The goal of every business is to engage in meaningful conversations that turn prospects into customers, but many fail to provide the value necessary for those transitions to occur. Many also fail to actually start conversations with their prospective customers, choosing instead to let the fear of failure keep them from trying.
John Bellamy of Direct MSGing says this is especially true of LinkedIn, where there’s a lot of potential profit that companies leave on the table.
To harness that profit, John recommends approaching LinkedIn with the goal of building a foundation of trust and credibility.
Let’s get into what that entails.
Your Foundational Assets
The entire process for engaging in successful conversations on LinkedIn rests upon the strength of your foundational assets. These are your personal profile and company page.
Both of these assets need to share a story that speaks directly with your target market, meaning people should be able to see a clear connection between your profile and the services your company provides. Each page should also include content that encourages engagement and connections.
To put it simply, you want people to WANT to connect with you.
And you want the decision of whether to connect to be a simple “yes” or “no”, not a “maybe”.
This isn’t possible if your foundational assets don’t support the authority and credibility your outreach success relies on.
Once you solidify your foundation, your ability to engage in meaningful conversations becomes a matter of marketing outreach.
The process: there’s a whole bunch of things to cover.
Top level – foundational asset. Personal profile and company page. Make sure foundational asset shares story, speaks to the target market, engaging w/them so they want to connect with you. Once you get that right, it’s a matter of marketing outreach. Most people are okay at sending or accepting a connection request, but few follow up. This is true in sales in general. We believe there’s a cost to that connection. How do you maximize them and get a return on that?
What does a proper follow up look like? There’s the process of getting the profile right. We typically look at LI from an OB marketing perspective. Leverage sales navigator, get really clear on the target market you want to reach out to. Send personalized connection request. Typically, send 3-5 messages over the next 45-60 days. Not going traditional internet marketing where you send an email every day. Intention isn’t to get a person to buy something immediately. Want to build connections w/them, add value around what they might require, then have an opportunity for them to take the next step.
Nailing the Messaging Sequence
Most people are comfortable sending and accepting connection requests, but few actually know what to do from there in order to maximize the cost of those connections and get a return.
This is where you can differentiate yourself from your competitors.
All it takes is a solid messaging sequence that drives conversations, captures people’s interests, and addresses topics that are relevant to your target audience. This sequence should typically consist of 3 to 5 messages over the course of 45 to 60 days after connect.
Crafting Your Messages
To begin, though, be sure you send a “thank you for connecting” message that doesn’t go straight into a sales pitch. Instead, make it relevant to the individual person you’ve connected with and include a short video about you, your organization, and your services or product that will drive the person to an optimized page on your website. More than likely, only about 10% of the people will actually click through, but that isn’t a bad thing. Instead, the thank you message serves as a cornerstone piece for the involved conversation you hope to have moving forward.
From there, you should make sure your later messages continue to add value and address your targets’ pain points. This will likely require a mindset shift, as unapologetic prospecting isn’t typical in many industries, but it’s important to keep your qualifications in mind when you craft these messages. You’ve become an expert in your industry for a reason, and you know what you’re talking about. That confidence should shine through in every communication and at every touchpoint of the connection process. Without it, your conversations are unlikely to advance past the connection request.
- LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool is a great way to get really clear on the target market you want to reach out to.
- Don’t go straight into a sales pitch after connecting – it won’t work out.
- You want people to say “yes” or “no” to connecting when they see your profile – NOT “maybe”.
- The “thank you for connecting” message is the cornerstone piece of a solid conversation strategy.
- LinkedIn conversations aren’t about having a huge ROI. Instead, your goal should be to provide value and get them interested in learning more about your business.
- Your personal branding should ALWAYS match the company branding.