LinkedIn has become an essential platform for most small and medium sized businesses for promotional purposes. A wonderful tool when used properly, it is extremely effective in generating leads and sales for your business.
LinkedIn marketing allows you to connect with your prospective clients, announce new product launches, creates awareness regarding your business and also gives the chance to carry out research on possible prospects available in the market.
If you looking for a social platform to sell to others then LinkedIn is the one to be on because this is where people actually don’t mind being sold to. A survey conducted by the website themselves revealed that 64% of its members agreed that LinkedIn marketing was crucial in the growth of their business as members were doubly confident about the available information on the site as opposed to any other website of the same nature. Be it general awareness generation or finding qualified leads, LinkedIn is there to help you achieve these goals.
So without further ado, here are some of the most important steps that you must follow in order to promote the growth of your business through LinkedIn:
Creating an optimized profile
Your LinkedIn profile is the virtual equivalent of your resume, so ensure that it is complete and updated in order to provide an accurate portrayal of your professional persona.
Not only do you need a good, recent head-shot of yourself along with full information regarding your work experience, there are also some other fields that you need to take care of. First is to provide an accurate description with respect to your job title and location to make it optimised for search, so when people type in appropriate keywords they can find you easily. Be sure to be comprehensive but not go too overboard with details.
You can add a list of your websites and associate your brand name of keywords to them under contact information, making it easier for people to know where they’re going to be re-directed to. Third-party applications such as blog connections and slide sharing apps on LinkedIn offer you a unique presence that many interesting candidates would be looking for.
Becoming a part of groups
Groups are an effective way to establish connection with other like-minded people. Being a part of small, close-knit private groups or the larger, popular online communities and engaging in specific discussion topics is an effective way to meet up with prospective business partners or potential leads. You should also take advantage of the ability to share related content within the group.
You also have the opportunity to setup your very own group based on your business or any associated topic that you are really passionate about. Create a discussion topic around what is going on and gain traffic to your website by establishing yourself as a respected thought-leader for some added respect among your peers. You can also use your created groups to continue building on customer relationships and developing more leads for your business.
Be on the lookout for those intricate social signs
On some social networking sites, it would come as no surprise if you mention your annoyance at the hundreds of meaningless posts of baby pictures and kitten photos on your profile wall. However, as a business owner on LinkedIn, it is vital that you are aware of the meaningful life events that are shown by these seemingly meaningless wall posts.
What is important to your connections may prove to be an important promotion pathway for your business. If you happen to come across such life events as promotions, city change, job change, new home, or even a marriage or new baby, you must be aware that these are important events in the lives of your connections that will call for thoughtful contributions.
A newly married person, for example, may want to be a part of investments. Simply reaching out and congratulating one for an event such as a job change serves a reminder that you are still around and notice this particular person; whatever their position in life. Monitoring these social signs are crucial for generating business leads through LinkedIn marketing.
Prove yourself to be a trusted source
Being pushy with your sales pitch is never a pleasant thing, and the same goes for this social networking platform. Rather than promote a “call me for a quote” message, it is better that you establish your credentials as a thought leader whom potential customers should call for guidance without having a second thought.
In a nutshell: you should always provide your audience with relevant and valuable content. If you happen to come across a question posted on LinkedIn, answer it and follow up to ensure that you have met the needs of that particular connection. Share your opinion on relevant topics rather than simply making a repetitive post, as this will earn you a significant amount of brownie points for your authenticity and leadership.
Maintain a healthy relation with the customers
Following the well-known Rolodex method with your LinkedIn account is a great way to keep in touch with your existing connections and hold on to your potential customers. Simply connecting with them by either giving them a friendly call or through a LinkedIn message can go a long way.
If you happen to be calling someone after a long time, it is better to take stock of recent changes in their life. This is an effective procedure when it comes to making those random re-connections with people to keep you on top of their minds.
Build on your connections
For making one-on-one connections with new candidates, LinkedIn is an excellent platform. However, it is not ideal to try and connect with anyone and everyone as it affects the overall hit-rate and is can be a pretty big waste of time.
Try setting up a connection with those you may actually be doing business with in the future. Recommendations and testimonials are an excellent way to build up on social proof; if you are getting blessings from reputable people, then it is quite evident that you are someone of the same category.
Also go out of your way to help those interesting candidates that you would like to recommend. Keep in mind the ever-effective golden rule; for getting recommendations you should initiate the process by making some for others first.
LinkedIn marketing is an excellent way to reach out to new people and get qualified leads for your business. However, it is of the essence that one is mindful of the fact that it is a “social” network where general public manners and old-rules of acquaintance continue to apply themselves.
Helping out others and treating them with marked levels of respect is something that you must devotedly practice as that is something they will eventually do for you when you need it the most.
How are you getting on with your LinkedIn marketing? Are you doing something we missed here? Share in the comments below.
Image credit: Troy Trolley