LinkedIn - Stop LinkedIn Whinging And Wake Up To What You've Got

  • by Steve Phillip
  • 23 Mar, 2017

5 Tips To Attracting New Customers On LinkedIn

If I see another comment or post from a LinkedIn user whinging about the new user interface or that LinkedIn needs to get their act together because it's a shambles since the new look platform arrived, I'll personally disconnect the accounts of those users (not sure how but I'm sure I'll find a way)!

Complaining about LinkedIn this way is like constantly moaning about the state of the world we live in, whilst forgetting to live a life or taking strides to make the situation better. 

LinkedIn is not the perfect platform, its new user interface is buggy, certain functions don't,  it's takes a few more seconds to load pages (anyone remember dial-up internet access?!) and THEY'VE STOLEN ALL MY BELOVED FREE FEATURES!

Free features? Did someone say free?!

What Does LinkedIn Offer You For Free?

Well let's ask James, a client of mine who emailed me this week and told me how he had been responding to posts requesting information and support rather than simply indirect selling or marketing to his LinkedIn network and how this approach continues to pay dividends. He provided two examples: "A colleague sent me a link to a post requesting some information on storage solutions. I responded immediately and also called to introduce myself and the solutions I could offer. The post was only 4hrs old but within this time the company had already received information from another supplier and placed the order! Unfortunately I just missed out on this opportunity but it demonstrates how effective the platform can be. The MD of this company, with just a single post, must have saved hours of searching around for potential suppliers."

James had some better news however; "Scrolling through posts yesterday evening instead of the TV channels, I came across a similar request reaching out for info. I immediately drafted an email on the mobile (as it was late) and made contact by email and phoned first thing this morning to qualify their requirements. I quoted this afternoon and arranged for the customer to visit to our site on Monday to collect some samples for trial.   Like most things in life, with positivity and persistence good things will come your way, eventually!"

I'd like you take note of the final line from James's comments; "Like most things in life, with positivity and persistence, good things will come your way, eventually!". If you're expecting to surf LinkedIn once in a blue moon, send out an occasional invitation to connect or randomly like and comment on a few posts and that new customers will somehow come a knocking at you door, well welcome to the real world!

In the UK, only 2 out of 10 invitations to connect will result in an acceptance (at Linked2Success we achieve between 45-65%). If you don't have a daily plan to allocate at least half an hour per day to specific activities on LinkedIn then why are you expecting to achieve results?

Man Without Facebook Page Lands His Biggest Client To Date.

I had a fascinating conversation this week with a prospective client, who, earlier in the week, had invited me to connect with him on LinkedIn. Following a couple of back and forth messages, we arranged to speak on the phone. Richard explained how he had recently set up his own manufacturing business and had been highly sceptical of social media - he doesn't even have a Facebook account (imagine that!!).  "I set up a profile for my company and even created one for my wife's new business. I then began sharing some posts and started making connections with relevant contacts. I also learnt the importance of sharing striking images on social media and one of my wife's LinkedIn posts has so far achieved more than 50,000 views! The most surprising thing though, has been that I've won new clients for my business, in fact our biggest client to date came from LinkedIn." 

Since January this year, I have personally secured a training contract with a UK automotive manufacturer and delivered several workshops for them. I'm currently involved in similar discussions with another European  motor company. Both of these opportunities came from posts I had shared but more importantly, from the subsequent conversations I had with individuals who left comments on my posts. One of these online conversations went on for weeks, all contained within LinkedIn. In fact, I have yet to speak with this individual on the phone, let alone meet but our conversations continue to thrive built upon the principles of know, like and trust.

Was I lucky to uncover these opportunities? Definitely not! I plan to meet people like this on LinkedIn. I don't always know who the specific contact will be, I just know the type of person I want to attract.

How Do You Attract Your Ideal Customer On LinkedIn?

1. Know who you want to speak to - create a target persona; what industry are they in, which company do they work for, what is their job role?
2. Understand what their pain points are - what challenges does your ideal customer experience in their business and how can you solve these?3. Map your LinkedIn profile - make sure your profile let's your customer know that you understand them and demonstrates how you can help?4. Create a content plan - know what you want to say to your prospective customer and create/source relevant content and share it with them.
5. Have more conversations - check LinkedIn daily and respond to those who engage with your posts and messages - engage with theirs.

Timing is everything. If you don't reply to my message or my request for help then you might be busy. However, what your lack of response tells me is that my message is less important than other tasks you have to deal with this week and if that's the case fair enough, I'll move on to someone else who is more able to engage and do business with me.

If building a professional network is important to you or you have a role in sales or business development then you'll want to apply the tips I'm sharing in this post. However, if this kind of activity is not part of your remit, then you don't need to apply any of the approaches or principles I've mentioned, you can simply continue to surf LinkedIn.

Yes, LinkedIn is far from perfect and I am open to any suggestions and recommendations to consider other platforms. However, my criteria will be; is this replacement platform the No. 1 online professional networking site, does it have more than 460 million members, in over 200 countries and territories and has it been established for more than 14 years?

Many thanks for viewing my post and would you please share it with anyone you feel would benefit from the advice provided.

Steve

If you have any private questions on the subject matter you can connect with me on LinkedIn and send me a message, or else you’ll find my contact details on my LinkedIn profile uk.linkedin.com/in/stevephillip . You can also follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Linked2Steve
by Steve Phillip 11 Oct, 2017

Imagine it's Day-1 of your business. You've created your product or service, set up your website and you're ready to open your 'store'. Now, all you require is for plenty of customers to visit your shop.

Picture your business, whatever product or service you produce, as a retail shop on a busy high street. You head to the front door, to open-up for the day when suddenly you stop dead in your tracks. As you look out, you see a crowd of people, hundreds in fact and they're all looking in your shop window - some are actually knocking on your door, wanting to come in and check out what you have for sale.

by Steve Phillip 29 Sep, 2017
The most common blocker, I've discovered when working with sales teams and individuals, which prevents them from creating a consistent pipeline of new prospects using LinkedIn, is that often, they simply don't know what to say next, once they've connected with another Linkedn user. In this post, I'm going to provide you with a proven method to help you open up more conversations on LinkedIn with your ideal audience.
by Steve Phillip 05 Sep, 2017

"I'm leaving LinkedIn, as it's done nothing for me!"  That was the headline of a LinkedIn post I read recently. I was alerted to this outburst by one of my connections, who had tagged me, possibly in the hope that I might be able to offer this individual some words of comfort and explain where it was all going wrong. It soon became obvious when I viewed his profile however, just why LinkedIn wasn't working for him.

A half completed profile, no posts or evidence of engagement with anyone else's activity, quite what was this person expecting? If you decide that telemarketing is a way of attracting new clients but you don't actually dial and make any calls, guess what - you won't be successful at telesales. If you turn up to a networking event with no clear idea of how you're going to explain what you do and how you can help others and you leave your business cards at home, you're not going to be the world's greatest networker. So, why do some people expect LinkedIn to be any different?

by Steve Phillip 06 Aug, 2017

Engagement is a word you'll hear quite a lot when it comes to using LinkedIn and other social media but what does engagement really mean and how do you know if you are being engaging online or not?

Among other definitions, the English Oxford Dictionary suggests that the verb 'To engage' means to occupy or attract (someone's interest or attention) or involve someone in (a conversation or discussion). When you examine your most recent LinkedIn posts do you feel they occupied or attracted anyone's attention and when was the last time you got involved in a conversation (N.B a conversation is not sending a thumbs up reply or a standard LinkedIn response message) with another LinkedIn user?

by Steve Phillip 10 Jul, 2017

Any infection will lay you low and if that illness continues for more than a few days, there's always a risk, in some instances, that it could become terminal. Many small to medium sized businesses experience a particular type of infection that if not treated will first paralyse that business and in time take such a hold that the outcome is the death of that company.

Last week I met with a sales director to discuss LinkedIn training and I how could help that organisation's sales team develop a continuous pipeline of potential new clients.

As the sales director read through my proposal, he came to a list of the clients I had worked with to date; firms like FedEx, the British Red Cross, Toyota GB, Deloitte, Oxford Brookes University and many others. He turned to me and said "There's some pretty big names here. How did you get to work with these firms?" . I replied with a slight smile and one word, "LinkedIn" .

by Steve Phillip 05 Jul, 2017

1 in every 5 parents think that there are no age requirements for joining a social media site and most parents in the UK have no idea whether their children are old enough to have a social media account.

by Steve Phillip 12 Jun, 2017

I got cross this week, mainly cross with myself I must say. On Thursday, I'd set some time aside, late in the day, to carry out my usual LinkedIn and social selling activities, when I received a scheduled call from a client.

I’d kind of expected the call to last 15 minutes or so and when, 45 minutes later, we were still talking, I began to realise that my social selling window had rapidly diminished.

After 20 minutes, I knew I’d missed the boat, as far as engaging with my network for that day was concerned and I   was   cross for 2 reasons; one because I knew I was clock watching and after 20 minutes or so, not giving my client the full attention he deserved and 2, because I knew that I should not have left my social selling activity until the last job of the day!

by Steve Phillip 29 May, 2017
Have you ever found yourself thinking   "I'd like to send that person a LinkedIn connection request"   and instead, you hesitate and think better of it? Are there moments when you want to leave a comment on someone else's post but a mild level of stress builds up inside and you quickly move your fingers away from the keyboard? Do you have some great insight that you'd like to share with your LinkedIn network but the very thought of posting an update, let alone writing an article, fills you with dread? If you experience any of these traits, then welcome to Parapet Syndrome!

'Putting your head over the parapet' is a term with various definitions, some of which include:   to do something that may cause people to criticise you; to be brave enough to state an opinion that might upset someone; to do or say something you think is important even though it may have bad results.   Each of these examples involve taking a risk, where the outcome could be a level of physical or mental pain for person sticking their head over the parapet.

by Steve Phillip 15 May, 2017
In the new age of social selling, if you keep on doing what you've always done, you will not achieve what you used to get.

There are few things that annoy me more than a cold call, which interrupts my morning, my routine, my thought process and my equilibrium. You'd think by now that I would be disciplined enough not to answer such a call, especially when I'm in the middle of doing something 'important' but no, like you possibly, I kid myself that this unrecognised number could be my next most valuable client. Of course it isn't - instead it's Mike from an insurance company asking me if I have time to discuss my options for health cover.

After 2 minutes of Mike trying to convince me to spend "just 10 minutes" with him on the phone to discuss how I might protect myself and my loved ones from the devastating consequences of leaving my health to chance, I manage to release myself from our call and attempt to get my head back into the business proposal I was writing before Mike intruded on my time.
by Steve Phillip 02 May, 2017

If you’re reading this post, the chances are you’re a parent, with a child or children who attend school and if you’re not, then you probably know someone who is. If you are a teacher then you're probably wondering why I'm providing parents with advice about how to criticise you? If so, then please read on and be reassured.

Rarely, these days, does a week go by, when we don’t hear coverage on the news about cases of online bullying. You’d be forgiven for thinking that this phenomenon, tagged as ‘cyberbullying’, is mainly aimed at children, such as the tragic story of 14 year old Megan Evans , from Millford Haven, who, in February 2017, was driven to take her own life, following a consistent campaign of cyber-bullying on the social media site Snapchat.

Such stories are particularly heart breaking when they involve children. Equally concerning though is the increase with which teachers are on the receiving end of similar bullying and abuse and often from the parents of the children they teach.

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) receives hundreds of calls every week from teachers who are being ‘cyberbullied’ The majority of such complaints are about parents using websites and social media, in particular, to attack those they entrust with their childrens’ education.

This week, the media has emphasised the problem of inappropriate online posts by singling out some of the top web and social media sites for failing to do enough to prevent illegal and hateful content being shared online.


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