Leveraging Linkedin

Best Practises to build your personal brand on Linkedin

Linkedin

Unlike other Platforms, Linkedin caters to the professional aspect rather than Social. If you get it right, Linkedin has the power to help you build your personal brand. 

Let me begin by asking this Question? Do you actually know of the Power of Linkedin? Having been with Linkedin Since 2006 and a regular user since 2011, I have been very successful in sales thanks to understanding the power of Linkedin.

As with any platform there are best practises and mediocre to bad ones, After being a power user I have discovered 9 Key things that have made a lot of difference in the results that I have gotten and wanted to share these with those of you who want to work smart and get the advantage what every basic linkedin account has to offer. (Imagine if you upgraded to a Premium account you can get more access, but Free Account works fine as well)

Table of Contents

Profile Picture

This is such a basic thing but more than 50% of Linkedin users get it wrong. Linkedin is a Professional Site, so use it as a Professional would. Don’t use that picture from your last beach vacation as your profile picture. Get a professional picture (a passport picture with 60-70% face and shoulders is an acceptable option) taken. 

Remember this is the first impression that a Prospect has of you.  You should make it count. Don’t use pictures where you are a tiny figure. Head shots with a little bit of shoulder are perfect and can give a great impression to people who visit your profile. If your profile does not have a Picture then you are missing out big. 

Linkedin

Background Photo / Banner Picture.

Linkedin gives you the option to have a Background banner behind your Photo. That is prime real estate to showcase what you do and what problem you are solving for your prospective client. All of us are looking to connect with people who can solve a problem that we have. Use the Background banner to highlight what problem you can solve.. 

I help Companies scale up their Lead Generation, The problem I solve is mostly for C Level executives, since this involves a lot of Strategy decisions. If you look at my Banner picture it says Just that. Think of it this way, I reach out to a prospect and he wants to know a little more about me.

What is the first thing he would do? Click on my Linkedin Profile because I have reached out to him on Linkedin. He sees my Profile Picture and Banner before he reads my Headline. 

Having the right messaging on your Banner is very important.

Whatever your field, make it a point to capture the attention of your prospects the minute they land on your Profile. To create banners you don’t need any experts. Go to Canva.com it is a great tool and they have the option for Linkedin Banner. Create a perfect looking banner for your profile and upload it. Best part of canva, It has a generous free plan.

Headline

After the Banner and Profile Pic, This is the next thing that becomes visible to a prospect. Give clear messaging. Don’t write the headline as if it was your resume (even if you are a Job Seeker) Once again elaborate a little on what you do. Highlight your area of Expertise with a Job Title (if applicable)

If you are a Financial Advisor then say what you can do as a financial advisor, If you are an accountant then what do you do as an Accountant, what is it that separates you from the rest.

Be crystal clear in your messaging. This helps you narrow down and get the right clients who are a fit for you. If you go broad it is doing what I call spaghetti marketing, you throw a bowl of spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks. That would only give you mixed results. 

Become Crystal clear on what messaging you are giving out.

Once I became clear on my messaging, I started getting less clients but the one’s I got were very relevant to what I offer.

About Section

This is where you can deep dive into what you do and how you can help the prospect. If the prospect has made it so far, you have impressed him enough for him to spend a minute or two reading your about section, make the visitto your profile count. Be SPECIFIC of what you can do.

It’s a clear messaging. If the client has made it so far, they obviously have a problem with Sales and Scaling up and they are looking for a Solution. The Next thing I have done is broken down what I can help with and why they should consider me and with what areas I can help them. Lastly the closing is a reinforcement. 

Yours would look different, depending upon what you offer and what stream you may be in. But give clear messaging to your prospects. 

Articles and Posts

If you are serious about getting Business from Linkedin and close deals then you need to be more active on linkedin when it comes to writing articles and posting updates. When your prospects scrolls through your profile, Your articles and activities show up. What have you written about, what have you commented on etc.

Use the Articles section more to establish yourself as an authority figure. The Articles have a long shelf life as these can be accessed by your prospects anytime. 

If you have ignored the Articles section so far then it may be a good time for you to start using these now. Keep it simple and to the point. If your articles can address the pain points that People have, they are bound to get in touch with you, if not today then tomorrow or sometime in the future. Use articles to your advantage.

Have Respect and follow a Protocol

9 times out of 10, once I confirm a connection request I straight away get a Sales Pitch. What is the result, I remove them and block them. You have not warmed up a prospect. No Thank you for connecting, straight away a sales pitch. Here is a perfect example

Linkedin

Don’t send a connection request and then sales pitch straight away. As a matter of fact before you send a connection request understand if you are the right fit for that Person or not. You have so many data points available today that research is easy. Once you have done your research, see if the person you are wanting to connect with is the right fit for you. 

No point in connecting with the CEO if the work is to be done by the General Manager.  Also ask yourself a simple question, Am I qualified to sell to that Person, If not then look for the either the right person to connect or take help from your next level Manager. 

A request to all you Job Seekers, when you connect with someone Senior in your Industry, sending them a desperate plea for a Job would in 99% cases never get you a response. You have a network, see in your network who may be connected to that person and take their help, you will increase the chances by 50% of your request being considered. 

We have all been there, I have been jobless as well and know that one gets very desperate, but by sending a connection request followed by a plea for a Job, it does not work.

How to send a connection request

Again as basic as having a Professional Profile Picture. If you customise a note along with your connection request that request has a higher chance of being accepted. Rather than saying I would like to add you as a Connection, the best thing I learned was May I invite you to connect? Followed by What I have to offer.

You should make an effort and do some research on the person and use that maybe in your connection request. Be crafty and you will see a change in your acceptance rate. 

Just by tweaking I would like to add you with May I invite you to connect, I got 20-25% more connection requests being accepted. When I started  May I invite you to connect and adding what I had to offer, it jumped up to nearly 50%

Quality or Quantity?

Are you on Linkedin to grow your network or just grow your connections. I see many people posting on linkedin to comment here and accept requests from everyone etc etc. My question is why would I want a big network If I am not leveraging it and the bigger it gets the less I can leverage it. 

Its a classic case of Mass Market v/s Niche Market. 

The right way, in my opinion and experience,  to reach out to your Prospects is to first find if they are the right fit for you.  Identify who your Ideal clients are and what service you can offer them, what do you bring to the table and how would you carry a conversation with them.

Once you have identified what you can offer then start reaching out to relevant people and be clear in your note as to why you are reaching out to them. Don’t just reach out to everyone blindly.

Your Note in the connection request should be clear on, Why do you want to connect with that person. What value do you bring to the table. What can you offer them that makes it worth their time. 

When you start sending connection requests that are not relevant you run the risk of being blocked and closing doors for the future as well. 

If you don’t have anything of value to offer at this moment, then follow them, rather than connecting with them. Find out something of value that you can offer and then connect with them.

Avoid Automated softwares for Linkedin

Yes there are tools like Linkedin Helper, Meet Alfred etc which work as Autoresponders for linkedin, till they don’t get detected, and once they are, Linkedin can suspend your account.

I know this becase I wanted to take an easy route and used one such tool. The success rate was a mixed bag of results but I received a warning from Linkedin after which I deleted the plugin and lost nearly 250$ as had paid for a year and it got detected after 3-4 months. 

Why would I not recommend them today: The same reason I shared that I mentioned in my point number 6. Respect and Protocol. I got a connection request from this Tech company and Since I am a big fan of what tech solutions are out there, I accepted it and BAM 10 minutes later I got this follow up message selling me something.

You shouldn’t be doing that at all. Automated messages may not be relevant. If you want to risk using an Autoresponder to send connections requests then let your follow up message be something like, Thank you for accepting my Connection request, I look forward to Interacting with you in the future. 

Remember that if your account is detected using an Autoresponder you will receive 1 warning after which linkedin can suspend your account.

Pro Tip

Linkedin can help you get around 8-10 new leads each week, if you are willing to put in an effort. 

Warm up a contact and first understand how you can deliver value to them. I am prospecting between 5-6 clients at any point of time but before I send them my sales pitch (I sell on Linkedin all the time) I have exchanged a few messages to see if I can add value to them.

A Great way to add Value to your prospects is sharing information that may be relevant to them.  This means I need to do my own research on what could possibly be a pain point for them in lead generation and then start a conversation with them on that asking for their opinion and how they are dealing with it 

Following this method I have had more prospects ask me about how i could help them rather than me asking them the same thing. The difference is when they ask me they are warmed up to the idea of buying my services and when I ask them it is a hard sell and more difficult to convert. 

The best thing that I have learned is to add Value in the connection request message. It’s just a play of words but it gets me an amazing response and shortens the exchange of messages till they are warmed up. 

I hope this helps you and adds value to your Linkedin account. 

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