‘Social selling’ or using social media channels, such as LinkedIn to reach your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) and develop and nurture long lasting relationships with them, is the hottest trend in B2B sales and marketing right now. Here is how to own your own personal space on this essential business networking tool.
Always remember, the plan is not to hard sell your prospects, rather we should be looking to offer help and value first – before expecting anything in return.
The thinking goes that this approach will lead a growing attractiveness to your target market, and in turn you’ll create more leads for your business. But like everything else, it’s a bit more complicated than that, and it takes some time and application to get it right.
So why not read our top ten tips for LinkedIn Leadership to make a start and supercharge your social selling.1 Use A Decent Photo in Your Profile!
We don’t see too many ‘eggs’ anymore on LinkedIn, but a surprising amount of people still use any old image to illustrate themselves. Please, make the effort to find something that looks professional, and in keeping with your role, or even better, get a few proper headshots done.
You don’t want the first impression someone has of you to be made as they squint to make you out in an old badly cropped wedding picture.
And smile! Its works wonders.
2 Use The Advertising Space Behind Your Head.
Too many of us miss out on the opportunity to place an advert for ourselves or our business right there at the top of the profile. Having your contact details there alone makes it more likely someone will reach out to you. But a carefully designed image will do even more for you.
This is PRIME LinkedIn ‘real estate’ – make sure you use it to your advantage. If you are on a budget, you can even use Canva or something like that to knock something up for free.
Even better, get a designer to maximise that space for you.
3 ‘Optimise’ Your Headline.
This is an essential. Don’t just put your job title or function there. Tell people about the problem you solve for your ICP. It’s even better if you include your ICP in your headline.
Here’s a great format to follow:
I (solve this problem) for (these people – the ICP) for (this reason)
For example – I help small businesses turn their websites into marketing machines because everyone deserves a website that works hard for them.
If you are using LinkedIn to look for a new career, you could even put that into your headline.
4 Make Full Use of The About Section.
You have 2000 words to play with here, and if you have done a good job of engaging people with your headshot, background image and headline, they will naturally gravitate towards the summary to find out more about you.
Focus on your skills and achievements, the impact you have or the problems you solve rather than your work history. This is covered in the next section anyway.
And be aware that search engines (like LinkedIn itself) crawl these summaries to show the most relevant results for queries. So, make sure you sprinkle your summary with your industries key words and phrases.
That way you are more likely to be picked up in a search and get that all important lead.
5 Tidy Up the Experience Section.
Make sure the good and interesting detail is in your most recent and most pertinent experience, and make sure you aren’t exposing any big gaps in your employment history that aren’t reasonably explained. If it looks rubbish on a CV, it might not suit LinkedIn either!
Trim the end of – if like us you had a number of work experience / intern type jobs, once you are a little more established in the world of work, you can leave those out.
But do make the most of the experience you have and those lovely logos at the side of each period of employment – just make sure you add your company name as it appears in LinkedIn to pull that bad boy through!
6 Same Applies for Your Education Too.
Maybe no need to go all the way back to those ‘O’ levels and the 11 plus! If your industry requires high levels and valuable qualifications, then fill your boots. But otherwise keep it tight and concise. Feature the stuff that’s most recent and most relevant to the customer you are trying to serve and the problem you are trying to solve.
A project manager would list their Project Management and Agile type qualifications for instance.
7 Set Up Your LinkedIn URL to Be Something a Little More Recognisable!
Avoid a string of random numbers after your name by going to the option that lets you edit your URL in the main right-hand menu.
You might even add a word or two to quickly describe your profession, like Tony-Dowling-Inbound-Marketer.
8 Start To Farm Your Connections
Be conscious of who you are connected to. Your content will mostly be seen by 1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree connections. So, if you’re not connected to the people that you want to be viewing your stuff, they aren’t going to see it.
Connect with potential clients (and don’t spam pitch them as soon as they accept) but also mentors, thought leaders and the anyone you think is interesting, or even people you yourself might be able to help.
The broader and wider your connection base, the better your reach will ultimately be.
INSIDER TIP: Loads of people will tell you to write this or that to get that connection, but most of mine are absent a connection message – I think people expect you to sell them something if you introduce yourself when sending the request over ;-)
9 Avoid Automations!
Automation of anything on LinkedIn is both against the terms of service and most of your poor old connections hate it. Don’t spam connection requests, don’t spam sales messages in DM’s and don’t auto visit the profiles of your ICP to make it look like you are behaving like a real person.
Just… behave like a real person!
We all hate connections that follow up immediately with the spam pitch that has no interest or even any relation to what you do! Or even worse is when they don’t acknowledge your response to their DM for the next three days – because it’s been delivered by a bot, and the automation is rubbish and it’s not the real person themselves.
10 Get Recommendations, From Everyone!
Well, maybe not everyone, but LinkedIn makes it easy to ask people you’ve worked with, or for, or even alongside for a recommendation adding some much-needed credibility and context to the other information on your profile.
I would argue gaining the trust of your network is the most important aspect of your digital footprint and having plenty of relevant and up to date recommendations is a great way to demonstrate this, without having to resort to the dreaded humble brag in your updates!
This is a simple one – stay active! Connect with people, comment, like and even post the odd thing to your network to make your profile look up to date and vibrant.
A recent picture and lots of friendly remarks speaks to your professionalism and the depth of your network.
Being active on LinkedIn is a good look for you and your business. Find out more by booking in a call to chat with us.