Have you heard about how effective social selling (aka lead generation) is on LinkedIn? Perhaps you believe it requires a lot of time to get results? I’m going to share how you can see 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 only includes 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 more conversations offline, where you are able to have a sales conversation.
Social Selling in 30 Minutes a Day or Less
1. Find Prospects (Advanced Search, Notifications, Activity Page & Who’s Viewed Your Profile)
There are several great places you can quickly and easily check for new potential prospects each day.
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 that to some level, they already know who you are, which will make connecting much simpler.
For example, when I look through my Notifications page, I notice there is someone who liked one of my posts.
When I check out his profile, I can see we are not already connected.
If on further investigation of his profile, he looks like 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 or shared them). Look for those people you are not connected to.
After you’ve done that, you’ll want to review your Who’s Viewed My Profile page by going to your home page and click through the link in the top left corner of the page.
Once on the page, you can easily see which people you are not connected to and visit their profile to see if they would be an excellent potential prospect.
The last way you can find prospects is to search for them using the Advanced Search. 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
After you have found potential prospects using the methods I shared above, you will want to send them a personalized connection request.
Keep in mind that these people who you are sending connection requests to receive connection requests regularly that are not personalized, and the question they are often asking themselves when receiving a request is, “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 characters or fewer.
To write a personalized message, start by viewing the person’s profile, and see if you can learn what is important to them personally and/or professionally. When writing your request, an effective way to begin the message is with something personal to create an immediate connection. It is ideal when you can find some commonality between you and your prospect and then use this as part of your message.
Depending on how many new prospects you want to connect with, this activity could take as little as five minutes of your social selling in 30 minutes a day schedule if you are only connecting with a few people.
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 just or recently met. Perhaps you attended a conference, networking event, or trade show and met some new people. Connect with them on LinkedIn, where you can begin to nurture that relationship.
In the message you send these people, always remind them of how you met, just in case they have forgotten who you are.
Be sure to send your message soon after the event as this will increase the likelihood that 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 the time and effort?
Because buyers are five times more likely to engage with you via a mutual connection (warm referral), and 84 percent of B2B decision makers begin their buying process with a referral.
When asking for an introduction, there is a right way and a wrong way to do this.
Unfortunately, most people approach this incredibly valuable process the wrong way, producing either no results or, in some cases, hurting their existing relationship. Remember, you are asking the other person for a favor, so regardless of the outcome, be appreciative and respectful.
To increase your success when requesting an introduction, follow these best practices:
- Build rapport
- Share 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 will build relationships and get to know your prospect. 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 and likely be removed as a connection, or flagged for spam.
NOTE: While LinkedIn’s message area resembles other instant messaging platforms like 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, you will be communicating with potential prospects you don’t know. Ensure your response is professional and well-written.
Relationship building is one of the most important things you can do, so you should 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 move beyond just someone trying to sell something to a trusted authority on your topic.
It takes time and work to build authority, credibility, and trust, but the benefits you receive will be worth the investment.
One of the easiest ways to achieve this is by creating and sharing content that is valuable to your ideal clients.
Content can take many forms. It can be written, audio, video, or visual. The content you share can also be your original content or curated content.
Your success will also depend on the quality of the content you are sharing. You need to ensure that 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:
- Solution based
- Timely and relevant
- 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 only take you two minutes a day, however, you could spend additional time once per week and schedule all of your posts for the week in advance 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 to keep you top of mind with your network.
7. Monitor the Activity of Your Prospects and Engage with Them When Relevant
A great way to stay top of mind and build relationships with your prospects is to review both your newsfeed as well as your prospect’s Activity page for their status updates, Publisher posts and interactions with their connections.
Not only will this help you get to know your prospects and what is important to them, but it also provides a natural way for you to engage and interact with them.
For example, if your prospect posts a status update and if it makes sense to do so, you can comment or ask a question on that post, to start a conversation. While you are looking for excellent opportunities to engage, they need to make sense and not feel contrived or forced.
8. Watch for and Take Advantage of Trigger Events
As well as engaging with your prospect’s 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 for a natural dialogue to develop with existing and potential LinkedIn connections where you can 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 you consider falling into the ‘hot prospect’ category.
Hot prospects are the people you want to keep in touch with, monitor and continue to follow up with. These are people you want to stay in contact with, without irritating them with frequent messages.
The goal is to become a resource for these hot prospects by sending them insightful and high-quality content. If you find an article or something that’s of value to them, send it along with a personal note as to why you thought they’d be interested in it.
Be sure to take the time to customize and personalize each message appropriately, or you will lose any benefit it could produce.
Consistency is Required to Succeed with Social Selling
The critical factor in any successful social selling campaign is consistency. The same can indeed be said for all forms of digital marketing as well.
Being predictable might seem like a negative until you realize that people will come back to you over and over when they know they will continue to get value. That is the goal a digital sales and marketing campaigns aims to create.
And by consistently blocking off as little as 30 minutes each day to the social selling tasks I have outlined above, you will begin to create predictable, reliable results for yourself with a consistent flow of new leads and sales for your business.
Would you be willing to commit to social selling in 30 minutes a day?
Need help creating an effective daily LinkedIn social selling plan? I cover how to do this in detail in my latest book LinkedIn Unlocked and, in my new online training program, Cracking The LinkedIn Code 3.0.