With over 500 million members now on LinkedIn, we are living in an age where connecting with potential clients couldn’t be easier, or more immediate.
An excellent chance for ‘social selling’, a well-thought out LinkedIn presence can quickly grow your sales figures. However, rather than pushing for the hard sell, optimizing your LinkedIn profile can instead give sellers the ability to nurture their clients, establishing a relationship of trust and credibility before any actual business takes place.
While social selling and nurturing may take time and energy, research from LinkedIn itself has found that:
- Social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities for themselves
- Social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach their quota
- 78% of social sellers outsell peers who aren’t on social media.
- 80% of all social media business to business leads are from LinkedIn.
So, with the right investment of time, LinkedIn can transform your business’ sales figures considerably. For maximum optimization of your profile, follow our top tips.
See also: Fastest way to find new clients
First impressions count: don’t waffle!
Make sure that when potential clients view your profile, they are impressed. A good rule is to constantly ask yourself the question, “Would my target buyer care about this?”. If the answer is no, then ditch it.
A current, high-resolution picture is imperative, as is a concise headline to your profile. Your headline should be short and sweet, and answer the following two questions: ‘Who do you help, and how do you help them?’. This helps in sending a clear message as to why buyers should be interested in you.
A summary should then explain your headline further, including keywords that buyers are likely to search for, and ending with a call-to-action statement. Add some visual content to the summary to capture your audience’s attention, and make your experience section easy to scan through by bullet pointing your main roles and most developed skills.
Aim for a “LinkedIn All-Star” profile
Make the most of every feature LinkedIn has to offer. Once you do this, you’ll reach “All-Star” status which means your profile is as optimized as possible.
You can see if you have a LinkedIn “All-star” profile by going to your profile page. If you don’t yet have an “All-Star” profile, LinkedIn will tell you what you need to do to get there.
By this, I mean think about how you approach potential buyers. While Twitter is more of a free-for-all, it is unwise to connect with people you haven’t met on LinkedIn without a personal message. Personalize your invitation to connect by writing a few sentences about who you are, when you met, and why connecting on social media would be beneficial to you both.
Also, don’t be afraid to connect with well-respected business people who are not your potential clients. Why? Because chances are they are connected to people who are and connecting gives you a chance to share your content with them too.
Top tip: Be sure to connect to all your leads and people that you meet either online or offline. For example, at Skyline Social, we connect to some of those who engage with us on Twitter and we connect to leads we speak to via email as a way to further build a relationship with them.
Stay in touch with potential customers (and existing ones!)
Once you have connected with potential customers online, don’t forget about them!
A like here and a comment there, builds a positive impression of you in the customer’s mind. Don’t overdo it, however, you don’t want to come across as obsessive or creepy. Make each interaction thoughtful and original, giving genuine responses to articles or endorsing skills that you have actually experienced.
Share your content
By posting social media updates and your own articles on LinkedIn’s blogging platform you can stay at the top of your potential customer’s mind.
It’s important to use these methods of getting your content in front of your LinkedIn connections to provide value and help them; not to sell to them.
Top tip: we’ve found you can get great results on LinkedIn by connecting to potential clients, posting social media updates and then sharing your own native LinkedIn articles. We’ve had people message us on LinkedIn, asking if we can help them in their business, simply from posting content on the platform.
Ask for recommendations
A great way to build social standing is to ask your clients to leave you a recommendation on LinkedIn. Very simple, yet incredibly powerful, especially since chances are high your potential clients will be looking you up on LinkedIn.
Invest and take action
Your biggest investment in LinkedIn will probably be your time. If you don’t have the time to invest in optimizing your account – outsource or delegate it.
A virtual assistant, an in-house marketing manager or a social media agency can go a long way to helping you generate more business through LinkedIn if you need a helping hand.
Whatever happens, make sure you stay involved though. It’s your profile, so it needs to have your personality and input (i.e. what content you want to share, who you want to connect to, etc).
Overall, LinkedIn can be a fantastic social media channel to connect with your contacts, find new leads and convert those leads into sales.