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Four ways to build your marketing strategy with Linkedin

For freelancers especially, building strong connections with potential partners and clients is crucial to maintaining a strong business momentum. Virtually any social networking site can help maximize your outreach, so why should your marketing campaign focus on LinkedIn instead of alternatives such as Facebook and Twitter?

Although alternative social media sites may be able to get your name out there, they often lack the professional features and atmosphere that are hallmarks of LinkedIn. If you've never used LinkedIn or haven't fully discovered how this social networking medium can be used for marketing, consider the following tips for maximizing your outreach.

1. Emphasize Your Strong Points

Although entrepreneurship is highly respectable in the professional world, potential partners and buyers still want to see your credentials before deciding to do business with you. One of the ways you can market yourself on LinkedIn is by taking advantage of all of the opportunities your profile offers to spotlight different aspects of your professional appeal. For example, don't just list your administration degree in the education section of your profile.

In addition to this point, discuss the accomplishments and experiences you gained while earning this degree to showcase your strengths and talents.

2. Get Involved

LinkedIn has an excellent feature called Groups, which enables users to team up with other like-minded individuals in their prospective industries. These groups are not simply exclusive cliques intended for socializing, but are actually designed to be used as proactive tools for collaboration, idea development, and thoughtful discussions regarding the state of the industry and other subjects relevant to the group.

By getting involved in one or even several of these groups, you can benefit tremendously from these collaborations, while also establishing strong connections with other professionals. These connections will eventually expand your social outreach.

3. Ask and You Shall Receive

If you've been stuck on a problem at work or are just looking for ways to work more efficiently in general, don't hesitate to submit a quick question to LinkedIn's Answers feature. This strategy will ultimately kill two birds with one stone. The first "bird" will be in the form of a helpful solution to your question delivered by a highly qualified professional.

The second "bird" will be in the marketing potential of posting your question to a public venue that thousands of professionals visit on a regular basis. Remember to answer a few questions as well, since posting your answers will showcase your expertise and encourage more professionals to reach out to you.

4. Optimize Your Page

When professionals in your industry are looking for potential partners, customers, and clients, they often search specific key words that pertain to the job that they're looking for. These keywords should all be optimized on your page (without sounding spammy) to ensure that your page will be more effectively matched with the right professionals.

If you're an entrepreneur who specializes in freelance writing, be sure to specifically mention all forms of writing that fit your expertise to get connected with professionals looking for specific writing projects. For example, you can include keywords like "experience in blogging" to optimize your page.

As an entrepreneur, it's often difficult to establish an effective marketing plan when you're reaching out to your industry without the help of a marketing team. Although you may not have the marketing personnel that larger businesses enjoy, modern technology and social media can help bridge that gap. By utilizing the four tips above with just LinkedIn alone, your campaign can start generating the results you've been looking for.

Zach Buckley is a freelance writer who is interested in exploring the intersection of culture, science and education. He lives in the Midwest and enjoys music, literature and good food.

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