LinkedIn is the best place to build your B2B business on the market today. And if you’re not on it, you’re missing out. Because simply put, LinkedIn just works for B2B sales. So today, I’m going to take you through three huge areas to either improve your LinkedIn Presence, or get you started on the platform fast, and make B2B Sales through the platform right now.
Before we start – if you want to watch a video taking you through everything I’m about to tell you, rather than read it here, you can catch my video on youtube here: https://youtu.be/Tr4D7IiTwEs
Here’s a little preview so you know what you’re in for:
Optimization One: Your Profile
This sounds really basic, but it’s a huge deal on LinkedIn. Let’s just go through a quick scenario to understand why.
It’s a beautiful sunny day and you’re browsing on LinkedIn. Suddenly you get an InMail from somebody you don’t know, but the message is interesting enough you’re willing to learn a bit more.
What is the first thing that you’re going to do?
You’re going to go to their profile. And this, right here, is why contact on LinkedIn is more effective than cold calling. Because when you get a Cold InMail, you can simply go to the sender’s profile to see who they are, what they offer, where they are, what kind of things that they do on LinkedIn, how they interact, and more. Consider the transparency of that system versus a traditional cold call. In a traditional cold call, you’re receiving an unwellcome call from somebody you’ve never met, you can’t verify who they are, you don’t know where they are, and you’re probably never going to know any of that information. It makes it harder to trust them, doesn’t it?
So, LinkedIn already allows for you to build stronger trust bonds with people in less time.
Which means that your profile needs to be a pitch to the person that you want to attract, not a boring resume. It’s all about the content.
Think of your headline and your summary as lead hooks. These are the little bits of information that are going to start building interest in the minds of your profile visitors, which in turn will push them to interact with you. And that gets you closer to your ultimate goal which is a sale from this contact.
Optimization Two: Content, Content, Content!
Why make Content? Well, let’s start with the mere exposure effect. Mere exposure of your brand to a potential customer drastically increases the likelihood that person will buy from you. And by posting a lot of content, you’re staying in front of that audience and exposing your brand to them constantly.
And, more than that, by using your content to show your deep understanding of a subject, then people will be more drawn to what you have to say, which just doubles down and increases the likelihood people will buy from you even more.
But there is one thing I need to point out very clearly. When making content, you need to develop it for the LinkedIn platform specifically.
What do I mean by that?
I mean that it’s a common practice to repurpose content. Taking your Instagram carousels and putting them on LinkedIn as “original content” or your Instagram stories as videos on LinkedIn … it’s a very common practice. It’s not that you can’t adapt your content, but these platforms are all different, and by blindly putting content from one platform onto another, you’re ignoring the finer points of the platform and hurting your own exposure in the interim.
So what types of posts are there on LinkedIn that you can take advantage of here? Let’s look at them in order of importance:
This form of content has the highest engagement over time, but not many people are using it. So by using video, you’re already putting yourself at a huge advantage. It drives more engagement because it’s more personal. Video is you talking to the camera, or you building interaction using your face and your emotions. People feel like you’re speaking to them, which means they’re getting to know you while they get the value that they can walk away with from your content.
Now, is high production value really necessary here? I would say yes, and no. A lot of people think there’s no need to consider production value when producing content.
I disagree with that.
Content absolutely needs to be the priority. But, in my experience, if the production value isn’t even a consideration, then your viewers aren’t going to stay around, because they’re going to think that you’re just some amateur nobody. It really is about that first two seconds of exposure. Because if, in those first two seconds, you’re showing even a modicum of production value, then people are going to be more interested to stay, because they’re going to think that you have higher value, because you have higher standards.
So let me be clear here: Content is king, but production value also matters.
I put this second because it’s very time dependent. It actually always goes to the top of your feed, it always sends a notification to all of your followers, and it always drives more traffic. However, it’s also time dependent. When the Live is done, it’s gone. So, while it’s great for engagement in the moment, it’s also a flash in the pan.
But there’s a reason that this is more effective than video. In video, some editing and chopping up of the final product is involved. In a live, this is happening in real time, right in front of you. So people feel like they’re really having a conversation with you, rather than seeing a polished version of what you want the world to see.
I highly advise you write a lot of text posts. This is the second biggest long-term content type on LinkedIn. It acts kind of like a mini-blog that users can read right in their feed, and LinkedIn’ users love that. It gets one of the highest levels of engagement and a lot of comments, especially if the post is some sort of knowledge hack or somehow shows the author’s vulnerability about some failure or difficulty. People absolutely love it.
In fact, what I do to kind of hack this process a little bit while creating content that’s specifically for LinkedIn is to take my Instagram content, and use the caption area as a mini-blog itself. Then I take only the text from that Instagram post and put it in as a text post on LinkedIn.
Next one down the ladder is Images. This is not Instagram, guys. This gets a low level of engagement because it’s not really a featured part of any LinkedIn post. If Instagram is all about the image, LinkedIn is all about the information.
This is last on the ladder because the type of content you’re curating will strongly influence how hard it gets pushed by LinkedIn. If you’re linking to posts or articles that are internal to LinkedIn, you’re going to get higher engagement because you’re sharing articles that are within the platform. Whereas posting external links will be devalued because you’re inviting people to leave the LinkedIn platform. And that, of course, is not in the best interests of LinkedIn. So if you want to curate content, just try to keep it to posts on LinkedIn itself.
Optimization 3: Lead Generation.
There are two ways that people generate leads on LinkedIn. The first one is InMail. This is a huge product for LinkedIn, because you don’t get them unless you’re paying for a premium subscription or you decide to buy some InMails themselves. But, I have to say, the results are kind of mixed, because it really depends on how you’re doing it. It’s usually better than direct email selling, because of the anonymity problem I referred to earlier – email being the harder platform to identify people on.
But the reason it’s often sti ineffective is because people use them to send the same obviously canned message to 500 different people hoping for a 0.25% response rate.
That doesn’t work because it isn’t personalized.
Before sending an InMail you should have actually looked at the person’s profile, understood a little bit of what they do, and determined if contacting them is even worth it. Can you solve their problem? If not, it’s probably worth it to move to other leads because you’re not likely to receive a respsone anyway.
While we’re on the topic of InMail, let’s talk about sponsored InMails. It’s unattractive for the same reason. This is a messaging platform, and people don’t want ads being shot at them. It’s about methodical relationship building to reach the ultimate goal.
The other direct lead generation process that people use is direct connection. There’s a much higher likelihood of success when you’re directly connecting with someone before messaging them, as opposed to sending unsolicited InMails. This is because, by connecting, you’re showing implicit interest in one another, building a relationship, and pre-qualifying the prospect before you even start to pitch.
So, even though I mentioned only two I do want to say there’s one other thing that people do on LinkedIn a lot of the time to try and build leads – they rip emails. So they’ll use hunter.io or ContactOut to pull the email addresses of LinkedIn users off the system, and begin sending unsolicited emails.
Do not do this.
There are a number of reasons why you shouldn’t do this. The first is that it’s annoyingly inaccurate. So half the time you’re getting the wrong information anyway. But, beyond that, it’s also because LinkedIn can tell you’re ripping emails, and if they catch you, they’ll ban you. Which means you’ll have completely lost any access to the platform you once had, and you’re actually growing slower than you would have if you had followed the rules. So just don’t do it.
So there you go. Those are the best ways to optimize your LinkedIn profile to get the most out of it for B2B sales. If you want even more information about LinkedIn and how to get the most out of this platform, check out my Ultimate Guide to LinkedIn, and don’t forget to tell me your best B2B strategy in the comments. Which one got you the most results in the past? Which one are you going to use in the future? Just let me know. And make sure that you subscribe, hit that like, let me know in the comments if you like this video and I will catch you in the next one.