter

It can’t be stated enough: in order to get real traffic from LinkedIn, you should build real connections.

Facebook is great for building a general community, Twitter makes its mark for the one-off conversations, YouTube for reaching a new medium, but it’s LinkedIn where some of your greatest potential for generating traffic and conversions will come from so treat it with great care.

Give LinkedIn a shot.

Will you jump on board and give LinkedIn a ‘go’ for traffic and lead generation?

Share your thoughts about the network in the comments below.