Most business people think there’s an opportunity to get business from LinkedIn. What most don’t know is that it’s not as easy as you think and it takes a different approach than most traditional sales people currently use.
If you think you’re going to reach out to everyone and anyone who looks like a potential customer, ask them to connect and then start peppering them with a request to meet—you better think again!
First, people are going to reject your connection requests and then they’re going to mark you as a spammer in LinkedIn and you might very well get booted off of the site. Yes, they can do that.
Second, consider your reputation and the reputation of your company. The last thing you want to do is be the person running around requesting connections with people you don’t know.
You can drive traffic to your website, get leads and close sales with LinkedIn, but you need a more consultative approach if you want to be successful. You need an inbound marketing approach.
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Inbound marketing teaches us that educational content rules the day. LinkedIn and social media marketing is perfect for people who want to share their expertise. Educational content allows you the “in” you’re looking for. No longer are you pushing yourself, but now you are sharing helpful videos, white papers, slide shows, research or eBooks.
Here are seven secret back door ways to drive leads through LinkedIn.
- Join groups – Groups give you access to your perfect prospects. LinkedIn has over 1 million groups on the site. There are groups for everything under the sun. There are groups by title, by function, by industry and by interests. Find the groups that your best prospects are members of and join them. Each free subscription to LinkedIn allows you to join up to 50 groups.
- Educate don’t sell – If you want to remain members of these groups, don’t try to sell. Educate the members with fresh content and always be offering advice. Don’t talk about your business, your products or services and don’t solicit. If your content marketing material is compelling, your prospects will find you.
- Share, share, share – Share everything with your LinkedIn groups. When you post a new blog, when you create a new video, when you update your website, or get a new client. Remember that all your fellow members are LinkedIn members too and all have their own personal networks.
- Monitor conversations – LinkedIn has changed the rules around posting to member groups. The short story is you can no longer blanket post and you have to be actively participating in group conversations to allow your content to be shared with the group. While this takes time, it’s going to pay off. Participating in groups should be authentic. Don’t join groups just because you can share information. Join them because you want to help the members.
- Build out your corporate profile – This is a great way to drive additional visitors to your website. Make sure your LinkedIn Corporate Profile is complete. Make sure there are LinkedIn only offers with links back to your website. Click here to see our corporate LinkedIn page. Encourage prospects and clients to follow you on LinkedIn. What’s in it for them? They get instant notification when you post interesting and educational content.
- Utilize keywords – Make sure you have keywords in your personal LinkedIn profile and your corporate profile. Use keywords in your company description and in the description of the services you provide. This is going to help people searching on LinkedIn find your company and not your competitors.
- Build it into your sales processes – Marketing and sales have to work together to achieve greatness. The new sales process includes continuously educating prospects. Use LinkedIn content, your LinkedIn corporate profile, and your involvement in LinkedIn groups to encourage your prospects to engage with you on LinkedIn. Let’s connect! Follow us on LinkedIn! Join this group to gain valuable industry insights! We just posted this to LinkedIn, you might find it valuable. These are all great ways to engage your prospects in a more productive relationship.
LinkedIn is an amazing resource for marketing and sales people alike. But you have to know how to use it to reach your goals. Educate your new connections and don’t try to sell them. If you would like to learn more about how to use LinkedIn to generate leads for your business, click here to download our Free Report – Maximizing LinkedIn For Your Business, The ABC’s and 123’s