Get into action! Download your FREE Checklist
Put the most important tips from this episode to work and take your marketing to another level! Get your free 10 Point Checklist for your next actionable steps.
S: Hello and welcome to Marketing Speak. I’m your host Stephan Spencer and today we have Angela Lin with us. Angela is an expert on LinkedIn. She’s an international best-selling author of 50 LinkedIn Power Tips published in 2016. Also in 2016, she had nine TV appearances on various TV stations such as Fox News, ABC, CBS and NBC. She consults on delivering qualified leads and referrals through LinkedIn. Since 2010, Angela’s helped her clients grow their sales to professional management owners and the Fortune 500. Angela, it’s great to have you on the show.
A: Thank you so much. A lot of people don’t know that much about LinkedIn and I’m not sure for your audience in terms of their knowledge level.
S: Yes, let’s start with basically what’s the opportunity with LinkedIn. I think people have this misunderstanding that LinkedIn is really a directory of resumes and it’s not something where you go in there actively and you nurture relationships in there. It’s not the same kind of social network that you’d hang out and be personal, friendly, unlike Facebook. I think that’s a myth that needs to be busted.
A: Definitely. In terms of LinkedIn, there’s actually more than 460 million members on there. Especially if you’re trying to reach the decision makers, the people who can say yes to using your business, it’s not just a directory of resumes. It’s actually where business opportunities can be made. You mentioned in terms of whether too small businesses, large or even to Fortune 500. People are accessing LinkedIn on a daily basis, at least 40% of the members. If we’re looking at the higher level in terms of executives, they are actually using LinkedIn, 76% of them, on a daily basis. It is a great way to get in front of them without cold calling or getting lost in their inbox if you try to email them. These are high-levelled decision makers who actually have the highest purchasing power out of any social media site.
S: Awesome, how do you reach out to these people and not get deemed a spammer, just unwanted outreach?
A: There’s three steps to that. It’s positioning; you have to be positioned first in terms of your profile and what groups you’re in so that they can find you and be able to contact you when they come to your profile. The second step is to be able to build that relationship, be able to nurture it. I can go more in-depth with each of these. The third is to actually keep you top of mind so that you’re constantly seen by these prospects. With LinkedIn, with the positioning, you have to make sure your profile, you need a great headline for it and we can definitely go into the components of headline, what to do with your profile. The essential idea is to make sure that you are putting in the words that your prospects or ideal clients would search for on there so that they can find you first. When they get to it, you need to have your profile speak in terms of what their wants and needs are instead of where a lot people, they make a mistake, it’s thinking “Oh, it’s just like a resume online.” But your prospects aren’t thinking that way. Your prospects are thinking “Hey what can this person do for me in terms of helping me grow my business?” Or whatever it is that you can help them with. That’s an important part. In terms of just being able to build that relationship, definitely you don’t want what they call a ‘marriage proposal’ at first sight. I’m not sure about you, but have you ever seen those messages come across, where you don’t really know them. You somehow got connected to them on LinkedIn and they go “Hey, I’m so and so from this company. We do all this stuff. Do you want to talk to me? Maybe you can buy from me.”
S: Yeah. When I get those, I immediately remove those people.
A: Exactly. The worst part is the reason why they call it a marriage proposal. It’s like you’re going up to a stranger and saying, “Hey! I saw you and I know we just met but will you marry me? And oh by the way, can you pay for the wedding as well?” That’s not just going to work. The way to actually properly do this, there’s four steps. First, you actually have to make sure that you invite these qualified prospects to connect with you. I’m not sure if you know but once they connect with you, not only do you appear on top of their minds on a constant basis anytime you make updates or publish a LinkedIn post or you can actually get their emails as well directly so that you can contact them. That’s a great part. In order to be able to actually get them to accept your invitation to connect, where we’ve had up to 60% of people connect with you with this type of messaging, you need to have three components to it. First, you need to personalize it with their name so that they know you’re not just spamming them. I know it takes a bit more time, maybe 10 to 15 seconds more when you invite somebody, but instead of sending just that defaulting LinkedIn message, you want to have their name and then you want to talk about something that you have in common, establish rapport. Whether it’s a LinkedIn group, a shared connection or shared interest, or perhaps you graduated from the same school, whatever that is, you want to mention that so that they feel that they can like you and trust you. And then lastly, you have to talk about what it is that you want to reach them about. It’s not just randomly sending out an invitation to connect. It actually has a purpose. Whether you want to find out more about their business, about what they do. That’s the first part. You need to get that invitation to connect. Once they do accept your connection, then we send out typically a four part messaging series to them as a marketing campaign.
S: You send out an invitation first but don’t you have to know the person’s email address or you have to use a InMail which only gets a certain number of those with the level of account that you paid for on LinkedIn, let’s talk about that for a minute.
A: Yeah. I think a lot of people think that way and actually what we do is with LinkedIn, typically I do it through the desktop instead of sending invites through mobile because it’s easier to customize as such. Usually, you have to make sure you go to their page, view their LinkedIn profile, and then from there click the connect button and on there you’ll be able to actually select in terms of a couple of different options of how you know them. If you don’t know them, which a lot of times for my clients and even for myself I’ve never met them and they haven’t heard about my client or I, but we use a friend selection. That way, you we can avoid the email component of having to put in their email and then you can customize the message right there as well. It’s very important that you do that, otherwise a lot of times people make the mistake of just once they search people and the search result, they’ll just actually click connect and it just sends out a default LinkedIn message which a lot of times they get rejected because people are thinking, “I don’t know you.” That’s the way to get past that.
S: Don’t you run the risk though of having people report you to LinkedIn as not being a friend and then you get a small number of those and you can get kicked off to LinkedIn?
A: There is that potential and that’s why it’s very important to personalize it. You have to make sure that the people you’re searching-when we search of prospects, we only reach out to people who are second connections meaning that you share a LinkedIn connection with them. It’s like a friend of a friend. Or, we reach out to people in groups that you’re in. When you do that, people are thinking, “Oh, this person is similar to me at least in some way.” Based on who you’re reaching out to, let’s say you’re reaching out to a business owner and you say in your message that you want to find out more about their business, well they’re thinking “Hey, this could be a potential client or a referral partner. That would be fine to connect with them.” Usually when we’ve done this, I’ve never had any problems with getting accounts shut down or getting warnings from LinkedIn when you do it in this method.
S: What sort of question are you asking when you reach out to them, you ask them what’s their core business or tell me more about your business? What are you asking them?
A: Once you connect with them or before?
S: When you initially reach out to them as a friend through the invitation process, are you saying something like, “Hey, I was interested in your services.” Or, “Can you tell me more about your business?” Or you’re saving that for the four message series after you’ve gotten the invitation granted? Or what’s the process?
A: Yeah, you do a combination of both in the invitation and then the four message series. In the invitation, you can say, “I want to reach out and find out more about your business to see if there’s a possibility to work together. Would you be open to connecting here on LinkedIn?” And just your name. Typically, that’s how we end with the messages and there’s a character limit anyway, so you have to keep the message short. That’s the question that you usually want to put in in addition to mentioning that you belong to the same group or have this same connections and shared connections. That’s the way to be able to get people to respond because if you’re just saying, “Hey, I want to reach out and find out more about your business.” I find that it doesn’t get as high of an acceptance rate as opposed to when you ask them a question to say, just in terms of finding out, and there might be a possibility to work together and would you be open to connecting on LinkedIn.
S: Got it. Okay, do you ask for introductions from existing contacts? I get those every so often, “Hey, can you introduce me to so and so, I see they’re a contact of yours and they’re not yet a contact of mine. I’d really like to do business with them.” If I like the person that made the request, I’ll forward it on. Is that a typical thing that you do with your clients or not?
A: It depends on who they’re trying to reach out to. Obviously, if it’s with my clients who are typically small to mid-size businesses, if they’re reaching to a company and it’s harder to get through to the let’s say, executive level depending on how big that prospect or ideal clients is in terms of the company size, then sometimes yes, we’ll use introductions just to request it. But typically through the way of just reaching out through friend and mentioning that you do have a shared connection, and you can put in the name there. It really depends on how big of a business field that you’re talking. If you’re talking quite five, six, seven figures, then definitely you want to be asking for those warmer introductions. I just find that sometimes depending on the speed and depending on how good your relationship is with that person that you’re asking an introduction from, sometimes, I would suggest that you send them a request but also message them either through phone, email or your usual way of reaching out to them first just to give them a heads up and ask them before sending them a LinkedIn introduction request.
S: Got it. Let’s walk through the four-part message series. Why four parts? Why does it need to be a series? What’s the endgame here in doing a message series?
A: In terms of being able to really build that relationship, it’s just like in normal life if you’re to date somebody and eventually want to marry them. It’s all about building that relationship. We discuss how it’s very important to avoid the big sales pitch fest right upfront. In terms of four messages, it’s getting them to go on a few dates with you. And because people like the people who they spend more time with, so the more often that you’re getting in front of them instead of just that one time sending them a message, asking them to meet with you, you’re appearing in front of them on the consistent basis and so they’re much more likely to actually want to talk to you. With the first message, what you want to do is you want to simply thank them for connecting and usually like add value to them in the first message. Because they’re on LinkedIn, they’re probably looking to connect with potential prospects, with pro-partners or even employees that they want to hire. What you can do is say something like “Hi,” and make sure you put in their first name, “Thank you so much for connecting with me on LinkedIn. Just to add value to you, would you let me know who your ideal clients or referral partners are,” if they’re a business owner, or, “Who would you like to connect to on LinkedIn? The reason is because I may be able to introduce you to people in my network.” That’s a great way in terms of being able to at least get them to really distinguish you from all the other people that they’re connecting with on LinkedIn because you’re proactively offering to add value to them instead of asking for them to do something for you right away. That’s probably unexpected for most people, and so they’ll remember you a bit more. And then right after that, you can depending what you’re providing if it’s something that is more consulting basis that you’re doing, what you can do is also mention, “Would you please let me know what your,” and then you can insert in terms of what their biggest problem is, that they’re probably facing. For me, for example, I could be, “Would you be able to let me know what your biggest challenges is, in terms of growing your business using LinkedIn? The reason is because I may be able to provide you with some practical strategies that can really help you.” And then you just say, “Thank you,” and end with your name. It’s a quick message. Within that, when they start thinking about, “What is my biggest challenge with?” Let’s say whatever you actually help them with. They start to make a slight connection, you’re planting the seed of you being able to provide that solution to take them from all their problems that they’re in right now to potentially where they want to be. You’re doing it in a way, again, it’s to add value to them. You’re not trying to say, “Hey would you want to do a free consultation with me?” You’re not saying that and you’re just ending it in terms of a quick thank you and your name. I’m not sure if you’ve seen, people once they send out these messages when they first message you, they’re like, “Oh, I have to get everything in.” They put in everything possible. Their free downloads, offers, all their websites in terms of their social media. It’s a huge message that people are like, “Well, I’m overwhelmed. Moving on.” I’m not sure if you’ve seen those messages like that.
S: Yeah. That feels really spammy to me when I get those.
A: Yeah. You want to make sure that your message is really concise and that gets the attention across to them. They can simply quickly answer it. A big part is that, I’m not sure if you know about this but mobile is actually getting 61% of all of the traffic on LinkedIn. You want to keep your messages quite short because people can just read and simply respond using their mobile device. That’s the first message. The second message is again to add value to them. You really want to make sure that again you’re not trying to sell them something but you have to think about, “Okay, what is that big challenge that they’re facing?” Once you figure that out, I want you to go and you can look up online in terms of an article or resource, something that can really help them and preferably from a big brand that they know in terms of publishing or a magazine that they follow, blog that they might be interested in. Whatever that is, then you want to find a resource that can really help them such as some tips, some mistakes to avoid, best practices. You want to find this article and then send it in a message to them so the message will go something like, “Hi, first name,” and you can insert what their position is, let’s say, “Based on your position as business owner, I came across this article called,” and then you would insert the article title, let’s say Five LinkedIn Mistakes To Avoid When Trying To Sell To Ideal Clients or when you’re trying to sell to prospects. And then, you would put in the article and say, “Thought this might add value to you to really help you grow your business. Here’s the article.” And then you would just put the link in, “Take a read. Let me know what you think. Look forward to hearing from you.” And then you just put in your name and that’s it. Again, it’s a quick message but this way they can simply read through it, they can just be able to go to the article, get some value out of it. Again, this is all part of relationship building because they’re seeing that you’re adding value. That’s going to distinguish you from your competitors, that’s the second message. And then the third message is to position you as somebody that they can trust. Here, we want to make sure that we’re building credibility for you. What you want to do if you want to take a case study of your best clients and you want to put it in a way, write it in a blog post and you want to have a couple of components in there. First is to have what the problem is. What’s the big problem that they’re facing, because you want to get your potential prospect, ideal client that you’re sending this article to relate because they’re seeing, “Yeah, I have these problems too. Now I have these problems, what do I do?” And then you want to give some strategies in there. You would want to let’s say list three to five strategies just in terms of high level strategies that you use to help your client and then what the results were. It’s very important. A lot of people forget that, they go into a case study, they talk about, “Here’s what we did.” But they don’t talk about the results. People, because they don’t know you yet, they haven’t talked to you in terms of face to face or on the phone, you want to make sure that they see what kind of results can you get for your clients. Then finally, you can end with a little call to action if you have a free download for them, free resource for them, consultation, you can have a short two to three sentences about that. Then you take all this and publish it as a LinkedIn post which is similar to just a blog post. The reason why you want to publish it is because one, that allows you to create more content on LinkedIn which then prospects and ideal clients can search for you not just within LinkedIn but people in Google can actually find you as well. This is great for SEO terms as well as once you publish it there, then people, when you send it to them, they can then take a look, they can share, they can comment and really start getting engaged as well sharing it with their network who are probably also similar to them so more additional prospects that you can get in front of. The message would be pretty similar to the second message in saying, “Hey first name, I just created a LinkedIn post and based on your position as the business owner, that would be very helpful in growing your business. Here are the five mistakes to avoid when getting business on LinkedIn.” We created a case study that helped these clients to double their business. You want to put the result in there and then say here’s the link and you insert your LinkedIn post and then say something like, “We look forward to hearing from you on what your thoughts are. Thank you,” and just put your first name so that it feels a bit more like that you’re growing closer in your relationship as well. That’s the third message. And then finally the fourth message is actually a lot quicker than most people think. You don’t need to go into the whole, “Here’s what I do in my business, blah blah blah. Can we have a chat?” You can simply go like, “Hey, we’ve been connected for awhile on LinkedIn. Social media is really great but I really want to get to know my LinkedIn connections better. Would you be open to a quick chat to talk more about your business and how we can potentially work together? Thank you.” And just put your name in. You want to emphasize that it is a very quick chat because people are super busy nowadays. You want to make sure that when you frame it, it’s just a quick chat and it’s to find out more about their business or about what they do. People like to talk about themselves, this way you get that in to be able to ask them to a phone call or meeting and take the conversation offline. Don’t try to sell on LinkedIn. People don’t really know you yet, and especially LinkedIn is a way for you to get high paying clients. It’s not really for you to sell let’s say five dollar gadgets. If that’s what you’re after, then LinkedIn might not be the best for you in terms of finding ideal clients. It can be for referral partners but this marketing campaign, the goal is to get a meeting with them offline. That’s for the four-part message series. You typically want to have two weeks in between these messages, two to three weeks just so that people have time to respond to you. It’s not like Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. A lot of the other social medias where people are on it and responding the minute that you post something. It is definitely a lot more professional, people are busy with their businesses, their careers, and so it takes some time for them to get back to you and respond to you as well.
S: Very cool. How do you scale this? How do you automate it so that you don’t have to individually handcraft each message and counter the two-week time frame between each message and then go and send the next one? It sounds like it could be a lot of work if you’re trying to reach out to thousands of LinkedIn contacts. How do you do that?
A: Definitely. In terms of being able to reach out to so many people, that’s why a lot of clients do hire us to be able to run lead generation campaigns for them so to that they can just be able to hand this off to an expert. But in terms of doing it yourself, one thing I do want to make caution of is I’ve seen a lot of mistakes where there’s softwares out there that say that using this software, we can automate sending out invites, message to a lot of different prospect. The problem with that is it’s actually against LinkedIn’s user policy where they’re definitely a big no no on robots and software and it could get your account shut down. I have seen accounts get shut down from people just in terms of-it looks really bad to a potential prospect when they’re trying to find out a bit more and then they see, “Oh, this person is no longer on LinkedIn.” Or, “This account have been removed due to spam.” In terms of being able to more so automate it, you definitely want to have a schedule in terms of first making sure that you create a marketing campaign that is geared towards the primary ideal client that you have. You would want to start out with who are the ideal clients. I will pick one or two top ones, probably just starting out with the main ideal client that you want. Let say you’re going after small business owners in a certain industry or certain area. You want to get as specific as possible so that you can create a marketing campaign that’s really dear to them. It’s not about really a lot of quantity, you’re going after big deals high paying clients, it’s more about the quality. You want to be very specific in terms of your target audience. And then once you pick that, then you want to write the marketing campaign where it’s basically just mass, personalize marketing, because you’re writing up this four-part campaign for them and then you’re simply just changing the name. Then what you want to do is you want to actually schedule it onto your calendar. I typically like to do this in what I call block time where you are able to just block half an hour or an hour each week and just sit down and do all this because it’s going to be a lot more efficient than you sort of switching through during the days just to be able to do that. In that hour and a half each week, you want to send out invites. In a week, the minimum that you can do is just 5 a day so that would be about 25 invites and those are pretty quick to get out of the way. Probably once you get faster at copy and pasting and searching, then it would be probably about 10 to 15 minutes max. And then once you do that, you want to make sure that you have a spreadsheet to keep track of all these prospects that’s connected with you during that week and then be able to track them in terms of which campaign are they in. During that time, then you can say “Here’s all the people that let’s say this week we need to send out message one to them.” You can pretty much just copy and paste. Another thing that’s also very helpful in terms of speeding this up is there is a messaging thread for each person that you message so you can simply take that messaging thread the first time that you message them and then just be able to keep that in the spreadsheet and then take that and use it each time you have to research them in the future. You can hand it off to an assistant once you create the marketing campaign and you have more training for them which we also do as well but once you have more training for them in terms of, “Alright, here’s the way we’re going to organize this and here’s all the marketing messages that we’re going to send out. I want you to every week send it out to this set of people and then go through all that.” And then what you can do instead is that you can also have your assistant look through your LinkedIn inbox in terms of people responding and just reach out to you for the ones that are interested in finding more or talking to you more.
S: And so how do you search for the ideal prospect? Let’s say that you want to do five LinkedIn add requests per day, who you’re going to outreach to? Who are those five, what would you recommend as a process for that?
A: In terms of LinkedIn, you want to be able to really have an ideal client set up before you even go and search for anybody. Here are some of the search fields that you can use when searching in LinkedIn. You want to make sure that you have the title of your prospect and make sure that you have that down very specifically in terms of what position they have. Let’s say small business owner, a VP, marketing or whatever that is, you want to have that. And then in terms of location, you can be as specific as within so many miles of you in terms of LinkedIn. If you’re very, very local, then that is an option or if you’re reaching out to a city or a state, various cities within that state, there are options that you can just put that in as well as nationally if you’re reaching out to all over the country there. Then once you do that, you also want to pick industries. On LinkedIn, there’s a lot of industries that you’ll probably have to take a scroll through first in terms of the search functions that you want to see. Okay, what are the top five industries that you are interested in, pick those. I’m going to talk about premium filters which depending on who you’re trying to reach out to, I find this very helpful. I do this for all my clients where in terms of the premium search filters, you basically want to choose how big of a company size in terms of who you’re reaching out to. With LinkedIn, it’s based on the number of employees. It could be self-employed, 1 to 10 employees, 11 to 50, 50 to 200, and so on and so forth. It gets all the way up to 10,000 plus employees. Depending on what type of company you’re reaching out to, you want to make sure you list all this out in terms of the search criteria. And then once you have this, then you want to go into LinkedIn and it’s pretty much just a copy and paste from the ideal client profile that you created just now. You would put in the title, and then you can put in in terms of title and select current title, and make sure you do that just so that your LinkedIn is not returning you let say if they were VP of marketing in the past but they’re not right now, then you want to avoid that. Put that in and then put in the location. And then in terms of relationship, you want to put in just second connections and also group members as well. Something that you share in common. There’s another option that you can select third connections but it would be really hard for you to justify to them, “Yeah we have something in common,” well you don’t, unless you go into each of their profile and you see if you maybe have the same interests or same college. It doesn’t really help you in terms of being efficient at this. Pick second connections and group members that you’re in, and then fill in the industries and then select different company size. Usually, I don’t recommend people getting the premium membership level until at least they finish optimizing their profile to position themselves to be able to really have the right wording so that they get found and get contacted more by prospects. And then when you’re ready to start inviting prospects to connect, that’s when you can get the premium membership there.
S: Which premium membership do you recommend because you can do the sales navigator? What’s your recommendation there?
A: A lot of people think that sales navigator, because LinkedIn has been pushing it a quite a bit in terms of all their advertising, so people are thinking “Wow, yes. This is definitely the one for me. It’s got all the bells and whistles.” I find that usually it’s a bit overrated in terms of all the functions and yes, it has quite a bit more but if you’re a small business, mid-sized business, typically what you just need from both a cost perspective as well as function perspective, you can just use the business plus premium membership. That is a much cheaper version that can make sure that you’re not just having a lot of cost going out the door but not being able to really utilize all of the functions. Sales navigator? Yes. I think it would be great for a much larger corporation but if you’re small to mid-size, then business plus. It’s what I use for my clients and myself as well just being able to reach out to those prospects.
S: What’s the price difference? I’m using sales navigator and that’s $80 a month so it’s one of the pricier options for premium with LinkedIn.
A: Yeah. Business plus is probably going to be depending on which package you use. About $50, if you buy it on annual basis, so that is a bit cheaper and it still gives you most of the functions that you’ll need in order to be able to execute and start building relationships with your prospect. It’s got all the premium search filters that you need as well. This is a good way for you to save on cost but still be able to still get the results.
S: Great. Are there other benefits besides searching, and I know you get InMails that you can use but it sounds like you don’t really use those with your approach. Do you get like a beefier LinkedIn profile if it’s a paid premium account?
A: Definitely. If you’re thinking let’s say ad space, you actually in search results do actually show up bigger in terms of when prospects are searching for potential solution providers, you get a bigger space when your profile shows up compared to other profiles which are not premium. The way that people think when they’re doing research online is that they typically go with the one that provide more information because they feel like they know you a bit more so they are more likely to trust you and reach out to you. If you have a premium profile, when you come up on the search result, there’s a lot more details about you in terms of the position, your company, and such, and it’s highlighted as premium. This means that they’ll be more drawn to click onto you profile. The other thing is there’s a really great option with the premium in that you can have what’s known as people being able to openly message you without having to use up their InMail credits because that costs money after certain limits, depending on their memberships. This is a great way for anybody, ideal prospect, ideal clients, referral partners to reach out to you without having to use up their InMail credits. And in terms of InMail, we want to save those. We do use them from time to time with my clients, we want to really save those with the ones that have a lot of following, people that have a huge following on LinkedIn or you know that they are very highly sought after, you want to make sure that you save those InMail credits for messaging them to be able to get in front of them because chances are they sometimes might not even be able to have time to respond to your request. When you send an InMail, at least it gets directly into not only their LinkedIn inbox but in terms of an email directly to them. This is a way to still get in front of them. It just depends on who you’re trying to reach out to.
S: For premium accounts, you can see who has viewed your profile.
A: Yes, you can actually see up to 90 days whereas the free account just allows you to see seven days. This is also great way in terms of being able to see who’s read your profile. When you reach out to them, don’t be creepy and say, “Hey, I noticed you viewed my profile. Why?” It’s just like, “Hey, I know you are looking at me from across the street, let’s talk.” That’s a little bit creepy when you do that. What you want to do instead is you can also then view back on their profile and find something that they would have in common in terms of perhaps shared connections, depending on that, you’re both entrepreneurs or business owners, or you’re from the same area and just say, “Hey, I came across your profile because we share the same LinkedIn connection or same LinkedIn group and I wanted to reach out to find out more about your business or what you do,” and go through the invitation and marketing message through that way.
S: And probably you don’t want to do that five minutes after they’ve viewed your profile.
A: Well again, yes.
S: No stalking.
A: No stalking, at least we don’t want that. The other option that you could do which is something that’s a little bit stealthy depending on how you want to do it is you can actually have the option to have your setting so that you can view people’s profile as anonymous, completely anonymous. What you can do is if you know that one of your competitors on LinkedIn has pretty good in terms of following, you can go see what they’re doing with their profile. Instead of letting them see that you read their profile, you can simply view them anonymously and be able to see how they structured their profile in terms of the words that they’re using and such. I’m not saying copy them, but I’m saying to be able to see in terms of model. I know your expertise for SEO still does work for LinkedIn in terms of being able to make sure that the words, usually we try to rank for just three to maximum five keywords in terms of positions. With LinkedIn, people are searching for positions and titles. You want to definitely have one to two of your positions that your ideal clients would probably use to find you. The rest would be on the product or services that you can provide. For example, online marketing consultant or owner and SEO marketing or social media marketing. Whatever that is, you want to include that for search terms as well.
S: Awesome, we’ll have to get to the whole profile makeover process in just a few minutes, I wanted to get a few other questions answered before we move to that. Let’s say you’re ready to go with paying for premium, you see the benefits of doing this with regards to the different features that we’ve been talking about, do you also want to spend money on advertising on LinkedIn or do you want to just try and do this as free and as organically as possible?
A: For now, start out with free and organic. Until you figure out your ideal clients in terms of what they’re responding to, just in terms of the messaging component, this is a great way for you to test out what they might be interested in. You can do a little bit of split testing like see okay if we send out based on the same ideal client, you can send out a certain article or resource to them let’s say for a certain title or challenge that they have and more people respond to that, like more clicks being done through those. Then you’ll know here’s probably the messaging that people are interested in. That way, when you potentially do advertising, it’s still quite a bit high cost. LinkedIn, I don’t like it as much because you don’t have that many capabilities like Facebook in terms of retargeting and pixels and all of that. I don’t like it as much in terms of being able to retarget and follow up with that, with people for advertising. I don’t like that function and that’s why I’m advocating for just doing the relationship building for now until you see okay this is something that people really respond to really well. Then that’s when you can start putting in just a little test pilots in terms of a few hundred dollars for testing out to see what that would look like for a response because LinkedIn, the cost is quite a bit higher in terms of per lead. Yes, you are definitely getting a bigger sale than you would probably get when you’re advertising on Facebook, but again, you still want to be aware of the cost and want to make sure that you are using the right words in terms of really speaking out to their problems or their wants.
S: Alright. Cost per lead you found is cheaper on Facebook than LinkedIn?
A: Definitely. With LinkedIn, a lot of times like Facebook from what I heard, sometimes it could be lower than a dollar, a couple of cents depending on what your goal is. With LinkedIn, that’s definitely not even close, it’s definitely a few dollars each click and it’s going to be a bit harder in terms of being able to retarget them. I think LinkedIn will eventually catch up, but the way that they’re moving, they’re definitely going a lot more mobile so it will be interesting to see how that component is going to work as well.
S: What about outreaching to your existing network? Let’s say that you have several thousand people in your LinkedIn connections, do you have a campaign for outreaching to those people or you’re primarily working on building a larger and larger audience, people that have never heard of you before who are not in your network and you’re trying to add them and then send these four-message series.
A: It’s a great question that you have. A lot of people, they built up LinkedIn connections over time and some of them you added yourself, some them they sent requests to you and you’ve never really done anything with them besides just say, “Yes, I’m open to connecting.” We definitely want to have a campaign out to them. It’s going to be a combination of the third and fourth message that we have in terms of the four-part series that we’ve just talked about. It’ll be something, it’s typically shorter, usually within probably two messages we would be able to just focus a bit more on that. Let’s say they’re in your network but you’ve never reached out to them, I would still treat them as pretty much similar to new prospects so you do have to separate it out in terms of that way. Let’s say you connected with them but you’ve never sent any messages to them, then I would still send them the four-part message series because they’re essentially just like a new prospect besides them seeing that you have some updates from time to time, maybe you published a LinkedIn post, started discussion groups, but you’ve never really personally reached out to them, then it’s just going to be like a cold prospect. If you have reached out to them in the past and you just got busy and you haven’t followed up with them in a few months, then one of the things that you could do is take the case study that you’ve already produced, you don’t need to do more work. I’m a big advocate in terms of being able to repurpose things. Use that case study and say when you do a search, and again you want to search within your existing connections, just click on first connections instead of second connections or group members. Just click on first connections and all the other search criteria fields would be the same. Then for those people, they can send a message to them that says, “I just wanted to share this with you in terms of this article.” You would essentially take your message through and use the exact same wording and then message four. This way, you are still able to get in front of them but you’re coming from them in a way that they probably haven’t seen before because from what I know, most people haven’t shared a case study that is adding value. It’s not just a case study the typical way that we think of it where it’s just problem, results. You want to put in a way that it’s still more content, add value, but in a way that again, gets their attention or what problems that they might have right now and them starting to see you as a potential solution provider.
S: Do you have an example case study that you’re particularly proud of that you want to share with my listeners?
A: For sure, in terms of reaching out to clients. With LinkedIn, we were able to get one of the clients, he was reaching out to Fortune 500. This was a consultant services, they’re reaching out to executives of Fortune 500 and being able to basically what we did was we searched very specifically. Let’s say you know a list of companies that you want to go after, creating that list and then being able to select as well when you do the search field what company that they work in. And then we sent out a campaign to them whereby we were able to offer them basically a free online presentation that’s 101, that shares with them what their industry peers are doing, and it’s focused around regulatory compliance. Essentially, it was free consulting as well. We were able to get them in terms of their return on investments. They were able to get over 12 times in terms of sales generated based on the efforts that we put in. Another client, actually he was on your show earlier, Clint Arthur. He was reaching out to small businesses who are coaches, professionals, and we were able to get within just days of people responding, “Hey, we would like to find out more.” And actually, somebody said, “Oh, this is great. I want to talk to you and I forward this message to six other,” he was reaching out to speakers as well, ”six other friends who are also speakers.” More prospects for them, and he was able to get at least more than four times return on his investment as well, in terms of being able to grow the sales. This is a really great way to get in front-we’re talking about not just starters but these are established businesses that they’re going after to be able to really grow their sales.
S: Very cool. Are you writing these up as LinkedIn posts, these case studies, and then adding the stuff that makes it super relevant to the reader? Is there one particular one that you want to point listeners to as an example that they could maybe emulate of a good message number three of the four-part series, as far as where you send people to, receiving that third message?
A: If they go to www.linkedbusinessaccelerator.com. They’ll be able to not only get these messages that we’re talking about so that they can see it in a more case study form, in actual script, it’s like file form. They’ll also be able to get a 12 step LinkedIn profile check there as well. I am having a live training webinar for them that they can attend which will walk through a bit more in depth in terms of these case studies. It’s five secret strategies for you to generate more leads and referrals using LinkedIn and you can get this at www.linkedbusinessaccelerator.com/webinar.
S: Awesome, we’ll include a link to that in the show notes. Let’s say that we wanted to get these people that are on our existing network onto our email list. Is there a strategy or process that you recommend for that?
A: There’s two ways that you can go by that. One, which I definitely recommend, is let’s say every month I would do a backup and export all your LinkedIn connections in terms of all their email lists and contact information like first name, last name, company position. You can just export this from LinkedIn so that in case something happens with LinkedIn, let’s say if they decide to take out that function feature, I don’t think they will, but if they do then at least you have that database. But in terms of getting them onto your email list, instead of asking them for a free consultation or a meeting with them, that last message, the message four, you can actually also ask them to a free webinar or provide them with a free resource that they can download. The free webinar, again, the message should be fairly short. You can have the webinar title and you can have probably three points in terms of what they’ll be interested in. You don’t need to mention dates specifically, people can find that out once they go onto your page. You just want to mention the title, that it’s relevant to their position or their industry. And also, what are those three really key benefits that they can get from the webinar and the webinar link and that’s pretty much it. That’s one way. The other way is when you’re publishing these LinkedIn posts, what you want to do is at the end of each post or actually throughout, I usually have three places in terms of calls to action that they can go back to. You don’t want to confuse them too much and have three different calls to action, keep it consistent. For example, let’s say you have a checklist that you want them to do. I know for your podcast, you have a checklist that people can get from your podcast episodes. What you can do is at the beginning when you’re talking about what are the problems that they might have that this post can really help them solve, you can say there’s a five-part checklist that you can get and just hyperlink it within your LinkedIn post. And then during the middle two, you can say that this is just one of the steps that we cover in our checklist. At the very end, I’ll typically have a part where I say actions steps. At the very end of the LinkedIn post where I’ll go through, just summarize the strategies that they can use, that they can take action right away, and then have again that call to action in terms of if you want to be able to grow your business using LinkedIn, here’s 3 12-step profile checklist to get you started, and then you can hyperlink it there as well. It’s just like a blogpost but the benefit is that now it can be shared, liked and commented. Because I’ve tested this out, sending people to a blog post versus sending them to a LinkedIn post, which one they’re more likely to look at. Definitely for LinkedIn members, they want to just stay on LinkedIn and they’re much more likely to engage on there as opposed to sending them to your website.
S: Instead of sending them to your website to a blog post there where you can drop a retargeting pixel and all that sort of stuff, you keep them inside of the LinkedIn ecosystem by sending them to a LinkedIn pulse a article or blog post that you wrote on LinkedIn.
A: Yeah. And then within that post, then you can have your call to action which sends them to just the opt-in page.
S: Right. Webinar registration or lead magnet download, whatever.
A: Yeah, exactly.
S: Got it. Okay, earlier you mentioned that one of the ways that you could outreach to people and show some commonality is that we’re in the same group. What about the creating groups that you own or control? Is this something that is an important strategy, or not really?
A: It is, it does takes a bit more time though. It definitely depends on how much time you are able to invest in it. It is a great way for you to position yourself and also to build your email list. When you create your own LinkedIn group, you want to be specific as to who your ideal clients are and more importantly what that problem, or perhaps that want that they have. With the group title, it’s very important that you name this correctly. You want to put in there what their position is and you can even be more specific in terms of industry or location depending on how you segregate your ideal clients. You have that, and then you have a quick benefit. It is still SEO related in terms of when people are searching for LinkedIn groups. You want to have keywords, probably two to three keywords in there in terms of what they will be interested in and what is that benefit that they can provide. For example, let’s say for yourself it could be for business owners. Your group title could literally be Business Owners: How To Use SEO To Grow Your Sales, or Grow Your Business, or Grow Your Traffic. Whatever that is that you can provide to them, you want to put that as the group title. And then you want to just start inviting your existing connections to it. Because they’re much more likely to join than if you were to just reach out to somebody within a group cold when you haven’t reached out to them and then use InMail for that. Start reaching out to your existing connections and actually make sure that you do populate with some content. You don’t need to post that frequently, you don’t need to necessarily be like the other social media sites that post a lot each day. You can just post one article or resource each day and make sure that they’re not just all yours. People join groups to get value from a variety of sources. It would seem a bit spam like if you’re just providing your own content. Within your group, you want to be publishing once a day just in term of sharing a status update for a resource that’s from somewhere that you’ve seen, that is very helpful, and then each week you can have one to two posts that’s specifically about let’s say a LinkedIn post that you published or perhaps you have an upcoming promotion. We want to hear it in a way that’s adding value. Once you start building this up in terms of your group members, then you will be able to actually start reaching out to them. As people are joining, if let’s say they’re not connected to you yet, you’ll be able to find them and connect with them as well as sending out a weekly announcement to them. Let’s say you get a group that’s a couple of hundred, thousand, or even there are some groups that have hundreds and thousands of members whereby you’ll be able to reach out and send a weekly announcement to them completely for free. LinkedIn is offering you this, whereas if you were to have an email service that sends it out, it would probably cost you quite a bit. This allows you to send out weekly for free. I suggest with a free piece of content and then a little call to action at the end. I would say definitely for every three pieces of value adding content, have a piece in there that would be promotional, just like how you would usually treat your emails. You don’t want to spam them with them just seeing weekly promotions from you, you do want to add value to them as well.
S: Got it. What about people that you think are probably there to spam? Are you screening and not letting everybody join? For example, I have a LinkedIn group for my book The Art of SEO and there are thousands of members in there and I didn’t reach out to any of them and there are hundreds more who are waiting for me to approve them and I’m like, “Who are these people? Should I just bulk approve them all?” I know some of them are just going to start spamming the heck out of the group trying to find business, how do you handle that?
A: Let’s say if you have hundreds of member that you need to approve, you can bulk approve them for now because it’s going to be quite inefficient for you to go through each and every one of them. Unless you can get your assistant to do it as well, but typically, I would say let them go in for now. At least they’re creating some discretions and such to get the group going. And then I would probably get your assistant to check in, you can do a quick scroll probably like five minutes. Just scroll through and see. The people who typically are the spammers, they will try and post every single day. You have to approve the discussion from new members so you could do that just so that you can see it, but in terms of managing, if you have a group that size, then for now I would just leave it open and then just on the weekly basis have your assistant scroll through for a quick five minutes to see if somebody is posting super frequently, and posting just something spammy, and then you can just remove them from there as well.
S: Yep, makes sense, cool. And then finally let’s get back to this idea of beefing up your profile and having an extreme makeover. You’ve got the headline, you got the summary, you got the photo, you got recommendations, endorsements, all of that sort of stuff, the background. What are the most important elements to optimize and what are your recommendations there?
A: You have to have a professional photo, just that alone, there’s so many profiles out there where maybe people think that somebody will stalk them or they’re afraid of their privacy but LinkedIn is a professional platform. Definitely have a very professional photo on there so that people can start seeing you, liking you, and trusting you because if you just have a picture of an avatar there, that’s not going to get you found. People with photos definitely get at least ten times more views than people who don’t. Then after that, you want to have a headline. With the headline, I’m talking about the main headline because like I said, both in terms of mobile because that’s at least 16% of the traffic now as well as desktop people. When they’re searching for you in terms of the way you show up in search results or when you’re starting discussions, you’re messaging them, all they’re seeing is your photo and your headline. Then based on that, they’ll decide if they want to click through to view your profile. Your headline, you want to have the positions that those two to three keywords in terms of positions or how your ideal clients will describe you. You want to have that in there as well as the benefit that you provide to them. You can be specific saying, “I help,” whoever your ideal client is, “business owners or entrepreneurs to,” and then inset benefit. “I help business owners to grow their sales and traffic and leads.” Once you have the headline, then you want to have a summary section which a lot of people miss out on. They typically just start putting it in just like their resume but the summary section is super important when prospects come to find you. You want to start out with similar to like an executive summary, just one paragraph that talks about how many years you’ve been in business, if you’ve been in business for let’s say 10 plus years, how many years you’ve been in business, and who do you help. Who are the people that you help and what are the key benefits that you provide? If you worked with some big name clients that they’ll recognize, then you’ll want to list that out. Clients have included, and then you can just list out a couple of your big clients. Then, you want to go into a bit sales letter mode which you want to talk about their problems and you can bullet point is. Are you having problems with, and then just list those three to five bullet points and then do you want, and this is where you can talk about their dreams and their wants. And again, three to five bullet points there, and then you can have results. What are the result that you provided with your clients, and you can even have a few testimonials in there. The best combination is if you have a testimonial which has results in there. Let’s say you were able to help clients double their sales or increase their profits by a certain percentage. They can include that in there. And then finally, have a call to action in terms of what you want them to do next. It could be that free resource, free consultation, something for free. Don’t just ask them for, “If you’re interested in all these products and services, then contact me.” Preferably something for free. And then, list out what are some of the benefits they’ll get from contacting you and have your actual contact information right there. That’s the summary. The other important part is to have your skills lined up as well. One, it’s for SEO purposes for LinkedIn so that you are ranked higher in terms of when people are searching for skills that they’re looking for for a service provider. For the skills, it actually gets you 17 times more likely to get viewed by people if you have 5 or more skills listed in there that you start getting endorsements for. You’ll start wanting to ask people you know on LinkedIn to start endorsing you for those skills. For you for example, you can list out SEO or online marketing as your top skills. LinkedIn will actually auto suggest some of the skills that people are searching for and then you can just include that in your profile.
S: How do you ask for these skills?
A: I would definitely start out with existing or past clients and then start reaching out to them and just ask them. You can send a quick message to them, remind them with all the great work that you’ve done for them and the results that they got and say, make sure that you emphasize quickly because people are busy, “Would you be open to just quickly endorse me for these skills?” You can just list up the skills right there. Because when you’re sending this message to them on LinkedIn, your profile is associated with your message so they can just click through and be able to endorse. You can say also, “Just also, I just endorsed you for the skills.” If you know from let’s say you working with them that obviously they are great at a couple of these skills, they you can just proactively say, “I just endorsed you for XYZ.” This way, it doesn’t just seem like you’re asking for them for something. Again, you’re still adding value to them.
S: That’s great and then what about recommendations, are you asking for those as well or is that not as important?
A: You want to ask for recommendations. The strategy usually is that for your existing clients, that’s who I start out with. For your existing clients, you want to ask them for recommendations. Usually, I’ll let them know beforehand as opposed to just sending it directly through LinkedIn, whether it’s through however you usually communicate with them, email, phone. Let them know, “Hey, would you be open to just providing me a quick recommendation on LinkedIn? I’ll be able to write up a sample draft and you can change it or approve it and then that way you’ll be able to just recommend me on LinkedIn.” Let them know that a lot of times people don’t want to put in all that work in terms of figuring out, “Oh, what should I say for a testimonial or recommendation?” It’s a lot quicker because you worked with the client, you know what problems they had, what you helped them with in terms of results. If you put that into a draft sample that they can simply use, customize a little bit and then just simply click approve, then that’s the quickest way. Once you get their okay off of LinkedIn just saying from either phone or chat with them saying that, “Okay, yeah send me a request through LinkedIn.” Then you would go into LinkedIn, ask for a recommendation message, but you want to customize it now saying, again you just want to remind them of some of the great result that they got from you and say, “As discussed, would you be able to recommending me here on LinkedIn? I created a sample draft for the wording that they can use and you can also talk about what problems you were facing, what results did you get, and who would you recommend me to or for.” And then just list that out as some of the guiding questions that they can use and in case they want to add to your draft sample or they want to change it as well. I would send that through and hopefully they will say yes and approve. Sometimes you will get busy so you want to remind them again if let’s say you don’t see it after two weeks. Just say, “Hey, I just sent you a request through LinkedIn, just wanted to see if you had any questions on that?”
S: That’s awesome. Listeners, I want to encourage you to go to Angela’s LinkedIn profile and really study up on what she’s done to optimize her profile because she “eats her own dog food.” She applies all the principles that you’ve been learning about in her own LinkedIn profile. Angela, what’s your URL for your LinkedIn profile?
A: It’s linkedin.com/askangelalin
S: Awesome and then again, what’s the website Angela for the linked business accelerator?
A: It’s www.linkedbusinessaccelarator.com/webinar, if you want to get on that webinar for Five LinkedIn Secret Strategies To Generate More Leads and Referrals. Also, just go to www.linkedbusinessaccelarator.com for the 12 step profile check list as well as the messaging scripts that we talked about so that you can start using them for your campaign.
S: Awesome. Thank you so much, Angela. This was amazing and information packed, lots of actions for listeners to take to improve their presence on LinkedIn and start generating lots of lead, that’s really exciting stuff. Listeners, go ahead and visit the Marketing Speak website for the show notes, a checklist of actions to take that are a summary of this episode. That’s at www.marketingspeak.com. This is Stephan Spencer signing off, thanks for joining, we’ll catch you on the next episode.