June 21st, 2019, I turn(ed) 50! Every year for my birthday I like to give my network a gift. This year it is 50 quick tips that can help anyone looking to master LinkedIn for social selling.
1. Set a 30,000-foot goal. My goal of social selling is to start more sales conversations by leveraging the power of LinkedIn, What is yours?
2. Lead to your solution NOT with your solution. When you lead with your solution you are pitching.
3. Be a resource by providing actionable insights. Stop telling people how you can help them, and simply help them.
4. Make Your Background Pop – Create a banner that brands you the way you want to be known. Download your banner template by visiting http://linkedinbanner.com.
5. Headshot – Professional photo only. No Hawaiian shirts or wedding cutouts with your significant other’s hand on your shoulder. Show up on LinkedIn the same way you would a business meeting or networking event.
6. Headline – The job of the headline is to get your visitors interested in reading your profile. You have to connect with them – and the best way to do this is to include three elements:
a. Who you help
b. How you help,
c. Why should they care
7. About Section – This section doesn’t have to be your experience, because there is an experience section. This section doesn’t even have to be about you. It is an opportunity to be a resource to your audience. Consider these five elements in your About section:
a. The challenge your buyers face today
b. Vendor agnostic insights that are valuable even if your reader never talks with you.,
c. How you help with this, Call-to-action, Contact information
d. OPTIONAL: Quote from a client
8. Experience is where you can share not just what you and your company do, but how you help. While highlighting your background may be important, keep in mind that if the goal of your profile is to schedule sales calls that everything you include is working toward that goal.
9. Experience Hack – Rather than only listing all your past roles under your experience, consider using that area to highlight your solutions. Visit my profile and scroll down to Social Sales Link to see how I have hacked my experience section.
10. Add a symbol or emoji to make your profile pop. Use these smartly and sparingly – but when used well, your profile will stand out.
11. Ask for Recommendations – This section is listed on your profile and is foundational to social proof. When you have testimonials from clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders, your buyers will see the impact you have made on others.
12. Create Case Studies – Success stories are a powerful way to gain social proof. You can PDF them and upload them as Rich Media to your About section and/or Experience Section or add them to the Project Section of your profile and invite your client to be part of that project. You can even use Slideshare or share a document from your newsfeed, take that link and add it to your profile in the media sections.
13. Map out your buyers via search string and LinkedIn filters. By developing a basic search string that you can use over and over, you will save significant time when prospecting.
14. Search your 1st-degree connections to identify who you are already connected to that you’ve been ignoring. Consider re-engaging them with a great piece of content, a complimentary webinar invitation or providing other direct value to them.
15. Engage on your 1st-degree connections’ activity. Make sure you add your thoughts in comments as well. Your network has spent a lot of time and energy in putting their content out, the fact that you spent the time to read it and participate is very much appreciated. Like and comment on their posts and their comments in a relevant and meaningful way.
16. Endorse your connections on LinkedIn. Be sure to choose skills that you know your connection has and that you have personally experienced.
17. Make warm introductions to your connections that can benefit from knowing each other. It can be in a LinkedIn message or in an email. Just copy them both with a small description of each ( you can pull information right from their LinkedIn summary) and explain why you think it would be a positive connection for both of them.
18. Recommend your connections on LinkedIn – there is not much more that is appreciated than a testimonial on LinkedIn, but again, make sure it sincere. This is a fantastic way to thank your vendors this season!
19. Give them a shout out! Everyone likes to be mentioned! In your update status on LinkedIn or on Twitter, thank your clients and vendors in a message and type @TheirNameorCompany and select it from the drop-down. They will receive a notification and appreciate the time you took to recognize them!
20. Create a thank you video mentioning one or more of your connections that have had an impact on you professionally this past year. Whether they are a mentor, a cheerleader, a resource, a vendor, a peer or client – a quick video can go a long way. Upload this to Native Video, mention them all in the post and make others feel great because you are thankful to have them in your world.
21. Give Kudos. There is a new feature that allows you to show your appreciation for your connections publicly.
22. Search your 2nd-degree relationships based on your search string, identify your shared connections and ask for introductions or permission to name drop.
23. Leverage your LinkedIn to make the most of your networking coffee meetings. Often networking doesn’t feel like the most productive use of our time. And, although we build professional rapport and new relationships, new business opportunities rarely happen. Unless… you use LinkedIn to proactively identify who your networking partner knows prior to a meeting, review the names with them and position yourself to get targeted warm introductions.
24. Search your clients’ connections by using your search string and filters to identify a targeted list of prospects. Run the names by your clients and either ask for an introduction or permission to name drop.
25. Socially surround your client and prospect companies. Connect with all of the stakeholders and decision makers inside of the accounts and add value to each of them.
26. Build account lists based on social proximity. Prior to any cold outreach to a list of companies you’d like to engage, find out if you already know someone inside the organization or someone that can help you get introduced. When you approach new prospects based on a referral rather than a cold call, you come in with a higher level of credibility and a better chance of the buyer excited to take your call.
27. Offer knowledge nuggets that attract your ideal buyers to you and get them excited to take your call. Be aware of the tips and answers you provide your clients and prospects on a daily basis and curate them.
28. Curate and share relevant content consistently. Try Feedly.com as a powerful curation tool that can help you find and engage on relevant content, easily.
29. Schedule content in advance through leveraging Hootlet.com or Buffer.com.
30. Find and follow #hashtags. When you find content on LinkedIn take a look at the #hashtags they are using, click through and if the content is relevant to you and your audience click the Follow button so that when new content is shared, it will be delivered to your newsfeed.
31. Use your own #hashtag when you share an original post so that all of your content can be curated in one place WATCH VIDEO.
32. Use a content scheduler like hootlet.com, or you use more sophisticated tools like Everyone Social for this, ensuring that you feed your network is vital to staying top of mind and adding consistent value.
33. Engage with those engaging on content. This is an ideal opportunity to start conversations and provide additional insights. Keep in mind, sharing content and then ignoring the folks that like and comment is not neutral but detrimental.
34. Original content is vital to your professional credibility on LinkedIn. Whether you leverage LinkedIn native video or use LinkedIn Publications to write blog posts, sharing your point of view, insights and knowledge will quickly add value for your buyers.
35. Find and follow influencers in your industry.
36. “Like”, comment and share on relevant content on a consistent basis. Engage with both the author and the other people commenting on the content.
37. Start a mastermind pod on LinkedIn and fill it with up to 50 people where you can share ideas, strategies, and tactics. Simply start a message and invite people to join. I am in a few, each filled with collaborative competitors where we are all committed to helping one another stay on top of LinkedIn changes.
38. Don’t ignore your notifications. There are dozens of opportunities to engage with your connections every single day.
39. Set recurring 10 minutes a day on your calendar for content engagement.
40. Update your settings! Edit My Public Profile – Your public profile appears in searches on Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc. as well as on other third-party applications and platforms. Your profile can show up based on searching your name, company or keywords, and phrases used throughout your profile. When a researcher, who is not currently in your network clicks through, these settings control what information from your profile they see. I recommend being completely open, especially if you have taken the time to develop a well branded, resource-driven profile. As you check the sections on the right-hand side, you will visually see how your Public Profile shows up on the left. It is here where you can customize your public URL as well. I suggest you do this by clicking the pencil and choose your name or a variation if it is unavailable.
41. Who Can See Your Connections – This is a controversial topic for many, the debate on whether or not you should open your connections to your 1st degree connections (your 2nd degree relationships will not have access to your connections, only the ones you share) is one I hear from Financial and Legal professionals all the time. If you are in business development and plan on using LinkedIn to ask for targeted introductions than I recommend strongly that you open your privacy setting. LinkedIn is a networking site, by closing down your connections, you are sending a signal to your network that you are unwilling to play nice in the sandbox. So make sure you choose Your Connections not Only You from the drop-down.
42. Two-Step Verification – This features adds an additional layer of security, you’ll be asked to provide a cell phone number that will be used to send you verification codes each time you sign in to LinkedIn from a device we don’t recognize. Once you’ve provided a valid phone number, we’ll send a text to that number with the code. If you verify the code successfully, then two-step verification will be turned on.
43. Profile Viewing Options – This may be the most import setting of all for business development professionals. When you visit someone’s profile, this setting will determine what they know about you. There are 3 levels, first, your name, headline, location, and industry. Second, private profile with a characterization like company name or school, but not your name. And, third, totally anonymous. My recommendation is to keep this open most of the time. As you are prospecting and looking at your targeted buyers, they will see that you checked them out and out of curiosity visit your profile back. Again, if your profile is a resource to your buyers, one that provides insights and valuable content, they will be much more open to taking your call. But I did say most of the time because going into stalker mode, totally anonymous, is a great way to gain insights into your competition while staying under the radar.
44. Notifying Connections When You are in the News – Unless you are expecting an indictment or pending bankruptcy, there is a lot of value in keeping this setting open. If you are mentioned in a press release or blog post or news article, LinkedIn may send a notification to your network or post it in their newsfeed.
45. Followers – This allows people to follow you for your content without actually connecting to you. If you have the older version of LinkedIn, you have visibility into these followers and can request to connect with them when appropriate. If you have the new version, visibility into your followers is not currently available but should be rolling out in the near future. The value of keeping this setting open to Everyone on LinkedIn is that it lowers the threshold for people engaging with you. If this is already turned on, DO NOT turn it off, as you will lose all of your followers.
46. Who Can Send You Invitations – It is vital that this is set to Everyone on LinkedIn, because if you close yourself to accepting invitations, you may lose opportunities.
47. Messages from Members – Just like invitations, you want people to have access to you, so leave this one open by checking Introductions, InMail, and Open Profile messages (if you have a premium account, joining Open Profile allows anyone on LinkedIn to send you a message free, without an introduction or a paid InMail.).
48. Third Party Apps – This is a list of all the applications that you have permitted to log in or link to your LinkedIn account. If you’d like to remove an app, make sure you have your password on hand, you will be asked to enter it for confirmation. You should take a look at these consistently to ensure you would like to be still synced with these third-party apps.
49. Log Out of LinkedIn – When you log into LinkedIn on any device, you have to manually log out as it doesn’t time out on its own. You may be shocked at how many open LinkedIn sessions you have running, make sure you log out of them here.