After coaching hundreds of business professionals on social selling and LinkedIn, it’s clear not everyone understands the potential LinkedIn brings to a business professional. I’ve been preaching to my clients for years that LinkedIn is the most powerful tool to grow your business or to blow your sales quota out of the water every month. When you know how to use LinkedIn properly, closing more deals is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Still, there are naysayers out there that don’t believe LinkedIn is anything but a site to find a new job. These people haven’t completed their profile, they don’t join and participate in groups, and they never post status updates. In fact, many rarely log into LinkedIn because they don’t see the value.

There’s another group of people who do participate in groups, post status updates and send messages to their connections. The problem is they post self-promotions and spam their connections with “hire me” and “buy from me” messages. They add no value to the LinkedIn experience and wouldn’t know how to build a long-term relationship if their life depended on it.

LinkedIn works best when you give more than you receive. As Zig Ziglar says “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want”. Focus on helping others on LinkedIn and you will understand the power of LinkedIn.

To prove my point, I did a 30 day challenge. Every day I spent just 30 minutes on LinkedIn. I spread the 30 minutes throughout the day in 5-10 minute increments.

My goal was to help as many people as possible in the 30 days. I didn’t focus on getting new clients. I just wanted to help as many people as I could.

Every day I:

  1. Posted at least two status updates with useful information that will help my network
  2. Liked, Shared or Commented on at least two status updates posted by my network
  3. Asked or answered at least two group questions
  4. Gave at least two endorsements
  5. Wrote at least one recommendation
  6. Added at least five people to my network

I felt like this was definitely manageable in 30 minutes a day if I scheduled time on my calendar and stayed focused.

The result?

The results were astounding.

1. My LinkedIn profile views quadrupled

2. Connection requests tripled. In fact, I stopped inviting people to connect with me because I received 10-15 connection requests a day.

3. The number of people sending me LinkedIn messages tripled (and most weren’t just solicitation messages)

4. People started calling my office to see how I could help them

5. Traffic to my website increased 400%. I was expecting to see a dramatic increase in my website traffic by being more active on LinkedIn but its clear checking your website is part of the vetting process when people want to learn more about you and your business.

6. And I picked up two new ideal clients even though I wasn’t focused on landing new clients

LinkedIn is easy when you focus on helping others with no expectations. In fact, isn’t life in general easier when you focus on helping others?

To learn more about how to leverage LinkedIn for social selling, check out this blog post about LinkedIn’s SSI score.

Ted Prodromou, America’s Leading LinkedIn Coach, is the best-selling, award-winning author of Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn for Business and Ultimate Guide to Twitter for Business (Entrepreneur Press). Ted is also frequent contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, Entrepreneur.com, and DigitalMarketer.com. Learn more about Ted at www.tedprodromou.com.