Every business owner I’ve ever talked to is like an impatient fisherman.
They want to know the best place to catch a fish. Somewhere where you don’t stand around for hours but can drop your line in and haul in a fresh one right away.
Fortunately in marketing, there is one completely legal place to fish that is stocked with ideal clients, decision makers, people with money who want to buy.
What I’m talking about is LinkedIn.
With over 135 million members, chances are good that your target customers are there on LinkedIn waiting for you to connect with them. Here are some strategies for getting in touch with the people who could become your customers:
1. LinkedIn’s advance search lets you target people, groups, and companies. Here you can type in a search term [skill, certification, industry, company, etc.]. Then, check the filters [location, company size, seniority, etc.] for a more defined search. You’ll see results that include a photo, title, and connection to you—something you can’t get on any other network.
2. Check out LinkedIn’s skills section. Here you can research skills and search terms. You’ll find related terms, people and groups who best match the skill.
3. Make a list of your target companies, go directly to the company site and locate someone you’d like to connect with. Then check to see what LinkedIn groups they belong to, join one of them and send them an invitation based on your common membership. This commonality will increase the odds of your invitation being accepted.
4. It’s easy for any company to set up a LinkedIn company page, taking only about 15 minutes. Invite customers to leave recommendations on the products and services page on your LinkedIn company page.
5. Add LinkedIn’s blog application to your personal profile to pull in company blog updates. Install the SlideShare application into your personal profile. Upload a PowerPoint about your company’s services and the presentation will appear on your profile.
6. Make a list of people you want to stay in touch with and follow their updates, leaving comments, and engaging in conversation. When you send your invitations, let people know why you want to connect and thank them for their consideration. And when you accept an invitation, offer to answer questions or exchange ideas about your area of expertise. Ask them a question to get a conversation going, just as you would at a networking event.
7. You can also add value by selecting articles to share that match your area of influence. Need help finding them? Check out LinkedIn Today. It presents the top shared news by industry which you can click and share with your connections. It’s that easy.
8. Something else that makes connecting easy is the feature that allows you to ask and answer questions on LinkedIn. This handy section, located under the “more” tab, gives you insights into what people think about the topics you’re interested in. You simply select the category and send a request to people you’d like to hear from. You can use the answers to contribute to a research project, a white paper, or a blog post.
9. Answering questions (also located under the “more” tab) on LinkedIn is a proven strategy for positioning you or your business as the go-to resource in your niche. Like most marketing tactics, the more strategic your answering efforts, the better your results. Just browse the categories and select a few that you want to watch.
|About Dan Sherman
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