ONE of the key features of LinkedIn is that it lets you build a network of contacts and publish content that they can read.
That might not sound important.
However, it gives you some fantastic marketing opportunities that most people don’t take advantage of.
In addition, they miss out on all kinds of leads and business opportunities as a result.
To illustrate the point, let’s re-write and expand that first sentence in another way:
One of the key features of LinkedIn is that it lets you build a . . . community of engaged followers and prospects and then explain the things they need to understand and believe in order to buy your products and services.
That’s a powerful proposition for your overall marketing and branding.
The Importance of Beliefs in Buying
Before anyone will consider buying your products and services, they need to feel that you can provide a solution to one of their problems.
In order to do that, they need to believe certain fundamental things about the products you offer.
Let’s use an example. Imagine you sell a range of IT services that allow staff at large corporations around the world to collaborate quickly and easily on projects.
Your systems allow multi-national virtual teams to communicate in real-time and make live changes to complex databases.
In order to buy, your customers not only have to believe your particular systems are good and better than those of the competition.
They have to believe that remote collaborative working is a good idea in the first place; that it delivers huge benefits and cost-savings over other forms of collaborative working.
If they don’t believe this, they simply will not buy from you. Ever.
If, for example, the boss at the company believes teams work better face-to-face and that any form of remote collaboration will lead to unacceptable miscommunication, problems, complexity and difficulties, she will not buy from you.
Your only chance is to change her underlying beliefs.
Changing her beliefs doesn’t mean she will buy, but it means you now have a chance to engage her and make a sale.
How LinkedIn can Help You
LinkedIn, therefore, is a great platform to build a community of followers and gradually explain to them the things they need to believe in order to potentially buy from you.
Why? Because it can act as a one-stop hub for both your offline and online networking activities – helping you manage your networking more easily than ever.
You can encourage people you’ve met in person to connect with you online and then maintain those relationships more easily.
In addition, you can forge new relationships with targeted people who are more likely to be potential customers and/or referral partners.
Importantly, you can drip feed information that communicates the things people need to believe to buy from you to all these contacts over time.
Key Questions for your Network
So ask yourself, what are the fundamental things your prospects need to believe in order to buy from you?
What are the non-negotiable understandings your potential customers need to have in order to spend time listening to your broader pitch?
If you’re a virtual assistant, it’s no good showing testimonials from satisfied clients to a prospect who does not believe that they will be able to work more effectively on high-value tasks by out-sourcing their admin.
Perhaps they believe that outsourcing will simply be an added expense.
If you’re a recruitment consultant, you could have the best candidates in the world but you’ll be wasting your time pitching them to a hiring manager who thinks they could save money by interviewing candidates themselves.
Perhaps they don’t believe that a specialist will be able to find higher-performing candidates than they can themselves.
Either way, information that communicates the necessary beliefs to turn contacts into potential customers is important.
So make communicating these fundamental beliefs a key part of how you engage with your LinkedIn contacts.
You can communicate this information in several ways on LinkedIn. They key places you can do this are:
- The homepage newsfeed
- Groups containing potential customers
- Private messages to individuals
- Bulk tagged messages
- Company pages
By regularly communicating the right information to your network, you build up an online community of people who hold the underlying beliefs necessary to become your potential customers.
Remember, that those underlying beliefs can be very different from understanding the features and benefits of your products.
Only people who believe that your products and services could potentially help them will be interested in hearing the specific features and benefits of your products/services versus those of the competition.
Listening for Leads
Once you’ve started publishing content that communicates the things your potential customers need to believe, you have a great platform for engagement.
You can then publish content that does one of 3 things to help your LinkedIn contacts:
However, importantly, all this information should be aimed at people who believe the fundamental value of your product or service.
Here are key actions to make sure your contacts believe the necessary things in order to buy:-
1) Decide what the fundamental beliefs are that your potential customers need in order to buy;
2) Decide how you can most quickly and succinctly communicate this;
3) Decide how and when you’ll communicate this via home newsfeed.
Until the next time, happy selling!