If you sell products or services to other businesses, then LinkedIn is the social network you need to put the most time into.
With over 450 million professionals worldwide using LinkedIn, it is the best marketing channel for creating B2B leads and creating an account does not take long, plus it is free!
Here are our top tips to help you get the most out it.
Optimise your profile and create an interactive company page
As you add people to your network they will receive a notification regarding your connection request.
In their profile dashboard, they will see a mini preview of you containing your name, title, and the start of the message you sent.
Most will click through to the full message or your profile so ensure you have a professional picture, a well written title or professional headline and message.
Now you need to create a LinkedIn company page which offers you something unique to other social channels – it is not feed driven, which means it will only change when you add to it, allowing you to pick and choose what your customers see.
Create a suitable banner image, company description and make sure you post regular content to start a conversation, and create word of mouth for your business.
Also include the URL to your website
Create a group
Creating a group on LinkedIn is much more of a long-term commitment, however maintaining it only takes a few minutes each week.
Try to create a group that will benefit all of your potential customers and make sure the title sounds prestigious enough to entice them to actually accept your invitation. For example, I have created a group called ‘Leading Web & App Concepts’.
Once you have created the group, and added people to it, start to seed it with relevant content, writing a quick introduction for each of the articles.
Don’t forget to engage with your group and keep the conversation going. You should aim to have 5-10 people who post regularly on your group without any prompting from you.
Also ensure you start posting in other groups, offering advice to those who need it, aligning your products or services as solutions and becoming a thought leader you are boosting your reputation and greatly increasing your chance of success.
Create a hit list
You can build up a like-minded network on LinkedIn with ease because you can see how you are connected with other members through second and third-degree connections.
LinkedIn is also perfect for searching for potential customers using the “Advanced Search” functionality.
There are a number of filters that you can use but I would recommend starting with Title, Location and Industry. Once you have compiled your list and copied their information into a spreadsheet we are ready to initiate the first point of contact.
Perfecting your first impression
Previously we discussed what our basic invitation request looks like and this is where our group comes into play.
The goal is to connect with as many professionals in our list as possible and we can maximise the acceptance rate by adding our group title into our headline:
Managing Director of EpicGeek. Founder of Leading Web & App Concepts
Sounds good right? Not only can someone see who I am but they can see that I have a professional interest in what I do and that I am active in that particular community.
Now you have to write a couple of sentences to form your message. Look at their profile, find common ground and mention that in your invitation:
Hi (name), I have come across your profile on LinkedIn and know we would both benefit from connecting with each other. I can see that like me, you work in London and if you are open to it, I would love to connect. Thanks, James.
The character limit to each message is 300 characters, so try not to make it any longer than the one above.
Build personal relationships
The main purpose of everything we do on LinkedIn is to build a list of potential leads, but in order to get to the stage where you can request a phone call or a meet-up with one of your connections takes some time.
You should have sent between 5 and 6 messages before they will feel comfortable enough for you to ask for this.
Some good message ideas to develop this relationship are:
1) A follow up message thanking them for connecting, and an invite for them to join your group.
2) Resources – Send them some useful content that they will benefit in their professional life.
3) Upcoming events – Keep them informed on upcoming discussions and changes to your business. Let them know you value their opinion.