Out of the three major social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), the latter is easily the most underutilized when it comes to practice marketing. There are a few basic reasons that so many business owners and marketers drop the ball when it comes successful networking on LinkedIn that anyone who has spent much time on the site will be familiar with. Before we get into the nuts and bolts of including LinkedIn in your practice marketing campaign, it’s worth addressing why so many professionals who should know better aren’t taking advantage of the site, such as:

  • More Formal Atmosphere: Unlike Facebook and Twitter, the professional setting of LinkedIn stifles open dialogue and sharing for many new users.
  • Lack of Buzz: You couldn’t get away from the buzz surrounding Facebook and Twitter even if you tried. We’ve all heard those sticks in the mud who refuse to touch social media complain about the constant attention that’s paid to these platforms. LinkedIn? Not so much.
  • Perceived as Less Fun: Even when your working on accounts solely devoted to practice marketing, most people find that the open social setting of Facebook and Twitter gets their creative juices flowing. Until you spend enough time with LinkedIn to discover the networking and marketing opportunities that it has to offer, using this service seems about as much fun as updating your resume.

The fact of the matter is that LinkedIn can be just as profitable and inspiring as its competitors, as well as just as big of a timesuck if you’re not careful. Assuming that you haven’t gotten much further with this service than setting up an account and connecting with a few associates, the following three practice marketing tips for LinkedIn rookies should get you over the hurdle and show you why so many successful people devote time to their account on this service every day.

  1. Your LinkedIn Profile is NOT Your Resume: The biggest mistake that professionals from just about every industry make when they first start using this service is basically upload their resume to their profile. Avoid this mistake by making your profile as client focused as possible. It’s Marketing 101: use your profile to tell the world how your professional services will solve their problems and improve their lives.
  2. Open Networking vs. Trusted Partner Networking: If you’re pretty green to LinkedIn, it’s important to understand that this service lets users build their network in two very different ways, Open Networking and Trusted Partner Networking. Open Networking accounts are very accessible and typically used to build a large network connected with a wide variety of accounts, like Facebook and Twitter users who seek out as many friends and followers as possible. Trusted Partner Networking accounts require users to jump through a couple of hoops in order to connect, resulting in a much smaller but close knit network. When it comes to practice marketing professional services, Trusted Partner Networking is much more likely to pay off with more profitable relationships in the long run.
  3. Get Involved in LinkedIn Groups: One of the best ways to foster new relationships on LinkedIn is to participate in some relevant LinkedIn Groups. In terms of professional services marketing, you’ll find groups out there devoted to specific industries like medical practice marketing and coaching practice marketing that are ideal for meeting others in your line of work. With some creative strategizing, you can easily discover other groups that are packed full of potential clients that are likely to be in need of your professional services.