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Most people don’t realize but there are over 500 million people on LinkedIn and many of your potential clients are using LinkedIn daily.

LinkedIn is the biggest networking event in the world and people show up everyday. The question is, how do you leverage LinkedIn to get long term results?

An entrepreneur asked our CEO, Joe Apfelbaum, about his results from LinkedIn recently and this is what Joe told him.

For a long time, he was not getting much results from LinkedIn so he ignored it for the most part. One day, he started to take some action to see what happens and after a few weeks of constant action, Joe got two big leads. One of the leads turned out to be a waste of time but the second lead closed for 180k.

He realized that if you don’t take constant action, you won’t get consistent results. Joe committed to analyzing 1 million LinkedIn connections and started on his LinkedIn journey.

Here are 3 simple steps to leverage LinkedIn to get the maximum amount of results from the platform, directly from Joe.

1. The first step is to Recognize. That means you must figure out why you are on LinkedIn. What is your core purpose for being on the platform and what do you want to get out of it? For Joe, he wants three things. The first thing he wants is to be top of mind with existing contacts and research new contacts. The second thing Joe wants out of LinkedIn is to build relationship with ideal referral partners and the third thing is to get new business. You see how his last goal is to get new business? It’s because the first two goals lead to the 3rd. Most people are focused on the outcome and they forget about the process that leads to the outcome. Sure, you need to have your outcome top of mind but more importantly – you must understand what will lead you to that outcome and you must not not engage in the urgent at the expense of the important. Stephen Covey talks about this in his book the seven habits of highly effective people. Networking and staying top of mind is important and closing deals is urgent. Which one will you spend most of your time on? So step one – recognize – is to have a goal, understand your target and identify the value you bring to your relationships.

2. The second step to leveraging LinkedIn is to Strategize. That means that you must have some type of playbook that you work off. That playbook must have checklists, scripts, messaging and include your plan in it. If you wing your LinkedIn activity, you will have results that are up in the air. Working off of some type of a playbook will help you stay focused and not get lost in the abyss of LinkedIn. People are putting out content and you do not want to spend time consuming random content on LinkedIn. Instead you want to stick to your plan. Once you have a playbook, you must create a dashboard where you can track your activity and the results you get. My LinkedIn dashboard has a list of all of my connections and they are sorted by the most important ones. Joe also keeps track of how much proactive time he spend on LinkedIn each day so that he can look back and see exactly what he spends his time doing. Finally, you need to optimize your profile and have a good strategy for what you want people to do when they actually check you out e.g you probably want a call to action to message you. That means you need the right photo, the right headline and an amazing summary. You want great experiences, skills and accomplishments. Make sure your contact information is up to date. So, step two is  – Strategize – this includes your playbook, dashboard and profile.

3. The third and final step to a successful LinkedIn journey is to Prioritize. That means you need to take the right actions each day. How do you spend your time? For Joe, it’s about Planting, Nurturing and Outreach. What does it mean to plant? That means to create content and put it out there. There are 5 types of content that I like to put out there. There are articles, videos, posts, links and images. You want to make sure that you have everything you will be posting in advance organized in your dashboard so that you know what to plant when it comes time to plant each day. Nurturing is done in two ways – the first is through connecting with comments and likes and the second is through messaging with value and invites. Finally, the part that makes your account grow in the right direction is outreach. Reaching out to dozens of new connections that will get you more referrals and build your network on a daily basis.

“Most people that I know are busy on LinkedIn doing random acts of networking. That is why I love teaching people how to leverage their social media networking so that they can start getting real results from their efforts.” -Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union CEO

Want to setup a call with Joe to discuss? Pick a time from his calendar www.joeapfelbaum.com/talk