Before I discovered the power of LinkedIn to grow my business, I had been using it to collect contacts that I met at a networking event or conference, or even randomly on LinkedIn. Once the invitation was received and accepted though, most times I didn't have a system to do a follow-up. I used LinkedIn sporadically, and certainly couldn’t build a lead generation strategy using the platform.
That all changed a few years ago when I discovered a few strategies that I started using to consistently use LinkedIn to discover and build relationship with clients. This has helped me grow my business and now I help others to do the same.
If you are a business, consultant or professional selling to other businesses, prospecting on LinkedIn has never been more complex, or more important. Because of COVID, we must replace traditional networking and trade show activities online activities in order to sustain and grow our businesses. LinkedIn must be part of that mix.
Whats Happening on Linkedin in 2021
Many organizations have focused on LinkedIn, and you have probably noticed an increase in the amount of invitations you are getting. If you are like me, most of them your discard as they are not relevant to you.
In this article, I would like to share three top strategies that we have found you MUST implement if you want to use LinkedIn to grow your brand and business in 2021 (and beyond).
Bring Customers To You – Use Hashtags In Your Profile for Search Engine Optimization
Recognize that many people are using LinkedIn as a search engine. When a potential customer is later in the buyer journey and they are researching potential solution providers, they will do a search. What will show up in their feed is based on how well you have optimized your profile. For example, in your profile header, About section and Experience, are you using hashtags? Using hashtags for the most popular search terms will help you get found and put you at the top of the list for LinkedIn searches.
Most people don’t realize that Google also indexes LinkedIn profiles. Want to get top search results for Google? Optimize your LinkedIn and you will see a difference in the number of inbound requests you receive.
2. Make Your Profile Sticky – Help Your Customers Engage With You
When your potential customers are “vetting” you before they purchase, they will look at your LinkedIn profile. It’s the easiest way to better understand if you are a legitimate organization and to better understand who you are individually. What will they see when they visit your profile? Your headline, work experience, education, etc. That makes sense as LinkedIn was initially created as more of a resume site for potential employers.
When we are looking to use LinkedIn for business development, we must re-think our profile to align it with our customer's needs. Do they really need to know what we did in high school? Probably not.
Curating content, videos, promotional materials, describing your solutions, recommendations. These are what stand out to a potential client. If you haven’t optimized your profile for your client, they won’t see the whole picture of what you can bring to the table for them.
3. Go Out Into The Wild World of LinkedIn to Generate Sales Opportunities
Once your profile is updated and you feel confident that when a potential client visits your profile, they know all about what you do, you are now ready for intentional outbound networking. There are predominant strategies to use. One, an existing network referral strategy (great place to start). Second, an outbound strategy to new potential contacts.
I usually recommend when I am coaching people that you start with your existing network – mine the gold that is already there before going to new markets.
You are able to download your existing database. Under the “Me” tab, you will finding “Settings and Privacy”. You will be able to “Get a copy of your data” there.
Once you have downloaded your existing list, search it for who might be a good candidate for a conversation. You will also want to search for people who are good networks or have large followings. I guarantee you will find contacts in there you have forgotten about that will turn into an immediate sales appointment.
Like any business-to-business marketing strategy, new outreach campaigns must be thoughtfully planned. Who do you want to reach, how to you want to start the conversation, how will you bring them into an offline sales process?
Target marketing on LinkedIn is based on demographics, so knowing who is mostly likely to buy from you is critical. If you use Sales Navigator, you can save search lists so you can go back to them regularly.
Once you have a good list, based on your criteria, the hard work begins. We recommend looking at what you have in common and personalizing notes to people. When you are starting out, it makes a difference. Making 10 really great connections a day takes a little time (maybe 30 minutes or so), but will significantly improve your chances to start conversations with the exact contacts you need to grow your business.
Use LinkedIn as a place to start relationships, but don't sell on the platform. We recommend that you ask for an offline meeting as early as you can in the conversation. This will help you in many ways, but most importantly is that it will keep the conversation from being lost in the LinkedIn Messenger system.
Has This Been Useful?
If you use even one of these tips and strategies, I know you will be on your way to getting more out of your LinkedIn experience.
If you would like to find out more? Check us out at https://www.growthfinderpro.com/casestudy
Marguerite Fleming, Chief Growth Officer, GrowthFinder Pro, firstname.lastname@example.org