I met a gentleman at a local chamber event who sold life insurance. He asked if he could have my card and connect with me on LinkedIn. I told him that was fine but I was not in the market for life insurance. This was a few years ago and BC (Before Children). Not too long ago, I woke up in a cold sweat with the realization that I now have a family and no life insurance. I quickly jumped online to do a Google search for life insurance companies.
After a few minutes of searching, I decided to take a break and visit my LinkedIn profile. As I scrolled through my LinkedIn homepage, I saw one of my favorite Dale Carnegie quotes, “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they’re doing”. As I went to ‘like’ the post, I noticed it was from the guy who was trying to sell me life insurance years ago. I quickly clicked on his profile and messaged him with a request to meet. That week, almost two years later, he earned my business. Thanks to our LinkedIn connection, he found a way to stay ‘top of mind’ with me when I was ready to buy.
LinkedIn is void of a lot of the noise that frustrates people about Facebook and Twitter and therefore is an excellent place to garner attention from CEO’s, training managers and other decision makers. LinkedIn can help business owners increase awareness, strengthen credibility, and stay ‘top of mind’ with clients and prospects. Below are four simple strategies to take your LinkedIn experience to the next level.
1. Be Proud of Your Profile
If you haven’t reached 500+ connections, stop everything else you’re doing and get connected with your network. When someone visits your profile, LinkedIn only shows the number of connections up to 500. After 500, they just add the + sign. So whether you have 501 or 5001, it will still display on your profile as 500+.
Make no mistake about it—numbers matter. Almost every decision-maker I’ve spoken with has said they check out a business’, business owner’s or salesperson’s LinkedIn profile prior working with that company. What message do you convey with just 45 connections?
Some responses I’ve heard from clients are, ‘small,’ ‘disconnected,’ ‘out of touch,’ and ‘fly-by-night.’ Perceptions like these are not going to help your case when hoping to “close a deal” with a prospect. So start connecting to your colleagues, customers and prospects on LinkedIn and don’t stop until you hit 500+.
2. Get Quality Recommendations from Past Clients
When it comes to recommendations, it’s quality over quantity. If you ask the right people to recommend you on LinkedIn, they will spend time crafting an endorsement worthy of the exceptional work your company does. Recommendations matter.
No, scratch that…
Quality recommendations matter. Recommendations that only come from people who’ve done business with you and are pleased with the results.
3. Update your profile daily…
This takes little to no time at all, but could result in significantly more business. Go check out your LinkedIn profile. You’ll notice some updates from a few of your contacts. These are people who have posted an update to their profile and did it right around the time of your visit. If you’re in ‘buy mode’ for their products or services at the time of their posting, this could be the friendly reminder that earns them your business.
The same goes for your prospects. They could be in need of a service you offer and you may have fallen off their radar for one reason or another. But during a visit to LinkedIn, they see a status update from you referencing a great industry article from a quality source. Whether they read the article is irrelevant. The point is you jumped back on their radar at precisely the right time and you could win their business as a result.
This strategy has become even more important with LinkedIn’s mobile app. If you don’t already have it, I’d encourage you to go download it. You’ll see that as soon as you open the app, updates from your network are the first thing that you see. This is prime real estate and you can take advantage by simply adding high-value content to your LinkedIn profile.
4. Use the Get Introduced Feature.
Simply put, this is my favorite feature in all of social media. In the world of LinkedIn, the power is not in your network, but in your network’s network. There is no reason to ever cold-call again without at least checking LinkedIn and seeing if you have a mutual connection with the person you’re trying to reach. Let’s say you want to do some sales training for ABC Company. You can go on LinkedIn and search for their company page. LinkedIn will show you employees from ABC who have a LinkedIn profile and, if there’s a #2 next to their name, that means you know someone they know.
So after looking at their page, you see that Steve Smith, the sales director from ABC has a #2 next to his name. You click on his profile and see that you and he are both connected with Dan Davidson. You’ve done some work with Dan in the past, so you contact Dan to see if he’d be willing to introduce you to Steve. Dan happily obliges and sends a note to Steve telling him why he needs to take your call. You just turned a cold call into a warm lead. Powerful. Just remember, in order for this to work, you need to have a good relationship with Dan and Dan needs to have a good relationship with Steve. If either is not the case, do not request the introduction.
These four strategies will help you get more results from your LinkedIn efforts. I hope you put them to action and I look forward to hearing about your successes!
Dale Carnegie of Georgia has invited Corey to share his social media knowledge with you at a special workshop. If you’d like to get help implementing these strategies and more, make sure to register for Corey’s Social Media Workshop on May 7th!
About the author:
Corey Perlman is an entrepreneur, author and nationally-recognized social media expert. His book, eBoot Camp, (Wiley) became an Amazon.com bestseller and received global attention with distribution in both China and India. Corey’s company, eBoot Camp, Inc., provides digital marketing services to small and mid-size businesses. A proud member of the National Speaker’s Association (NSA), Corey conducts his critically acclaimed Social Media for Business Keynote to audiences around the world. He’s the proud father of a 3-year-old daughter who has already tweeted, has a youtube channel and asked for a Mark Zuckerberg doll for her birthday. The apple truly doesn’t fall far from the tree! For more information, visit www.ebootcamp.com.