Learning insights, strategies and tactics, when it comes to Social Selling, is only as good as the activities you implement. Here are the 11 areas to focus on:
- Profile – Make a shift in your LinkedIn profile from resume to resource. Let’s face it, they don’t care about you, so make your profile about them. It is important that your readers understand with the value that you bring so clearly that they want to schedule a call with you. Offer insights throughout your summary, projects, publications and other important areas on your LinkedIn profile that worthwhile. This ultimately means that your audience identifies the value that you bring so strongly that they are confident your call will be well worth their time.
- Identify Your Targeted Audience – It is important to pinpoint the types of companies you want to do business with. Begin with your favorite clients, the ones that you want more of, and define the characteristics that match LinkedIn filters such as location, industry, company size etc. Next make a list your decision maker and influencer titles that you want conversations with. Everything else you do on LinkedIn will be focused on engaging these folks.
- Develop Templates – Knowing what to say in a particular situation is key to making successful connections and converting them to phone calls. When you write a great introduction paragraph, connection request message or engaging note, save it as a template so you can reuse them over and over again. Use tools like TextExpander for Mac Phrase Expander for PCs or even yourKeyboard Shortcuts on your SMART Phone or Tablet to store your templates and retrieve them with a short code. It will save you significant time and make your LinkedIn activities even more productive.
- Set up Calls with New Connections – Don’t connect and forget! If you are in business development and are using LinkedIn to get in front of your targeted prospects, then simply ask your new connections to schedule a call. I like to use TimeTrade to send a link to my calendar so they can schedule it at their convenience.
- Listen and Engage Around What They Care About – When you connect with new people on LinkedIn that you’d like to get to know better, check out their profile, the skills that they list, the organizations they belong to, the shared connections that you have, and the activity including “liking”, “commenting” and sharing. These are the things that matter to them. Now you can “like”, “comment” and share their updates to begin engagement.
- Share Thought Leadership – Brand yourself as the subject matter expert and the go to person in your industry. There is no better ways to add value to your readers than to share insights that have an impact. You can post articles that your prospects care about, trends in the industry or even publish your own content. By staying relevant and top of mind, you will be seen an invaluable resource. CLICK HERE to learn more about leveraging LinkedIn Publications.
- Mention Your Prospects & Their Companies in Posts – As you grow your network, it is so important to stay on their radar. A great way to accomplish this is to mention them in an update status post. They will receive a notification and will appreciate you thought of them. CLICK HERE to learn how to use this feature prodcutively.
- Leverage Strategic Alliances for Introductions – Building relationships with vendors that work with similar clients is a great way to develop referral partnerships. Begin by asking your clients who they buy from and reach out to vendors that you already share accounts with. The goal is to be mutually beneficial, so be sure to meet, build a list of who you each know that other would like to meet and make some mutual introductions. CLICK HERE to learn how.
- Get Client Referrals – There is rarely anything more powerful than a client introduction to a prospect. By identifying who your clients know that you’d like to meet and ask for introductions can be the most powerful business development tool we have. CLICK HERE to learn how.
- Advanced & Saved Searches – This is the quintessential “working smarter not harder.” when leveraging Advanced Search and the 2nd degree relationship filter, you quickly learn who in your warm market knows the person or people you want to meet. The prospecting power when leveraging this tool is endless. CLICK HERE to learn more.
- Group Messages – Before you begin, make sure you are in the right groups – the ones your prospects are hanging out in, not your competition. Just posting content into groups won’t cut it. However, by sharing a group with someone, you have the ability to message them directly and share your thought leadership even if you aren’t connected. This is a fabulous way to begin conversations with your target market.
There are so many ways to leveraging LinkedIn for business development. You may not have time or the resources to accomplish all 11 of these elements, but if you commit to a few and follow through – you will see your pipeline grow with qualified prospects on a consistent basis.