Having an online audience is always a good thing. No matter what you do for a living, or what industry you’re in, it’s always great to have social media followers. The more the better. While the type of people who follow you online differs based on the type of content you put out and the social networks you’re on, being useful is one thing they all have in common.
For a professional social network like LinkedIn, your followers can be more valuable than other social networks. According to a recent study by J.P. Morgan, 79% of C-suite executives use LinkedIn. For an entrepreneur—or business owners in general—who want to get their products and services in front of the right people, LinkedIn is the place to be.
Aside from getting yourself in front of the right people, here are other ways in which you can leverage your existing LinkedIn connections:
1. Educate them on new product updates
When your product has an exciting new update, you always want to educate your followers about it. After all, how good is a great new feature if nobody knows about it, let alone use it?
If you’re active on LinkedIn, your connections probably see your content from time to time and they’re familiar with you and your product. Now, all you have to do is choose the people in your followers who are most likely to be interested in your new product update and make sure they know about it.
Since you’re familiar with the exact problem that your new update solves for your users, you could pick people from your audience who will benefit most from the update. This way, explaining the update to them in a private message can make sense.
Of course, you could always write a new LinkedIn post about the update and what’s so great about it. However, reaching out to people who you know that they’ll probably be interested in the update is an even better idea.
2. Engage Your Connections Informally
Let’s make this clear, having someone in your LinkedIn connections doesn’t mean that you really “know” that person. While people are less open to adding other people they don’t really know on social networks like Facebook, that’s not the case with LinkedIn. Many people use LinkedIn to connect with other professionals they don’t know. And that’s a golden opportunity for you.
Approaching people in your connections informally and trying to really get to know them can open great opportunities for you. And that’s particularly true if you’ve met this person before. Perhaps you’ve met in a meeting, exchanged cards at a conference, or any of those other interactions where you meet a person, but you don’t really “know them”.
Something as simple as “Hey there, it’s been a while since we met at that conference. I hope you’re doing well” can work wonders.
3. Invite People to Webinars
Going on webinars is great for giving you more exposure, and building your brand. However, webinars aren’t that great without an audience. Making sure that at least a handful of people will attend your webinar makes a big difference. And that’s something that you can leverage your LinkedIn connections for.
You already know the topic of the webinar, and you know the exact type of people who would be interested in such a webinar. Now, all you have to do is filter your LinkedIn connections for people who fit these exact criteria and send them a personal invite to attend your webinar.
4. Nurture Your Connections for Sales Pitches
Lead nurturing is super-important, and it’s often overlooked by many organizations and entrepreneurs. When people perceive you—or your business— as a leader in your industry, they’re more likely to convert them from leads to customers. And that’s particularly true for big-ticket items.
On LinkedIn, you have a lot of connections who are also potential customers, AKA leads. Now, if you want to convert those leads, you should always be nurturing them for your sales pitch to be successful. How can you do this? It’s a combination of everything that we’ve mentioned so far.
Create high-quality and engaging LinkedIn posts, invite your leads to relevant webinars, engage with them informally, and try to start meaningful conversations with them in the comments. This way, when it’s time for the sales pitch, you’re more likely to succeed.
5. Invite Your Connections to Events or Groups
If you’re looking to build an online community in the form of a group, or even promote a real-life event, your LinkedIn connections are a great place to start. If you don’t really know most of those people in person, their LinkedIn profiles can give you a clear idea about whether they could be interested in joining a particular group or event.
All you have to do is set the criteria for the people who are more likely to be interested in joining your group or event, filter your LinkedIn connections based on these criteria, then start sending those invitations.
6. Ask Your LinkedIn Connections to Support Your Content
Sometimes, promoting content can be harder than creating it. And that’s another thing that your LinkedIn connections can help you with. After you take some time to engage with your LinkedIn connections and get to know them personally, you can then ask them to support your content.
Of course, if you ask people who are more likely to be interested in the type of content you post, that’ll make the whole thing much easier. To give people more incentive to support and share your content, you should offer to do the same in return.
Your LinkedIn connections are more valuable than you think. With the right mindset, you can use the connections you already have to strengthen your brand, find new business opportunities, and build an online community that’ll make your business thrive.