11 LinkedIn Tips for Connecting Like a Boss
If used properly, LinkedIn can become the most powerful asset for any B2B business owner or salesperson.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
If you can look past some of the social stigmas of being an avid LinkedIn user, you'll find that LinkedIn is actually the most powerful asset for any B2B entrepreneur or salesperson.
Nowhere else in the world has such focused, social data on people you are looking to sell to. With more than 460 million profiles, this social network can prove a goldmine for salespeople, as long as they know how to use it right. With that in mind, here are 11 overlooked LinkedIn hacks to get more out of your social selling efforts:
1. Find windows of opportunities.
LinkedIn gives you valuable real-time data on your prospects. It tells you when they post, when they've switched jobs, when they have a birthday, when they get a promotion, when they are out of work and more.
Use these triggers strategically and take advantage of optimal windows of opportunities. If a prospect just posted something 10 minutes ago, you know they are likely by their phone or computer with a window of downtime. This is the perfect time to give them a call.
Related: Develop a Leadership Platform That Will Supercharge Your Sales Numbers
If they got promoted or moved companies, send them a letter. If they just liked a post about the Cavs win last week, bring it up during your next call with them. Scan for opportunities at every corner.
2. Export connections' email addresses.
If you've been using LinkedIn for years, you probably have a lot more connections than people you actually know. This can be irritating, or it can be an opportunity.
By exporting your LinkedIn connections' email addresses, you can send personalized networking or prospecting emails outside of the LinkedIn platform. This can convert those ghost LinkedIn people to real life connections that offer real value to you.
3. Turn off profile edit updates.
You don't want to flood your prospective customers with meaningless updates, especially if you're trying to sell to them. Rather, you want updates from your name and brand to be highly curated and advancing your brand. Updating your high school education and changing your job title isn't worth updating hundreds of your connections.
Therefore, it's a good idea to be sparing as to what you allow to get out into the feed by updating your profile edit.
4. Disable "people also viewed."
By default, on the bottom right side of the page, your LinkedIn profile has a section that displays similar profiles. These are people who have a lot of mutual profile views, and so this list often contains profiles of your competitors, employees and customers.
Other than introducing your viewer to more people, I can't see the value in it for you. This only distracts the viewer of your profile, and offers the option of poaching your clients or employees to a competitor. Disable this feature and keep your visitors focused.
5. LinkedIn's SEO value.
Whether you are looking for a new job or trying to attract new clients, LinkedIn isn't just a place to add connections. It can also serve as a search engine for recruiters and prospects looking for services. LinkedIn SEO works a lot like general Google SEO. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile for search, while not your top priority, should be taken into consideration.
By filling your profile completely, with keywords and descriptions and staying active with new content and other LinkedIn optimization tips, you can turn your LinkedIn page into a viable inbound marketing tool.
Related: The Science Behind Picking the Perfect LinkedIn Head Shot
6. Contact followers and fans.
If you've provided a service or have a great case study with a certain company, go to its LinkedIn company page and see its followers. This can be a great place to do cold prospecting, as people generally only follow companies on LinkedIn in which they have an actual interest. Using this mutual interest as an icebreaker could be a great in with new accounts.
7. Give and get recommendations.
While it can come off as tacky to have a ton of recommendations from people who you didn't really do much for, you should make it a top priority to always get your personal stories of accomplishment on your profile. If you're in B2B sales and you have no recommendations on your profile, what does that say about your service?
Wouldn't there be tons of raving happy customers writing on your account if your service was as great as you say it is? Make sure to get recommendations when you deserve it. And what's the best way to get recommendations? Give them, but keep them private so that your account doesn't get flooded.
8. View users' recent activity.
Have a warm lead or a prospect sitting on a proposal? Watch what they've been doing by seeing their recent activity. What are they "liking," posting or commenting on? What does their activity tell you about their personality and buying style? Try to use these clues to improve your relationship with them as well as your pitch.
9. Add video to your profile.
Everyone has text and a photo, but what could make your profile have a more immersive experience that could better tell your story and set you apart from your competitors? Add a single video to your profile.
Don't add 20 videos or a bunch of documents and presentations -- keep it simple and clean. If people are being introduced to you for the first time, they are very unlikely to use your LinkedIn account to dive deep into specific information.
Viewers just want a quick and simple high-level view of what you're all about. Create a short video about yourself or upload a video about your product or company. Follow this and other social media video marketing tips, and you'll be converting more visitors faster.
Related: A Non-Spammy Approach to Generating Leads with LinkedIn's Sponsored InMail
10. Hide connections.
Showing your connections provides no positive value to you. It only allows for opportunity for your competitors to click in and see who you are doing business with. Disable the possibility of them doing this by hiding your connections.
11. Publish directly.
LinkedIn has taken huge strides as an original content platform. Therefore, you should include LinkedIn as another platform to publish your marketing content.
Use it to post articles, share all your blogs and drive connections and followers back to other platforms. But be careful as to what you post if you publish an original article -- people will get an update and people tend to be extra critical on LinkedIn.
Use these tips and transform your LinkedIn from just another account to a full blown sales tool.