- How to Sell to Market Research Buyers, Part 1
- 5½ [behind-the-scenes] Marketing & Sales Activities You Need To Do in December
- Got something to say?
- Running a small firm? Who holds you accountable?
- Marketing & Sales Success Begins with a Simple Step… Thinking!
- Your Sales Forecast Doesn’t Have to be a Guessing Game!
- Lead generation is a 3-step process.
- Measuring Sales… it’s Not just about Revenue
- 7 Selling Behaviors Seller-Doers Must Employ to be Successful.
- Can you really be “all things to all people?”
- 12 Marketing & Sales Activities you Gotta STOP this Year!
- How to maximize the impact of your marketing investment.
- Revenue Growth? Try the ‘5% Challenge’… it’s Brilliant!
- Should you ever walk away from revenue?
- Get Ready for 2017 with these 6 Marketing & Sales Activities
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 2
- 20 Marketing and Sales Concepts Business Leaders Need to Know, Part 1
- 10 Guidelines for How to Be Successful at Sales
- Strategy Before Tactics!
- 6 Marketing & Sales Lessons Learned in our First 4 Years in Business
- The Sales Presentation: Stop Reading the PowerPoint Slides and Tell Your Story
- Content Marketing not working? Eh, don’t worry about it!
- Marketing Measurement: 3 New Methods You Have to Try in 2016
- The One Thing You Must Include in Your 2016 Marketing & Sales Plan
- Not using LinkedIn? Are you kidding me?!
- Is it OK to fire a client?
- Take Charge of Your Own Success… Stop Relying on Others!
- Getting first-time clients to take a chance on you.
- 9 Ways to Build your Business During the Summer Slowdown
- The Top 10 Ways to Build Awareness
- The 13 Most Common Website Mistakes
- The Most Important Part of Exhibiting
- Content marketing isn’t a one-time thing… it’s an all-the-time thing.
- THINKING! A framework for creating better business plans in 2015.
- Not happy with your marketing & sales? Then make just one change in 2015!
- For Beginners: Should I Tweet Daily? Yes… and here’s how.
- Got your Marketing Plan for 2015? No?! Now’s a good time to start…
- How to Connect with Booth Visitors – An Exhibitor’s Worksheet
- Not getting the email results you want? Make sure you’re following these 7 email marketing guidelines.
- 10 Ways to Get Clients to Sell FOR You (and they won’t cost a dime!)
- Do you know where you’re going? Why Strategy should drive your marketing & sales.
- 11 execution tips to help you exceed client expectations
- How to Turn First-time Clients into Repeat Clients
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 2
- 15 easy, low-cost marketing and sales tactics for 2014 – Part 1
- 13 Lessons for Researchers Who Don’t Want (or Like) to Sell
- Social media marketing success in 30 minutes a day
- Get it right! You can’t manage what you don’t measure.
- It’s not that complicated! A common sense approach to the marketing & sales process.
- How MR firms are blowing it with new customers: Lessons learned while secret shopping
- Management or sales… you can’t serve two masters.
- Prove it! Nine ways to convince prospects to work with you for the first time.
- Five everyday ways to grow your business
- How that ‘one great client’ could doom your firm
- Six marketing and sales mistakes MR firms make every day
- Eight proven ways to build awareness – and why you should!
- Suspects, Prospects and Clients: Is your firm focused on the right target?
- A Checklist for Conducting Your Own Marketing & Sales Audit
- Learning to play the game: What football can teach us about marketing
- Differentiating your firm in a crowded marketplace
- 25 low- or no-cost ways to grow your business
- 15 Reasons E-mail Still Matters in Sales and Marketing
- Come prepared, dress the part and follow up: 10 dos for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- No rookies, no gum and no Frisbees: 10 don’ts for exhibiting at MR trade shows
- How to see yourself as clients see you
- Marketing 101: It takes Work to make it Work
- Use the 8 Ps of Marketing when Setting Strategy
- Integrate the 4 As of Marketing into Your Planning
- Size Does Matter: 4 Approaches to Growing Your Business
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 2)
- The 12 Guiding Principles of Marketing (part 1)
Not using LinkedIn? Are you kidding me?!
In an odd coincidence, twice in the past week, I had conversations with industry colleagues who were skeptical of the value of LinkedIn as a marketing tool. One of them thought it was just a place to look for a job. The other one asked me, “So, what’s the value of being on LinkedIn?”
No, these were not 80-year-olds who had never touched a computer… but in 2015, when social media is so pervasive in our [business] lives, you’d have thought these two professionals – partners in their respective firms – would have had a better understanding of the platform and its value. So it got me to thinking… how many others out there think the same way? Which lead me to writing this article…
By the way, I am not a paying “power user” of LinkedIn. Like most of you, I use the free version. However, I am VERY active on it… and the value of it as a marketing channel has proven itself over and over.
First, let’s review some of the key ‘tactical’ things you can do inside of LinkedIn:
- Provide a comprehensive profile of yourself
- Post links to resources/articles/etc. from your profile
- Publish “long form posts” to your profile
- Provide access on your profile to your other published materials (e.g. books, PPTs, etc.)
- Share testimonials about you and your firm
- Provide a profile of your firm
- Post links to resources/articles/etc. on your firm’s profile
- Join up to 50 LinkedIn groups
- Post links to resources/articles/etc. in those groups
- Start and/or participate in threaded conversations in those groups
- Connect with other professionals
- Communicate directly with those other professionals (individually or in bulk)
- Ask for referrals… to the connections of your connections
Important note: What’s interesting to me about LinkedIn is that – while very much a tactical tool – an active user can effectively support four different and critical go-to-market strategies that are part of the Buying-Selling process:
- Positioning your firm in the marketplace
- Building awareness across your target markets
- Generating sales leads
- Nurturing those leads until they are ready to buy
Positioning. Who you are… your areas of expertise… what differentiates you from others. And it’s “thought leadership” that can help you to define all of these things… specifically the sharing of those brilliant thoughts. And LinkedIn provides an easy and effective vehicle for doing that, in several ways.
Every post you make is a demonstration of your thought leadership (so make ‘em good). Every long form post that you write and publish to your profile delivers on it. All of those other books, PowerPoint presentations and eBooks that you provide access to further showcase it. And all of that provides “proof positive” of your areas of expertise and how your firm is positioned in the market.
Beyond that, participating in those threaded conversations inside of targeted LinkedIn groups is another way to showcase your expertise, based on the way you answer the posted questions and engage with other group members. So don’t sell… help.
Awareness. First of all, just having a completed profile is a start. You’ll even show up in Google searches when you do it right.
But more than that, every post you make, every long-form post you publish on your profile, every change and update you make to your profile is shared with everyone you’re connected to… building and maintaining awareness of you and your firm in the marketplace.
Further, each conversation you participate in is seen by all the members of that group. And if your posts and other published materials have value, they will be shared by your connections, further expanding the reach of your awareness in the markets you serve.
Lead generation. Finding new qualified names to put into the “top of the sales funnel.”
The most obvious “lead gen” opportunity here is connecting with other professionals that work for the kinds of businesses and in the industries you target. Though it should never be used as a hard sales tool, connecting with someone opens the door to on-going communication, the sharing of information and the opportunity to perhaps move toward a real buyer-seller relationship.
Beyond that, smart communication with your connections can be used to drive them back to your website (always a good thing) to read a new article, for example, or to download a new eBook or register for a webinar (capturing their contact info and generating a legit sales lead, at that point).
Lastly, LinkedIn is about business connections. When you search for a particular person (with whom you are not connected)… it will show you which of your current connections link you two together. You can then ask your connection for an introduction (a referral)… opening the door to communication.
Lead nurturing. The selling-buying process does not happen quickly in our industry. The key to success is the effective nurturing of those leads (your LinkedIn connections)… staying top of mind (in the right way) so that they think of you when they are ready to buy.
The regular and frequent posts you make… your regular and frequent participation in the threaded conversations in the LI groups… are easy and smart ways to achieve that top-of-mind status. Did catch the theme? “Regular and frequent” is what makes this work. You use of the LinkedIn platform and your engagement with the LinkedIn community cannot be an occasional effort… to provide value, it MUST be regular and frequent.
So, to my two colleagues for whom I wrote this article… there are LOTS of reasons to be involved in LinkedIn. But, like most other things in marketing… it’s simple, but it ain’t easy! It requires work. Not a ton of it… but a little bit every day (posting, connecting, participating) to gain real value from the platform. Good luck.
Want to connect on LinkedIn? Reach out to me at www.linkedin.com/in/harpethmarketing