So, I have a question for you. Are you using LinkedIn for your business? If not, why not? Well, who's on LinkedIn? I guess that's the big question that everybody wants to know, and really, if you're doing business with other businesses, so, you're doing what we consider to be B2B networking, then LinkedIn is right for you.
And I've heard this all the time: people say, “Well, you know, I'm really not on it. It's not something I need, my peeps aren't there.” Well, chances are they are there, but not a lot. And the reason is that people use LinkedIn for just minutes a week. It's not like Facebook where people are spending an average of a half hour a day. If they're power users, they may be on LinkedIn for 5-10 minutes a day. If they're not power users, they may check it once a week. As a matter of fact, LinkedIn has tried constantly to prompt people to use it more. They did something called endorsements, where you would get notifications saying that, “So and so endorsed you for this.” I've been endorsed for basket weaving and cat herding, all right?
You can still use LinkedIn as a great tool for your business. I use it all the time and I've taught a lot of people how to use it all the time. Now, the reason that people don't use LinkedIn as much as other social media tools is because they have certain objections. One of the questions I hear all the time is, “Why should I use LinkedIn?” People don't use LinkedIn because they don't know what to do once they get there. All they know is they could set up a profile, and a lot of people misconstrue a profile as something that would be more like a resume. That's the way they think of it. It's a place where people go to find jobs. I've heard that from sales managers. “Why do we want to use LinkedIn? All people do is go there to find jobs.” Well, that's not necessarily the case.
Other people will say, “Hey, it's not my audience.” Well, it might be your audience. It's just a different location where they may be hanging out. Now, if you're doing consumer stuff, obviously your audience is hanging out on Facebook and Instagram and other places. If you're doing business-to-business stuff, chances are people have an account and maybe they need a little nudge to connect with you.
The other objection that I see all the time is, “All people try to do is sell me their stuff.” Yeah, that's true. There are people that will make a connection with you and then all of a sudden you get a direct message from them saying, “Hey! I want you to check out my stuff and watch my half-hour video,” and things like that. You don't want to be that person, trust me.
Let me ask you another question. I get probably about 30 to 50 spam emails a day because I manage a lot of different people's accounts. Because people are trying to sell me stuff on email, does that mean I should stop using email? What about phone calls? Do you guys get robocalls ever? I get a ton of them. All frickin' day long, and they're all trying to sell me something. Insurance, vacations, cheaper gas prices, right? You get them all the time. Even though I'm not on a do-not-call list, I still get a lot of solicitations. So, should I stop using my phone because people are trying to sell me something? No. What I do is I monitor it. I look at the number. If the number looks like somebody I know, I'll answer it. If it doesn't, I let it go to voicemail. It's the same thing with LinkedIn. If it's somebody that you know who wants to connect with you, then answer them back. If it's somebody that you don't know, then just let it go. It's just that simple.
What To Do?
LinkedIn is a very powerful tool once you understand how to use it. The first thing that you have to do is you have to have an incredible profile. Now, a lot of people misconstrue what a perfect profile is, and again, it's that whole resume brain. The bottom line with a good LinkedIn profile is you have to tell people what problem you solve for them. That's the key. So, that should be in the title that you use; you're not just president and CEO. You are a solutions provider. The next thing is your summary. Is your summary talking about who you are, what you do, and how you help other people? It's not a CV. It's not where you're sitting here talking about all the accomplishments that you've had. That's once of the reasons I like to write them in the third person and not the first person, because the first person is all, “I, I, I, me, me, me.” The third person is, “Brian has, he has,” so it sounds like somebody else wrote it for you.
So, here are some things that you can do on LinkedIn which will help you promote yourself, your brand, and your business. The first thing is I hope that you're creating some kind of content, whether it's blog posts or podcasts or articles or videos or anything. If you're creating content, LinkedIn is a great place to share it. As a matter of fact, you can share just in the news feed, you can post them as articles, and you can post them to groups. Hopefully the content is based on the solutions that you provide, and not just salesy sales pitches.
The second thing that you want to look at is managing and messaging people. So, if there's somebody that you want to connect with, one of the things that you could do is message them and just say, “Hey, it's really nice to know you. I would love to know if there's anything I can do to help you. Otherwise, let's stay in touch.” Now, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are gonna get a response back. It also doesn't mean that they have an immediate need. But if you're the giving kind of person, chances are they're gonna pay more attention to you than if you're the selling kind of person. So, think about that. Connect with people, manage great contacts, message them, and then just let it be. You can always go back and do it again. By messaging them, if they see something in the news feed, they may go check out your profile. Who knows? But the bottom line is it creates awareness.
The next thing that you can do is create and use groups. Now, it's great to be in somebody else's group because you can post your content there. But what if you could create a group specific to your audience? And then invite people and say, “Hey, I would like to have you in this group and provide you with some great content, but also get your feedback on stuff.” Hopefully they're willing to engage with you. Just like with Facebook, the thing about groups is you should ask permission to add them. Don't just add them. By adding people to groups that are your clients, potential clients, those kind of things, where you're posting great content, the same stuff that you might post on your wall or as an article, could help you create that awareness in a much stronger way.
Finally, LinkedIn is one of the best prospecting tools out there. This is where it gets a little gray, because as I said, people are constantly trying to sell people. But if you're willing to spend the money to get the latest and greatest since Microsoft bought LinkedIn, they took away a lot of features. What they did is they packaged all of those features in something called Sales Navigator. Now, I pay $70 a month, it's over $800 a year, to be a member of Sales Navigator. It gives me the opportunity to see what my first level connections are up to, and connect with them in a way that I can't do just with an open free account. It also allows you to tag people and it gives you additional tools that are gonna help you prospect and get to know people better.
So, if you haven't used LinkedIn in a while, give it a thought, give it a chance, and just try.
I would love to hear your thoughts and comments on Using LinkedIn for your business. Comment below and share your thoughts, ideas or questions about building your your business with LinkedIn. Have you or your business evolved and are ready for a change? Do you have any ideas or advice you could share?
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