How to Find Marketing Partners through LinkedIn - dummies

How to Find Marketing Partners through LinkedIn

By Joel Elad

When it comes to marketing on LinkedIn, your strategy typically involves more than just you and your business. Part of the success of marketing through LinkedIn is finding the right marketing partners to help you with your goals and take you to the next level.

After all, you’re connecting with like-minded professionals who have skills similar or complementary to yours, which helps both of you achieve your goals. In some cases, finding the right partner can make a big difference in the growth of your business.

Your first order of business is to use the LinkedIn Company page directory to start identifying potential partners. You can look for service providers who may be two or three degrees away from you or you can target people you want to meet at specific companies by seeing who in your network can arrange an introduction. Here are some ideas to keep mind during your search:

  • Pay attention to people’s titles. In the past, you might searched for someone “who works at advertising sales for a major radio network.” Today, with LinkedIn, you can look for an Advertising Sales Manager at Clear Channel Communications. Search for who you need to know, specifically, and LinkedIn shows you whether that person is connected to you by one, two, or three degrees.

  • Join the LinkedIn groups that would appeal to your business. One of the quickest ways to signal your interest and find like-minded businesspeople is to join a LinkedIn group that’s relevant to your industry or niche. You can then search group members to find potential partners.

    Also, because your groups are listed on your profile, joining a group means that you have a lasting reference on your profile that lets people know you identify with this group. Also, members of the group who are experts are often willing to give you advice as you build your business, and they often have information on helpful resources for your business.

  • Read through your network updates and post accordingly. You can learn about the reach of your network by seeing what your first-degree connections are sharing in terms of articles, updates, and information. Share relevant articles and see who comments or contacts you because of it, and always check the comments section of any articles that your connections post. See what articles or news LinkedIn Pulse recommends for you.

Odds are, you won’t have all the answers when it comes to your strategic plan, marketing plan, or maybe even your business direction. Thankfully, when you’re using LinkedIn, you’re not alone. LinkedIn allows you to search the collective knowledge of its community, enabling you to perform some market research on a variety of topics and get real-time responses without involving think tanks or putting out thousands of dollars in fees.

The key is to be honest, transparent, and grateful. You are asking for people’s advice and thoughts, so don’t expect them to write a 30-page market analysis for you for free. Share your goals and intentions as a network update, get people discussing the idea and each other’s comments, and be ready to listen. The best research results from the community’s exchange of ideas.

If you’re really ambitious, you can set up a LinkedIn group that speaks to your target audience and your company’s (or your) capabilities to gain more perspective and input.

For example, if you’re trying to reach accountants for financial services companies, to get the ball rolling you could start the Financial Services Accountants Group, spread the word to your target audience, and stay in touch with that audience via this group whenever you want to know more about your target audience.