Is it really worth your time to do social media? Which platform should you focus on, and what are the key steps to take? In this month’s SkillBites Show, LinkedIn expert David Steel, CEO of Everyone LinkedIn, explained why LinkedIn is such a powerful business development tool for B2B companies, and shared his successful strategy for using LinkedIn to get more clients.
Before implementing a LinkedIn strategy, David advised that you need to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is optimized. Most people have understated profiles, according to David. Your profile should showcase your greatest skills, value proposition and accomplishments. Unless you are a celebrity, the profile should be written in the first person, as it will be more readable. Since most people just skim profiles, put your best foot forward in your Summary, and in the first line of each section. Fill out all the sections, including any awards, hobbies or other interests, organizations you belong to, teams you were on, etc., as you may find someone wanting to do business with you because they share an interest that you identified. David got an investor for an organization he was heading because the investor saw on David’s profile that he rowed crew at college, as did the investor.
To make your profile stand out even more, include videos and presentations. People will take the time to watch a 1 minute video rather than read 4 or 5 paragraphs, and you can include a lot more information in a 1 minute video. It doesn’t need to be professional quality, and it’s easy to add to your profile. You’ll get more people viewing your profile.
Try to get people to recommend you. When you write recommendations for others, they may reciprocate. If you get people endorsing you, you don’t have to accept the endorsement if the endorsed skill isn’t a skill that you feel is important. It’s better to have fewer, highly relevant skills with more endorsements that more skills with not many endorsements.
A strategy that David has used effectively for his clients is to find people in his clients’ target market, seek to connect with them and send several messages to them. First you need to know who your target market is – their geographic area, title, company size, etc. Then you can join groups that these people are likely to join and connect with them. You can also set up an advanced search to identify people on LinkedIn that fit those criteria.
You have two alternatives once you identify people in your target market. You can send them a form invitation to connect or you can send them a customized message. The former is much quicker, but is less efficacious. If you want to send a customized message, it’s a bit harder and more time consuming, as you need to identify a connection with the person, such as that they’ve done business with you. Sometimes you need to know their email before you can send out a customized message. If people you try to connect with advise LinkedIn that they don’t know you, LinkedIn could warn you to stop reaching out, and could kick you off the platform.
Once someone has accepted your invitation to connect, you should have a follow-up campaign of several message to keep you top of mind. Provide value to them, such as offering a free consultation or providing a free eBook. Include in each message a call to action.
Ideally, you should track your performance by keeping a spreadsheet of those with whom you invite to connect. The aim is to be able to evaluate whether you are reaching the right people with the right message and the right call to action.
David’s company does the legwork for his clients of identifying the people to connect with, messaging those people and tracking the results. His clients typically have at least 10 employees and earn over $1 million in revenue annually.
David offered a complimentary consultation to any member of the SkillBites community. Just go to his website, www.EveryoneLinked.com, and sign up on his calendar. He is also willing to provide a free copy of his eBook on LinkedIn and a 20% discount on his services if you mention the SkillBites Show when you request his book or services.