Do you use your LinkedIn as an online resume?
If yes, then stop.
Most LinkedIn users, regardless if they are on the job hunt or not, view LinkedIn as an online resume. The truth is, listing off awards and volunteer projects is a huge missed opportunity for your business.
With 400 million users, LinkedIn is a powerful B2B tool that extends far beyond job seekers and headhunters.
We had the opportunity to chat with John Nemo, bestselling LinkedIn Author and Trainer, who shared how to transition your LinkedIn profile from a self-focused online resume to a customer-centric lead generator and sales funnel.
Here is his strategy.
Your LinkedIn Profile Isn’t About You
Your potential customers don’t care about skills you acquired in a myriad of jobs, and they don’t want to read a slew of phrases like “boosted productivity” or “exceeded sales goals.”
People care about themselves, and in this context, what you can do for them. Your profile is the best place to showcase your value proposition.
First step: mold your profile language to be customer-centric.
Here’s an easy content formula: “I help [this audience] achieve [their goal] by providing [my product/service].”
This markets your skills as a professional, but shifts the focus to the reader and onto what value you can bring them.
John uses these subheadings under each of his present and past roles:
- WHAT I DO
- HOW I DO IT
- WHAT OTHERS SAY
- WHO I WORK WITH
- OTHER RELEVANT RESOURCES
Using all caps allows him to break up the important sections into bite-sized, readable blurbs that give the reader an immediate picture of his personal value prop.
Put yourself in your ideal customer’s place: what information would entice you to reach out? Use that answer as a guide to draft your profile content.
Build A Sales Funnel
Only 30% of sales leads are generated through marketing.
Let that soak in a minute.
It’s fantastic if your marketing efforts bring customers your way, but you must stay proactive in your hunt for leads. Every opportunity to utilize your existing connections and resources is worth your time.
LinkedIn gives you the ability to compile a lead list based on your ideal customer criteria. The search can range from job title to location to nonprofit interests.
That access doesn’t give you the right to start spamming them with requests using crappy sales messages, but it does give you the opportunity to reach out and make meaningful connections.
One tactic is the “freebie”. Don’t send a generic “I’d like to add you to my network” message as a veiled disguise to send them your sales pitch.
The initial message is your first impression to make a genuine connection.
Instead, send them free, relevant content that benefits their business. At the bottom of the message, include a call to action asking how you can be of value to them.
Tools, like LinmailPro, help you search LinkedIn for customer key words and send out hundreds of personalized messages from one central dashboard. It’s an efficient way to streamline the process of connecting and staying connected.
Stay Consistent With Your Content
LinkedIn allows you to sort and group your connections, making it easy to reach niche audiences.
You could create a post on product features beneficial to small businesses or on strategic methodology for CEOs and VPs.
This “niche marketing” strategy also goes beyond your immediate audience.
As soon as someone in your network “likes” or comments on a post, it’s shared on their newsfeed reaching their entire network.
Now, you’ve reached a whole new audience, exponentially increasing your views (and potential leads).
When writing a post, keep these points in mind:
- Use a catchy headline
- Tailor to niche audiences
- Use keywords and LinkedIn tags
- Keep it brief
- End with a call to action
The best part of posting your content? Each “like” and every comment is a warm lead!
You now know they’re interested in your content, so use that to your advantage. Set aside time to engage and follow up with commenters.
LinkedIn is a golden goose of information.
The amount of data the free version offers, let alone the premium upgrade, is unlike any other tool available. Stop viewing LinkedIn as a stagnant social network, and start baking this tool into your sales strategy.
Tools are only as effective as we make them, so dive in, breathe life back into your profile, and take advantage of the mass amounts of data.
Listen to the episode that this post was based on here:
James Carbary is the founder of Sweet Fish Media, a podcast agency for B2B brands. He’s a contributor for the Huffington Post & Business Insider, and he also co-hosts a top-ranked podcast according to Forbes: B2B Growth. When James isn’t interviewing the smartest minds in B2B marketing, he’s drinking Cherry Coke Zero, eating Swedish Fish, and hanging out with the most incredible woman on the planet (who he somehow talked into marrying him).