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LinkedIn LinkedIn Network Sales Navigator

Organic vs Influenced Referrals

We all want referrals.

We spent countless hours networking in real life in the hopes more people will get to know us and what we do and will refer us to others.

We invest time on social networking, sharing, and engaging on LinkedIn with the same hope, someone will see us and our content and refer us to others.

Doing these steps routinely can create what I call organic referrals.
However, organic referrals alone are never enough.

However, we need to execute another process – Creating Influenced referrals.

Influenced referrals are purposefully asking the influencers of our target audience to introduce us for a conversation.

We can’t create influenced referrals unless we are building our networks with both our target audience and their influencers.

This takes time and a constant set of activities of networking, engaging, and inviting these influencers into conversations.

These conversations must be focused on the influencers. Ask questions, listen, and learn about them, their roles, experiences, and anything else they are willing to share in order for us to get to know them better.

We also must be willing to help these influencers. Helping them in different ways is one of the tactics that create relationships with people who may be willing to help you. Maybe with a referral.

As you get to know these influencers and they get to know you more, in time you’ll uncover the opportunity to talk with these influencers and ask them if they could help you. You must ask if they are willing to do so.

Their positive reply is a statement not only to you but to them as well that they will help you, where relevant, appropriate and possible,  by introducing you to the person you want to get into a conversation with.

Once someone introduces you to your target audience it’s important that you return to the influencer and thank them for the introduction.

Organic referrals are truly fabulous things.

Influenced referrals are also fabulous things. And, you are more in control of the frequency and the results.

How often are you seeking influenced referrals?

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LinkedIn

I don’t see the value of using LinkedIn

I hear this phrase often; “I do not see the benefits of LinkedIn.”

Often they include statements like these;

  • ‘I’ve been on LinkedIn for years.’
  • ‘All of my employees are on LinkedIn.’
  • ‘We have a company page on LinkedIn.’
  • ‘I have a big network of at least 200 people.’
  • ‘I accept every invite I get.’

For those who say they do not see value using LinkedIn, I never hear about their strategy or execution.

Recently I researched two companies on LinkedIn.

The first company focused on executive staffing, primarily for B2B companies, has 10 employees on LinkedIn.

Between all of the employees, there are nearly 17,000 connections.
The company page has about 1,900 followers.

Yet, the company page has no new content focused on their target audience.
The employees have no content or public engagement with their target audience.
Most of the employee’s LinkedIn Profiles are only basic.
Some of the profiles are even less than basic.

I am sure LinkedIn is not creating value for this company.

The second company I researched is a financial services company primarily serving B2C companies.

They have 9 employees listed on LinkedIn.
They don’t have a verified LinkedIn Company Page.
Their page is one of those created by LinkedIn years ago and has no useful information available to their target audience.

The employees, including the President, VP of Operations, VP of sales, and all of the salespeople have less than basic LinkedIn Profiles. None of the employees have any content or public engagement with their target audience.

I am not surprised that the leaders of this organization feel LinkedIn is of no value to their business at all.

LinkedIn is a business tool. You can’t get value from a business tool that is not being used appropriately. These business tools require a strategy and appropriate execution within relevant business processes.

Otherwise, the value of LinkedIn will be lackluster at best.

Does your business have a strategy for using LinkedIn as a business tool?

Do your employees invest time using LinkedIn with purpose focused on the business goals?

/Teddy

If you want to discover better wayst for your team to use LinkedIn as a business tool, let’s talk – (336) 283-6121

Categories
LinkedIn

Executing a LinkedIn Page Follower Campaign

Creating a Following of relevant LinkedIn Members for your LinkedIn Page (sometimes called Company Page) is an important step. Having followers increases the opportunity your page content will be viewed, consumed, and even appreciated by the right people on LinkedIn.

The best makeup of Followers should include:

  • Your target audience – the people in the roles of companies who could use your product or service.
  • Influencers – the people who know your target audience and may introduce them to you.
  • Consumers – the people who can benefit from your product and service and could become Influencers or your Target Audience.
  • Business Partners – people who provide similar products and services and who could become Influencers.
  • Employees – the employees of your company who rally behind your products and services.
  • Your Tribe – business/personal friends who care for you and your business. You never know who they may know.

Creating a LinkedIn Page and building a strategy & execution plan to provide great content for your followers is only part of the process.
You will need to create campaigns to continually grow your followers.

Here are a few ideas you could use to grow your LinkedIn Page Followers:

#1 – As with any other social media presence, a consistent process of providing content your target audience and their influencers find useful is the best way to create followers. I call this “Feeding your LinkedIn Page”. You have to feed it consistently in order for it to thrive.

#2 – Share your LinkedIn Page content across multiple online sites, where your target audience may show up.  LinkedIn Page content is fully public and can be shared and viewed by people who are not currently logged into LinkedIn. However, they can not engage on the content unless they are logged into LinkedIn.

Note – you can only share LinkedIn Page content as a LinkedIn Member. You can not do this step as the Admin (via the admin page)

Routinely pick one of your LinkedIn Page posts that got a good level of engagement. Share it on your Facebook Business Page, on Twitter, in your latest company ’newsletter’, on Quora, on your blog, in a comment to a relevant social post, etc. Invite your employees and/or Tribe to do so, where relevant and appropriate.

Anyone who sees a LinkedIn Page post, who is not yet a follower of your page, will see the +Follow Icon on the post. When you share the post, use an editorial statement that encourages the consumption of the content and potentially clicking the Follow button.

#3 – Invite your LinkedIn Network to be Page Followers. 

As a Page Admin, you can invite targeted members of your LinkedIn Network to Follow your LinkedIn Page. You’ll find this option on the Admin toolbar under Admin Tools, or in the right side column labeled “Invite Connections to Follow” Currently (09/03/20), you can send 100 invites per LinkedIn Page (across all Page admins).
Be very purposeful to invite the best LinkedIn Connections relevant to your page. If you have fresh content on your page when you send these invites out you’re more likely to get your invites accepted.

#4 – Give business development employees Admin rights so they can use the Page Follower Invite feature. It’s not unusual that the LinkedIn Page Admin does not have a LinkedIn Network filled with the business’s target audience.

An idea I have been exploring is to make your key business development employees Admins of the Page in order for them to invite their LinkedIn Network to be page followers.

This will take some planning to execute effectively.

Here is a task list to consider for this process:

  1. Schedule a day that works for the business developer to do this work.
  2. Have them build a list of up to 100 LinkedIn Connections they would like to invite.
  3. Invite the business developer to be a Page Admin from the Admin Tools option of your LinkedIn Page.
  4. Provide a quick training session showing the business developer how to use the feature.
  5. Give them time to execute this process for up to 100 invitations.
  6. Once they are done, remove them as a Page Admin.
  7. They will be able to see who they invited who has not accepted from their Sent Invites page
  8. Ask them to Withdraw any unaccepted invites 1 month later. (This will allow for another employee to invite them later)
  9. In the next month (when available invites go back to 100), repeat this step for the next business developer.

#5 – Introduce the value of your LinkedIn Page through other business communications.

Sharing the URL to your business page, as well as telling stories about how your use your LinkedIn Page to help your target audience, with an invite to follow the page is another useful tactic to create Page Followers.

You could share this in your newsletter, in blog posts, and even in routine messaging to your tribe, clients, prospects, and even employees. Be creative in this tactic.

#6 – Share your LinkedIn Page thru Blog Post commenting. As you find content relevant to your business you could comment on the article and use the LinkedIn Page URL as the Web Page entry for the comment. This can help to get others to find your LinkedIn Page as well as aid in the SEO ranking of your LinkedIn Page.

#7 – Create a private POD of LinkedIn Members who care for and/or are interested in your company products/services. This could be as small as 5-10 clients, prospects, peers, business partners, employees, and friends. As you share content on your company page invite this group (via email or messaging) to review and engage on the content with their perspectives or ideas. Encourage them to engage on each other’s comments on the post as well. Ask them not to always use the Like or Share option. A Comment or comment reply is more impactful for content reach. Ask them not to comment with simple statements like “Thanks” or  “Good point”, etc. Engagement should be meaningful. Be appreciative of your PODs involvement, maybe even to the level of sending them SWAG (trinkets) to thank them for helping to drive more views of the content.

#8 – Ask your POD, and others to share your LinkedIn Page Posts and to @mention target audience, peers, and even target companies to pull them into the conversation. Encourage them to pay attention to any and all engagement they solicit in their posts.

#9 – Simply mention your LinkedIn Page to people in conversation. Add the URL to your email signature, on your website, in all of your marketing content, etc.

Growing a relevant Following to your LinkedIn Page is just one step towards getting value from using LinkedIn as a business tool.

Do the work, reap the rewards.

/Teddy

Categories
LinkedIn

Often used Adjustable LinkedIn Settings – 2020

There are a few settings on LinkedIn that may be useful to adjust as you use LinkedIn .

LinkedIn Profile Activity Broadcasts and Profile Viewing Options

Activity Broadcasts

The activity this setting refers to is the changes you make to your LinkedIn Profile regarding the Experience and Education Section and Work Anniversary alerts.

Additions or changes to the other section of your LinkedIn Profile will not broadcast to your LinkedIn Network.
You can adjust the default setting for this option under Settings & Privacy (https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/activity-broadcast)

I encourage you to leave your activity broadcasts turned on; however, sometimes it may be practical to turn them off.

On reason to leave this off is when you are editing your Experience or Education section you may not want to alert your LinkedIn Network to the edits.
Especially when the edits to these sections are not ’noteworthy.’

You have the option of enabling or disabling these broadcasts when editing or adding to these sections of your LinkedIn Profile.

What others see when you’ve viewed their profile.

Some of us like to play hide & seek when looking at our connection’s profiles. This setting is managed under Settings and Privacy.
(https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/profile-visibility)

I encourage you to leave this setting turned on so that your network knows when you have looked at their profile. The purpose of this is to create an opportunity for engagement – ie a conversation.

However, periodically you may want to change this setting so you can “secretly” look at a LinkedIn member’s profile when doing market or competitor research.

It is important to know that when you decide to hide behind an industry or company name or to be totally anonymous, you will not be able to see who has looked at your profile. 

You will need to return to the Name & Headline setting in order to see who has viewed your LinkedIn Profile.

Don’t play hide and seek on LinkedIn. You need to know when someone has looked at your profile so that you can engage with them or better yet, get into a good conversation with them.

Additionally, I recommend you review the other static settings available to you through the Settings and Privacy (https://www.linkedin.com/psettings/account) and adjust them to fit your needs when using LinkedIn.
The Settings and Privacy pages include over 77 unique options to review.
Invest time to review them so you understand what you can do and how LinkedIn may use your data.

Categories
LinkedIn

Basic LinkedIn Prospecting Processes – 2020

Prospecting on LinkedIn is the process of finding the right LinkedIn Members to consider moving to LinkedIn Connections and then into conversations relevant to your business or career goals.

Prospecting is not just for salespeople. There are lots of different roles in all industries where prospecting could be beneficial. Possibly for future clients, employees, business partners, resources, mentors, friends from the past, and peers to learn from.

Basic LinkedIn Prospecting is a set of practices I use to grow my LinkedIn Network and build some level of a professional relationship with my growing LinkedIn Network. These basic prospecting tasks can be used by any LinkedIn Member focused on growing their business or achieving their career goals.

Here are the six primary steps you should consider when doing Basic LinkedIn Prospecting:

Step 1 – Before starting to prospect on LinkedIn, I recommend you make sure your LinkedIn Profile is written well, telling the viewer who you are today and what you do in your role. A clear LinkedIn profile can help the people you are prospecting for to be more informed of your relevance to them and your business.

Step 2 – Additionally, building a strong LinkedIn Network with people you know, can help you discover even more people you may want to know.  This is synonymous with the 6 Degrees from Kevin Bacon story. However, it works even better. The more 1st level connections you have, the more 2nd level LinkedIn Members you can get to. Furthermore, the more relevant 2nd level LinkedIn Members you turn into 1st level connections, the more 3rd level LinkedIn Members become 2nd level LinkedIn Members. This amplifies the ability for you to connect with even more relevant LinkedIn Members.  I recommend consistently working to connect with LinkedIn Members you know. Use your ‘Rolodex’ or client list, peers, friends, neighbors, association membership lists, etc to determine who these people are.

Step 3 – Research companies relevant to your prospecting and business goals. Begin building a list of the companies, and even individuals that you need/wish to connect with. This list of companies and individuals should be a living list. You’ll remove names from the list as you disqualify them and add new names to the list as you discover new companies and individuals relevant to your business goals. You may have multiple lists based on different business and/or career goals.

Step 4 – Find relationships between your existing LinkedIn connections and the companies / LinkedIn members you want to connect with. Where possible, reach out to people you know and ask them to introduce you to the right people at your target companies, or with specific LinkedIn Members you wish to get into a conversation with and ultimately connect with on LinkedIn. I recommend asking for these introductions via either email or telephone, not via LinkedIn message.

Step 5 – Create a consistent LinkedIn Engagement routine. With a Strong LinkedIn profile and a growing list of LinkedIn Connections, engaging on LinkedIn will significantly increase the opportunity of being seen, being trusted & respected, and possibly contacted for business/career conversations.

Step 6 – Continue researching, connecting, and engaging on LinkedIn. Find opportunities to help your LinkedIn connections and to get into relevant and mutually beneficial conversations with them.

Practicing these Basic LinkedIn Prospecting tactics can help you to become more efficient with the individual activities and to be able to grow your LinkedIn Network focused on your goals.