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So the challenge is that we need to work on all quadrants of the Lead Generation Matrix. Yes, those who already know you make your job easy, but remember that someone out there is trying to find you, even if they don’t know it yet.

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Repel Level 1 – No account. At this level, you’ll be judged; judged that you’re not up with the times or stereotyped in a way that may not be true. If you have no social media account, especially if you have no LinkedIn profile, you won’t be seen as managing your presence. If you don’t manage your brand, someone else will.

Level 2 – Account. This may be where a LinkedIn account came about unexpectedly for you. You didn’t ask for an account but someone invited you, so you set one up.

You haven’t entered any information. It’s an empty profile, with just your name and current position, and possibly a previous role. At least you’re on LinkedIn, but it’s not helping you or your organisation.

Level 3 – Resume. Your profile contains your career history and the tasks you did in your previous roles. Your summary is more about you and less about how you help your customer. With a profile that seems more like an obituary, you come across as 6| CONNECT: Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation a commodity in the market of talent instead of an expert in your field. You appear vanilla and boring, the same as everyone else, which is untrue.

Attract Level 4 – Positioned. Your profile is written for your future and designed to attract the right people. When people land on your profile, it’s clear who you help and you are positioned as an expert in your industry. There is nothing untrue in how your profile is written; it matches the human being and ensures the reader categorises you correctly without making assumptions.

Level 5 – Active. You’re positioned and starting to become more active with your profile. You feel confident about liking, sharing and commenting on posts that are linked to what you’re trying to achieve. You don’t like or share anything that doesn’t relate to your purpose.

Level 6 – Influencer. You are now creating original content and posts that link to your strategy. People are starting to follow you and like what you’re saying. A tribe might even be forming and you’re seeing the same people like and comment on your posts. Your profile may get 50-150 views per week. You’re seeing more clients coming to you, wanting to do business.

Level 7 – Ninja. You’re now leveraging your profile to create connections and open doors. You have specific scripts that you use to gain meetings with potential clients.

You’re starting to have more clout to ask for what you want as you’ve been contributing to your audience. You know how to move potential clients through your sales funnel.

Why LinkedIn?

With more than 365 million users, LinkedIn is a great opportunity to grow a business in front of a highly targeted audience. It was originally created for executives only, but it has grown to connect professionals at all levels – even graduates, who are the fastestgrowing LinkedIn demographic. The most under-represented group is women, and this presents one of the greatest opportunities online.

LinkedIn was developed in 2003 by Reid Hoffman. He organised a team from PayPal and SocialNet to work on the idea. Growth was slow to begin with, some days only attracting 20 people at a time. Fast-forward to 2009 when Jeff Weiner, previously an executive at Yahoo!, took the reins as CEO while Hoffman managed product

Chapter 1: Why is LinkedIn So Important For You? |7

development. By the end of 2010, LinkedIn had 90 million members and 1000 employees around the world. By 2013, it had reached 225 million members, acquiring two members per second. Today, it has more than 7600 employees and is listed on the stock exchange. The site is available in 24 languages and has members listed in more than 200 countries. In 2015, LinkedIn acquired Lynda.com for $1.5 billion.

LinkedIn doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. It has had a dramatic impact on the way business is done in the digital world and has been a game changer for professionals and businesses.

Fears of Using LinkedIn for Business Growth, Lead Generation and Networking Time and Return on Investment One fear people have about LinkedIn is how much time it will take out of their day.

“Are you going to say that I have to sit on LinkedIn for half an hour a day or 20 minutes a day? I just don’t have that kind of time.” Definitely not. That’s not a good use of time for a lot of. In some areas, such as business development and sales teams, it is a good use of time, but for most other roles it’s about getting the profile written correctly and leveraging it to support other business activities.

Loss of Talent One of the other fears leaders have about LinkedIn is that well-written profiles will lead to recruiters poaching their organisation’s talent. If that happens, it means the profile has been written incorrectly. The LinkedIn profile-writing strategy for a team member versus a job seeker is very different. It is a different process, with a different result. If the profile is written based on what the organisation wants to achieve, then it won’t appear in talent pools and it will be clear to a recruiter that the team member is not looking for a job.

Looking Stupid Many clients we work with have a fear of looking stupid or failing to manage their profile successfully. They may also be concerned about not knowing how to handle the situation if they post something online that people disagree with.

8| CONNECT: Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation Competitors Some people are concerned that their competition will use LinkedIn to see what they’re doing. “What if they try to steal my clients? How do I protect my connections, my clients and myself ?” So What’s This Really About?

Connection As humans, we have an innate need to belong. Our sense of community and tribe dictates our self-esteem. In today’s digital world, it supports our need for connection through sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

People Buy From People People buy from people, and they buy from people they know, like and trust. This marketing speak has been going around for years, but it is amplified in the connected and social-network economy.

Accessibility If you have built a website, you may find it takes a few weeks to index correctly with Google. This has a high impact on your business if you’re sitting and waiting for enquiries via your website. LinkedIn’s indexing generally takes two days, so you can be found in a Google search much faster.

Experts If you aren’t positioning yourself effectively to your market, someone else is. Your expertise needs to be accessible to your market via blogs, videos, books and podcasts.

LinkedIn is the perfect place to leverage your thought leadership.

24/7 Waiting to get in contact with people or doing your research by making phone calls doesn’t work anymore. With websites, Facebook and LinkedIn, businesses are now

Chapter 1: Why is LinkedIn So Important For You? |9

open to the public 24/7 and marketing needs to be able to reach customers in the hours that suit them. Clients respond to emails at 2am and on Sundays. We no longer work 9-5 and no longer have a work-life balance. It’s just life.

Low Cost We live in a global – not just a local – marketplace. The internet has opened access to experts across the world on oDesk, Elance, Popexpert, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Accessing experts in other countries used to be expensive, but we can now work with experts around the world at a competitive price.

Rely on Search By purely relying on a Google search to get clients, you risk minimising your positioning. You become like toothpaste on the supermarket shelf, where people are trying to decide which one to buy but they’re not sure, so they just buy the one on special. You need to stand out to maximise your positioning in the market and show what makes you different.

Connection This is about being found for what you want to be found for, and creating networks and leads. It’s about being positioned correctly in your client’s mind so that leads convert to sales more easily. As Seth Godin in Tribes says, your network becomes your greatest asset for business growth.

Reflections and Actions

• How much does your marketing currently cost?

• How are you measuring the success of those activities?

• How do you manage your face-to-face relationships online?

• How do you educate your tribe?

–  –  –

B ill Owens, the 40th Governor of Colorado, once said: “We know that, when it comes to technology and the economy, if you’re not constantly moving forward, then – without a doubt – you’re moving backwards.” LinkedIn can seem like a huge beast and knowing where to start can be bewildering.

This leads to procrastination and putting it into the too-hard basket. You may feel frustrated because you know there is an opportunity there, but you don’t know how to make the most of it.

Furthermore, perhaps you don’t want to use LinkedIn for selling but as a positioning tool when networking. People can view your profile for validation after face-to-face activity, such as attending events. You may also want to use your profile as a way of validating yourself as a leader if you’re advertising a job for a new team member.

You Is LinkedIn right for you?

Just having a profile for the sake of it is no reason to have one. At the moment, it might be a validator for you more than a business development tool.

Bridget Loudon, the CEO of Expert 360, an online brokerage site matching management consultants with clients across the world, tells a story about her parents, who live in South Africa, and her grandmother, who lives in Newcastle. Her parents were trying to find the right surgeon to help her grandmother who had a shoulder injury. They conducted their research for a surgeon in Newcastle from their home in South Africa.

In terms of your profile, you need to think outside your immediate surroundings and immediate location. Someone, somewhere in the world is trying to find you.

We are not in a local marketplace any more. We’re in a global marketplace and you need to be easily validated by people who can’t physically see you or who aren’t familiar with you.

–  –  –

• Have your own business

• Clients ask for you

• Are the leader of an organisation or school

• Are in business development or sales

• Are a consultant, trainer, coach, facilitator or an expert in your field

• Have the type of business that is reactive

• Rely on Google searches for clients For example, if you have a pest control business, you could pay Google AdWords $10 – $10.50 for a click-through from a Google page. Your profile could still be well validated if you have a good relationship with real estate agents or property managers.

It can still complement your business, even if you’re not necessarily using it for aggressive business and sales growth. People buy from people and they buy from people they know, like and trust. In the LinkedIn field, this will mostly be business to business, but it can also be used for business to consumer, especially for referrals. For example, if I’m a personal trainer, my clients may be on LinkedIn, so it can be easier for them to refer me to their friends. They can get a feel for who I am far more quickly on LinkedIn than Facebook, especially if I’m not connected to my friends at work on Facebook.

When a potential client needs help, they will either ask their networks or undertake a search. You need to make sure your business turns up in both those cases easily.

For example, if I hurt myself and I need to see a chiropractor, I will more than likely Google “Chiropractor Brisbane” and rely on the website that comes up. You can also use your LinkedIn profile to come up in the same search.

12 | CONNECT: Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation Metrics for Measuring Where You Are Now All-Star Status You may notice you have an area on your profile that shows if you have an “All-Star” status. This means that your profile has been fully completed. If it doesn’t say “AllStar”, then you need to fill your profile with more content. Bear in mind, though, that having an “All-Star” status doesn’t mean you have an effective profile. It just means the fields have been completed.

Visibility and Who Viewed Your Profile

Chapter 2: Where Are You Now? | 13

If you have a Premium Account, you may notice a graph in the “Who Viewed Your Profile” area that shows a line of how many people viewed your profile and, in the bar graph underneath, the action that was taken. If your line graph is going up but your bar graph is consistently going down, this may mean that your content is not relevant to your audience. If the line is going down but the bar graph is going up, this means the right person is looking at your profile. So a line going down isn’t always a bad sign.

How You Rank for Profile Views You’ll also notice this option that shows you how you rank in your connections.

Many people place a lot of importance on this. However, it depends on who you’re connected to. If you’re an IT salesperson and you’re connected with lots of other IT sales people, you will rank low. If you’re the only IT salesperson in your connections, you will rank highly. There are too many factors to take into consideration to lose a lot of time managing this metric.

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