LinkedIn Strategy: The 7 Phases of a LinkedIn Master Strategic Plan

In some recent conversations I have found myself challenged by top business people as to why they should enter the LinkedIn space. They have said to me statements such as,

“LinkedIn is for job seekers, spammers, and marketers. I have no interest in it.”

Now, please understand I am not in business to change people’s minds, rather than to discuss opportunities and assist businesses along in their journey with strategies and tactics my company has proven to work time and time again. But this statement has really stuck with me. In fact, many very influential people I know are not interested in LinkedIn and have no intent on joining anytime soon.

I believe this is due to several reasons:

  1. They believe LinkedIn’s value proposition is not clearly in line with their business objectives.
  2. Time is scarce already and they don’t want to be bombarded with more emails.
  3. There is a perception that the risks outweigh the opportunities.

This is why understanding a clear strategy for LinkedIn is so important. No CEO, VP of Marketing, Digital Communications Director, Owner, or even Entrepreneurs can make sense of this site for their business effectively or efficiently without a true strategy.

Think of the real opportunity LinkedIn provides?

There are 70 MILLION users! 34 MILLION in the U.S.!

These are professionals with an avg household income of $107,000.  These are high end consumers as well as professionals. Why are the banks, computer companies and luxury car dealers and so many other companies not really embracing this space?

Truth is, they probably have.  But they went the route advised by their ad agencies.  Purchase advertisements, distribute to 10 or 20 million profiles and earn “IMPRESSIONS”.  When it doesn’t work, they write it off as a bad use of their money.  When in reality, those campaigns failed because most advertisements are failing, especially when compared with alternative options within social media and other digital platforms. Besides, have you clicked on an advertisement on your own LinkedIn page? I did by accident once. I don’t want to be sold, I want to have a conversation, engage, and interact with people that can help me, make me laugh, help me grow and who care about me and what I do.

Where most companies we work with make mistakes is they start developing their social sites, LinkedIn included, prior to the first 3 steps outlined below. The following is an excerpt from our upcoming release, “An Executives Guide to LinkedIn Mastery.”

The 7 Phases of a LinkedIn Master Strategic Plan:

1. Assessment – Assess your strengths, weaknesses & needed assets for success
2. Strategic Plan – Outline a Strategy, confirm your call to action, voice, appropriate automation, scalability opportunities, etc…
3. Product & Marketing Path Development – Identify what works for your target market
4. Lay the appropriate foundation – it’s not enough to simply put up your name and call it a day!
5. Get Found – Apply strategies and tactics to attracting your market to you internally on the site
6. Build a community – Groups can help you to build highly targeted or massive sized pools of targeted key constituents, prospects, clients, etc…
7. Promotion, Campaigns, Word of Mouth – Attract your market into your Social Circle of Influence


  1. I liked this concise discussion of the need for a strategy of properly utilizing LinkedIn.

  2. I totally agree with you but I also understand the critics regarding jobs seeking and spamming. There are also a lot of very uninteresting and boring comments on LinkedIn that I would call Facebookish or Twitterish…It ‘s sometimes hard to separate the wheat from the chaff.
    But the LinkedIn’s potential is fantastic. It just needs to carry a clearer message to convince the skeptics…

  3. Thomas, at the risk of sounding like a spam engine, which I’m not, I highly recommend you take a look at the product of which I am the CTO.

    It can be found at:

    The reason I suggest it is that I think LinkedIn is perhaps the most under-utilized source of business information on the market and that’s because there aren’t any query and reporting capabilities. This product is reasonably priced and is, as far as I know, the only way to use LinkedIn as a source of business information.

    The key problem I am addressing with it is that we all spend a great deal of time investing in LinkedIn but we hardly get anything out of it. Even to the point made by guest-commenter Laurent: One needs a tool that separates the wheat from the chaff, that lets you filter and segment and identify what’s important through trends and outliers.

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