MOST people on Linkedin don’t get any business from it. Which is a shame really.
There’s a directory of millions of business people at your fingertips.
And you don’t just get their contact details. You get to proactively contact, talk and engage them.
Which helps you get more productive, rapport-filled phone calls and boosts word-of-mouth marketing.
It seems crazy not to spend a little time using Linkedin properly to become better know, liked and trusted by your potential customers, right?
According to the latest figures, more than 259 million people have a Linkedin account.
That’s 1 in every 27 people in the world.
What’s more, there are 172,000 new signups every day AND more than 184 million unique visitors every month.
That’s a lot of business opportunities!
Especially if you properly integrate Linkedin into you’re existing marketing channels so that it helps attract new leads AND maintains engagement with existing customers for repeat business and referrals.
With Linkedin, there are millions of business contacts to be made, problems to be solved, needs to be met and relationships to be built.
And they’re all waiting to be explored at the tap of a keyboard.
So how do you do it? To keep the process simple, it can be broken down into three key stages: Attract, Promote, Sell.
The first stage to building a relationship and making a sale is to start a conversation.
Whether you start it from cold, or your prospect comes to you because they liked something you published, it doesn’t really matter.
The key is to build engagement with the people you want to speak to in business and get them attracted to the product or service you’re selling.
If you’re talking, you’re learning what’s important to them and you’re in a position to propose solutions.
You can also start to explain the ideas that will form the foundation of the sale.
For example; what do you customers need to believe in order to make a purchase?
Perhaps – if you’re a graphic designer – they need to believe that branding and visual imagery is a key decision-making criteria for customers.
Of if you’re a car salesman with a new green eco-vehicle to promote, they need to understand and believe that green vehicles will result in cost-savings.
So how can you start this process on Linkedin? Here are the key areas:
Create a great profile with a strong value proposition. Remember to include details of what you do, the problems you overcome, the consequences of not solving the problems and your proposed solution.
Now, every time someone looks at your profile, they’ll be left with a strong sense of exactly what you do and how you can help them.
They’ll also have a better sense of whether they like and trust you. As discussed in a recent blog, Linkedin is a great place to increase the number of people that know, like and trust you.
By regularly updating your Linkedin status, you can publish information to your connections.
Publishing content that they’ll find informative, entertaining or empowering is a great way to engage them.
It starts to attract likes and comments and encourages people to view your profile.
By joining and creating conversations in Linkedin groups, you start to build awareness of who you are and what you do with specific target groups of people.
Linkedin groups are segmentations of the Linkedin community according to mutual shared interests.
So if you find the right group, you quickly find a pool of potential customers and useful contacts that you can build relationships with.
Frequently updating your status and posting in Linkedin groups can seem time-consuming but there are plenty of ways to make it time-efficient.
Using HootSuite allows you to schedule content in advance and/or post to multiple Linkedin groups quickly.
Now you’ve engaged and attracted potential customers to your profile, you can start to promote your goods and services.
Rather than simply give away free information that convinces potential customers of the value of your proposition, you’re now aiming to promote your products’ value more extensively.
A great way to do this is to offer more detailed information in return for an email address, phone number or other contact information.
There are numerous ways to do this. A quick and simple way is using a landing page that combines an email capture form in return for a PDF or other download.
You’re prospects have now actively bought-in to the ideas you expressed in the ‘attract’ phase.
And you can now promote to them both on Linkedin and by email or telemarketing – depending on what details you captured from them.
When it comes to Linkedin, one of the most important parts of making sales is taking the engagement and promotion outside of Linkedin.
In most cases, that means picking up the telephone.
Most people on Linkedin seem reluctant to do this, preferring instead to leave their connections as purely online contacts.
The truth is, they’re missing out on huge opportunities to leverage regular engagement on Linkedin and turn it into more productive, rapport-filled phone calls.
The key is calling at the right time and then saying the right things when you do.
If you connected on Linkedin 2 years ago and have not been in touch since, you will almost certainly not be known, liked or trusted by your prospect.
You may as well cold call – which is what, in effect, your approach will be.
However, if you connected with a personal message, sent them a personal message and/or a free guide shortly afterwards, like their status updates, mention them in comments and contribute to the same groups that they’re in, then you’re all set for a resistance-free phone call and – very likely – a similarly productive meeting.
Here are a few tips to remember before you call your Linkedin contacts:
- ALWAYS send a personal message when you invite people into your network
- Thank them when they accept and send them some useful information (a free guide, for example)
- When connecting through Linkedin groups, send a message first, asking permission to connect – it’s extremely polite and almost always elicits a positive response
- Keep an eye on their status updates and like and share the ones you like best
- Use the Linkedin CRM system to remind you who they are and how you met
- Set a reminder to get in touch with a personal message
Many people’s Linkedin profiles contain the mobile number, so once you’ve connected, you’ve got a great opportunity to get in touch and welcome them to your network.
To help the call progress well, remember to mention the following:
- Who you know that they also know – Linkedin gives you the names of mutual ‘2nd line’ connections.
- Interesting information from their profile – do you have shared interests or hobbies that will build rapport?
And finally, try this sentence!
“Hi. We recently connected on Linkedin. I always try to say hello to my connections and if we could help each other out. It doesn’t seem logical to connect if we don’t actually every speak to each other, that makes sense, doesn’t it?”
I’ve never once had anyone disagree with this logic.
So next time you’re on Linkedin, ask yourself how you can start to engage your contacts more productively.
Action points for Linkedin marketing in 3 easy steps
Use content that informs, entertains or empowers your target market AND explains the fundamental ideas they need to believe in order to want to do business with you.
Use landing pages to capture customer details in exchange for their email address or phone number. What information can you share that will help and be valued by your audience?
Now’s the time to start taking conversations off-line, which means picking up the phone. Call within a day or two of interactions and engagement online and use Linkedin to find out useful rapport building information.
Until the next time, happy selling!