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According to my latest LinkedIn user survey, only 23 percent of respondents said LinkedIn has helped them generate iStock_000021725199_Smallidentifiable business opportunities. As far as I'm concerned, that just stinks! That's why it's my daily mission to help you start using LinkedIn to find and build new relationships that lead to more business.

To clarify, this doesn't mean simply selling more products and services. It includes:
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  • Finding more donors and volunteers for your nonprofit
  • Increasing and improving your list of suppliers and vendors
  • Identifying new strategic partners
  • Improving the pool of candidates for your latest job opening
  • Helping you secure your next great job

But how can you use LinkedIn to generate identifiable business opportunities?

You consistently follow my step-by-step process.
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The Five C's: Using LinkedIn to Grow Your BusinessFive C's

This is the same process I share with my corporate and individual clients, people who attend my public classes, and in my online course Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn. Follow all five steps for maximum results.

CREATE a customer-focused profile
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  • Use special profile sections and add media to highlight your area(s) of expertise.
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  • In addition to the Contact Info and Advice for Contacting sections, consider including your preferred contact information in your Summary and Current Job Experience sections.
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  • Include specific 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.
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  • 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.
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  • Avoid LinkedIn's standard invitation language.
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  • 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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  • Use tags to group prospects who have similar buyer characteristics.
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  • Download your connections database. You can then filter and sort the names for use outside of LinkedIn.
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  • 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.
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  • Add value to your relationships by sharing valuable industry information. Do this by publishing your own original content in the Published Posts section of your profile.
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  • 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.
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  • 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.
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  • Search through your current customers' connections Explode Home Page Widget-01and ask them to refer you to specific people in their networks whom you'd like to have as future customers.
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  • Ask for LinkedIn recommendations from your most impactful and loyal customers to display proudly on your profile.

For step-by-step instructions from me on how to execute these five LinkedIn strategies, check out my online video-based course Explode Your Revenues Using LinkedIn. And for a limited time you can purchase it for only $97 by using the promo code SALES. Click here for details and to purchase.