LinkedIn used correctly is one of the most powerful tools B2B professionals and companies can use to develop targeted networks and successfully generate a steady stream of leads and sales.
Yet most people today still use LinkedIn only as an online resume. They miss out on many lucrative opportunities, which could take their businesses to the next level.
Here are some mind-blowing LinkedIn stats:
- LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 2 million C-level executives as members
- LinkedIn is the most-used social media platform among Fortune 500 companies
- executives from every Fortune 500 company are on LinkedIn
- 45 percent of LinkedIn users are in upper management (i.e., directors, vice presidents and C-suite)
- 61 million LinkedIn users are senior-level influencers, and 40 million are in decision-making positions
- 2 million posts, articles and videos are published on LinkedIn every day
- 91 percent of executives rate LinkedIn as their first choice for professionally relevant content
- 50 percent of B2B web traffic originating from social media comes from LinkedIn
- 80 percent of B2B leads generated on social media come from LinkedIn
These numbers show that decision makers are on and using LinkedIn, mostly to network and research. LinkedIn has solidified its position as a powerful tool for its members to find, connect and build relationships with their ideal clients. Further, it has allowed them to establish their personal brands and credibility as authorities on their topics.
Wouldn’t you like this powerful tool to help you generate more leads and sales for your business efficiently and effectively?
In this article, I share seven key strategies savvy members and LinkedIn experts leverage to develop a strong professional network, turning it into new business.
7 Strategies Used by LinkedIn Experts and Savvy Members
1. Have a complete and professional LinkedIn profile
One of the most important things you must do to be successful with any endeavour on LinkedIn is to have a complete and professional-looking profile.
Put simply, your LinkedIn profile is the virtual impression you give to everyone you meet through LinkedIn.
Would you walk into a client meeting:
- in shorts and a t-shirt or with your dog or family member? (This is like having profile images with pets, other people, or vacation shots.)
- with a bag over your head so people can’t see your face? (This is what it’s like when you are missing a profile image.)
- telling people your name is your phone number or special character like an ampersand? (This is like adding something other than your name in the name field.)
- only telling the client the position you hold or giving them the abbreviation for your position rather than telling them how you can help them or why they should invest the time to listen to you? (This is like listing only your current position in your headline.)
- providing outdated information about your services and experience? (This is like having an outdated profile.)
- giving your clients the most minimal information about how you can help them and why you are qualified to do so? (This is like having an incomplete profile.)
- only talk about yourself and what you can do? (This is like making your profile all about you and not about whom you want to connect with.)
You wouldn’t make these mistakes walking into a face-to-face meeting, so don’t make them in the virtual world. These critical LinkedIn mistakes will keep you from making the most of the professional opportunities the platform can offer you when used right.
If you want to have the kind of success that LinkedIn expert users enjoy, create a complete profile that not only looks professional but also speaks to your ideal clients.
With your profile, help your ideal clients realize you could be the solution to the problem they are facing.
2. Build a large, but quality LinkedIn network
Having a large LinkedIn network is key for you to be able to find your ideal clients and for them to find you when they search for someone who does what you do.
When you search on LinkedIn, you can only find people who are in your 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree networks (or those you share a group with). This also applies to those searching for people who do what you do.
This means that if you don’t show up in these searches, you are missing opportunities.
Now, you might be thinking that means you should connect with everyone who sends you a connection request or that you should become a LinkedIn Open Networker.
While building a large network is important, it is MORE important to build a quality network.
Once you find your ideal clients, do NOT send them the standard connection request. It is essential to write personal messages in your connection requests to people you do not know.
When someone receives a connection request from someone they don’t know, they immediately ask themselves: “Who is this person, and why are they trying to connect with me?”
LinkedIn experts and savvy users know that effective networking and lead generation requires you to establish rapport and build relationships with your prospects. And that cannot be done without personalization of your communication to them.
In this resource, I share the importance of personalizing your LinkedIn connection request messages and what to include in them, in addition to providing an example message to help you create your own.
3. Add value to build authority, credibility and trust
As you build a network of targeted prospects for your business, you must realize that many of them will not want or need the solution you offer at this time. But in order for them to consider you when they are ready, you need to build your authority and credibility so they see you as an expert in your field.
You do this by consistently providing them with value in the form of educational content, which helps them overcome a problem or challenge.
Share content in a multitude of ways, depending on your preference and the preference of your target market. You can create videos, articles, podcasts, infographics, or any other form of content your target market would be interested in.
Use this B2B content marketing checklist to ensure you are creating professional, high quality content your ideal clients will find valuable.
4. Top of feed = top of mind [LinkedIn newsfeed]
It is important to stay top of mind with your ideal clients so that when they need someone who offers what you offer, you will be the first person they think of.
You can do this by posting regular status updates so you show up regularly in their newsfeeds.
The higher the frequency of your status updates, the more likely your potential buyers will see your content. If they have thousands of connections, their newsfeeds will be filled with content, lessening the likelihood that they will see yours. You can increase your chances of being seen by posting status updates consistently.
When posting a status update, you can share your own (content creation) as well as others’ content (content curation).
You can increase the visibility of your posts and expand your reach if you add hashtags to your status updates.
To make this easier, LinkedIn will suggest hashtags you may want to add.
If your status update gets great engagement, LinkedIn may classify you with a trending in # on a specific topic.
The benefit of such a classification is that LinkedIn will send a notification to you as well as to the members of your network likely to be interested in that post. Basically, LinkedIn will recommend your status update to your relevant connections in their notifications boxes. This provides a great third-party validation, strengthening your credibility.
5. Engage to build relationships
While sharing content will help you build authority and stay top of mind, you must not forget to have conversations with people, especially those who have shown interest in you and your content by engaging with your posts.
All digital marketing and LinkedIn experts agree that the key to success with social media is engagement. It’s even more important on LinkedIn, where people engage with each other for business purposes. You can’t build relationships unless you engage with people.
On LinkedIn, you should be laser-focused on getting conversations going and then using those conversations to build relationships.
Keep tabs on any engagement you are getting by visiting your LinkedIn notifications page or by going to your Articles & activity box within your profile:
Engaging or having conversations with those who have engaged with your content is as simple as reacting to their comments or providing more detailed responses when appropriate with an @mention, thanking them.
Learn the psychology behind social media engagement in this article.
6. Use LinkedIn to generate leads and sales
LinkedIn is the ultimate B2B relationship-building platform. Social sellers and LinkedIn experts know they can use LinkedIn to get more leads and sales quickly without needing a complicated sales funnel.
That’s because LinkedIn is the ultimate virtual networking event.
It’s designed to help you create your professional brand and then find, connect and build relationships with others in a professional setting. If you have a B2B business, there is no better place to generate new clients and sales than through leveraging social selling (LinkedIn for lead generation).
Despite what it implies, social selling is NOT about selling on social platforms such as LinkedIn. Social selling refers to using social media platforms and other digital tools to find and connect with leads. Social selling is for building relationships, not pitching your product or service!
But to generate quality leads consistently, you need to follow a process. That is why I have created my five-step proprietary system, The LINK Method™, which shows you how to succeed with social selling on LinkedIn. Check out these time-tested LinkedIn prospecting techniques to help you land more clients.
7. Go the extra mile
What truly separates LinkedIn experts from general LinkedIn users is the extra mile they go to use the platform to its fullest potential.
They know how to optimize their time and use of the platform, whether they have 15 minutes or an hour a day to dedicate to their activities. They have a plan, and they follow it consistently every day, producing predictable results.
To help you master generating leads in the time you have on the platform, I teach you how to rock social selling in 30 minutes a day and how you can make LinkedIn marketing in 15 minutes a day work for you.
LinkedIn experts maximize the use of all the available features, such as the LinkedIn company page. Even if you are a one-person show, you NEED to have a LinkedIn company page.
I compare the LinkedIn company page with the personal profile in this article and share the benefits of having both.
Build relationships like a LinkedIn expert
While LinkedIn experts know how to best use the many tools and features of the platform, what ultimately sets them apart is that they understand it is the relationships they build with those tools that truly make them successful.
You can enjoy the same success by taking advantage of these tips used by the top LinkedIn experts on the platform. The top 1% generate the bulk of the business because they build meaningful relationships with their prospects instead of pitching their products or services to them right after connecting.
If you’d like to learn more LinkedIn strategies, especially how to turn the platform into an incredible client generator for your business, grab a copy of my book LinkedIn Unlocked here. It’s turned thousands of people across the globe into LinkedIn experts who are now seeing predictable results from their LinkedIn strategies every single month.