Extraordinary!! That's a word I would use to explain how my journey has been through the years since I not only discovered LinkedIn, but actively started doing business and helping people around the world.
They say the journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step, and that first step to greatness is what I will like to encourage everyone to take who is still contemplating if their time on LinkedIn will be worth it or not.
Unlike many social media platforms that are accessible to all and sundry, LinkedIn stands out when it comes to doing business, little wonder why professionals, entrepreneurs, marketers, and other people who are serious about taking their business to the next level can’t seem to get enough of the platform.
In this article, I will briefly but concisely share with you some of the things that I find not only fascinating but also intriguing and crucial which every reader who is willing to take the big next step will want to keep handy in their arsenal.
Are you ready? Let’s go..
It’s no longer news that word has gone around about how LinkedIn has opened its arms and helped not only veterans but also rookies in advancing their brand to the next level. But whether you’ve been in the game for so long, or you’re just starting, something that has always been a major concern to many business owners is how to build a strong digital brand with the aid of your LinkedIn profile. As easy as this may sound, I’m afraid, it might not be a walkover, but neither is it rocket science either. Before I go on to give you some tips on how you can overcome some common challenges that business owners face when it comes to this, let me briefly talk about the right attitude that you need to imbibe.
If you’re out to make a difference and turn over big numbers at the end of the week or month with the aid of your brand, then you have to channel all your focus, time, and attention to make it work. You have to be fully committed to it as though your life depends on it.
Everyone who starts a business does so with the end goal to make profit from it, but until your business has reached a certain standard where it can generate profit or returns with or without your presence, you just have to keep channeling all your energy to it as though your life really depends on it. Nonetheless, it doesn’t mean you should slack, when those milestones are achieved because that’s the easiest way to hit the bottom, hard.
The message here is to do everything that you can with all that you’ve got. As for challenges, you should expect to meet them now and then, but if you have the passion, will, and gut, you will surely overcome whatever obstacle may raise its ugly head. That’s the attitude and mindset you should always have. That’s the attitude of a WINNER!
Other tips that I have found necessary to help you build a strong LinkedIn profile are as follows;
Part of the requirements at the start of your business or while running it is that you know your target audience and what they might need. When this has been registered, meeting their needs will be a lot easy.
Another thing you need to keep in mind while trying to figure out your target audience is that you need to create what is known as a buyer persona. In case you haven’t got one already for yourself, you could start by doing a little survey with either the people you work with, intend to work or better still create a mental picture of who they might be, their age bracket, nationality, gender, level of education and so on. You should ask or try to visualize what they do, and this includes their title and what roles they might be playing in a company or industry. With this data, you can then go ahead and draft a list. If you have this all penned down, then you can proceed with the search for them while letting what you have written serve as a guide.
With the list as a guide, you could also extend the search to LinkedIn. And one of the easiest and fastest methods that will help you find your target audience is to do what is called an advanced search. To do this, click on the advanced link located in the right corner of the search bar on LinkedIn. You could also try using advanced search options such as keywords, titles, school, postal codes, or company.
Note: You can only search your target audience by gender or age if you do LinkedIn ads.
Another tip that will come in handy while doing the advanced search is to try a company search. You can scout for prospects or targeted audiences on the pages of companies that have LinkedIn accounts. Chances are that you might even run into a few persons who you already know or may have worked with in the past. Also, carrying out a group search can be beneficial when scouting for prospects because you both already have something in common. This allows you to directly connect and get engaged with them.
Note: You have to be well prepared and do a little research on them (by checking their profiles to see a good conversation starter) before messaging them. Else, if you send a random message to everyone you intend to start a conversation with, not only will this not yield good fruits, it will most likely be treated as spam.
A way out! Run a brief background check to find a good and neutral talking point to peak their interest.
3. Offer freebies of quality content in exchange for their emails
Never underestimate the power of an incentive. Naturally, people don’t like parting with their hard-earned money. So once you have gotten to know your prospect to an extent, you could offer them some of your paid quality content for free or at a good discount in exchange for their emails which you will further use to communicate regularly and keep them up to date with what’s new in your services. I’ve seen this work like magic over and over again.
Note; the aim of the incentive or giveaway is not to buy them over as some may choose to look at it from a different perspective, but more or less to allow them to access the quality of what you have to offer. And if they are satisfied with your product or service, you can be assured that they will consider you as their go-to person whenever the need for your product or service arises in the future.
4. Build your list on LinkedIn
If you’re looking for easy ways to give your sales productivity a major boost then you need to give “precise prospecting” a thought. This also explains why a lot of professionals that have recorded massive success in sales look in the direction of LinkedIn for prospecting.
Why is this so? You may wonder…well, the reason is that LinkedIn members already have what is similar to a self-report which includes their job history, title, educational level, etc. Without stress, this paves the way for you because it allows you to accurately gauge if it makes sense to engage with a prospect or not.
Tips to easily filter your targets on LinkedIn include;
Know Your Buyer
We’ve already shed some light on this but it will be nice to still mention it again because it’s one of the basic things you must initially do while laying the foundation. Again, it helps to know who exactly you’re looking for.
It is already a fact that LinkedIn has more than 800 million members on its platform. With the population in mind, you know it’s not humanly possible to try to contact each one of them for a potential lead. Rather than engaging in a spree of sending connection requests with hopes that it will help you get as many leads as possible, what you could do is try to narrow down your search using the following specifications.
After you must have concluded your search and found those who match your criteria, the next step is to search for look-alikes. But the look-alikes I am referring to are not in terms of matching photographs but profiles. Another handy tip is to try and check for prospects that also view various sections that are associated with the company’s contacts.
5. Run messaging campaigns on LinkedIn
The next thing that I have found to be crucial and worthy of mention through my years of surfing and learning on LinkedIn which will help take your business to the next level is message campaigns. These provide an excellent platform to further engage your prospects with the assistance of native ads displayed through channels like LinkedIn Messaging.
There are several means by which these ads can be of immense help, and some of these include custom greeting, a well-constructed body of text, CTAs (call-to-action buttons) and also creating a link in the message body of your posts or articles.
6. Keep your ears to the ground
We live in a world where we can virtually find answers to almost every problem or challenge that we may face at any point in time at the snap of our fingers. And with how far technology has brought us, one would be deformed if they do not stay up to date with trends in not only the industry that they serve but closely related niches.
With access to information at our beck and call, we owe it to ourselves and our brand to be on top of our game when it comes to learning new ways to advance whatever we are doing. The advantages of staying informed cannot be overemphasized and yet again there are disadvantages of not being current on all that is happening within your brand.
While some entrepreneurs rely on what has been working for them since they set the ball rolling, this in time can turn out to be a way of shooting one’s themselves in the foot. Because why you might be afraid of change due to the uncertainty that it brings to the table, you should not forget that your competitors are embracing those changes with the ups and downs and aren’t relenting until they discover new ways to keep their target audience engaged and satisfied.
So, you deciding not to explore new things can be dangerous because over time your clients can get bored with getting the same thing over and over again and may choose to give your competitors a try. And once they do, the chances of coming back to get the same old product from your brand are slim, and you wouldn’t want that, would you?
Remember that as a business owner trying to make a difference in your industry you must learn to be open to risk. So keep your ears on the ground by staying current with all the trends that may emanate, but I strongly advise that before jumping into putting all of the new stuff into practice, you critically through it and do you feasibility study on them.
7. Strengthen your relationship with potential customers
As some of you entrepreneurs who have been in business for a long time already know, the lifeline and often the long-term success of your organization lies in the strength of rapport that you have built with your customers over time.
In case you’re not aware, today’s customers are continually assessing their relationships with certain brands that they have come across and patronized, and a couple of missteps could mean that they can put your brand on the blacklist. The other side to this means if they are continually satisfied with what you offer then you will be valuable to them and will always remain among their top priorities.
Research done by several experts has proven that your business is more likely to sell to a loyal customer 14 times than to a new one. Again, it’s on record that focusing on the customers who are loyal to your brand can increase your ROI by 25% to 95%.
Forbes also said something vital concerning this, and it’s that loyal customers are willing to pay roughly 17% more for products or services rendered by the companies that they trust and offer them great services. What’s more? Truly satisfied customers are more likely to pay up to five times more for another purchase from your brand. Furthermore, they are four times more likely to make a referral to someone new.
To round this off, brand advocacy develops when your regular customers become your biggest cheerleaders. This means that not only will they be bigger support to your brand, but they will also be more willing to rave about your products or services to virtually all who are willing to listen.
Research yet again has proven that 92% of prospects trust word-of-mouth recommendations. From my experience over the years, I have observed that the key to building a strong rapport with your customers, regardless of the size of your business is to engage them consistently.
And how do you do that? By writing them good emails in the form of newsletters, embracing pathological empathy, exceeding their expectations, seeking feedback that shows that you genuinely care, rewarding loyalty, and being consistent and timely in your interactions with them.
8. The most important thing is that you love what you do because if you work with passion you will feel the effort 50% of the time
Sincerely, I don’t know how to begin with this very point. But I think I should just start by saying this “Passion is everything”. Passion is what will see you through when the chiefs are down. I’m certain that I wouldn’t have come this far without passion.
When some people look at most successful businessmen and women they only see the good things that surround them such as luxuries and all but get close enough to hear their untold stories and you will discover that passion is what got them far.
It’s not enough to start a business venture simply because you like it or think that because a handful of people around you seem to be making progress in that field, it is enough to go into it. That’s more or less the fastest way to waste the money, time, and effort that you would have put into something you love.
Passion is what wakes most entrepreneurs from sleep before the alarm clock. To these set of people (the enthusiasts), there’s so much to do and accomplish that they can’t wait to get on with it. Sometimes they feel the time is not even enough to do all they want to do in a day. I bet you, that if some of these highly focused and goal-driven business people have a way to forfeit their sleep to achieve their goals, they would take that option without looking back.
You must do a critical rethink concerning that brand that you’re about to set up or the one that you are currently running. Ask yourself if it’s something that makes you happy. Ask yourself if it’s something you can do for the rest of your life even if it doesn’t fetch you as many returns as you may have expected.
These are some of the few questions that you will need to have a cup of coffee over because unlike what people who are starting up have in mind, the business road can be quite bumpy. And if you are not strong-willed and passionate about what you do, you can easily crash out of the business long before you realize it.
Passion is what will keep you going when those unexpected challenges befall you. Passion is also what will give you the strength that you need on days when you can’t seem to find the motivation to lift a finger and talk more about getting out of bed.
Passion is also what will fuel your energy levels to accomplish more when you start to reap the fruits of your labor. So, take a second look at what you are doing now and see if it’s what you’ve always wanted to do, and then decide for yourself if it’s something you want to keep doing. And yes we know that sometimes too what you’re most passionate about might not foot the bills, in such moments, getting a side hustle while sticking with what gives you absolute joy may work for you.
9. Be patient and don’t expect it to work immediately…work smarter not harder
Patience they say key. But the key to what exactly one might ask? Key to long-term success. Like the last point we discussed, passion and patience are what will help you overcome challenges.
Sometimes we might think that because we are passionate about something it ultimately guarantees our success in that area of expertise, but the hardcore truth is that it is far from it and often, the reverse may be the case.
It’s one thing to dive nose-first into whatever we are zealous about, it’s another to be resilient and patient until we overcome the stormy weather.
I’ve equally learned over the years that it’s not really about how much work you put in that counts, but how effective those hours work are that matters.
A person can work eight hours a day and not get tangible results on a task, while someone else can do the same work and get it done and dusted in half the time. This doesn’t have anything to do with luck rather working smart has proven to be more effective than working hard.
If you’re experiencing challenges in some areas, it’s advised that you brainstorm to get a solution, but rather than spend all day trying different methods that may or may not work eventually, step back and ask yourself if there might be anything else that could help you get it done quickly.
Those things could be tools such as reading up to get a better understanding of the problem or talking to an expert who may have experienced a similar challenge.
This is one of the reasons technology continue to advance so as to make our lives easier.
10. Live passion, live twice.
Some people wish they could get two or more lifetimes to accomplish all they want to do, I say, if you do it well, once is enough. Learn to chase your dream without fear, put in your best, and someday, all that you have wished for will be yours.
It’s been a remarkable journey so far for me, and I hope that my few words will not only serve as a motivation but also as a guide to living the dream life you’ve always anticipated.
TIPS:If you'd like to know how I use my LinkedIn marketing and generate leads daily, schedule a Zoom demo meeting with me! In this Zoom demo, I'll show you a secret marketing approach using 2 of my own tools and one of those tools is a 2-time MarTech Awards 2022 winner!