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Social Selling: How Small Businesses Are Growing Sales

Although this post is sponsored by Microsoft Office, all opinions are my own. Lead generation can be challenging, especially for many small businesses. Unlike large companies with entire teams devoted to generating new leads and sales, such tasks in a small business usually fall on the already time constrained owner or marketing/sales personnel in the company. In many cases, a small business owner must wear all the hats (marketing, production, administration, lead generation, sales etc.) to make their business run. This does not leave a lot of time for lead generation. Yet without new leads and prospects, there can be no new sales. So how can your small business generate new leads efficiently and effectively with the time you have? Using a technique called social selling. What is Social Selling? Social selling refers to using social media platforms and other digital tools, and processes to find and connect with potential prospects to increase sales. Basically, social selling comes down to building relationships with potential prospects. But why should you put your time and effort into using social media to find and connect with prospects? Today, 74% of B2B buyers conduct more than half of their research online before making an offline […]

How to Create an All-Star LinkedIn Profile [INFOGRAPHIC]

Having a LinkedIn profile is no longer enough, especially if no one is seeing it. Or worse, people are seeing your profile but it does a poor job of representing you and what you do. Your LinkedIn profile is an essential part of your personal brand and having a great one is a MUST if you plan to do any form of LinkedIn marketing. According to LinkedIn, your profile may already show up with All-Star status. Sadly, that means nothing at all. It could simple mean you’ve added the various sections into your profile, perhaps with little to nothing in those sections, yet it still shows all-star status giving you a false sense of your professional presence. To me an all-star profile means that you… Are easily found when someone searches for what you do and Your profile intrigues people, makes them want to connect and learn more about you In this article, I am going to show you exactly how to have true all-star status with a comprehensive step-by-step LinkedIn profile infographic so you can visually make sense of what it takes to truly have an all-star profile. In following the steps laid out in this article and infographic, […]

LinkedIn Membership Levels: Free vs Premium vs Sales Navigator

Over the last couple of weeks, I have received numerous emails and messages asking me questions about the differences between the LinkedIn membership levels, Premium Business Plus and Sales Navigator Professional. In fact, many people currently using Business Premium Plus want to know what benefits are left to having this account level or if they must upgrade to LinkedIn Sales Navigator to be able to accomplish their lead generation and social selling goals. I have put together a breakdown of the different features and tools included in each LinkedIn membership level, the cost and how they can be of benefit to you. Free LinkedIn Membership Let’s start with free LinkedIn accounts, as I have had plenty of questions come in from community members regarding the LinkedIn free membership. With so many important features gone, many are left wondering if LinkedIn is still useful with a free account or if they now need to pay for it to remain worthwhile to invest their time and resources in. With the removal of the Notes & Tags feature and the downgrade of the LinkedIn Advanced Search tool, lead generation has become more work with the free account. Not only must you use outside tools […]

LinkedIn Advanced Search Now Only Available with Sales Navigator [Tutorial]

Have you used LinkedIn’s advanced search to find people and/or companies for lead generation? With LinkedIn’s recent changes they have removed most of the advanced search functionality. This move is essentially forcing those that are using LinkedIn for lead generation to upgrade to Sales Navigator. In this article I am going to provide an in-depth look at how to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator’s Advanced Search as part of your lead generation and social selling process. Many within my community have expressed frustration at having to modify their lead gen process with the recent changes to LinkedIn. I am happy to report that only slightly modifications will be necessary to your existing process if you use Sales Navigator. Because it is a LinkedIn product, it already looks and functions similar to what you are used to. There are also additional benefits to using Sales Navigator as this product is built for the purpose of lead generation. You should be able to create an even more efficient and effective process using it, as you become more familiar and fine tune your process. The biggest downside is the cost. But, depending on what a sale is worth for you, it will be worth […]

LinkedIn Changes Tags & Notes: Here’s Your Alternative

LinkedIn has made some big changes and anyone I have taught how to use it for lead generation will need to make some changes on how to stay organized in their lead gen efforts. You may have already noticed the big warning at the top of the Relationship Tab section, LinkedIn will soon be removing your ability to save tags and notes for each of your connections. Quite frankly this is terrible news. If you are actively using LinkedIn for lead generation, this will severely impair your ability to do so, especially efficiently. I have been researching potential solutions, and while none will be as efficient, effective and affordable as LinkedIn’s own Relationship Tab was, the two options I am going to share will help you to continue your lead generation efforts going forward in the future. In today’s post, I am going to share an affordable and user friendly option, the Chrome plug-in called Dux-Soup. This will work best for those who have a limited budget or those who are just starting out. In my next article I will dive into LinkedIn’s own Sales Navigator. While more costly, this option is ideal for anyone who is doing a serious […]

3-Step LinkedIn Social Selling & Lead Generation Process

Does social selling seem too difficult or time consuming to include as part of your daily routine? Do you need an effective daily lead generation plan that produces results and is designed for your busy schedule? Social selling is just another way of saying lead generation. It is an essential part of every business strategy to find your ideal clients and build a relationship with them, so that when they need what you offer, they will come to you. But why is LinkedIn social selling so important? Because today, a sale is a journey, not an action. Today companies choose who to work with based on who has become part of their buying journey. Your ideal clients are doing independent research and looking for information to help them make an educated choice about how they will spend their money and ultimately they will choose the company/person who has assisted in their buying journey. The good news is that you can find these ideal clients, build a relationship with them and establish yourself as a trusted expert on LinkedIn. Here is a daily LinkedIn social selling plan broken down into three manageable steps to help you effectively and efficiently manage your […]

5 LinkedIn Lead Generating Activities To Fill Your Sales Funnel

Have you been successful at generating leads via LinkedIn? LinkedIn is one of the most used and effective platforms for B2B marketing and lead generation. Before I dive into the five lead generation activities that you can do regularly on LinkedIn to generate more business, I want to qualify what these opportunities are and what they are NOT. Just to be clear, these lead generating activities are not to be used as another chance to sling your sales pitch at potential prospects. Quite the opposite, in fact. These opportunities allow you to directly reach out, connect and build a relationship with your ideal clients, helping them to know, like and trust you. You must develop trust and rapport before you try and have a sales conversation with them. If you make the mistake of pitching your product/service or come off as spammy, you will not only lose the opportunity, you will likely ensure that the prospect wants nothing to do with you in the future. You must earn the right to have a conversation with your potential prospects.  LinkedIn allows you to do this by providing a place where you can have one-on-one, highly relevant conversations with individuals. Here are five […]

8 Steps To Attract More Clients With LinkedIn

Have you struggled with trying to find new leads and clients in your business? Perhaps you’ve heard that social media can be effective, specifically LinkedIn, yet wonder why it’s not working for you. You are not alone. This is a problem faced by many businesses. This problem can be further compounded by the amount of time that you have to spend qualifying leads. This is valuable time that you’re not spending on revenue generating activities. If you are a business-to-business (B2B) business owner, entrepreneur, professional service provider or sales person, LinkedIn can help you overcome these challenges. With over 375 million global members LinkedIn is a social media platform that allows users to build a powerful professional network. Similar to a business-networking event, it allows its users to connect and build relationships in a professional setting. But unlike an in person event, users have access to a much larger pool of prospective clients and strategic alliances. In fact, LinkedIn helps you to: Have un-gated access to the decision makers at even the highest levels in a business or organization. Distribute your content to a wider audience. Drive more traffic to your blog and website than other social media platforms. Generate […]

3 Steps To an Effective LinkedIn Relationship Building Strategy

It’s not enough to have a LinkedIn profile and hope the leads will come to you. Sure, you can definitely get inbound leads if you’ve laid the proper groundwork by creating a great LinkedIn profile but the real results come from being proactive. Your relationship building strategy is a key part of your sales funnel and if you fail here, it is extremely difficult to turn a prospect into a sale. There are a number of key things your need to do that will greatly improve your success while relationship building on LinkedIn. 1. Do Your Research Good research is key to being successful at relationship building and is the difference between making a prospect feel like a number or a VIP. Time spent on researching potential prospects is an investment, not a time wasting activity. There are a few tools on LinkedIn that will aid you in your research phase. Read Their LinkedIn Profile Obvious but skipped far too often. Not only does this give you more information about someone, it also triggers a notification for them that you viewed their profile. This can often provoke curiosity in your prospects and encourage them to check out your profile (so […]

Everything You Need To Know About LinkedIn Marketing

Are you ready to start taking advantage of the increased leads LinkedIn marketing is generating for other B2B companies and professionals? LinkedIn is a powerful lead generation tool but only if used correctly. The trouble is that most people aren’t using it correctly or may only be doing certain things correctly while dropping the ball in other important areas. Below you’ll find 21 of the best LinkedIn marketing resources that address the site’s main features, the most common questions from business owners, best practices and my favorite tips and tricks. This is definitely a page you’ll want to bookmark since each heading below addresses a key component of LinkedIn marketing along with a link to the best resource I have to get you more educated on that topic. Laying The Foundation For Your Success On LinkedIn 1. Have a Professional & Optimized LinkedIn Profile It’s crucial that you don’t start reaching out to potential prospects until your profile is complete and ready to make a great first impression. Recommended Reading: 21 Steps To The Perfect LinkedIn Profile 2. Get Found On Page One Of LinkedIn Search The next step after your profile is complete is to ensure you’re showing up […]

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