Are you currently using LinkedIn to connect with potential business partners and prospects? With over 414 million members on LinkedIn, if you aren’t using this powerful social media source, you should be!
Who is Using LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is made up of a wide range of business professionals. Members on LinkedIn are well educated, and they join the site in an attempt to connect with other business professionals. Over 60% of LinkedIn members make more than $75,000 a year, and 40% of LinkedIn members make $100,000 or more. These are perfect prospects for a Network Marketer because you know most of the members will have the disposable income needed to start a business. In Network Marketing, “I don’t have the money” is one of the most common responses that you have to deal with, but when you are dealing with a demographic where that is not an issue, then you’re going to find the responses to be a whole lot different.
Creating Your Personal Profile
When you are creating your profile on LinkedIn, think of it as your resume. Start off by using your name ONLY. Remember, you are branding yourself, not “Your Name Network Marketing Company”.
Make sure to upload a high quality photo with little to no background distractions. Additionally, fill in your profile as much as possible; where you went to school, the type of courses you took in college that may help you stand out, any volunteering you may have done over the years, and finally, complete your work history. A great example of this comes from LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner.
When it comes to creating your profile page summary, feel free to mention your network marketing company in a positive way, without naming the company. (For example: For the past 3 years, I’ve been involved with the largest and most award-winning health and Wellness company in the United States.)
The skills section of your profile may be one of the most important spots that potential prospects are going to look at. You will want to use this section to stand out and highlight skills that make you unique and that can help assure prospects looking at your page that you are the professional you say you are. Here are a few examples of skills you may consider adding to your profile: entrepreneurship, leadership, team building, small business, coaching, social networking, etc. The more your connections endorse you for these skills, the better this section of your profile will appeal to your potential prospects.
Even if you are not planning on using LinkedIn to apply for a job, all of these details are very important to prospects who look over your profile in attempt to get to know the professional side of you. Throughout your LinkedIn profile you should show proof as to why your business deserves the spotlight and what sets you apart from everyone else. You may also consider adding short customer testimonials as well as a description of your achievements to also help make this happen.
Building Your Network
Choosing who to let in to your network is a very important decision. Not only will potential prospects be looking at your profile, they will also be looking at your network connections. You will want to use discretion when accepting a connection request. Choose people whom you’ve connected with offline and/or people who have a picture and complete profile. Since LinkedIn has made sending personalized invitations a little more difficult, you may want to reach out to your connections on another social network first, such as Twitter or Facebook, to let that person know you’d love to connect on LinkedIn so they know to anticipate the invitation.
Another option is to send a paid InMail to anyone on LinkedIn. This is a premium feature offered to paid LinkedIn members. If you want to give this a try before committing to the premium membership, LinkedIn will usually give you a free trial. If you decide to use this method of communication, spend time to develop real relationships with the connections you reach out to. Connections do not want to feel as though they are receiving a one-size-fits-all email blast. Stand out as a more valued connection by personalizing your messages and making them sound sincere and original.
Cultivating Relationships in LinkedIn Groups
Groups are a great method for cultivating relationships with people that can eventually turn into Network Marketing prospects. One method you could use to start cultivating these relationships is to join local groups. You can easily search for and find groups in your local geographic area. The benefit to this type of group is that you can invite members to local meetings were they can learn more about your business, and you can post content related to your local area that the members will be able to relate with. Additionally, local groups are typically much smaller than broad interest groups, which means that your posts are more likely to get read by several people before getting lost in a sea of other post.
Another method you will want to pursue is joining groups within a specific niche i.e, Home Business, Stay at Home Moms, Network Marketing, etc. When joining a group, you will want to check the date of the most current post or comment. The group will do you no good if their members are not actively participating. Don’t put all of your eggs in one ‘group’ basket though. Branch out from the Network Marketing and Home Business groups to target audiences who aren’t yet involved with Network Marketing that may want to be. Think about who your target audience is and ask yourself which LinkedIn groups could you find people with the same interest in?
Posting on LinkedIn
Focus on making LinkedIn a part of your daily strategy for generating leads for your Network Marketing business. Everyday go and post a home page update, share to your groups, check answers to any questions you’ve posted, and then make some connections and check what’s happening with people in your groups.
Unlike other social media sites, where your postings may be more casual, you will want to post on LinkedIn with more of a ‘business mindset’. Do not post selfies, pictures of your pets, or things that cannot be tied back to your business. When you go to post a status update, make sure to focus on quality content. If you are stuck in regards to what to post, think about the type of connections that you’ve made on LinkedIn and what you believe they would want to hear about. Give them content that they will value reading.
This would be the perfect spot to post your latest blog or YouTube videos. Aim to post enriching content that people can learn from. Remember, your goal is to brand yourself as a “go to” resource where people can find good information.
If you want people to take your brand seriously you have to show them why it deserves to grow. Also, if you feel like a post may apply to a specific person, or if you’d like to give credit to someone (possible for a blog post or video), you can tag a connection in your post by simply typing “@” followed by your connection’s name. NOTE: In order to tag someone in your post, they must be one of your connections. When your post is posted, your connection will get a notification of your post. You do not want to over use this feature, as it may annoy your connections, but it is very helpful at times.
Pay attention to the engagement of each update to see which posts are working, and which are not. If people are engaging by liking, commenting, or sharing your post, then you know that is a post that resonates with your connections and you can continue to post similar content. If you notice that a specific post is not receiving any engagement, you may want to reconsider the topic and try something new next time around. You want to be posting content that receives engagement so that it can potentially gain exposure to your connections networks through first-degree connections.
Advertising on LinkedIn
Advertising on LinkedIn is a great method that allows you to promote your message to potential business partners and prospects outside of your company page following. One of the most popular ways to advertise is by using the LinkedIn sponsored updates function. Here’s how to use Sponsored Updates:
Click on the ‘Create Campaign” button in the top right corner of the screen. In the dropdown menu, select ‘Create Sponsored Update Campaign’.
When naming your campaign, I recommend using the following format: month-year Sponsored Update – Name of specific audience or post to set apart from other campaigns. (Example: 04-2016 Sponsored Update – LinkedIn Blog)
Step #2: Choose What Updates You Want to Sponsor
You can choose to sponsor content that has already been published on your company page. All of the content that you’ve previously posted will show up on this screen and you can go through and select which content you’d like to sponsor for this specific campaign. If you have not already posted the content that you’d like to sponsor or if you’d like to create different variations of the same content to see which gets the best results, you can use the ‘Create New Sponsored Content’ feature.
Step #3: Targeting Your Audience
You can target your sponsored update by including or excluding the following targeting options:
- Location – start by typing a country, state, city, or town
- Company – by name, industry, or size
- Job – by title, function, or seniority
- School – by fields of study or degrees
- Skills –by skill name
- Group –by group name
- Gender – by all, female, or male
- Age – by groups; 18-24, 25-34, 35-54, 55+
Step #4: Setup Your Budget
You can choose between Cost Per Click (CPC), which is when you pay when someone clicks your ad, or Cost Per Impression (CPM), which is when you pay when your ad is viewed – cost per thousand impressions. (Tip: The most common method is CPC.) LinkedIn will give you a suggested bid based on what other advertisers with a similar audience are spending. LinkedIn will also list a minimum bid amount that your bid price must be at or above.
LinkedIn will also give you a minimum budget for your daily budget. Note: Unlike other social media advertisers, Linkedin campaigns actual daily spend may be up to 20% higher than the budget you set. Keep that in mind when setting you budget.
Choose a start date. You can choose to start your campaign immediately, or you can choose to schedule a specific date in which you’d like your sponsored update to begin running. Additionally, you can also schedule an end date if you want. If not, you can go in to your campaign manager to turn off/on your campaigns at any time.
Step #5: Launch Your Campaign and Measure the Results
Once your campaign has been created and named, your audience has been targeted, and your budgets are set, then you are ready to launch your campaign.
You’ll be able to determine just how effective these paid updates are with the help of your Campaign Manager and the detailed analytics that it provides. The metrics you will want to focus on are:
- Social Actions (Likes, Comments, Shares)
- Followers Acquired
Make sure that the content you are sponsoring is the greatest perceived value to the audience you selected in your targeting process. These metrics will help guide you in finding what content works for that audience and what does not work. With the frequent use of great content, you can use the sponsored updates feature to greatly increase the reach of your company page.
Why LinkedIn Works
Using LinkedIn to build and cultivate relationships works because you are creating a personalized relationship with like-minded business professionals. Unlike other social media platforms, such as Facebook, where the focus may be more personal (connecting with family and friends), members of LinkedIn are more open to connecting with people like you, and ultimately learning more about what you have to offer in your network marketing business.