Have you heard about the effectiveness of social selling (aka lead generation) on LinkedIn? Perhaps you believe it requires a lot of time to get results. Not so.
In this article, I show you how you can produce positive results with social selling in 30 minutes a day.
You don’t need to spend hours every day on LinkedIn to be successful at social selling. The key is to focus on the highest leveraging activities. If you follow a daily routine that includes only those tasks which further your goals, you can quickly and easily generate new leads and build relationships with potential prospects in as little as 30 minutes a day.
Effective social selling should position you as an authority on your topic, bring you closer to your target market and move conversations with your prospects offline, where you can convert them into clients.
Social Selling in 30 Minutes a Day or Less
1. Find prospects (Notifications, Activity Page, Who’s Viewed Your Profile & Advanced Search)
LinkedIn has several great places where you can check for new potential prospects each day quickly and easily.
Start by reviewing your Notifications. When people show up in your Notifications, they have interacted with you or your content in some way. This means to some degree, they already know who you are, which will make connecting with them much simpler.
For example, my Notifications page shows someone liked one of my posts.
When I check this person’s profile, I see we are not connected.
If this person’s profile suggests he might be a potential prospect, I can send him a connection request.
Next, check your Activity page. You can quickly get to your Activity page by going to your profile, scrolling down to Your Articles & Activity and clicking See all activity.
As you view your Activity page, look for people who have interacted with your status updates and Publisher posts (those who have liked, commented on and/or shared them). Look for those people you are not connected to.
After you’ve done that, review your Who’s Viewed My Profile page by going to your home page and clicking the link in the top left corner of the page.
Once on the page, you can see which people you are not connected to and visit their profiles to see if they’d make good prospects.
And finally, search for your prospects using the Advanced Search function. I have covered in detail how to find prospects using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search in this post.
Finding prospects can take as little as five minutes of your social selling in 30 minutes a day schedule.
2. Send personalized connection request to prospects
Once you have found potential prospects using the methods above, send them personalized connection requests.
Keep in mind most people receive generic connection requests. Because generic messages lack any good explanation for the request, the recipients often ask themselves: “Why is this person trying to connect with me?”
This is why you must send them a personalized message that answers that question – in 300 or fewer characters.
To come up with a well-personalized message, start by viewing the person’s profile to learn what is important to them personally and/or professionally.
Begin the message with something personal to create an immediate connection. The best scenario is to mention a commonality you share with your prospect.
If you connect with only a few people at a time, this activity could take as little as five minutes of your social selling in 30 minutes a day schedule.
3. Expand your LinkedIn network by connecting with people you know and have recently met
You will also want to connect with people you have recently met in person. Perhaps you attended a conference, networking event or trade show and gathered a few business cards.
Continue the new relationships by connecting with these people on LinkedIn, where you can begin to nurture them.
In your first LinkedIn messages to these people, remind them how you met, in case they have forgotten who you are.
Be sure to send your message soon after the event as this will increase the likelihood they will remember you.
4. Leverage your network for warm introductions
When you have a relationship with someone who knows and trusts you enough to introduce you to someone in their network, take advantage of this opportunity.
Why is it worth your time and effort?
That’s because buyers are five times more likely to engage with you via a mutual connection (warm referral), and 84% of B2B decision-makers begin their buying process with a referral.
There is a right way and a wrong way to ask for an introduction.
Unfortunately, most people approach this incredibly valuable process the wrong way, producing either no results or, in some cases, hurting their existing relationships.
Remember, you are asking the other person for a favor. Regardless of the outcome, be appreciative and respectful.
To increase your success when requesting an introduction, follow these best practices:
- build rapport first
- explain why you are asking for the introduction
- make it easy for them
- give them permission to say no
5. Build relationships by engaging in dialogue and adding value through private messages
Responding to messages daily is crucial. It is through these conversations that you build relationships and get to know your prospects.
But you must also initiate messages to build relationships.
Be interested. Ask questions. Add value.
Whatever you do, do NOT send anything sales related, or you will destroy the potential for a relationship. Besides, you take the chance of being removed as a connection or flagged as spam.
NOTE: While LinkedIn’s message area resembles those of other instant messaging platforms, such as Facebook Messenger, it would be a mistake to treat it the same way. While you can be less formal with the people you know well, mostly you will be communicating with potential prospects you don’t know. Ensure your responses are professional and well-written.
Relationship-building is one of the most important things you can do to be successful at social selling. Devote at least 10 minutes of your social selling in 30 minutes a day schedule to this activity.
6. Share great content to stay top of mind
Content marketing allows you to transform yourself from a suspect product-pusher to a trusted authority on your topic and credible, trusted seller.
It takes time and work to build authority, credibility and trust, but the benefits you receive from your efforts will be worth the investment.
One of the easiest ways to achieve this trusted status is to create and share content valuable to your ideal clients.
Content can take many forms. It can be written, audio, video or graphic. You can share either your original content or curated content.
Your success will also depend on the quality of the content you are sharing. You need to ensure everything you share is high-value from the perspective of your ideal client. What you consider high-value and what they believe is high-value may be different.
High-value content that inspires engagement should be:
- engaging and/or entertaining
There’s no better or faster way to build your authority than through creating and sharing high-value content. This activity should take you only two minutes a day.
To further optimize your LinkedIn sharing activities, once a week schedule all your posts for the week ahead to free up time for other activities. This takes minimal time out of your social selling in 30 minutes a day schedule but is crucial for keeping you top of mind with your network.
7. Monitor the activity of your prospects, and engage with them when appropriate
A great way to stay top of mind and build relationships with your prospects is to review both your newsfeed and your prospect’s Activity page for their status updates, Publisher posts and interactions with their connections.
You’ll get to know your prospects and their concerns better, enabling you to engage and interact with them in a natural way.
For example, your prospect’s status update may be an opportunity for you to engage with them by commenting on it or asking a question about it to start a conversation.
Keep in mind, although you are looking for opportunities to engage, your actions need to make sense without coming across as contrived or forced.
8. Watch for and take advantage of trigger events
As well as engaging with your prospects’ content and status updates, you will also want to take advantage of other social selling trigger events and the opportunities they provide.
A social selling trigger event allows you to develop a natural dialogue with your existing and potential LinkedIn connections. Use these dialogues to build rapport, increase engagement and nurture your relationships.
9. Nurture, nurture, nurture (especially hot prospects)
Nurturing prospects is crucial, especially if you have a list of people falling into the hot prospect category.
Hot prospects are people you want to monitor and keep in touch with. The trick is to stay in contact with these people without irritating them with frequent messages.
You do it by becoming a resource for these hot prospects by sending them insightful and high-quality content. If you find information that’s of value to them, send it along with a personal note explaining why you thought they’d be interested in it.
Be sure to take the time to personalize each message appropriately, or you will lose any benefit it could produce.
Consistency is required to succeed with social selling
As in any other form of digital marketing, the critical factor in any successful social selling campaign is consistency.
Being predictable might seem like a negative until you realize people will keep coming back to you if they know they can keep getting value from you. That is the goal of any digital marketing campaign.
By consistently devoting as little as 30 minutes each day to the social selling tasks I have outlined above, you will begin to create a consistent flow of new leads and sales to your business.
Would you be willing to commit 30 minutes a day to social selling to get predictable, reliable results?
Need help creating an effective daily LinkedIn social selling plan? I cover this in detail in my book, LinkedIn Unlocked, and in my online training and coaching program, Cracking The LinkedIn Code 3.0.