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"I have been on LinkedIn for a long time now and still can't say that it has led me to any new relationships that have generated any new business."

I hear comments like this all too frequently when I meet with new consulting clients or speak at conferences and corporate events. LinkedIn is the largest database of decision-makers on the planet, but the majority of businesspeople have yet to figure out how to make money with it.

That's why I created The 5 C's: Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Business, and I've been sharing this proven strategy with my clients for the past five years.

I will be sharing this step-by-step process at my LinkedIn Extravaganza events this fall in the Midwest (click here for schedule and registration) and also at the Industrial Inbound Summit 2018 on October 3 in Milwaukee (use discount code WAYNE25 to save $25 off your registration).

But here is an overview of the 5 C's along with some of the specific Linkedin steps/features that you can begin implementing in your business right away.
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5 Steps to LinkedIn Business Success

CREATE a customer-focused profile
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  • Use special profile sections and add media to your profile Summary and Current Job Experience sections to highlight your area(s) of expertise.
  • Add your preferred contact information in your Summary and Current Job Experience sections.
  • Include calls to action throughout your profile to encourage readers to engage with you.

CONNECT with your prospects
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  • Use Advanced People Search, Company Search, Alumni, Groups, People You May Know, and Who's Viewed Your Profile to find new prospects.
  • Use a five-star invitation to reach out to potential prospects. Include where you met (if applicable) and/or how you could help each other.
  • Always be on the lookout for quality connections. The larger your network, the more opportunity for business growth.

CATEGORIZE your connections
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  • Download your connections database. You can then filter and sort the names for use outside of LinkedIn.
  • Consider upgrading to one of the premium LinkedIn accounts to receive additional profile sorting and saving options.

COMMUNICATE with your network
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  • Stay in front of your audience by making daily status updates and publishing long-form articles.
  • Use direct messaging to contact your first-level connections and fellow group members. But don't contact them too often or sell too hard or they may remove you from their network.
  • Increase your exposure by engaging in group discussions and "liking," sharing or commenting on other people's status updates.

CAPITALIZE on existing relationships
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  • Connect with all of your existing clients/customers.
  • Search their networks to find out who they know.
  • Get referrals, recommendations, and endorsements. It's easy—just ask!

To learn more about how the 5 C's formula can help you grow your bottom line, mark your calendar now and attend the Industrial Inbound Summit 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on October 3 (use WAYNE25 to save $25 off your registration) or one of my fall LinkedIn Extravaganza workshops: Grand Rapids MI (9/24), Chicago IL (10/1), Milwaukee WI (10/4) or Madison WI (10/17).