How to Use LinkedIn To Market Your Products?
Q & A with Dan Sherman, Author, Maximum Success with LinkedIn
1. What would you say is the most popular misconception about LinkedIn?
Many people regard LinkedIn as a job board, a place to find work. While it is the best place to find your new career, LinkedIn is so much more. Anyone who works in any type of business should be using LinkedIn all day to find customers, referral partners, advisors, investors…anyone they need, really, to take them to the next level. It’s also the best place to build your online reputation and brand as the expert in your field.
2. What’s a mistake you see people make in their profile?
Too many people treat their profile as a resume. LinkedIn is social media, so you must write in the first person because you are connecting with others on a personal level. And don’t cut and paste your resume; your LinkedIn profile is a chance for you to talk about what you are passionate about and excited about. Let your personality show through. Also, be sure to add applications like Slideshare and Box.net so there are interesting things for your readers to download.
3. What makes LinkedIn such a great marketing tool?
The thing that my clients like the most is the instant nature of LinkedIn: You can reach out to a prospect and get an answer in seconds. For example, I had a mortgage broker write to a realtor asking for ten minutes on the phone. In an instant, the realtor wrote back with his phone number and a note saying to call him. Other advertising methods take weeks or months to work.
4. If I wanted to sell on LinkedIn, how do you recommend I do it?
It’s very possible to sell your products and services on LinkedIn, but don’t come right out of the gate selling. Instead, create value first. By that I mean, come up with a free report that is really going to help your prospects. Then, start networking with the people you want to have as clients and offer your white paper or report. After that, you can follow up and ask for a brief phone call. LinkedIn is great for starting conversations, then you want to move it to the phone.
5. What if someone sends me an invitation to connect and I don’t know them. What should I do?
I am an open networker, meaning I accept all invitations and I have over 15,000 connections. You see, LinkedIn gets more effective the more connections you have. There is literally no downside to having lots of connections. You never know who they are going to know; so connect with everyone to increase your opportunities.
6. What’s a good strategy for creating a following using LinkedIn?
One thing that has worked well for me is to start your own group. You can start up to ten groups. What that does is create a loyal following that you can message once a week, and it establishes you as the expert. For example, I manage a LinkedIn group called Tampa Bay Marketing Professionals with over 3,000 people. Often when I do a local seminar, I’ll ask how people found the event and they will say “We are in your group.” It’s very powerful marketing for your business.
7. How would you compare LinkedIn to other social sites?
Other sites focus on games and chat and are usually for fun. LinkedIn is purely for business and building relationships with people who can take your career to the next level. That’s why it’s so popular; 2 people join every second. I would say keep your other social sites for fun, but use LinkedIn every day to get ahead and meet people who will help you achieve your business goals.
For a free LinkedIn Webinar on “5 Simple Steps to Getting Clients on LinkedIn” visit http://www.freelinkedinwebinar.com.