Out of all the social media platforms, Linkedin is the most focused on professional life and networking. Conversations often revolve around career paths, solutions, aspirations, and needs. This makes Linkedin a great place to be active if you're trying to increase your sales. It is the perfect platform to acquire new prospects, and it offers you a lot of ways to show off whatever you're selling. If your product falls in line with professional needs or solutions, selling through Linkedin is an opportunity you shouldn't be missing out on. Here are 5 guidelines on how to sell on Linkedin.
Cater your profile to your clients
Think of your Linkedin profile as a virtual workspace, where you invite customers to visit. Just as you would want a spotless yet inviting physical workspace to impress your clients and customers, you would want the same thing with your Linkedin profile.
It's easy to get caught up in Linkedin's professional side, which can lead to your profile being too stale, like just a more fancy version of a CV. The key to making your profile inviting and engaging to whoever visits it is to customize and personalize it. This goes from your profile picture to the smallest things like curating your endorsements.
If you want a more in-depth guide on building an elite LinkedIn profile, you can find an in-depth guide for it here.
Use Linkedin to know your audience
One of the biggest challenges of marketing and sales is identifying the ideal customer targeted for sales. If you want to use Linkedin to sell your product, you can also identify who you should be selling to via the service.
Linkedin's search engine can be used to help you get a rough idea of who you should consider prospects for your business. You can use it to sift through the entire platform, with over 600 million users spread across the whole planet. Here's a guide on how to use Linkedin to identify and engage new prospects for your business.
Produce and share good content
Good content is the cornerstone of any online platform. Regardless of what product or service you are offering, you should aim to produce and share content that would be relevant to your target audience.
Make sure you understand what kind of content your customers are looking for. Typically, what you share should pertain to your customers' fears, challenges, or issues regarding what you are selling. If you manage to expose them to relevant content, they'll be more likely to engage with you. Helping your customers and prospects out also builds trust toward your brand and business, which is key to creating a healthy customer base.
Producing your own endemic content is the best choice if you can afford to do it. If you're offering a quality product or service, there's nothing better than complementing the quality of what you're selling with quality content. By doing this, you'll position your brand at the center of every step of your customer's purchasing journey.
If you can't produce your own high-quality content, you can always share content you didn't produce. Remember that the main goal here is to turn your Linkedin profile into a reliable source of information, whether that information is made by you or not. Quality content should be your highest priority. It's OK to share content from another blog or even from a competitor, as long as you don't turn into free advertising for someone else. Try to find a balance between what non-endemic sources you share on your page. Keep things varied so that the people following you on Linkedin will see these articles as coming from you at the end of the day.
Be as active as possible
You can't be lazy when it comes to Linkedin. It's not as easy as just sharing a blog you wrote once a week and then calling it a day. You want to be an active presence on Linkedin so that your connections get used to seeing you (without you overdoing it and becoming an annoyance).
This means taking advantage of all the avenues Linkedin offers for activity. If you are posting quality content and sharing it, make sure to comment on other pieces of content your connections are sharing. Start conversations! Respond to comments on your activity. Interaction is key to making your profile more human and less of a sleazy marketing tool.
Joining relevant groups is a great place to start. There's a tremendous amount of groups on Linkedin, so you're bound to find one that's relevant to your field. Being active in Linkedin groups is a great way to make a name for yourself in a relevant community. Making a name for yourself means more profile views, more exposure, and more access to prospects and, eventually, more customers.
You also might want to step slightly outside of your industry when it comes to groups. Think about your ideal customer and figure out what sorts of hobbies, interests, and passions they have. If you see some area popping up within your data regularly, you should look into joining Linkedin groups in that field, even if it is irrelevant to your industry. Think about it - if your ideal customer is interested in something, is it irrelevant to your business? Odds are it isn't.
It’s not a sales pitch - it’s a conversation
Connecting with a prospect is the first step - and it's a big first step to complete. You've gone through all this work, all the searching, the lists, the profiles, messages, and you've finally connected with a healthy number of prospects. The last thing you would want to do is to ruin everything by jumping the gun and starting to sell to them right away. Remember that personalization of the experience isn't just bait on a fishing hook - it doesn't disappear once you've "caught" the fish. Personalization is a top priority at every step of the process, from before they're in touch with you to even after they've done business with you.
So how do you personalize your customer's experience when they're in that intermediate phase, that of being a new prospect you've connected with? The best approach is to treat your relationship with your prospects as more personal and less transactional. This means having conversations with your prospects - not bombarding them with advertisements and offers.
Often, the moment you connect with a prospect is not the best time to start pitching a sale to them right away. You need to set yourself up with your prospects, let them get to know - and trust - you. Show them that you're an honest business, that you're producing quality products, services, and content, all while maintaining a high level of personalization and brand integrity.
Once you think you've set up a good relationship with your prospects, you should try to go beyond Linkedin. Contact them by offline means, or set up an in-person meeting! Shifting the conversation away from just being on Linkedin should be your ultimate goal in this whole process.