LinkedIn is well-known as the premier social networking site among professionals, but it can do more for you than connect you with potential employers and business associates. After all, it’s been said that one out of every three professionals in the world has a LinkedIn profile, and many of these people are looking to purchase products and sales that can help grow their own businesses. With the right strategy, LinkedIn can be used to help you find prospects and increase your sales. As with all digital marketing endeavors, it takes some time and effort to create a good LinkedIn sales strategy, but we have some tips that should make things a little easier.
Create a Great Profile Page
The first step in creating an excellent LinkedIn marketing strategy is to have a great profile page. This should be something that you’ve done already if you’ve had a presence on LinkedIn for longer than a few days, but it really can make the difference between forming meaningful professional relationships and being mostly on your own. Your LinkedIn profile page should be 100 percent complete, an attention-grabbing headline, a good professional headshot of yourself, and links to your business’s website and various other social media accounts. It should also include plenty of recommendations from satisfied clients, business associates, and anyone else who might be willing to endorse your business. This profile page will be the first thing potential new clients and professional contacts will see when they look you up on LinkedIn, so you need to make sure that it looks good.
Join the Right LinkedIn Groups
Joining the right LinkedIn groups can be a great way to ensure that you are connecting with professionals who can advance your career. Start by joining groups that are part of your business’s industry, then seek out groups that your clients are a part of. This will give you a better idea of what your clients are looking for, which leads us nicely into our next step.
Start Discussions and Provoke Responses
As you learn a little more about what your clients are looking for from joining their groups, you can start discussions with them about what they need and what kinds of problems they are trying to solve. The products and services that you offer are intended to solve your clients’ problems, whatever those may be. As you foster discussions with these clients through your LinkedIn profile, you will eventually have people responding to you. Pay attention to these responses since they should dictate where your business is heading. A great way to go about this is to look for a nagging problem that your clients have, suggest a bold and interesting new solution that was unheard of before, and encourage others in your groups to provide feedback. This may seem less like you are actively selling a product at this point, but it’s setting the stage for the rest of your marketing plan.
Keep Your Messages Short
One constant about the Internet is that people have short attention spans. They would rather scan blog posts and long status updates rather than read them, so try to keep any message that you send “Internet-friendly” by keeping it down to three paragraphs of three sentences each. That is remarkably short, but it can also be scanned in just a few minutes. Remember to include a call-to-action such as a request to contact your company for more information or to click on a link to your website to see a video.
Use Videos Wisely
Speaking of videos, you will need to be careful with how they are utilized. Many novice marketers who like to pass themselves off as “gurus” will tell you that video is king and that you should build entire social media marketing campaigns around it. While it is true that video advertising has gotten incredibly popular over the last few years, conveying every message you have through two-minute snippets of video captured with a webcam is more of a distraction than anything. If you want to use video in your digital marketing strategy, use it as a visual aid in blog posts and messages. When you do record a video, keep it under 90 seconds long unless you are posting a tutorial about a product that you are selling. Also, remember that not everyone who visits your LinkedIn page is in a place where they can turn up the audio to get the most out of your videos. Videos should supplement your message, not be the message itself.
Share Valuable Content
Even though you should be making your own content about your own products and services, don’t be afraid of sharing any other relevant content you find. Posting a link to an article or blog post that has something to do with your industry is a great way to grab people’s attention and educate them on what you have to offer to them. It’s also a great way to keep your page updated when you don’t have anything else to post. You might even be able to forge a relationship with a talented blogger who wrote the interesting content that you found.
Connect with Others Before and After Every Trade Show
When you are looking for a job, you will most likely have one resume that you can tweak according to whatever position you’re applying for. LinkedIn can work the same way when it comes to trade shows. Before you head off to a trade show, optimize your profile to appeal to any contacts that you might make. Once the show is done, spend some time connecting with those new contacts. Not only could you forge some meaningful new professional relationships, but you might get some business-to-business sales out of the whole experience.
Above all else, the key to creating a good LinkedIn marketing strategy is to keep on evolving. No social media account or website is static; it’s constantly changing to reflect new experiences and new knowledge. Keep a close eye on your LinkedIn page and contacts, and don’t be afraid to make updates as you see fit.