These days, it feels like there’s a social media platform for everything. We go to Facebook and Instagram to catch up with our friends’ latest updates. We use Twitter to see what people are saying about the latest trends, and we have LinkedIn as a business tool to help grow our professional networks. But how many of us are taking full advantage of LinkedIn to leverage new leads and prospects for our companies?
In fact, over 30 million companies are on LinkedIn, and in 2019, 90 million users identified themselves as senior-level influencers. However, only 1% of users post weekly content, although 91% of marketing executives use LinkedIn as a content source. Clearly, this is an untapped opportunity for those who aren’t currently taking advantage of all that LinkedIn has to offer.
Secrets to success
Without further ado, here are 8 secrets to using LinkedIn as a prospecting tool. If you follow these tips, you will find yourself with a myriad of qualified leads to add without even picking up the phone. You can add in more leads that you gain from other means such as cold calling or inbound marketing.
1. Redo your profile page
Chances are you already have a LinkedIn profile. We’re betting that no matter what your position, your profile consists of your work history, accomplishments, awards, and other information. In other words, what you would include on your resume or CV. Now, get rid of it. That’s right. If you’re using LinkedIn as a prospecting tool to gain more leads, this target audience isn’t interested in where you worked four years ago or the major for your degree. They’re interested in what your company does, the solutions you offer, and how you can benefit them.
Instead of a resume, turn your profile into a sales page complete with calls-to-action, links to appropriate resources, offers such as for consultations or free trials, and other valuable information.
2. Find the right people
Whether you have 200 connections or 2,000, if they aren’t the right target audience, they will be useless as leads. First, narrow down the types of positions that you are trying to sell to. Most likely, you need to connect with decision-makers. Then, narrow down the people you send connection requests to by industry if your product or service isn’t applicable across all types of businesses. Remember, when it comes to your network, it’s much better to have the right kinds of people than a bunch of contacts that are not part of your target audience.
3. Introduce yourself ahead of an event
A large part of sales is still pounding the pavement in the old fashioned way. One easy way to do this is by attending relevant events and working in the room. If you’ve got an important conference or trade show coming up, identify some of the key companies that will be attending and look them up on LinkedIn.
Even better is if you have the names of keynote speakers, session attendees, sponsors, attendees, etc. Connect with them ahead of time and introduce yourself. Let them know that you will also be attending the event and that you look forward to talking. Give them your short elevator pitch and let them know how you can benefit their company. Now, when you run across them in-person, they’ll already be aware of who you are and what you do.
4. Take advantage of groups
This practice is all about joining in relevant discussions. At this point, don’t try to be too salesy, but add value to the conversation. This engagement is a great way to find new connections within your target audience and make the first contact with them. Leave the sales pitches for later once you have connected and can privately message.
5. Become a subject matter expert
Unlike tip number four, this is all about starting your own discussions. Very few users really take advantage of LinkedIn as a content creation platform. Make sure you’re posting content at least three times a week. Again, this shouldn’t be too salesy but should inform and add value for your followers. To help get the ball rolling, you can tag relevant people you think may be interested or have something to add to your post. Sharing others’ posts is also a great way to fill your page with relevant content.
6. Follow the trends
If you’ve built up your network correctly, and it’s filled with people in your target audience, you can utilize this to see what trends they’re talking about and are interested in. Just go to “My network,” then scroll down to “Hashtags trending in my network.” You can choose to follow these hashtags so that posts utilizing them will appear in your feed where you can then interact with, comment, and share them. If done correctly, this can help grow your network too.
7. Use your network
Again, this will only be helpful if you’ve groomed your network so that it’s full of relevant people in your target audience. Take a look at the suggested people to connect with for a great list of connections that is similar to those you already have.
Another great way to use your network is to connect with those who you already have a mutual connection. People are more likely to accept your request if they see that you also know someone they do than if you are a complete stranger. The more people you have in your network, the faster it will grow as it snowballs.
8. Understand the nuances of the platform
Every social platform is not created equal. It’s essential to understand what type of content does well on each so that you can optimize your posts to reach the most people. On LinkedIn, skip the cute photos of dogs and your children. Photos aren’t necessary, like with Facebook and Instagram, but they do help. Videos will reach more people than just text. Hashtags are important, but don’t pile them on like on Instagram.
LinkedIn: An extension of cold calling
If you follow these eight tips, you’ll be a pro at using LinkedIn to conduct cold outreach. However, this doesn’t mean that you can forget or let go of cold calling itself. This step is still an invaluable method of getting leads in the door, and LinkedIn should be used in conjunction with this, not in place of it.
Are you ready to focus your efforts entirely on LinkedIn? No problem, outsource your cold calling for an easy solution. At Call Motivated Sellers, we set you up with a cold calling expert that is a US citizen and speaks clear English. This person will have vast experience and training in getting you leads. Let us be an extension of your sales team so you can put your time and energy into other methods, and of course, closing deals. Learn more here, or contact us to get started today!