«PERSONAL BRANDING EXPERT LINKEDIN BRANDING EXPERT JANE ANDERSON & KYLIE CHOWN CONNECT LEVERAGE your LINKEDIN PROFILE for BUSINESS GROWTH and LEAD ...»
1. Strategy (What): What do you want to be doing with your clients? What do you help them with? What value do you bring? What problems do your customers have that you are trying to solve? For example, if you’re a school principal, you’re solving a parent’s issue of deciding what school to enrol their child in. If you’re an executive coach, you’re helping people with their confidence or worklife balance. You’re solving their problem of feeling burnt out and helping them regain their energy to re-connect to their work.
2. Leads (Who): The connection part is about knowing who you want to work with, so that your profile generates leads and puts you in front of the right people. If you’re not able to move to a face-to-face or phone conversation, then you’re not moving people to the next step. Clients don’t magically appear from nowhere and buy from you. You need to make it easy for them to have a conversation with you.
3. Responses (How): What do you say when you want to connect with others or when they want to connect with you? Do you just use the default settings LinkedIn gives you? Do you know how to create a script that you use with potential clients? By personalising your interactions, you will move much more quickly than you will by just using what LinkedIn gives you. Default settings make people feel like a commodity; that you don’t really care and you’re just in it for you.
Push, Pull and Perspire Our goal is to get both Push and Pull working in harmony with the least amount of Perspiration. If you have nothing in your profile, you will get nothing. If you have the right words and language in your profile, you’re more likely to attract people who want those services.
Push comes from being able to put your content out there. Pushing content supports the pull strategy. A real direct push is about approaching people directly.
Take Control Connecting with people on LinkedIn is a bit like dating. If you decide to lock yourself in your house and say, “Well, one day Prince Charming’s going to turn up at my front door,” then it’s not going to happen.
You need to make some effort to reach out and connect with people. To do that,
you need to:
• Know what you want and who you’re going to connect with.
• Pre-write your scripts. Make sure you know what you’re going to say when you go to connect with people.
Decide if you’re going to connect by standard connection or InMail. This will be dependent on your budget, the amount of characters you’re going to use and if you have a premium account.
People buy when they’re ready. Your job is to ensure you’re the person they contact when they need help. Overall, there are three things you need to be doing with
24 | CONNECT: Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation Step 1: Goal What do you want to achieve with your profile? Do you want to get into a new market?
Are you trying to find clients? Do you want to attract talent? Are you looking for strategic alliances? What is the purpose of your profile?
You can do all this work on your profile but if you’re not clear about what you want, you’re going to get frustrated because it’s not working for you. What you’re doing has to be crystal clear. To achieve that, you need to state who it is that you want to work with, what problems you solve and how you go about it.
Your profile is like a mirror. Your customer looks at your profile, thinking: “Where can I see me in your profile?” The unconscious decisions they make are about how you look – in keywords, in industries and the types of people you’ve worked with. It’s
It was John F. Kennedy who said: “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” You need to be clear about the niche you work with, your message and markets.
Step 1: Build Your Profile Once you’re clear about your goal, the next step is to focus on building your profile.
The profile needs to be built around your goal and the future, not the past; otherwise, it will look like an obituary. This is often the step that is most overlooked and yet it is the most crucial, as you only have four seconds to help your reader understand what you do and how you help.
It’s not all about you. There needs to be more emphasis on how you help your client, and less emphasis about what you love, what inspires you, or how you want to change the world. You need to make sure you use collateral that builds trust in your client and
sings to the problems they have. As Matt Church, author of Sell Your Thoughts, says:
“They don’t care, they’re not listening and you don’t matter.” At this crucial stage, your profile needs to have full SEO so that you’re turning up in search results and competing on keywords. Your profile also needs to be tested for the pages you are turning up on in LinkedIn and Google.
Step 2: Content Strategy The next step involves looking at posting and content. You need to have a content strategy for what you’re going to educate people about. About 80% of your content strategy should be sharing, commenting and liking content. The other 20% needs to be original content to educate people about your area of expertise.
This isn’t necessarily about you selling stuff online. This is about how you address problems your customers have and what your thought leadership is in relation to that.
With the average person spending more than two hours per day on social media, you need to give them something to read. Robert Cialdini, the author of Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion, says that you need five to seven touch points to influence and persuade someone to do what you want them to do. Make content writing a habit and a priority – it is the number-one activity to be done each day or week, not something that is done when you have time.
26 | CONNECT: Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation Step 3: Connect Clients we have worked with will say things such as: “I’ve tried doing direct approaches,” or “I’ve tried doing introductions. I don’t have any success,” when they’ve only done one or two and given up. It’s important you’re clear about what is the benchmark.
Something that can really make a difference is this first-degree connection or the introduction. This is when you see someone’s profile and you notice that they’re connected to somebody you know, and you ask for an introduction, for example, “Would you mind?” or “Could you please connect me to...” The key here is to manage how you’re positioned when you’re introduced. So you may like to write your introduction for them.
If you’re in an established group that your ideal target person is also in, they’re more likely to take notice of you. About 75-90% of people will be happy to connect with you that way, as long as the connection request is written correctly and you have written your own profile effectively. As the saying goes, “You only get one chance at a first impression!” Step 4: Searches You need to know where your market is and how to find it. Your market often includes busy people who aren’t trying to find you, particularly if they don’t know they have a problem. Sitting back and waiting for people to approach you will not get results.
Profiles of ideal clients can be found via various search functions in LinkedIn.
The reality is that LinkedIn’s search engine is not perfect and your ideal clients don’t know how to optimise their profiles, or don’t want to be found by you. This means you may have to use other means to find your ideal client on LinkedIn. It also means you need to think about the people you want to connect with and create customised conversations with. Using a spray-and-pray method only ostracises people and makes them feel like a commodity.
If you don’t have a premium account, you won’t have all the options of searching for all roles, but you will have some. A premium account will give you access to greater search functions and can be worth the investment if you are undertaking an aggressive growth strategy with your profile.
If you’re doing all the previous steps, about 90% of your leads on LinkedIn will want to meet with you. If you’re getting in front of those people, you should be closing at least one in four sales and that’s even if you’re not a great salesperson. The remaining 10% of leads will come to you directly without you approaching them.
Reflections and Actions
• What is your goal with your profile? Are you looking for new clients, strategic partners, investors, etc.?
• Who do you help?
• What do you know that you can share with your connections?
28 | CONNECT: Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Business Growth and Lead Generation Want More Help?
Some of the areas she can assist your business with include:
• Speaking at conferences and events
• LinkedIn sales strategy for organisations
• Personal branding mentoring
• High-impact presentations
Jane’s other publications include:
• IMPACT: How to Build Your Personal Brand for the Connection Economy, available on Amazon.com.
• Understanding Y: co-authored with Charlie Caruso, published by Wiley.
Available on Amazon.com and all other online retail book stores.
She can be found at www.jane-anderson.com “Jane Anderson is the go-to expert for building your personal brand and with CONNECT, she helps leaders and business owners transform their relationship with LinkedIn from one of awkward and confusing social platform into that of powerful business-building ally.” – Dan Gregory, CEO The Impossible Institute
• LinkedIn profile development
• LinkedIn coaching
• Resume writing for executives
• Job search strategy and coaching Kylie has been featured in Australian Institute of Management (AIM), Franchise Business, HRM America and Leaders in Heels.
She is currently one of eight Certified Master Writers in Australia and one of three Reach Certified Branding Analysts.
She can be found at www.kyliechown.com “Kylie helped me to understand the complexity of LinkedIn profile development, from developing a SEO strategy to having a profile that positions me and the business in a way that supports our future goals. This combined with the coaching means that I can now leverage LinkedIn to represent and support the business in a proactive manner.” – David McDonald, Chief Executive Officer If you would like to purchase CONNECT for you or your team, click here.