The Top 3 Strategic Actions To Get More Results In Less Time
There are good books written on the subject Linkedin Marketing; as such, this article is not an attempt to cover all the details of how to grow your network and business through Linkedin. My goal is to boil down three very effective actions you can take to get results.
I’m going to cover tactics for “organic” Linkedin Marketing. What I mean by “organic” is the ways you can network and grow your business that do not involve paid ads.
The only thing I will say about Linkedin advertising is that you can be incredibly targeted – consider that Linkedin has 450 million users, and that your ads can be shown based on a user’s:
keywords in their profile
Linkedin group membership
And more – this is just a short list.
Now for the “Top 3 Strategic Actions” you can take to get more out of Linkedin in less time.
Unless you are using Linkedin to find a job (and even if you are, a lot of what I’m about to say will still apply), your Linkedin profile is much more than a resume. It can be a place where you clearly communicate to visitors what problem you can solve for them, and even have evidence of it via presentations, case studies, and testimonials.
Instead of your title, why not write a problem you solve, or a top strength?
For your current position, why not describe in a phrase what you do?
Your Linkedin profile is your opportunity to sell to your profile visitors indirectly. Think also about what action you want people to take who visit your profile. In your Summary section (usually right below your photo and title) explain what you do, and end with a call to action.
What next step/action makes most sense for your audience? Here are some ideas:
connecting with you
reading one of your articles
subscribing to a newsletter (you can link to your landing page/website/signup form in your profile)
set up a phone consultation
Your profile should not only sell your solution, but position you as an expert and someone valuable to connect with.
In order to get people to see your profile, you need to be active on Linkedin. Furthermore, if you are actively engaging and posting, more people will visit your profile, and thus they are going to be seeing your offer/benefit/solution.
If you are at an event and want to meet prospects, what do you do? Do you walk up to them and start laying out your slick sales pitch? No – you simply get to know them and show interest in what they do. With Linkedin you don’t have to spend as much time talking to people who might not be ideal prospects – you already know their company, industry, title, expertise, location… saving you a significant amount of time!
Your first goal for all of your actions on Linkedin should be to connect with prospects. You can learn tactics for sending messages that get a higher response rate, but ultimately if your attitude is right, your approach will be effective.
Here are some ideas for how to connect with prospects:
1) Join groups where your prospects are (most groups you can simply join; some you have to get permission).
2) Contribute to those group discussions. You can of course start your own discussions by asking good questions, sharing relevant articles from the internet, or sharing your own content. Even better though is to answer questions or contribute meaningfully to a conversation that one of your prospects has already started. Once you’ve contributed, people are far more likely to accept a connection request. (Send your request with a message like, “We’re both in ____ group; it was great to hear your thoughts on this topic today.”)
3) Ask for introductions from your own connections. If you do an advanced search to find prospects, Linkedin will automatically sort them by how closely connected they are to you. The closer to the top of the list a person is (who isn’t already directly connected), the more connections you will have in common with him/her.
Getting an introduction in Linkedin is basically as effective as it is in person to make a connection. If you’re at a networking event and someone you know introduces you to another person you’ve been wanting to meet, it’s with almost 100% certainty that person will talk to you. If you are a good listener and again, don’t try to sell to them, they are also likely willing to give you their business card.
Connecting with someone on Linkedin is similar to the swapping of business cards.
There are more ways to connect with prospects (like sending messages to connect with those who have viewed your profile), but joining groups and getting introductions are two of the most effective ways to do it.
Once you have many first-degree connections who are prospects, the principles for influencing and building trust with them are very similar to Email marketing (see my article on that here).
Your job is to continue to show up in your prospects’ news feed in a way that is relevant, interesting, and valuable to them. How do you do this?
1) Find relevant, helpful articles, or important industry updates, and share them with your connections in the newsfeed. It takes perhaps 10-15 minutes to find a good article, write a headline, and post it. One tool I recommend for finding trending articles is buzzsumo.com. You can search for content and they will provide results based on how popular, liked, or shared that content is. If you find an article that is highly viewed, it is likely valuable content and helpful for your Linkedin prospects to see.
2) Once a week (more or less often, but consistency is key) write your own articles within Linkedin.
A the top of your Linkedin home page, simply select “write an article” and go from there. Once again, you can use a resource like buzzsumo.com to research topics. Perhaps you know something worth sharing that no one else is writing much about, or you will find a topic that is very popular that you can write about with your own perspective. Your articles don’t have to be long (400-500 words), but this small investment of time will go very far in positioning you as an expert in front of your prospects.
The point is, once you are connected to your prospects, you can keep yourself in their minds as a valuable connection and a solution provider. Through sharing updates, writing articles, and staying in touch through other Linkedin features, you can build trust with your prospects and begin to share offers with them (directly or indirectly).
As a recap, the “Top 3 Strategic Actions” you can take on Linkedin to start getting results are:
I. Position yourself and present solution you offer in your profile (think of your profile as a sales/landing page)
II. Connect with your target prospects (doing so with the right attitude will yield better responses)
III. Influence your connections and build trust through your contributions, posts, and articles on Linkedin.