How Tiny Business Owners Can Leverage LinkedIn to Market Like Massive Businesses

linkedin email listMarketing takes hard, persistent, consistent work.

And then you get busy making money, and it becomes even harder work.

If you’re like me, you sometimes struggle to figure out how to take care of all the different marketing activities that everybody tells us we need to be doing.

You know the to-do list.

There are about 20 “tactics” on it, and by the end of the week maybe a few have been followed through on.

For the vast majority of us, we simply cannot do everything. Try and do everything, and you will most likely fail to do any one of them very well.

Instead, people like you and I have to select a couple key “outposts” to focus on where you can achieve a number of your business objectives simultaneously

If your income is something like mine, mostly based on consulting/projects with a small portion of “passive income,” our objectives are probably similar:

  • Name recognition
  • Generate leads from qualified prospects
  • Build my list
  • Establish authority in my space

If you’re succeeding at these 4 goals, you’re probably winning the game of business. I’ve spent years testing all sorts of internet marketing tactics, for various businesses in different industries.

The Only Platform I’ve Found That Achieves All of Those Goals is LinkedIn.

There are 3 key activities within LinkedIn that will deliver the goods, simultaneously positioning your business for consulting opportunities and building your small list into something more sustainable to enable more passive income.

  1. Connecting with a ton of prospects directly.
  2. Optimizing your profile so qualified prospects find you and engage with you.
  3. Building a LinkedIn group to attract your prospects.

Let’s take a look at each.

Connecting With a Ton of Prospects Directly on LinkedIn

A question I get asked often is whether or not people should connect with people they don’t know. If you’re trying to grow your business, then absolutely you should.

These connections form a very valuable list for a number of reasons:

  • Prospecting opportunities.
  • Partnerships and joint ventures.
  • Pitching an info product, when the time is right.
  • Finding clients.

This list really goes on and on. It’s like trying to come up with an exhaustive list for all the reasons that having solid business relationships will benefit you. It’s endless.

But let me point you to another critical reason why you need to be connected to a large amount of people on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn allows you to view profiles of users that are within two degrees of you, or are in a shared group. Thus, if you aren’t connected to many people, you will rarely come up in the search results!

When a prospect is looking for somebody that does what you do, you’ll be at a serious disadvantage.

Optimizing Your Profile So Qualified Prospects Find And Engage With You.

For most of us, we have competition. When somebody is searching for a service provider on the internet, it is a battle to claim the top spot.

More and more, people are searching for service providers, consultants, new hires, designers and the like using LinkedIn’s people search. The profiles that appear at the top of the LinkedIn results are those that are properly optimized for the right keywords.

There are a slew of tactics that you can use to “optimize” your LinkedIn profile. It would take an entire book to show you everything, but here are a few areas within your profile that definitely make a difference.
Focus on getting your keywords in these sections, and you’ll be well on your way:

  • Headline
  • Position Titles
  • Skills & Expertise
  • Education
  • Interests

So what? What benefit will this have for me, you might be thinking.

With a properly optimized profile, targeted to meaningful keywords, you’ll begin to appear in thousands of search results every week on LinkedIn. This will generate hundreds of profile views, every week.

If you have a powerful call to action in your summary, you will begin converting these profile views into real business leads. Not to mention, many new people subscribing to your email list.

Building Your Own LinkedIn Group

Once you grow your connections to a sizeable amount (1,000 plus) and have optimized your profile, building your own LinkedIn group is what will really broaden your marketing reach exponentially.

LinkedIn groups are lists, communities, networking opportunities, and platforms. When you are the owner of the group, you control the message. You control the membership. You control everything.

If you do it the right way, and create a thriving community of your business prospects, it will position your business in a way that is hardly achievable with other online methods. Think of it like being the head of a local chamber of commerce or BNI group, except with thousands of members, most of whom are your prospects.

Don’t abuse your privileges, or people will start to tune you and your group out. But if done tactfully, the group can be used as a marketing tool to get your message directly into the inboxes of every member on a daily or weekly basis.

Stay active, and your name will show up in every email activity digest that LinkedIn sends out on your behalf. And when the time is right, you can utilize the Announcements function to deliver a custom message straight to the inbox of every member.

Bringing It All Together

I promised a lot at the beginning of this article. I told you that LinkedIn could achieve all 4 of these goals for your business:

  • Name recognition
  • Generate leads from qualified prospects
  • Build your list
  • Establish authority in your space

One of the aforementioned tactics by itself won’t get the job done. But when you integrate them together, it becomes a very powerful approach that absolutely achieves all 4 of the goals.

Here’s how.

Name Recognition

If you’re really executing on LinkedIn, you’ll be…

  • Connected to thousands of prospects.
  • Appearing in thousands of search results every week.
  • Posting valuable content in relevant groups.
  • Posting regular status updates.
  • Featured in daily email digests from your group.

…to name a few. You’ll be running into people at local events who swear they know you, even though you’ve never met. That’s name recognition if I’ve ever seen it.

Generate leads form qualified prospects

With the profile optimization strategies discussed earlier, prospects will start finding you.

All of those people you’re connected to will see your status updates and other activities. Over time, you’ll be the one they think of when they’re in the market for your services.

The members of your group? I can say from a lot of experience, you’ll be generating plenty of leads from your group.

Build Your List

You know that building your email list is extremely important. As I already mentioned, an effective call to action will convert LinkedIn profile views to new email subscribers.

But don’t think of your email list as the only destination. Your LinkedIn group can also be a tremendously powerful “list.”

I like to call it a “two birds, one stone” strategy.

Your LinkedIn marketing efforts not only build your email list, they also build an entirely new list and permission asset within LinkedIn.

Establish Authority in Your Space

When you’ve established this kind of presence within LinkedIn, people will absolutely view you as a leader in your space.

Consider how most people interact on LinkedIn. The vast majority are consumers. You’re a producer. They’re taking in messages. You’re giving them.

Be consistent and persistent with your efforts, and your prospects will look to you as the leader.

After the Dust Settles

It gets even dustier. The dust never settles, because you’re consistently growing your list within LinkedIn and bolstering your position as the leader in your space.

This is how you develop the kind of momentum that, traditionally, only big businesses with huge marketing budgets could manage.

LinkedIn campaigns run by very small businesses can be more engaging and grow faster than sponsored groups and expensive LinkedIn campaigns run by some of the largest companies in the world. The playing field is ridiculously level, and you can take advantage of it if you’re willing to put in the time.

This is how you go from struggling to generate ANY leads, to bringing in so many that you pick the good ones.

Josh Turner (@GatewayCFO) is the founder of LinkedSelling, a LinkedIn marketing firm that offers training and outsourced LinkedIn marketing campaigns. Get his free 10-part video training series, How to Convert Your LinkedIn Profile Into a Lead Generation Tool.

Comments

  1. says

    As a network focused on ‘business relationships’ LinkedIN is certainly the key to getting leads that are more qualified, than say pushing out updates on Facebook where people are looking to, primarily, interact with friends.

    The great things about the tips in your article Josh is that the tips can be applied to many networking situations both on and offline, however with LinkedIN in particular it’s going to be best for B2B rather than B2C.

    I think with Social network marketing the key thing to do is to pick one that is the most relevant for your audience and really run with it. For B2B it’s going to be hard to argue against that being LinkedIN so this guide is great.

  2. says

    Thanks for the kind words Chris. Definitely, for B2B it’s a slam dunk…LinkedIn is where it’s at.

    Yet I believe there is still an opportunity for creative B2C companies to do great things on LinkedIn. You don’t see it much, so if done right, it could be a great way to stand out.

    • says

      Glad you enjoyed it Paul. If you’re in the commercial subcontracting space (waterproofing), it’s a perfect place for you to be connecting and building a presence with your target market.

  3. says

    Josh, you have just reminded me of something that I have been wanting to spend time on for a very long time but didn’t want to yet before me new site was developed and up and running.

    Now that I have that behind the belt, I can look deeper into optimizing my LinkedIn profile for optimal conversion. I also love the idea of creating a group as soon as one has a good following in order to be more effective as a leader within your niche.

    I will have to look into some comprehensive LinkedIn profile optimization training material as I know there are a lot of different strategies and approaches with regards to this but only a few that are effective to serve the purpose it should, which is to get prospects and tturning them into active followers and participants within your network.

    Would you recommend your video course as a good starting point for this? Does it provide practical and implementable strategies for one to optimize your LinkedIn profile for optimal results?

    Good work so far! Keep at it!

  4. says

    Josh, Nice article and checking your video training out over the weekend. Just started on Linkedin as we’re a 75% B-2-B & 25% B-2-C. 2 questions if you have a second: 1) On | Posting regular status updates – Is there a rule as towards what is worthy compared to Twitter & is it also Keyword sensitive?
    2) Heard there is a cap on how many connections you can individually request, what are the actual rules on that as I can’t find that searching on Linkedins policies?
    Look forward to watching your video this weekend & Thanks again!

    • says

      Thanks Mike. Great questions. As for status updates, there is certainly no “rule.” The more you post, the more you will stand out and be seen by others. People aren’t just sitting around watching their LinkedIn status update feed all day, as you know. All that said, you will also annoy the hell out of people if you treat LinkedIn like you treat Twitter. People on LinkedIn aren’t into hashtags, and they want to see business relevant postings. Far less “conversation” takes place in LinkedIn status updates, as compared to tweeting. Keep it business and keep it professional, and you’ll be in great shape.

      As for the 2nd question, LinkedIn limits you to 3,000 connection requests. Once you hit that ceiling, you can email LinkedIn’s support team and ask for more. It’s a subjective process from that point. They might decide to give you a couple hundred more, or they might give you none. Best to have a premium account before you make that request :) There is no doubting that they give great preference to premium account holders on matters such as these.

      Hope this helps, and let me know if you have any questions on the videos.

  5. says

    Josh, An excellent article! Thanks for great insights on LinkedIN effort is a way to build your lisst and reminding us that everyone is not ready to “buy” after just one or two postings or tips. I’m signingup for your video training, too. Keep up the great work!
    Mike Rohan

  6. says

    Thank you for sharing such great tips. My profile is at 100% however I will now look at building a group and for sure check on my CTA in my summary page. Thanks again.

  7. Katharine says

    Josh,
    You recommend connections with unknowns, but doesn’t LinkedIn actually penalize that activity? I think I’m confused, here.
    Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Katharine – Yes and no. If you are just blasting out connection requests, eventually LinkedIn will slap you on the hand. But if you are prospecting and developing relationships, in groups or via shared connections, then these are new connections who you’ve approached the right way and you’ll have little to worry about.

      Hope this helps!

      Josh

Trackbacks

Post A Comment

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *