11 Effective Ways to Use LinkedIn for Business Development

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1 11 Effective Ways to Use LinkedIn for Business Development LinkedIn & Social Selling for Business Development by Brynne Tillman contributions by (YOUR NAME HERE) by Social Sales Link

2 LinkedIn for Business Development Business Development is a broad term. It is certainly sales oriented, but also falls under prospecting, lead generation, launching new products, penetrating new verticals, even implementing specific marketing endeavors and beyond. But, all these efforts are for one goal: developing and implementing growth opportunities with multiple organizations. Throughout this e-book, you will learn 11 key strategies that will help you listen to your prospect better, educate them through thought leadership, while positioning through leveraging your existing network and position yourself as the subject matter expert and the one to engage! - Brynne Tillman CEO of Social Sales Link

3 Table of Contents 1. Crafting an Engaging Profile pg Leverage LinkedIn Groups pg Listen to What They are Saying pg Share Content that Impresses pg Curate Great Content to Share pg Organize Your Contacts pg Get More Client Referrals pg Make Networking More Effective pg Checkout Who has Checked You Out pg Advanced & Saved Searches pg Create a Plan and Commit to It pg. 11

4 1. Crafting an Engaging Profile Your LinkedIn Profile represents your professional brand. In fact, your profile may recieve more first time visitors than your website. Therefore, you need to be sure that you are communicating your value proposition, not your resume. This is an opportunity to share with your prospects and network what you bring to the table and why your customers value you. 1. Your picture needs to represent you as a professional. If you would put it on your website, you can put it on your LinkedIn profile. 2. Your Headline is the first impression your viewers have of who you are; make the most of this real estate! This is an opportunity to share your message in 120 characters so don t waste it on your title and company. Instead, talk about how you help your clients. 3. Customize your LinkedIn URL, it just looks better, you can be found easier and you can publish it on your signature and business cards. 4. Please complete your contact information box with , phone, website links and connect your Twitter account. 5. Unless you are looking for a job, don t make your summary a resume paragraph, make it educational and impactful. Share tips or strategies that position you as a thought leader from the start. 6. Complete your Experience at least 10 years back and connect your jobs to company pages. The logo is appealing and is helpful when your viewers are learning about you. Be sure to add your contact information here too; this makes this much easier for people not connected to you to contact you. 7. Take advantage of the Projects and Publications sections. The Publications section allows you to hyperlink to pages on your website or anywhere you wish to direct them. If you have a lead capture page, this could be a great way to drive traffic. The Projects section is an opportunity to cross market yourself on profiles of partners and clients that you work closely with on jobs. 8. Complete your education and add other sections that are relevant to you and your experience. The more complete your profile, the better it will work for you. 1

5 2. Leverage LinkedIn Groups Most LinkedIn users are members of groups, but they don t exactly know why! Groups are a powerful opportunity to identify who you are looking to meet and engage them. 1. Join the right groups. There are two great ways to find groups where your prospects are hanging out. First, look at groups your clients are in, there is a good chance more people like them are there too. Second, take advantage of the search features on LinkedIn. From the top drop-down bar, choose groups and type in the title of your prospect. LinkedIn will give you a list of Groups where those folks are hanging out. 2. Posting is a great way to begin a following. Be sure that you are posting content that your prospects care about and would enjoy building a conversation around. Stay away from promoting yourself or your business. If you have a blog, this is a good way to drive traffic to your site, but be sure to give enough valuable information in the actual post. 3. Comment and like other people s posts. Be sure to mean it though! This is a terrific opportunity to get on the good side of a prospect. Heck, they posted to be seen, and when they notice that you spent the time and acknowledged their hard work, the first impression of you is stellar! 4. Click on the number of members on the top bar and a search box opens up. This makes Groups invaluable! You can search by title, location and key words to drill down the members of the group to your target market. Once you have this list, you can send direct messages to each one individually. Be sure that you are offering value and a call to action. Not just connect with me, but I wanted to share with you this great article on it doesn t even have to be your article, just a powerful publication that will matter to them. 5. With everyone that responds, send a connection request and be ready with an engaging welcome to my network note. Here is mine: Thank you for connecting with me on LinkedIn. As a networker, I always like to start off a new relationship in giving mode. I want to share with you one of our videos - Leveraging LinkedIn for Business Development so You Never Have to Cold Call Again! - let me know if you find this helpful. Brynne I will also add you to my LinkedIn tips - so please look for those! 6. Click here to join Linked User Group 2

6 3. Listen to What They are Saying How can we engage our prospects if we don t know what it is they care about? You might think it s your serivces and your prices. But what I am talking about is uncovering what they care about online and what will draw them in? 1. Look at their activity feed on all social channels. 2. What do they comment on and like? 3. What are the topics they are sharing? 4. Who are they newly connected to? 5. What groups are they in? Join them and look at what they are talking about in the groups. 6. What do they say about themselves in their profiles, what skills do they list, where did they work prior, where did they go to school? 7. Do you have shared connections? If yes, make a phone call or two, because the phone does still work! 8. What has their company posted on their LinkedIn company page and other social sites? 9. On their company page, look at people that viewed this page also viewed gives you a list of their competitors (save this for prospecting later). 10. Look up their competition and read what are they are talking about. 3

7 4. Share Content that Impresses The goal is to build a reputation as a thought leader and subject matter expert. Make sure you are the one they go to because they know how you help, the one that they refer others to because you have proved your value. 1. If you are sharing your own content, be sure to establish the foundation. a. Choose a platform for blogs and landing pages on your website, WordPress, Blogger. b. Sign up for a video platform like Wistia, Looplogic, Slideshare, etc. 2. Add links to your content in your contact info box on your profile a. When in edit mode, click on edit contact info b. Click the pencil next to Websites c. Choose other from drop-down d. Name your blog, video or article e. Save 3. Add media attachments to your Summary and/or Experience sections a. When in edit mode, click on media box with + b. Chose from add link or upload c. Save 4. Use the publications section a. If you don t have this section in your profile, when in edit mode click the + next to Publications on the recommended for you section on the top right b. Name the publication c. Add the link d. Fill in details and share 5. Post to your Homepage updates 6. Post to Groups a. Post in discussions (be sure it is aligned with group rules) b. Send direct messages to group members with a link to your content 7. Click here to read Social Sales Link content 4

8 5. Curating Great Content Why reinvent the wheel? Social Media is about sharing other people s content if we didn t do this, nothing would ever go viral. There are great ways to get content with targeted topics to use every day. It makes it simple to find and share content that will engage your prospects and position you as a subject matter expert. Check out these resources: 1. Scoop.it - Scoop.it is my 1st choice in social content aggregators for a few reasons. First, it is so simple to use. Scoop.it has a continuous stream of content and connects directly with my social media platforms. You can also scoop your own content and share it on the platform. 2. Feedly.com - Feedly has been around for a while but became very popular after Google Reader was discontinued. Feedly will provide a newsfeed of content around categories and allows you to add content by URL, title, and topics as well. 3. Google Alerts - Google Alerts sends you daily s of content, blogs and articles based on criteria you provide. In addition to using this as a content aggregator, it is also great for monitoring the web for information about your company, you, your prospects and your competition. 4. Tagboard - Tagboards are live collections of social media posted with hashtags and arranged in a dynamic, visual mosaic. You can do more than just view social posts on a tagboard; you can engage with them. 5. HootSuite - Although HootSuite is a scheduler, it is a great aggregator as well. Create news streams based on topics, hashtags or specific influencers and curate and share content to all your platforms from here. 5

9 6. Organize Your Contacts Although LinkedIn is not a CRM, there are some great features that can help you stay organized in your business development efforts. Begin by clicking the Relationship button on the profile you are looking to follow-up. Sync and calendar - When you sync your address books or calendar from other sources, you import contact information, meetings, and s for easy access in one place. LinkedIn Contacts keeps your contacts and their information up to date by regularly checking for any changes. Typically, your contact data is synced once each day. 1. Hover over Network at the top of your homepage and select Contacts 2. Click the Settings icon on the top right 3. On the Contacts Settings page you will see your choices; click Sync next to any source you d like connect to and follow the directions Tip: If you ever change your password for one of these sources, go back to this page and click Change to update it on LinkedIn. Notes LinkedIn time stamps your notes and allows you to see a stream of your interactions. Tagging This feature is great for organizing. You can create tags that can work as distribution groups for messaging, or simply keep your connections in easy to search categories. Tagging is a very powerful marketing tool. You can tag or untag anyone who s saved in your LinkedIn Contacts. They can be added from your contacts profile or in Contacts under Network. Be sure to tag no more than 50 contacts in a group as that is the maximum you can at one time. Reminders You can set a up a reminder notification for a contact for one day, week, month or reoccurring. LinkedIn will send you a message and it will appear at the top of your Contacts page as an item pending completion. 6

10 7. Get More Client Referrals Typically, a good business development person will tell you that much of their business comes from client referrals. They ask for referrals all the time, and it may sound something like this: Salesperson: Ms. Client, are you happy with the products and services we have been able to help you with over the last few months? Client: Oh yes, Mr. Salesperson, we have been very happy with you and your company. Salesperson: Terrific, Ms. Client. The way we grow our business has always been through introductions and recommendations from our happy clients! By any chance, do you know of anyone else that could use our products and services? Client: Hmm, let me see, I can t think of anyone off hand right now, but if I do think of someone I will certainly be happy to introduce you. Bummer Not exactly how we had hoped it would go, but now we have LinkedIn as a powerful tool and this conversation will be much more productive. Before visiting your client, do the following: 1. Connect with your client on LinkedIn 2. Check out their contacts 3. Make a list of 5 prospects that they know and bring the list with you Here is how the conversation may go now with the help of LinkedIn: Client: Hmm, let me see, I can t think of anyone off hand right now, but if I think of someone I will certainly be happy to introduce you to them. Salesperson: Ms. Client, when we connected on LinkedIn I noticed that you were linked to a few folks who would be great introductions for me; would it be alright if I ran them by you? Client: Of course, I would be happy to help! Salesperson: Thank you so much for offering to make these introductions. You can just copy us both in an and I can take it from there. To make it easier for you, would you like me to send you a short introduction paragraph that you can use? Client: That would be great, thanks. If we did just this for each of our clients, our pipeline could easily double or more and the business will follow! 7

11 8. Make Networking More Effective The next best referral is from a strategic alliance or networking relationship. Often we meet for coffee, it s an hour of time, and we learn all about each other s respective businesses and then ask You - So, who do you know that could use my products and services? Then comes the blank stare. Them - I can t think of anyone right now, but if someone should ask, I will certainly refer you! Bummer Not exactly how we had hoped it would go, but now we have LinkedIn as a powerful tool and this conversation will be much more productive. Before you go on your networking meetings, do the following: 1. Connect with your networking partner on LinkedIn 2. Send them a note that says, I am looking forward to our meeting next week. Please feel free to look at my connections and write down 10 or so people that you think would be good for you to meet, we will talk through them and I can make some introductions for you. 3. Now look at their connections 4. Make a list of 10 prospects that they know and bring the list with you 5. Review the list in your meeting 6. Exchange Introduction Paragraphs: Ex. I would like to introduce you to Brynne Tillman, CEO of Social Sales Link. I thought it might make sense for the two of you to connect and investigate how you might work together. Brynne will be contacting you in the next couple of days, please take her call; I believe it will be well worth your time. If you would like to reach out to Brynne, her contact information is: Copy your networking partner and your connection in an or LinkedIn message with their paragraph. Your meeting just became the most productive hour of your week! 8

12 9. Check who has Checked You Out I love Caller ID, don t you? That is how I see the who s viewed your profile section of your LinkedIn account. This is a fantastic opportunity to reach out to people who have called but have not left a message: 1. From the right-hand side your of your LinkedIn Homepage, click Who s Viewed Your Profile 2. The free account allows you to see the last 5 visitors to your profile. If they have their settings as anonymous, you won t be able to see their name, and if you are anonymous you won t be able to see any of your viewers. The paid account allows you to see the last 90 days of viewers and will allow you to see the visitors even if you are anonymous. However, you still can t see the viewers that are anonymous. 3. Identify viewers that you would like to connect with, check out their profile and send a request to connect with a note: Thanks for visiting my profile, I looked at yours and believe that there may be some synergies between us. Let s connect and explore ways we may be able to work together. 4. If you are already connected but haven t cultivated a relationship yet, and they are a good prospect, click the icon and write: Hello NAME, it has been some time since we connected, and I thought it might make sense for us to schedule a time to explore ways we may be able to work together. I have Monday morning available for a call, does that work for you? 9

13 10. Advanced & Saved Searches There are many ways to leverage advanced searches, and we urge you to spend some time exploring them. This is quintessentially working smarter not harder. Advanced Search quickly lets you know who in your warm market knows whom you want to meet. The prospecting power when leveraging this tool is endless. 1. Click on the Advanced Search hyperlink next to the magnify glass on the top right of the drop-down. 2. Choose keywords and/or titles that represent your target market. 3. From the drop-down you can choose current, past or both in addition, you can use Boolean searches here. 4. Fill out geographic preferences and industry choices. 5. Choose relationships (1st, 2nd, 3rd, Group) 6. Search and you will get a list of exactly whom you are looking for. The magic lives in the 2nd, so be sure to click 2nd in Relationship. This will give us a list of who knows the people we want to know and we can ask for introductions! The Save Once you have your perfect search, you can save it for later. Just click Save Search on the top right hand side of the search, name it and save it for later. You can save three searches with the free LinkedIn account. New folks entering your network who fall under the search criteria will be added to the list every week. Every Monday morning, I log into LinkedIn, click on my saved searches, and see that I have 10 new professionals in my network that meet that criteria. I then click the hyperlink view and the full list comes up in the window. I can then click on shared connection and ask for my warm introduction. POWERFUL stuff, right? 10

14 11. Create a Plan and Commit to it Remember the old adage, If you fail to plan, you plan to fail? Well, all these activities are great, but only if you do them. Put together a plan in SMART goal format to ensure that you will do the activities that will help you reach your goals: S pecific M easurable A ligned with your goals R ealistic Timed 1. Define your results goals, what you want to get out of LinkedIn. 2. Commit to a time frame. 3. Identify the activities you need to reach your goal. 4. Schedule them. 5. Do them; and if you don t, reschedule them. 11

15 If you are looking to learn more about LinkedIn for social selling, check out SSL s book on Amazon: LinkedInBook.info - LinkedIn & Social Selling for Business Development Brynne Tillman, CEO of Social Sales Link teaches LinkedIn workshops and classes, is a Keynote for Sales and Marketing Teams and works with sales trainers to teach this curriculum. 12

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