If the social media space were equivalent to a large networking party, then LinkedIn would be the black tie event.
It’s a network filled with the most affluent and influential users. According to Quantcast, one-third of LinkedIn users earn over $100k annually, 48% are college graduates, and 48% are key decision makers for their respective companies.
This is absolutely a crowd you want to make an impression on. See how you and your business can start to reap real benefits, today.
Be your own brand
You are an extension of your company’s brand. At the end of the day, a person is only going to choose to do business with your company if they choose you.
A 2012 study by McKinsey & Company found that personal interactions with sales reps remain the most influential factor, across all touch points, for B2B customers.
LinkedIn is a fantastic place to begin building your brand, creating connections and developing relationships.
Similar to face-to-face meetings, online users form an opinion of you within seconds. There are ways to leave a favorable impression beyond simply choosing a professional photo (although that is very important). Profiles with pictures are seven times more likely to be viewed.
Make your profile pop by including information on current responsibilities, notable accomplishments, and metrics from any successful projects you’ve participated in.
Adding multimedia such as videos, work samples, documents, images and PowerPoint presentations can really make you stand apart. A presentation you’ve recently delivered on an industry topic is much more engaging than a block of text. It’s also a great way to prove the value you can bring to potential prospects.
Join industry groups and start networking
LinkedIn is full of industry-specific groups and conversations. It’s important to join not only groups within your own industry, but also groups where your customers may frequent, such as specific vertical markets.
Keeping an eye on conversations taking place is a tremendous way to gather data on how your customers feel about certain issues and topics, as well as challenges they are struggling with.
Establish yourself as a helpful resource by actively participating in discussions, answering questions, offering insights, and openly sharing valuable information. You will be viewed as an expert in your field and a trusted resource that people will reach out to when needing assistance. This is a fantastic way to network and build a rapport with prospects.
Groups also offer other ancillary benefits, such as the ability to view profiles and exchange messages with other members, even if you aren’t connected with them.
A smarter way of prospecting
Put down the phone and put an end to cold calling. Gone are the days of leaving voice messages for key executives after getting turned away by their gatekeepers. LinkedIn offers a smarter way of prospecting.
With advanced search options, it’s simple to execute comprehensive searches for prospects by searching for key terms, companies, job titles and more. It’s even possible to filter those results to see if you have any first, second or group connections that can help introduce you to that hard-to-reach prospect.
Another effective tool (available only with a premium account) is LinkedIn’s InMail, which allows you to send messages to any user, regardless of whether they are in your network or not.
LinkedIn states that InMails are 30% more effective than regular email communications in generating a response, largely because the recipient can easily learn more about you by viewing your profile (another reason why it’s important to spend time enhancing your presence).
Remember, LinkedIn is a very powerful B2B gathering in the social networking space. If properly leveraged, you can leave quite an impression on those in attendance.
Looking for more information on LinkedIn? Familiarize yourself with the basics in our ‘Getting Started on LinkedIn’ presentation. Looking to uncover even more hints and tips? In an upcoming MakeReady presentation, we will provide an overview of many LinkedIn best practices and little-known features.