Here, we share the 4 magic ingredients to make LinkedIn work for your business. LinkedIn is just like any social media platform in that you have to use it strategically and methodically to generate business from it.
1. YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
In B2B your profile is key. In B2B transactions you need face to face interactions. The bigger the project the more interactions you will need to have with your potential client.
People will only do business with people they know, like and trust.
As a lot of transactions these days are initiated online, your LinkedIn profile is the start of the whole process. Having a Linkedin profile that demonstrates your authority, expertise and shows understanding about your relevant field builds trust in your target audience.
Here are some points to remember when you are creating your profile on Linkedin.
It may sound superficial but having a professional photo is given. First impression counts. Enhance your profile further by uploading relevant pdf, slideshare, presentations and videos that demonstrate your authority and expertise.
In business, integrity is everything. In writing your profile content, I suggest that you write this from a point of integrity. What I mean by integrity is being honest in your profile about what you can do (Skill) and what you have achieved (Experience). The consequence of being untruthful or embellishing your achievements are real and can be career ending.
It is important to state in your profile what value or benefit you can bring to your customer’s business. How will your product or service help them? What pain points in their business are you addressing? How can you make their life easier and positively impact their bottom line.
Sales Proposal Not Resume
When LinkedIn first came out it was resume heaven. People used to just post their resume for their profile. This might work well if you are looking for a job but it will not work if you are trying to attract new clients.
Structure your profile like a sales proposal rather than a resume. Your profile will be a reflection of how people will perceive your product or service.
A persuasive sales proposal generally includes:
- a definition of the challenges faced by your prospective client;
- the solution that you are proposing; and
- the unique benefits that your client will receive from using your service.
2. SHARE AND DEMONSTRATE YOUR EXPERTISE
Build your “Know, Like and Trust” factor on LinkedIn by actively sharing relevant
information with your community.
There are two areas on LinkedIn where you can share information: “Share an update” and
“Write an article” (Publishing). The links for these are located on your Home page just
below your image.
For “Share an Update”, you can share quality information from third party sources that is
relevant or might be of interest to your community. Just make sure you provide constructive
commentary and acknowledge the author or the source of the article when sharing the information.
You can participate in discussions but just make sure that your contribution is positive, relevant and insightful. Remember: LINKEDIN is not FACEBOOK!
To publish an article, from you Home page click on the link that says “Write an article”. This will take you to the “Publishing” section of Linkedin.
When writing an article, focus on topics which demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. The aim is to develop the “Know, Like and Trust” factor with your community in your area of expertise. An excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise is to share case studies of recent projects that you have successfully executed.
If you do not have the time or expertise to write articles, there are many excellent copywriters on Linkedin you can ask to help you. You can connect with them and for a fee, get a professional copywriter to write your articles for you.
3. BUILD YOUR LINKEDIN COMMUNITY
Your community is your “Ideal Customer”. Your “Ideal Customer” is your target market. For example, if you are marketing a legal management system for small law firms then your “Ideal Customer” are more than likely going to be the partners of small law firms, who are employing 1-5 associates and perhaps have been established more than 10 years ago as they would probably be using an older system, if at all .
Get copy of EGuide: How To Identify Your Ideal Customer in 8 Steps.
So the community that you build on LinkedIn will consist of people who match the criteria of your “Ideal Customer”.
You can still continue to connect with those people you know but ideally the focus of your connections should be your “Ideal Customer”.
4. MAKE CONNECTIONS
Now that you have the profile of your ideal customer, you can search for them on LinkedIn by clicking on the “Advanced” button located at the top of your Home page, next to the search box.
You then search for and connect with those people who match the attributes that you have developed for your “Ideal Customer”.
If you are going to be an active Linkedin user, I suggest you subscribe to the premium service as this will give you access to more features including more search fields and a fuller profile of your “Ideal Customer”.
Send personalised invites to people you would like to connect with so they become your first level connections. As you slowly build a community of your “Ideal Customer”, you can initiate strategic conversations with them with the aim of eventually converting them into a paying customer!
Linkedin also has Discussion Groups organised around common interest ie. “Start Ups”; “Marketing”, “Social Media Marketing”; “Legal” and so on. Some of these Groups have more than 500,000 members! Find and join the Groups where you think you can find your “Ideal Customer”. Actively contribute in Group discussions and then make connections with people with shared interests.
Finally, remember that LinkedIn is a semi-medium to a long term warm channel. Building meaningful relationships is an ongoing and continuous process.
Want to know more? Get the Ultimate EGuide: How To Build Your Community, Generate Leads & Set Appointments on LinkedIn.
About the Author
Robert Leroux heads iSapience – a B2B Demand Generation, Customised Outsourcing & Managed Solutions and International Business Consulting Company. Since 2000, he has helped numerous Australian and international clients across many industries including: IT, Digital, Retail, FMCG, Advertising, Wholesale, Distribution and Logistics, Gaming, International Trade, Infrastructure and Governments.