You're Going to learn some powerful secrets about using LinkedIn for sales.
You have a business. You have a site and even some subscribers and followers. You grind social media sites and groups to get business. You slave away for hours just to get the trickling of potential clients you currently have.
There has to be a better way. Good news! There is. If leveraged well, it can be one of your most powerful resources. It is one of the most under-used social media sites around. LinkedIn can connect you to experts, win over prospective clients and even boost your sales funnel through various marketing strategies.
There are many guides on using LinkedIn for sales, but this is the clearest and most concise way to begin utilizing LinkedIn today. Use this guide to optimize your profile paying special attention to the areas marked 'SECRET.'
The Mistake most people make regarding LinkedIn
When you set up your profile on LinkedIn, you probably hyper-focused on your resume. The focus is on using LinkedIn for sales, not on your resume. The profile format for the site is sometimes misleading to online marketers because it contains a lot of focus on YOU, your accomplishments, your work history, and, of course, your resume. That is only the foundation. A foundation is merely a structure. Your focus is inside out. You have to take your foundation, that being your resume, and set it up to establish your expertise so that the right people are drawn to you. The focus should NOT be on you and your resume. The focus should be on attracting clients.
Your resume days are over. Long live the sales funnel.
Alright. Keep in mind that you're not trying to get hired, so you need to make a complete shift of your mindset. That's why it's very important to make your LinkedIn profile sound like something amazing for Potential Customers, not for Potential Employers.
Of course, all the points made by this guide will help you go from the resume mentality to the professional sales mentality, but it's important to know this early on because it will completely change the way you think about every single piece of content you've placed on your profile until now.
Since you now understand that Linkedin is more than a resume database, I need to mention that it's becoming a mecca of the business world. Business professionals want to close deals and learn from one another, they want to network in order to get better resources and opportunities in their own careers.
By going through this ultimate guide, you're building up an unfair advantage for yourself as an individual, because you're one of the very few optimizing their profile for getting sales deals. The rest of the people, still leave their profiles in the same old-fashioned way. Which will make yours stand out and look smarter.
This, in turn, will get those people interested and into the top of your funnel.
Stock Your Marketing Toolkit
In order to win business, you need to show people that you mean business. To help you with this, we've created a page on Extra Cash Online that will help you get all the tools you need to start selling on LinkedIn.
Also, make sure you'll think about your USP (unique selling proposition) while going through the points we've written in the checklist.
You need to show prospects what working with you will be like.
Since only the people who read this guide have access to that special page:
Here is your password: Extra-Cash-Online
Link to the page >> go here to see your marketing checklist for your LinkedIn sales activity.
Right now on Linkedin, you'll be able to add most of the things you'll create for your toolkit directly on your profile page. Even PDFs and SlideShare Presentations. SO make sure you get them ready.
Attention Grabbing Profile Tips
1) Make sure your profile is 100% complete. Fill in everything with the intent of going back and editing as you learn and grow.
SECRET: Building your network is imperative, but did you know that even though there's a limited amount of persons you can invite to your network, there's an exorbitantly high number of people you can accept. So accept every single connection request you receive.
2) Accumulating Endorsements: Use endorsements as a trigger for reciprocity. Take the time to give endorsements, but make sure they're deserved. Most of the time, when you give an endorsement, the favor is returned.
3) Linkedin Groups: Make sure you join groups where you will find your ideal customers. If you sell to dentists, make sure that you join groups created for Dentists.
SECRET: Another mistake that users make is the failure of creating their own LinkedIn group. Remember, you're trying to get more sales using LinkedIn, and the best way to support the claims in your profile is to demonstrate your expertise here, in LinkedIn, not on your blog or your other social media sites. You will see more about setting one up later in this guide.
4) Keywords: When you set up your profile, keep in mind that it's highly advantageous to set it up so that it's packed with keywords that are relevant to your business. By doing this, your profile will show up more often in LinkedIn searches, and even in Google searches.
Just like your profile is the foundation or the structure of your profile, consider keywords as the nails used to secure that structure. If you're new, try to choose one keyword. You can go back later and customize for additional keywords if necessary. So for now, choose the best keyword that you'd like your business to represent.
The trick is to weave this keyword into specific parts of your profile for prime optimization.
Start with your headline.
FIND a way to include your keyword here. Then, include your current employment, and if possible your past employment and education. Just like Google, be crafty in how you weave it in, but don't overuse the keyword. Try to be specific. In other words, rather than 'marketing,' choose, 'nutritional marketing.'
You're more likely to show up higher in Linkedin search results if you're more specific.
Continue by optimizing your Summary and Experience.
Keyword usage will be addressed further throughout this article. The three areas you need to ensure use of your keyword are your headline, summary, and experience. For now, make sure you have one solid keyword or phrase in each of them.
The LinkedIn community is more serious and professional than other social media sites. This is not the place to display those 'cutesy' pictures of you and your precious pet, or you just finishing a 5-mile run. Your picture should be a clean, clear headshot of you in professional attire.
SECRET: When you set up the shot, choose a background that is basic and doesn't have a lot of activity in the background. You want the focus of the shot to be your face.
SECRET: Not everyone knows this, but your personal URL for LinkedIn can be customized. You're automatically given one and it usually includes a bunch of numbers in it. Not very personal, or memorable. You can customize it to your name or your business name so that instead of a bunch of numbers, it's more personal.
To do this, click on 'edit profile.' Just below your picture, is your personal profile link. Hover over it and click on the 'edit' symbol to the right. When it takes you to the next page, scroll down and on the right side, you will find the option to edit your personal profile link.
Consider the summary portion as the insulation of your profile. The easiest way or organize it is to start by dividing it into 3 different paragraphs. The first paragraph should explain who you are. The second one should clarify who you work with, or help. The third paragraph should clearly define your specialty and how it helps people. When you word these paragraphs, keep in mind that you want to attract clients. To do this, think of the ever-present question all clients ask: 'What's in it for me?'
SECRET: If you work in several different areas, you can create a subhead for each of them. For example, if you have a blog and provide consulting for it, include this in a subhead. If you also write content for other sites, then make a subhead for this as well. Bold your subheads.
This section has a 2,000-word limit, so plan your copy within this range.
Add all of your work experience chronologically into this area. Include internships, if any, but don't include volunteer positions as there is a separate area for that.
Make sure you weave in your keyword throughout this section. Try to include it in your job title as well as your job description for each entry.
This increases the chance of your profile popping up to former colleagues and all who search in that keyword category.
SECRET: Contact former colleagues and request formal recommendations from each position. This solidifies your position, expertise and is social proof of your experience.
How to Manage Your Connections
You can connect to your entire email list by clicking on the 'connections' tab, then click 'add connections.' At this point, simply click your email source. The reason you want to consider adding these people is because you've probably already had some sort of business communication with them. It's beneficial to add them to your network to further solidify your authority and expertise.
SECRET: Go to the 'connections tab.' Click 'export contacts' from the bottom of the page. This enables you to export all of your contacts to add to your newsletter. Keep in mind that it's always good business etiquette to have permission to send them your newsletter, or any email for that matter. Now that you're connected, you can easily send them a message asking if you may add them to your email list.
This method is also useful for backing up your connections for safety precautions. It's not often, but there have been rare times that some users have lost their connections upon logging into LinkedIn.
The main purpose of interacting within various groups is to gain contacts and spread your expertise as far as you can. When you're reading member discussions, do so with the intent of finding clues as to what your potential audience could benefit from, or what you can apply in your own business. You'd be surprised at the ideas that can be generated if you simply listen.
When you join a group, immediately establish a connection with the admin or creator of that group. In addition, reach out to the top 'influencers' in the group and begin building relationships with them.
SECRET: Even if your business is primarily online, search for local groups. Do not discount local connections because word of mouth is very powerful. You may meet someone locally who has an out of country contact who needs your services.
Setting Up Your Own Group
Your own group is the beginning of your sales funnel. Remember, you're using LinkedIn for sales. This group will be your own private community and this is your opportunity to prove your knowledge and expertise. You don't want the name of your group to be the same as your business because you want it to show up in search results. So when you choose a name, include your keyword. Guide group discussions around the type of audience that you want for your business.
The process is rather simple. From the group tab, click on 'create a group.' Remember to incorporate your keyword into the group summary and description. Make the group type 'networking.' and set it for auto-join so as not to deter anyone from joining. This creates a diverse group that you can further network with. Leave the location box blank so that members from all areas of the world are likely to join.
SECRET: Your secret weapon lies within the content that you provide for your group. Provide 'goodies' especially catered to them so that they always open up your email notifications. This is where you will allow your expertise to shine.
Converting Group Members
By setting up your group, you're creating a subtle marketing funnel for your business. A new member joins your group. They receive an 'auto-response' welcome message from you as the admin of the group. You send them a personal message and ask them to subscribe to your newsletter with the link. The member now receives your newsletters, in which you provide valuable content, as well as offers for products and services that you sell.
SECRET: Build personal relationships with this group by asking for their opinions on upcoming products and services. Ask a particular question related to an upcoming topic on your blog and then quote them once in a while. When you do product launches, include a special, high-quality bonus just for this group. Listen carefully to the issues this group discusses and arrange your products, services, and content around this group.
If you follow the tips provided in this ultimate guide, you can easily begin using LinkedIn for sales. Knowing how to leverage the various aspects of this site, you are now equipped with a steady marketing funnel, instead of just utilizing it as a place to display your resume. Adhere to the sections marked 'SECRET' and set up your profile today.