“Overlooking LinkedIn is a big mistake. It’s 277% more effective at lead generation than Facebook or Twitter.”
By Julie Mason
LinkedIn has gotten a bit of a beating in the Social Media race. While it is the oldest social network out there, LinkedIn’s stodgy appearance just isn’t as attractive or as much fun as Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. That’s probably because the members on LinkedIn aren’t posting lunch pictures or cat memes.
However, overlooking LinkedIn might be a big mistake. While many have categorised LinkedIn as a ‘resume holder’, it is much more than just a site for job seekers. It is a great resource and a dynamic business network.
In fact, Hubspot research showed that LinkedIn was 277% more effective for lead generation than Facebook or Twitter. That’s a massive margin! Here are three ways you can start using LinkedIn to generate leads for your business.
#1 – Have a Magnetic LinkedIn Profile
Your profile is the first impression people get of you on LinkedIn, so let’s make it count for you.
Have a great profile photo. Ensure that you are looking directly at the camera and smiling and that you have a clear background. Profiles with a photo get viewed 11 times more than profiles without one.
Underneath your name is a space for you to have a Professional Headline. Avoid using your title of Director at ABC Pty Ltd as it doesn’t help people understand what you do. Instead, share with people how you can help them.
For example, if you are a business coach your headline might be “Discover How This Business Coach Helps Entrepreneurs Grow And Succeed
Don’t make people climb Mount Everest to get in touch with you – fill in your contact details and make it easy for them. If it is hard, you will lose prospects.
Fill in your Experience section and add a description with each position. This is your credibility! You want to let people know more than just the tasks you did. Tell them your achievements in each role.
Finally, complete the Summary section. This is where you can share more about how you help your ideal prospects. Your Summary needs be conversational, with you speaking in the first person. Make it interesting and memorable, and cover these points:
- HOW you help your clients (what is your value proposition)
- WHY should they consider you (what is your uniqueness in the marketplace)
- WHAT outcomes have you helped others with (what results have you helped clients achieve)
- WHAT is the next step to doing business with you
#2 – Position Yourself as an Authority
Posting content that is relevant and provides great value to your prospects and clients will help to position you as an authority in your industry or niche. Most business owners forget how much helpful knowledge they have that could be shared.
Remember that what you might consider as ‘basic knowledge’ could be seen as amazing by your prospects. We forget how much we learn in our skills and knowledge over time. Here are some ways you can share your knowledge and start to position yourself as an authority:
- Share helpful tips and hints using LinkedIn’s status update box on the Home page
- Join Groups where your prospects might be and create a Discussion
- Like or comment on your connections posts on the Home page’s news feed
- Provide a Recommendation to someone who has provided you a service
#3 – Connect And Convert
‘Do I connect with people I haven’t met or don’t I?’ is a question I hear all the time. The choice is totally yours of course. I’ll share my perspective for you and see if that helps.
Having spent over 25 years in sales, I know for a fact that if I want my business to grow, I need to meet and talk to people I don’t know yet. Do you know every person who walks into your business? Probably not. If you need leads, you are going to need to connect with people you don’t know yet. The key word is YET.
View the profile of each person who asks you to connect before clicking accept or ignore. Find out more about them before hitting the accept or ignore buttons. We can’t completely prevent the spammers, but in my experience on LinkedIn, I have found people to be good-hearted and sincere.
Use the LinkedIn Search Box in the top navigation section and start to enter some keywords to find your ideal prospects. For example, you might provide a software program that is specifically for accountants, so you would type in accountants in the search box.
Once the search results have come up, you can view the profiles and click the connect button on ones that look promising. Once you are connected, you can send that person a message and discover if there is a good fit for you to do business. Once you have a relationship, don’t be shy about asking for business…you might get a few no’s but you might get a few yes’s as well.
Those who are successful lead generators on LinkedIn build a relationship with their connections through messages, posting valuable content, and being good community members.
Here’s to your success on LinkedIn.
Businesswoman, keynote speaker, and author, Julie has helped and inspired thousands of people to make a significant difference in their business using Social Media and LinkedIn. For more information on maximising Leads & Sales Using LinkedIn, visit www.juliemason.com.au
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