If you were stranded on a not-so-deserted island complete with wifi access and piña coladas and the only way to survive on this island would be to generate five new clients in two months, and you could only pick one social platform to accomplish this goal, which platform would you choose? Unless you’ve been stuck living under a volcanic rock for the past few years, I imagine your answer would be “LinkedIn”.
LinkedIn, sometimes coined as the “Facebook for the corporate world”, now boasts over 310 million users worldwide and is considered the most effective social networking tool for companies to network with other companies. And in case you haven’t noticed, it has come a loooong way from being a mere matchmaking service for job seekers and recruiters.
The product management team at LinkedIn has been running at full steam rolling out new functionality to make it easier to connect with other like-minded professionals in your industry, and they’re not stopping any time soon. So how do you familiarize yourself with their ever-growing suite of tools and make LinkedIn work for your business’s growth goals? You won’t find it in a university classroom, so I recommend tuning in to online training programs straight from the mouths of LinkedIn experts. With all of LinkedIn’s recent growth and popularity, there is no shortage of programs featuring self-paced videos and webinar training showing you how to take advantage of LinkedIn to grow your business.
So to help you out, I reviewed five LinkedIn online training programs that provide thorough online training to help you generate more leads for your business or organization, regardless of what industry you’re in. When researching online LinkedIn training programs that fit your needs (and budget), be sure to understand the topics they cover, the time commitment involved, how often they update their material (LinkedIn is still evolving) and what guarantees, if any, they offer (also worth mentioning is that these reviews are unbiased, I am not endorsing a particular program).
LinkedIn Learning Webinars (From LinkedIn)
Estimated completion time: 8 hours
Although these aren’t technically courses, LinkedIn does offer several videos ranging from 45 minutes to one hour that cover the basics of the various tools they offer. These videos are especially helpful if you are relatively new to LinkedIn or are wanting to familiarize yourself with what LinkedIn has to offer. The LinkedIn Learning Webinars cover the following topics:
- Creating an online presence and engaging with your network
- Job seeker tips
- How to get the most out of LinkedIn Premium
- Social selling with Sales Navigator
- Corporate communication strategies
- LinkedIn for journalists
- Getting the most out of company pages
Author’s note: there is no consistent format on these webinars. Some are Youtube videos, pre-recorded Webex™ sessions, and at the time of this writing, there were no sessions (neither pre-recorded nor upcoming) regarding Sales Navigator. For more information on LinkedIn’s learning webinars, visit https://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/530.
Lynda.com’s LinkedIn Training Tutorials
Cost: $25 – $37.50/month
Estimated completion time: 6 hours
Lynda.com has been in the online training space for the past two decades and is known as “leading online learning company that helps anyone learn business, software, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals.” They partner with subject matter experts to present the online courses and their LinkedIn training tutorials include over 100 mini videos (many under 2 minutes apiece) that walk you through step-by-step how to use LinkedIn’s toolset. The online trainers are very articulate, easy to understand, and great for the beginner who is looking for some structure in a training platform. Lynda.com’s LinkedIn Training Tutorials cover the following 4 courses:
- Up and Running with LinkedIn
- Job Hunting Online
- LinkedIn for Business
- Social Selling with LinkedIn
Author’s note: Although there is no “money back guarantee”, they offer a 10 day free trial to try out the courses with no risk. For more information visit http://www.lynda.com/LinkedIn-training-tutorials/473-0.html.
Cost: $97 (one-time fee)
Estimated completion time: 12 hours
If you’re looking for something that digs beneath the surface and you are heavily focused on using LinkedIn for business development, then linkedinfluence.com may be a good fit. This online course was started by LinkedIn expert Trevor Turnbull who has been featured in publications like Time, Forbes, and Fortune. Trevor claims you will attract high quality clients with little to no budget and “drive floods of traffic to your website”. This program launched in 2012 and boasts over 18,500 members since inception. Linkedinfluence.com curriculum covers how to:
- Build your LinkedIn foundation
- Optimize your profile
- Grow your targeted list (network) through LinkedIn Groups
- Find qualified prospects
- Get into a routine & automate
- Generate more leads via advanced strategies
Author’s note: This course also offers bonus features like helpful scripts, Cliff notes, and holds monthly webinars that go over new tactics, as well as address updates within the LinkedIn platform. For more information, visit www.linkedinfluence.com.
Cost: $247 – $497 (one-time fee)
Estimated completion time: 5 hours
B2B LinkedIn Launchpad Training Series is a 5-step online program created by Forbes Top 20 Women in Social Media and best-selling author Viveka von Rosen. This program focuses on B2B, enabling entrepreneurs, corporations and small business owners to rely on LinkedIn for better branding, leading to more effective conversations with prospects. Their 5-step program shows you how to:
- Increase visibility
- Increase engagement
- Increase leads and connections
- Increase company page performance
- Take advantage of LinkedIn Groups
Author’s note: B2B LinkedIn Training offers a certification upon completion of their training program which requires you to pass a test to confirm your LinkedIn knowledge.
Cost: $597 – $897/year
Estimated completion time: 6.5 hours
Linkfluencer.com is an Australian based online business accelerator program founded by Alex Pirouz. They focus on B2B and claim to have over 400 members worldwide that have collectively generated 70,000 leads yielding $3.2 million in increased revenue by their members. Linkfluencer offers a robust 3-step program that walks you through how to leverage LinkedIn for:
- Stronger lead generation
- Increased media exposure
- Building strategic partnerships
This training program goes beyond just providing online videos – they foster collaboration by learning what industry you’re in and offer one-on-one introductions. In addition to introductions, they conduct monthly events enabling you to network with other members of the Linkfluencer community, provide access to all of their marketing scripts and templates, and assist with media opportunities. Linkfluencer also holds an annual conference at the end of the year where members learn the latest LinkedIn strategies from industry leading experts.
Author’s note: While linkfluencer.com carries a higher price tag, they make a strong, concerted effort to support you every step of the way and want to see you succeed. For more information, visit www.linkfluencer.com.
As LinkedIn continues to roll out new features (e.g. Lead Accelerator), acquire other companies, re-brand their tools, etc., I am anxious to see which training programs are the quickest at making updates to their material to ensure they’re keeping up with the constantly changing features.
Is there a LinkedIn online training program you recommend that’s not on the list? I would love to hear about it in the comments section on LinkedIn Pulse.