LinkedIn has grown to be one of the largest social media platforms there is, with nearly 800 million users people across the globe having a LinkedIn profile. As LinkedIn grows, it continues to look for new ways to make the site more valuable to its users, helping them reach out to other users to expand their network and, ultimately, increase their revenue.
One of LinkedIn’s latest endeavors is the LinkedIn Creator Accelerator Program – a program that they’ve set aside a $25 million budget for. So, what is this program, and why is LinkedIn investing so much into it?
The motivation behind the LinkedIn Accelerator Program is down to a single fact: Influencers sell. The fact that influencers sell makes them a very good fit for a platform that has selling at its core, even if the selling is done indirectly.
More influencers mean that more LinkedIn leads will be generated. Having more influencers on LinkedIn also means more content, and more content means more engagement. More quality content will also attract more members, many of whom will come for the influencers alone.
But what’s really in it for LinkedIn, you might be asking? Well, more members mean more sales for the platform, with sales including upgrades like LinkedIn Premium, Sales Navigator, and LinkedIn Recruiter. Such sales are the backbone of LinkedIn’s business model and generated just over $8 billion in revenue in 2020 alone. Few businesses will turn down the opportunity for more revenue, and bringing more influencers onto their platform will help LinkedIn do just that.
What Does This Mean For You?
We’ve established that bringing more influencers on board is a great thing for the platform, but how will that benefit people with a LinkedIn profile?
As mentioned, more influencers mean more members, and this means more opportunities to expand your network. That’s not the only way that having influencers on LinkedIn can benefit you, however. You can also benefit by becoming a LinkedIn influencer yourself.
The chances are that you already have hundreds of LinkedIn leads, and if you play your cards right, these connections can help you generate more leads and make more sales. But what if you could have even more connections? What about thousands, tens of thousands, maybe more?
Here’s how you can achieve just that and become a LinkedIn influencer.
Grow Your More Connections – It’s Easier than you Think
You might be thinking that it’s not easy to get many connections on your LinkedIn profile. However, it’s likely to be a lot easier than you might think. Not only is it relatively easy to do, but you can also grow your connections to thousands in just a few weeks or so.
Here’s a look at just a few of the most effective methods you can use.
- Make Connection Requests
This one is quite obvious. You can search for people in your field and then ask them to connect with you to get more connections. It might sound crude, but it’s also fairly effective. After all, other people typically create a LinkedIn profile to make connections themselves. Make sure to write a professional invitation message so the prospect knows who you are, what you do, and why they should connect with you. You can find professional LinkedIn message templates that will help you get the best results.
- Open Your InMails
As well as sending invitations out, check your inbox for people trying to reach out to you. Many other business people will be doing the same thing as you are – trying to connect with other professionals. Make sure that your profile is optimized to make it easier for the right people to find you.
- Get involved with Events and Groups
LinkedIn is home to a huge variety of events and groups where you can find other people in your industry. Such groups are an opportunity for you to get involved in discussions and establish yourself as an authority in your field. Other members will get to know you and understand that you can be trusted to deliver by contributing to these groups. Plus, of course, you can send connect requests to people taking part in those groups, and you’re likely to receive requests yourself.
- Engage In Comments
There are plenty of opportunities for discussion that help you get LinkedIn leads, whether on your profile, on other peoples’ profiles, or in events and groups. Engage with other people as much as you can. Answer questions and show other people that you know what you’re talking about and that you’re open to discussing your industry with other people.
- Create Your Own Engaging Content
One of the most effective ways to get your LinkedIn profile noticed is to create quality, engaging content. Create quality blogs and articles that offer deep insights into your industry and answer important questions. Try to create content that is useful to other people and helps them with any problems they might have. Content that answers questions or solves problems is more likely to be shared with other people, giving you even more exposure. In addition to blogs and articles, you can also create infographics, videos, and audio.
- Add Connections through Email Lists
Email lists are widely considered to be one of the most valuable assets in marketing. For example, You can use email lists for email marketing, which can help generate significant revenue if done right. Email lists can also help you expand your network, and what better way to use the emails than to get more LinkedIn leads? You will also find automation tools that will help to make this process a lot easier and faster for you.
Think Like A LinkedIn Influencer. Have A Likable Personality
There are countless influencers out there, each covering different niches and appealing to different audiences. However, influencers, in general, are known for three things.
First and foremost, influencers are known for producing great quality content. One of the most popular media that influencers use is videos made on platforms like TikTok and Instagram, while photos are also popular. Some influencers will also use blogs, articles, and other types of content.
Content created by influencers is made with the target audience in mind. The content is typically interesting, entertaining and helps to answer questions for their audience. When it comes to creating content, influencers also have a policy of quality over quantity.
As a LinkedIn influencer, your content will more likely be for B2B than B2C. This means focusing on educating your audience on the benefits of products and services. It’s fine to be entertaining, but education should be your primary goal.
Influencers tend to be interesting, likable people. They need to be able to tune in to the same wavelength as their target audience and grab and keep their attention. An influencer’s personality makes up a large part of what makes their content interesting to other people, and the right personality will need to be portrayed regardless of which format the content is being created in. To be a successful influencer in a professional field, a knowledgeable and confident personality is most likely to resonate with your target audience.
- Drama (Avoid)
Influencers often find themselves in the news and for the wrong reasons. They tend to be outgoing, outspoken people who are extroverts by nature, and this will sometimes lead them into a confrontation with other people or even with the authorities. While drama works out great for a lot of freelancers, it’s best avoided for people in professional lines of work.
Build a Strong Reputation
Influencers influence. One reason for their ability to influence is that their many followers trust them and look to them as an authority. If the influencer says that a particular product is good, their followers are likely to take their word for it, and many will go out and buy the product themselves.
As a LinkedIn influencer, you should also be focusing on building a reputation that will let your contacts know they can trust you. Use content to help you build a strong reputation with your contacts and when you have something to sell, they are more likely to buy from you.
Build Great Relatable Content
Just like any other influencer, you will need to build great content to be an influencer on LinkedIn. In fact, ‘great’ content isn’t even necessary to be successful; ‘good’ content will still help you to grow your Linked contact list and become an influencer on the platform.
Most people can create good content themselves without the need to hire professional content creators. For effective content that hits the spot, make sure it agitates your audience’s pain points – highlight what their problems are. When agitating your audience’s pain points, try to do so as if you were in their shoes. Show them that you understand their day-to-day struggles, helping them to relate to you as though you’re one of them.
When you’ve shown your audience that you empathize and understand their problem, show them how you can solve their problem. Show them how you can make their working day easier. Of course, the solution to their problem will be the product or service that you sell.
Take Hubspot, for example. Hubspot produces good quality content that covers topics such as making the most of their data and writing the perfect email. The content helps to answer their audience’s questions and solves their problems, and the solutions to their problems just happen to be the products they sell.
Trying to use your LinkedIn profile to sell your products in order to sell your products is one of the worst things you can do. It might sound counter-intuitive, but you will sell more if you don’t sell.
A lot of people don’ like salespeople, and they don’t like being sold to. Trust is often an issue, barriers go up, and people become less willing to listen no matter how great your product might be. Instead, it’s much more effective to let your LinkedIn leads sell themselves. Let them see for themselves that the product helps to solve their pain points, and when the product makes sense to them, they will make the decision that they should buy it.
Engage Your LinkedIn Prospects on Their Content
Your LinkedIn leads will also be creating their own content, but nobody will have commented in many cases. This presents an excellent opportunity for you because it means that you get to be the only one to do so.
The prospect will appreciate you commenting, helping to get your relationship off to a great start. You also get to stand out more as opposed to being just another name in the crowd. And don’t forget – don’t sell. Try to sell, and you will likely just burn the prospect straight away. Instead, send out an invitation so they join your network. Once they’re a part of your network, you can let your content get to work to do the job of selling for you.
Be You. People Buy from You, Not Your Company
Sales reps have a bad reputation, but it’s hard to deny that they tend to be oozing with charisma regardless of what you might think of them. Sales reps tend to be easy to get on with, confident, intelligent, witty, and have confidence in themselves and other people, instilling confidence in others.
One reason why the charm and charisma of salespeople help to make them successful is that people typically buy from the salesperson, not the company. People are more open and trusting to people they like, even if they’ve only just met them. It would help if you tried to remember this yourself as a LinkedIn influencer.
When creating content for your LinkedIn profile, let your personality shine through. Let people see that they’re dealing with a real person and not some corporate bot. Remain professional, but also show wit, kindness, empathy, and other qualities that will help people like you. Be confident in yourself and what you do, albeit without being arrogant.
Here’s an example from the RedSprout Media team, having some fun and showing people that they are humans just like everybody else:
So, now that you know all of this? How will you start using LinkedIn to generate leads without selling?