I am not going to lie or sugar coat it. Social media is NOT my strong point. I understand the importance of social media, I coach people on when and why to use it in the big picture of their marketing plan, but if the hands-on, day-to-day of keeping active on social media were a subject in school, my grade would be a D, at best.
But here I am writing an article about a social media tool that you are probably overlooking. It may seem hypocritical, but I swear this tool is so effective ….IF you use it correctly. That tool is LinkedIn.
What LinkedIn is NOT:
The big mistake is that most people think of LinkedIn as another Facebook and they assume that they should use it like Facebook. Which leads to their greatest objection – I don’t have enough time to adequately post on Facebook, and thus, there is no way I have time for another social media tool. LinkedIn is NOT Facebook nor should it be used like Facebook.
What LinkedIn IS:
LinkedIn is a relationship building tool for professionals. There is no need to post about your beautiful new manicure, or a photo of your wonderfully prepared restaurant meal. Save that for Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. LinkedIn is where professionals live virtually. Here’s a great analogy – if Twitter is a nightclub, and Facebook is the office watercooler, then LinkedIn is the evening networking event.
Imagine there was a weekly networking event happening in your town every Tuesday night where key influencers in your industry religiously attended – the newspaper editor, the magazine editor, the owners of the most successful businesses that are already in front of your target market, the president of the bank, the president of your industry’s largest association, etc., etc., etc. Do you think you would make an effort to attend once or twice?
Notice that I did not tell you that your ideal clients were going to be at the networking event. Instead, it will be full of KEY INFLUENCERS. This is one of the most important distinctions for LinkedIn. LinkedIn is far less a tool for building your client base – and far more a tool for building relationships with key influencers that can lead to symbiotic business relationships.
What I love most about LinkedIn is that it provides a platform for you to get access to key influencers you never could have found before social media. What’s so great about that? It’s the starting point for joint ventures that could result in quantum leaps for your business. It could be a serious game changer for you.
For example, maybe you have a passion for wine and travel. You go out to dinner with a friend who is a wine distributor and tells you that one of the very large wine producers offers an incentive trip every year for its highest selling distributors. You get an idea to put together a sales incentive cruise for a large wine producer. Thanks to your friend, you have the name of the wine producer that offers the incentive trip each year. So how do you begin taking action on your idea? If you have done the work and grown your network on LinkedIn, you can jump on LinkedIn and within a few minutes have access to the very person you would like to pitch your idea to.
Do you now see what a game changer LinkedIn could be for you?
Where Do You Begin?
If you want to take advantage of LinkedIn, be creative and work it to its fullest potential and use it for what it’s best for – a relationship building tool for professionals – then you should follow GIFTE VP of Business Development, Vanessa McGovern’s simple 3 step formula: 1) Build, 2) Grow 3) Engage.
Build your profile so it’s GREAT. Your profile is you – NOT your business. If you have more than one business, it doesn’t matter – have 1 profile and make it about you. You can mention both businesses in your profile. Make your profile benefits based, not features based. In other words, make it magnetic.
Grow your network of connections. It’s not about who you know, it’s about who knows you. So accept connections from everybody. There is no risk because this is a professional platform, not a personal platform. It doesn’t matter if the connection requests are from complete strangers. The more connections you have – the bigger your network – and thus, the more leverage you have. The golden number is 500 connections. Get online daily until you meet your goal of 500 connections.
Engage with your connections by adding value. Post in your groups. Share great content or interesting updates on your timeline.
There’s much more that can be taught about how to use LinkedIn effectively. It truly can be a game changer in your business. We recently had a client who followed these 3 steps diligently. Within a few weeks, she had connected with a fabulous Pied Piper for a group river cruise and had 23 cabins booked. So if you think LinkedIn could be a great tool for you (and if you want more groups – you HAVE to be on LinkedIn), and want to learn more, then listen to Vanessa’s recent webinar on LinkedIn. Just click HERE to access.
In addition, building a magnetic profile can be challenging for many people. Because of this, Vanessa offers a 90 minute consult where she works with you to write an effective and magnetic profile. To learn more about this consultation, email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.