How I use LinkedIn to Generate 80 Percent of My Business Leads

How I use LinkedIn to Generate 80 Percent of My Business Leads

March 9, 2017 Personal Branding 1 comment

Original photo from Freepik

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network. Unfortunately, it’s also probably the most misunderstood.

With a total network size of 467 million users (Jan 2017), LinkedIn has over 108 million active users per month. About 57 percent of LinkedIn users are male, compared to 44 percent female.

LinkedIn is also the “richest” social network in terms of demographics.

44% of LinkedIn users earn more than US$75,000 a year, and 41 percent of millionaires use LinkedIn. The average CEO has some 930 connections on LinkedIn.

Common Misgivings About LinkedIn

Despite its massive size and business potential, few have used LinkedIn effectively to build their professional networks, generate leads or grow their business.

Here are some of the common reasons I’ve heard from friends and acquaintances explaining why they’ve neglected their LinkedIn accounts:

  1. LinkedIn is only for job seekers looking for jobs
  2. LinkedIn is filled with estate agents, insurance agents, trainers and agencies trying to spam their way into my InBox
  3. LinkedIn is the boring version of Facebook (snigger)
  4. LinkedIn is just an online Rolodex to keep all my contacts handy
  5. LinkedIn is full of wannabes posting gratuitous and ego-inflating content
  6. I don’t have time for LinkedIn!

While some of the above may be true – especially point number 3 – I strongly encourage you not to give up on LinkedIn. As the world’s number one professional social network, it has a lot to offer.

My LinkedIn Credentials

I wouldn’t consider myself a LinkedIn expert by any measure of the word, but I have experienced how powerful this social channel can be in generating business leads, attracting talent, and forming professional partnerships.

Here are some of my “vital statistics” on LinkedIn:

  • 2,913 followers and 2,679 connections
  • 70 articles published
  • Over 40,000 views on my most popular article
  • 18 recommendations received
  • Over 99 endorsements each for Social Media Marketing, Corporate Communications, Public Relations, Marketing Communications, and Media Relations
  • Approximately 80 percent of business leads from LinkedIn (averaging about 2 a month)

And the funniest thing is this – I didn’t pay for advertising nor did I upgrade to a “Pro” account!

So how did I do it?

Connect with Friends, Ex-Colleagues, and Acquaintances

Like some of you, I started my LinkedIn account out of curiosity back in 2006/2007 during its early years.

As a business blogger, I found it interesting to connect with my fellow bloggers, friends on social media, colleagues, and alumni contacts through LinkedIn.

I also realised that it was more efficient for me to reach out to my professional contacts through LinkedIn rather than dig out their name cards to email, call or Whatsapp them.

Over time, I encouraged my business associates to connect with me on LinkedIn. This worked well as LinkedIn is considered less intimate and afforded greater privacy to those who preferred not to mix business with pleasure.

Through LinkedIn, I also found that I could stay in touch with my contacts. I could congratulate them during their work anniversaries or when they found new jobs, and reach out to them if I needed help in a specific area.

Here’s a very small sample of the folks I’m currently connected with on LinkedIn.

Write, Rewrite and Re-rewrite Your Profile

It goes without saying that your profile on LinkedIn is the most important piece of content that you should create.

Everybody who has an inkling of interest in you would check it out:

  • Potential business partners
  • Potential employers
  • Potential employees (yes, talents are particular about who they work for)
  • Potential clients
  • Potential suppliers/ contractors

Thus, it makes a lot of sense to pour your heart, mind and soul into writing a kick-ass profile.

In my case, I paid attention to my headline, used keywords which best described what I’m good at (and why you should work with me), and also included as much of my professional achievements as I could.

Source: Walter’s LinkedIn Profile

Oh, and don’t forget your photograph. Nothing beats a professionally taken photograph to make your LinkedIn profile stand out (or at least not suck).

Get Your Most Important Skills Listed and Endorsed

Have you used the LinkedIn Featured Skills and Endorsements function?

It is a feature where you list down the different skills that you’re good at. Or approve what others have endorsed you for.

Mine looked like this. You can see that my areas of strength are balanced between social media marketing, PR, and marketing communications.

Do these skill endorsements work?

Well, according to LinkedIn, a person whose skills are listed receive 17 times more profile views than those who do not have their skills listed. This would be valuable not only for those looking for a job, but entrepreneurs seeking business partners.

As in anything on social media, the trick here is to both give endorsements and receive them. When doing so, however, it is important to be authentic – ie only endorse the skills of your associates if you’ve seen them in action (either online or in-the-flesh).

Writing LinkedIn Articles – My Best Investment

In March 2014, I experimented with writing articles directly on LinkedIn using the LinkedIn Pulse app (now defunct). Prior to that, I used LinkedIn primarily as a social sharing channel to promote my own blog posts.

(At that time, I was working in a senior Corp Comms position in a government body and only left my job in May 2014.)

That was when things started to move up a few notches for me.

As a blogger, LinkedIn Pulse provided an additional channel for me to promote my thoughts and ideas.

Initially, I wrote anything which inspired or triggered me. It could be on social media, blogging, personal development, or leadership.

Over time, I decided to focus my LinkedIn articles on the hot topics of interest, especially those related to career or HR issues. At the same time, I pivoted my own website Cooler Insights to focus more on social media and content marketing topics.

Here’s my most popular article to date – a piece I wrote to highlight why employers regardless of affiliation should consider hiring public officers.

Source of article

Here’s a snapshot of how well this article did, and who my readers were. It is interesting to see that many of them came from GovTech Singapore and San Francisco!

Of course, not all my articles do that well. Quite a few have less than 500 views.

However, that hadn’t stopped me from writing – and neither should it stop you too.

The Art of LinkedIn Engagement

Now, as an introvert, I don’t particularly enjoy schmoozing at parties or networking in face-to-face events. I can’t really drink, and my hearing has deteriorated over the years.

(Having said that, I’m far from socially awkward as those who met me in the flesh would attest to.)

Fortunately, schmoozing on LinkedIn is a different thing altogether.

As a geek and a nerd, I like to read what my connections on LinkedIn are sharing – especially if they are thought leaders and influencers in specific fields. I can also chip in with my two cents worth of comments, and stay in touch with occasional messages.

Typically, this is what I do.


  • Read through my LinkedIn feeds, like a couple of posts and updates, and comment on one or two
  • Share an article on LinkedIn
  • Congratulate friends/connections who were promoted, got a new job, or celebrated a job anniversary

Weekly/ Fortnightly

  • Write an article or draft one
  • Schedule my LinkedIn posts for the week
  • Reach out to like-minded influencers and connect with them
  • Visit some of the Groups which I’m a member of, and read the more interesting posts

More in My 3rd 4th LinkedIn Personal Branding Workshop

What I’ve shared above is just the tip of the ice-berg.

Together with my buddy and Super Brand Me founder Eugene Seah, I’ll be conducting my 4th LinkedIn Personal Branding workshop on 29 September (Friday) evening.

During the three hour session, I’ll equip you with in-depth insights and learning materials so that you can achieve the following outcomes:

  • Define your personal brand on LinkedIn
  • Create a rock solid LinkedIn profile
  • Write engaging LinkedIn posts to build thought leadership
  • Incorporate LinkedIn into your lifestyle
  • And much more…

Past sessions have been popular with tickets flying fast, so do hurry and sign up here to confirm your place.

I guarantee that it’ll be a fun, engaging and enriching night, with lots of valuable tips and tricks that you can use to accelerate your LinkedIn marketing efforts.

Are Women Equal to Men in Singapore? Insights from a Minister

February 23, 2017 Business and Management no comments

Ms Yang Lan of Sun Media Group interviewing Minister for Social and Family Development, Tan Chuan Jin

Are women being fairly treated here in Singapore? How could we ensure a fairer spread of responsibilities and opportunities between the sexes?

These weighty issues were given a hearing last week at the Conference on Harmony in Diversity by the International Women’s Forum supported by DBS Bank.

8 Types of Cyber Bullies You’d Never Suspect

February 9, 2017 Social Influence 1 comment

8 tyoes of cyberbullies

Designed by Freepik

Cyber bullying is a big problem around the world.

According to Statistic Brain, 84.2 per cent of students in the US reported being bullied on Facebook, followed by 23.4 per cent on Instagram and 21.4 percent on Twitter. A more recent report by New York Post revealed that cyber bullying cases soared by some 351 per cent in just two years.

What about here in Singapore? Surely things aren’t that bad.

Well, according to the Media Literacy Council, about three in 10 school children and youths here experienced cyber bullying. In May last year, a study by Kingmaker Consultancy further reported in The Straits Times revealed that students between the ages of 13 and 15 experienced an increase of up to 7 percentage points in online bullying compared to 2013.

In a separate survey of 3,800 secondary and 1,800 upper primary school students by TOUCH Cyber Wellness in 2015, 33 per cent of the secondary students reported that they were cyber bullied, while 25 per cent admitted bullying someone online. 22 per cent of the primary school students had experienced cyber bullying – increase of 4 per cent compared to 2014.

A form of online harassment, cyber bullying may take the form of text messages, nasty emails, social media posts, Internet forum posts, or blog posts. Often, cyber bullying is done with the intention of hurting, damaging, humiliating or defaming a person or organisation.

Unlike physical bullying though, many cyber bullies are often oblivious to the fact that they are making others feel uncomfortable by their online actions. And that may include you and me.

Here are eight forms of cyber bullying which you’re probably unaware of.

#1 The Political-Religious Zealot

By now, you’re probably aware that the recent US elections has polarised the world. Online assaults come thick and heavy, with both liberals and conservatives slinging mud at each other.

Here in Singapore, it isn’t uncommon for people to label each other for their political or religious views. Often, we may also get swept away by the heat of emotionally charged arguments for or against a position, even when we do not fully understand the real issues.

“Oh that guy is a fundie! Let’s block him from our conversations.”

“That woman is pro-abortion. She must be evil!”

While we are entitled to our own beliefs, we need to be mindful of how we label others who may disagree with our values.

Having a civil argument is fine. Degenerating into insults and name calling isn’t.

#2 The Teaser Taser

“It’s only a joke lah! She will not be offended.”

Well, think again.

According to a study by the University of British Columbia, 95 percent of the youths who perpetuated a cyber bullying action thought that what happened online was merely a joke. Only about five percent actually meant to harm someone!

So how do you avoid turning humour into harassment?

  1. Adopt Stephen Covey’s habit of seeking first to understand the other person.
  2. Ask yourself how you’d feel if you were the subject of the same joke.
  3. Avoid making online jokes at another person’s expense.
  4. Consider if the remarks could possibly be perceived in a different, negative way.

#3 The Online Outer

In a world of smart phones, it isn’t uncommon for extraordinary incidents to be captured on camera. These could be useful as evidence in criminal cases, road accidents, or to resolve disputes between two parties.

However, the smartphone camera may also be a double-edged sword. This is especially so when the prized video clip or photo is publicly shared and “spiced-up” for the purpose of gaining greater likes, comments and shares online (what we call social currency).

We have seen this happen several years ago when photos and videos of NSFs taking up the “reserved seats” on MRT trains were freely circulated.

To prevent yourself from becoming a negative citizen reporter, consider the other person’s point of view and think about how you would react if you were the one being photographed and video-ed. Consider the acronym THINK:

  • T – Is it True?
  • H – Is it Helpful?
  • I – Is it Inspiring?
  • N – Is it Necessary?
  • K – Is it Kind?

#4 The Serial Sharer

On Facebook, sharing may sometimes be caring.

We share important news such as train breakdowns, government announcements, and motivating speeches so that our friends and fans can benefit from the information.

However, such behaviours may sometimes fan the flames of cyber bullying.

As a general rule, we should try not to share a piece of information if we know that it may result in defaming or character assassinating another person. If a crime or a misdemeanour has been committed, let the Court of Law take its course.

Read this guide by Facebook, MediaSmart and the Media Literacy Council to learn more about sharing conscientiously.

#5 The Combative Commenter

Have you ever experienced folks who love to engage in discourse on your Facebook wall?

I am sure you do. In fact, we often welcome comments as they give us a nice psychological boost and keep things interesting.

However, we need to be mindful about not letting comments degenerate into a catfight or a slugfest. It is amazing how an online comment spat between friends could destroy real life relationships.

Strangers may also end up tearing each other up on social media even though they are truly meek, well-mannered and mild in real life.

Let us not allow the need to get the last word in destroy our relationships. If we truly care about an issue, perhaps we could take the issue offline and engage in a constructive face-to-face conversation.

#6 The Prince of Parody

Like the rest of you, I love humour and parodies. They can be extremely zany, like this epic SGAG commentary on BBC’s “Iguana versus Snake” documentary.

However, parodies may also go the other way if they are insensitively made, and do not consider how the protagonists may feel. Especially if they have not said or done anything negative against the parties doing so.

As a general rule, we should avoid making parodies involving children or minors. People at a social or economic disadvantage should also not be made fun of.

#7 The Looks Police

Many of us are tickled by how people look. Countless memes have been created around the themes of plastic surgery and the amazing before-and-after transformation of the parties involved.

Unfortunately, such images may also be misused, such as the meme on how the Asian parents of three kids looked different after plastic surgery.

Beyond cosmetic surgery treatments, I’ve also noticed how people tend to label others based on their size. Remarks like “fat and ugly” or “short and hideous” still abound online, as well as jokes about one’s “squinty Asian eyes”.

Like in all things, respect is in order here. We are all wonderfully and fearfully made.

We should also not judge what others wish to do with their bodies – it’s their lives that they are living, not ours.

#8 The Mindless Mobber

If everybody is doing it, it must be ok to do it right? After all, online mob behaviours have helped to bring certain individuals to justice.

Well, what happens if the crowd is wrong and injustice was served?

In considering what we should support (or not support), let us consider giving the other person the benefit of the doubt. Instead of spreading rumours and unverified half-truths, we should make it a point to investigate what we’ve read using the following S.U.R.E. approach (taken from NLB):

  • Source: Look as its origins. Is it trustworthy?
  • Understand: Know what you’re reading. Search for clarity.
  • Research: Dig deeper. Go beyond the initial source.
  • Evaluate: Find the balance. Exercise fair judgement.

Are there other forms of cyber bullies that you’re aware of? I’d love to hear from you.

Do also check out Media Literacy Council’s website for useful resources on positive Internet behaviours, follow us on Facebook, and be part of the Better Internet Campaign.