On Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 11 AM/ET, Viveka von Rosen, @LinkedInExpert, is the guest on the Talk Business With Howard radio show. Join us and listen in to this jampacked discussion with the latest information on how to successfully prospect for business using LinkedIn. You can listen to the rebroadcast of the show right here on this page. Thank you, Viveka, for the LinkedIn Q&A post to get the conversation started! -Howard-
Q: Can you really get clients on LinkedIn?
Yes, in fact 43% of marketers have landed a client on LinkedIn http://linkedprospecting.com/infographic-how-top-sales-people-use-linkedin-to-sell-more/
Q: What is the secret to successful prospecting on LinkedIn?
Visibility, Communications, Positioning and Follow up!
Q: What do you mean by visibility? How do you increase visibility?
Prospects might not know you by name, but they do know the type of person they are looking for. There are certain steps you need to take to be found by the people you want to be found by for the things you want to be found for. One Ninja Trick for visibility/findability is LinkedIn Skills – Go www.LinkedIn.com/skills to find and add the skills (and keywords) that other people are searching for on LinkedIn. This is not the Skills section in your profile (although make sure to get your skills listed too!) Skills is a hidden page on LinkedIn – your secret weapon if you know where to find it!
You also want to expand your Professional Headline to include what you do, whom you serve and what makes you different. Usually it just says Title at Company – but you have 120 characters to work with!
Add the appropriate keywords in your Skills (50 Skills can be added), Experience Title (100 characters) & Description (1000 characters), Summary (2000 characters), Projects, & Interests (1000 characters) too. Adding the right search terms to the right sections will make you more visible.
Q: What does visibility have to do with prospecting?
The best prospects are the ones who find you! They are already partially sold. If you can create a visible enough profile you are more likely to get people contacting you.
Q: What are some of the best ways to engage with prospects on LinkedIn?
Use the channels LinkedIn gives you: Invitations, Introductions, Messages and InMails.
- When inviting someone to LinkedIn, use the “groups” option when possible.
- Customize your greeting (you have 300 characters) to tell people why you want to connect with them.
- Be proactive. Grow your network before you need them.
Introductions are one of LinkedIn’s most powerful and under-used tools. The Introduction is similar to a warm handshake, and can be very effective when reaching out to a prospect.
- Ask the “Introducer” first if they are willing to introduce you, and if they say yes use the “Get Introduced link.” (The “Get Introduced” link is just to the to the right of “Send InMail” dropdown)
- Remember to thank the Introducer, give them an “out” and then tell the “Introducee” why you want to be connected on LinkedIn.
- You get 5 Intros at a time with a free account, 15 with a paid.
Messages are a great way to communicate since they tend to get past spam filters.
- DO NOT use messages to send company promotions.
- Consider them a peer-to-peer communication channel.
- You can easily send a message and engage with a prospect thru your groups.
- When messages thru groups the same rules apply as above.
InMail is LinkedIn’s version of a FedEx – you must pay for these. They are your last result when you can’t reach the person you are looking for through other methods
- You get 3 InMails a MONTH with a basic premium membership ($24)
- Or you can buy them for $10 each (up to 10): https://www.linkedin.com/secure/inmail_v4?displayProducts
Q: How can you Position yourself in front of prospects?
First of all, look your best!
- Have a great photo – no logos.
- Make sure your profile is free of errors by creating your profile first in a Word document. (You can also manage formatting and add special characters (like bullets) in word.)
- Make sure your profile is focused on benefit to the reader, what you offer, your USP.
- Don’t be afraid to add testimonials, recommendations and awards you’ve received.
- Customize your LinkedIn UR: by clicking on the edit link to the right of your existing URL and then following LinkedIn’s steps to customize the link.
Show your altruism!
- LinkedIn has a new Volunteer Experience & Causes section that allows you to you’re your volunteer work
- You can also add information on how you like to donate your time and talent
- Options are joining a nonprofit or skills-based volunteering (pro bono consulting).
- Many prospects can be found on boards you serve – so add this section to your profile.
Add your contact info to the Contact Me Section at the bottom of your profile.
Q: How else can you get in front of prospects?
Make sure to use the updates section daily – LinkedIn Updates are much more robust than they used to be.
- You can mention people and companies, add links and files.
- Make sure you take a little time each day to “like” and “comment” on the updates of network as well.
You will also want to join Strategic Groups.
- Join groups in your own market or industry, your prospects industry, alumni, open and some big groups.
- Once you join a group you can send a message to strategic members /prospects or invite strategic members to connect with you.
- Groups are the easiest place to communicate with LinkedIn members you are not connected to.
Make sure to organize your prospect network once you have connected to them!
- Tag your network to organize them.
- Once your connections are tagged, you can send them strategic, helpful, messages to stay top of mind.
- Send a helpful hint or tip a few times a month to strategic tagged connections. With contact details of course.
Q: Anything not to do with prospects?
Don’t use messages or updates to SELL! Remember the 80/20 rule. LinkedIn is for building relationships, not selling your stuff.
Viveka von Rosen is author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”. CEO of Linked Into Business, and co-founder of LinkedProspecting, she also hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter (#LinkedInChat on Tuesday nights at 8 PM/ET) and co-moderates LinkedStrategies, the largest LinkedIn strategy group on LinkedIn. Forbes has listed her as a top social media influencer, and she has been cited in Money Magazine, Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Mashable, The Miami Herald, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner!