LinkedIn: Why You May Not Want To Advertise Here

Who Cares About LinkedIn? 

Anyone who markets products or services to other businesses or business professionals cares about LinkedIn.  It is like a giant LinkedIn networking meeting in the sky that meets 7/24/365.

LinkedIn’s real draw is the size and quality of the LinkedIn audience.

It is simply one of the most concentrated and powerful ways to reach a business audience with 225+ million members.  2 million are identified with C-titles, 5.5 million are High Tech Managers, 12 million are other small business professionals and 1.3 million are small business owners.

The best news is that this audience represents a very affluent, well-educated and influential audience and what happens on LinkedIn engenders a lot of trust from fellow members.

LinkedIn Trust Factor

What does LinkedIn Offer? 

You mean in addition to a top-notch audience of decision makers, unmatched ability to connect and build relationships with these decision makers?

  • nprecedented access to decision makers in every organisation on the planet.
  • The ability to target these decision makers and build relationships through content.
  • The ability to direct these users to specialised groups or your website and begin the lead-nurturing cycle

– See more at:

  • nprecedented access to decision makers in every organisation on the planet.
  • The ability to target these decision makers and build relationships through content.
  • The ability to direct these users to specialised groups or your website and begin the lead-nurturing cycle

– See more at:

A lot.

LinkedIn provides its members with a number of ways to reach desired audiences. This includes LinkedIn Profile, a LinkedIn Company Page, groups, endorsements and the like. Consistent usage of the basic tools can and does produce a lot of opportunity for anyone on LinkedIn.  As with all other social platforms, ‘consistency’ is the key.

LinkedIn also offers its members advertising options.  But these options should come with a stern warning.

Warning: Don’t become an Ad Junkie!

As traditional media (e.g. newspapers, TV, radio) become less effective in delivering an audience, it is natural to assume these online advertising tools will deliver.

And, these tools are attracting users.  Social network ad spending dollars is expected to rocket from $7.3 billion in 2012 to $14.5 billion by 2015, according to eMarketer.

Unfortunately, many business owners see “advertising” as a magic pill or a quick short-cut to attract more customers and more sales.

They ignore the fact that advertising can only stimulate interest.  In order for those interested to take a desired action, many, many other pieces need to be in place.

Advertising doesn’t eliminate the other necessary steps.

If you are not ‘actively’ engaged (daily activity), don’t waste a lot of your money LinkedIn advertising.

In fact, to advertise and not have your LinkedIn Profile or your LinkedIn Company Page in tip-top order could work against you and not create the positive impressions you want your advertising to deliver.

Frankly, there are so many steps you can take on LinkedIn to generate leads, connections, authority and sales, that you may find that advertising is not the best use of your resources.

Below is a short checklist of 13 basic steps you should review BEFORE advertising on LinkedIn.

1.  LinkedIn Profile is client focused

Rather than a list of positions and responsibilities, answer your prospect’s questions:  Why do I want to connect to this person?  What’s in it for me?

Instead of job titles, consider presenting the audiences you worked with or served and what problems you helped them solve and the results you helped them achieve.  You could also provide more information about why you are ‘uniquely’ qualified to help.  You want to craft your profile information in such a way that it encourages viewers to find out more by connecting.

2.  Captivating Headlines

When people search for you in LinkedIn or when you contribute to Group discussions, the initial item they see is a box with your name, photo and your job title.

LinkedIn title


Use this valuable real estate to generate interest or to highlight what it is you deliver and in a way that gets people’s attention.  You also want captivating headlines on your content.

3.  Keywords in your LinkedIn Profile / LinkedIn Company Page

People use search in LinkedIn, so you want to have your profiles SEO rich and tied to your expertise, products or services.

4.  Having a completed LinkedIn Profile / LinkedIn Company Page

LinkedIn offers a lot of features to create a full and dynamic profile and company page.  These include:  website, Twitter and blog feeds, LinkedIn Apps to add slide, video and/or portfolio presentations, product sections, the ability to add and rearrange sections, etc.  Use these tools to get your Profile and Page in top-top shape.

5.  Ask for Recommendations

Yes, there are the endorsements which automatically pop-up when you’re in your LinkedIn account, but first-hand recommendations from existing customers only strengthen your profile.

Give recommendations to those you have worked with and ask them if they would like to reciprocate.  Most will.

6.  Be Consistently Engaging 

Just like any other platform, the more engagement on LinkedIn the more positive results it will yield.  Just be certain to offer valuable, rich content.

7.  Ask to Connect

Give them a reason to connect by personalizing your request and presenting them with a benefit.

8.  Join the “right” Groups

Join groups where your prospects congregate and not where your competition hangs out.  You can join up to 50 groups, so select wisely.

9.  Create quality content and distribute throughout LinkedIn

This alone will help expand your audience and drive traffic to your website or to landing pages.

10.  Create your own LinkedIn Group

This is a great way to establish your authority, to ensure your messages are received, to learn more about your prospects and to drive traffic to your website or to a landing page.

11.  Consider multiple Groups

Once you have one group under your belt and well managed, give careful consideration to creating more groups.  As an example:  each group could be tailored to a specific audience so the group discussions hold relevant and valuable information for the respective group members.

12.  Promote your Group(s)

Tell people what they can expect if they join your group by explaining the benefits – great presentations, something of value for free, active group members, business connections, etc.

13.  Move the conversation to your email list

You should encourage Profile, Company Page visitors or Group participants to provide you with their email address so you can nurture the relationship long-term.

Bottom Line

Don’t be wooed by the shinny new advertising tools.

Not yet.  Get your ducks in line with these 13 steps. Then, and only then, should you consider advertising on LinkedIn.

I’ll address LinkedIn advertising options in more detail in another post.  In the meantime, master the LinkedIn basics above.

What do you think?  Have you advertised on LinkedIn?  Go ahead and share your results in the comments section below.

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Sheila Hibbard

Sheila Hibbard takes the fluff, hype and confusion out of marketing and social media. She provides small business owners with straight forward, no nonsense marketing guidance and techniques that produce results based on her 35 plus years in advertising, communications, research, strategic planning and social media. Author of Marketing Online Made Simple - WHO.

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