Through my travels as an event speaker, I’ve met thousands of small business owners, many of which confirm they use LinkedIn as one of their Social Media Platforms. The majority of them have confessed either they feel they don’t know much about LinkedIn; they haven’t maximized its value, and most importantly haven’t really generated any business from it.
On the other hand, I’ve met business owners who are using LinkedIn very differently than those I mention above. These folks see it as a tool that could be leveraged to open more doors, expand their business in existing accounts and enhance their professional presence.
So, why not share some of the best practices that have helped to win relationships and generate revenue via LinkedIn.
Be a Groupie By selecting strategic target markets, it will allow you to pinpoint groups and find decision makers that you can build relationships with. Use smaller groups with less than 5000 members. Before you join a group, scout them out. Look for groups filled with active discussions and minimal spam. “Divide and Conquer.”
Become a “Go-Giver” Groups provide a forum where content can be shared. Participate in numerous discussions, always focusing on how you can help targeted prospects. Be proactive, give advice and provide feedback. Share original or third party eBooks or white papers. Start your own discussions by asking probing questions, and then join in the ensuing conversation. When it’s appropriate, refer to other experts and companies who could help group colleagues with their challenges.
Invest time. Be prepared to invest approximately 10 hours per week on LinkedIn. Too many people are looking for overnight results. It won’t happen. While 10 hours may seem like a lot, when you compare it to the time that most people spend prospecting, it’s minimal.
It is Personal. LinkedIn isn’t about technology, it’s about people.
Make professional connections, in one of the world’s largest social networking sites.
Be genuine, personal and candid; people will get to know who you are, and slowly learn to trust you
When you are reaching out to people, say something personal right away so that you can create an immediate connection. It’s important to study people’s profiles carefully to find out what’s important to them professionally and personally.
After doing that, send them a message via LinkedIn with a connection request.
Each message should be personally crafted:
Say something about their profile/accomplishments
Names of mutual acquaintances or interests.
Focus on the issues or business goals you can help companies with. (Never give a product pitch.)
Don’t be afraid to shake things up.
Constantly re-evaluate your group memberships. Some groups get stale, others become spam-filled and some just get too big. Also, every three to six months, go through your LinkedIn connections and eliminate people with whom you’ve been unable to build a relationship.
It’s all about time.
LinkedIn, it takes time and effort. It’s easy and it’s free.
It’s not for salespeople who are looking for shortcuts and quick sales.
What does this all mean? If you put in the appropriate amount of effort, time and commitment in building your LinkedIn presence and become that resource relationship to your connections, there is no doubt you will generate sales through this business social network. If you’re just not there and have a desire to increase your LinkedIn presence and understand some of the key elements of this social media platform, consider taking the “Best Ever LinkedIn Clinic”.
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