As I mentioned last week, LinkedIn excels at researching, networking, and marketing. This week I will address the LinkedIn features and strategies that are specifically designed to help market your products and services.

I bet many of you are giving your cubicle neighbor a high five and a great big "YES!" and shouting something like, "He finally got around to what I have been doing for years and love to do, and that is marketing and selling my stuff." I get that. Believe me -- I am an old-school marketer myself.

marketing guyIf you didn't know it, I spent 18 years in the automotive business. I would love nothing better than to use LinkedIn on a continual basis to scream out my marketing message, but here is the big "but."

This is social media, and that means it is all about connecting with people, sharing expertise, sharing some more. Then when they or a friend of theirs needs your products or services, they know where to find you.

Okay. I am sure you get my point. So let me start with reviewing a definition of marketingWikipedia defines marketing as the process by which companies create customer interest in goods or services.


In the old days, before the Internet, the main way we created interest in our products or services was by using some form of advertising. That advertising came directly from the company in the form of some kind of campaign or program to get across a specific message about a feature, price or way in which our product or service stood out from the competition and why you needed to buy right now or you were going to miss something really big. It required a very significant time commitment, along with a financial budget, to complete this campaign or program.


In the current era of the Internet and social media, we not only have additional channels for this communication but many more potential voices (in addition to the company itself) that can help create the desired customer interest we are looking for. 


Using social media channels to create customer interest may not require a significant financial budget, but it will still require time and effort to execute the plan. However, now many individuals (voices) can assist the marketing department in the execution of the plan. 


Just think how cost effective it would be to have individuals in your company using the LinkedIn marketing tools to create customer interest within their individual networks. It would be like having an army of "marketing machines."


I have developed this report card that you can use to score yourself on how well you are using LinkedIn to maximize your marketing efforts.



Report Card For Developing Your LinkedIn Marketing Strategy



Specific items included in your individual profile:

  • Marketing keywords in headline (brand, co. name, yrs in business, etc.) (5 points)            
  • Customer recommendations (2 points for each; max 10 points)                                    
  • Adding sections for specific industry skills and certifications (5 points)                      
  • Using Amazon book reviews for industry-related books (5 points)                                    
  • Marketing materials in files (5 points)                                                            
  • Marketing Power Point included in SlideShare or Google Presentations (5 points)
  • Marketing video included in Google Presentation (5 points)
  • Using websites for links to marketing information (5 points for each)             
  • Using Blog Link or WordPress application for company blog (10 points)
  • Using Events application to promote customer education events (10 points)
  • Using industry-specific applications (Legal Updates, Lawyer Rating, Real Estate Pro or Creative Portfolio Display) (10 points)

Keyword optimization test your profile at least quarterly (20 points)     


Company profile is up to date (including using the Products & Service tab) and keyword tested (15 points) 


Belong to industry or related-industry groups (2 points for each; max 10 points)   


Post thought leadership discussion in industry groups at least monthly (5 points)  


Answer industry-related questions in Answers section at least quarterly (5 points)


Use Status Update to share industry-related knowledge resources--such as events, websites, articles--at least weekly (10 points)

Congratulations if your point total was 80 or above. I would say you are doing an excellent job of using LinkedIn's best tools and features for marketing your products and services.


If your score was between 60 and 79, then you are well on your way, but you might want to review the areas where you didn't pick up any points and work toward incorporating those techniques into your LinkedIn strategy.


If you are below 60, you need to spend some purposeful time with this report card and sharpen up your profile and activities on LinkedIn in order to create the kind of customer interest you desire.