Over three-quarters of social sellers are outpacing those salespeople who are going down other angles. With stats like this, it is obvious that social sales are the future of marketing and you will not want to fall behind. So, on sites such as LinkedIn, how does one get started with social selling?
Below we have listed 10 ways for you to generate leads and start social selling on LinkedIn. By the end, you should understand what social selling is and how it relates to LinkedIn lead generation. So, read on to get ahead of the game and begin your sales lead generation journey.
What is Lead Generation?
This is a marketing term. It refers to any attempt to get consumers interested in your products and, more specifically, getting them to make inquiries. Once they do this, you can begin to attempt to sell your products to them.
“Leads” in this context are the contact details of those you are attempting to sell to. In some cases, leads can include more information. This can include demographics or other details that may be useful to target individuals or groups.
What Is Social Selling on LinkedIn?
Social selling is a form of lead generation. It refers to the method of building up your personal brand and creating a digital presence on LinkedIn. By forming a network of people who consider you a thought leader, you can build relationships and sell your products to those who follow you.
This method of selling is often mistaken for spamming, but the process is a lot more nuanced than that. It involves taking time to increase your standing in online communities, such as LinkedIn, and to gain the trust of those around you. It often also demands a certain level of skill and knowledge in the arena in which you are trying to sell, but that is not always the case.
How Do I Find My Social Selling Index on LinkedIn?
As it is a professional tool, LinkedIn provides several methods of analyzing the data you create on its network. Such analytics can be very helpful to work out how much of a reach you have. One such tool is the “Social Selling Index”, or SSI.
The SSI measures how successful you are at creating and promoting your brand. It also shows you whether you are connecting to people who might be useful to you and whether you are engaging with the right people or content.
To find it, you must:
1. Log into your LinkedIn account
2. Visit the SSI website at https://www.linkedin.com/sales/ssi
3. View your browser as it informs you of several different metrics, including your SSI
To increase your SSI, and empower yourself to generate leads moving forward, you should remember the following advice.
1. Be Client-Focused
When you start the process of social selling, try to form a customer profile that is laser-focused. Your LinkedIn profile should then target this profile.
Look for a problem that the client has, then create a specific solution. Offer this solution to them in everything that you do, including your product, your writing, and your engagement. You should have a clear understanding of how to motivate them and why you can solve the issues that they have.
This does not only apply to the facts you present but also how you present them. Use the language, moods, and methods of those you are aiming at, and mirror them wherever you can.
2. Create and Curate Content That People Value
Original content is the lifeblood of the social selling marketplace. You should always present yourself as a thought leader, and one of the best ways to do this is to present your thoughts.
Blog posts can give you an image of being someone others should rally around for help, information, or entertainment. They can help your image by giving people a reason to return to your profile, and also give people a reason to get in contact with you.
In a best-case scenario, your content will both go viral and be the watercooler chat for that week. At worst, people might share your blog among the niche you are aiming at. If you create enough, your blog could be shared as an example of great ideas and a forward-thinking individual.
3. Do Not Neglect Your Personal Profile
You should always make sure that your personal profile appears professional. You are presenting yourself as a market influencer and should make sure possible clients view you in that way.
Examples of things you can do to attract clients with your personal profile include:
- Make sure that your contact information is up-to-date
- Use professional email addresses
- Make use of your About section to highlight your key skills
- Avoid long paragraphs
- Use professional emoji as bullet points
Another high-bang-for-buck feature you can use is your profile avatar. By using a professional headshot in this location, you can show a serious attitude to your appearance. It can make the difference between a sale and a dropped client.
4. Engage with Influencers
Collaboration can be useful to your business. By working with other professionals or influencers, you can form useful networks. Collaboration allows you and another user to complement one another’s skills, leading to shared growth.
For example, one of your videos or blog posts could be a shared review or interview. You could talk about something you and your collaborator are both knowledgeable about. This allows you both to increase your potential viewership and grow your network by engaging with one another’s viewers.
5. Farm LinkedIn Recommendations
On LinkedIn, you can receive a “recommendation”. These are like reviews of your expertise from other users who can describe you as an expert in particular areas.
If anyone praises you about your work, remember to thank them and ask if they will make a recommendation. This will start to build up proof of your ability to others.
Note that these recommendations are not the same as testimonials. Potential clients can check on the people making the recommendations and see that they are being made by real people. This gives them a unique value that you would not otherwise have.
6. Move to Convert
Once you have a potential client, make sure to move that client to a different communications format. This could be instant messaging, telephone, or even face-to-face.
By creating extra avenues of contact, you are creating a more personal connection. You can then begin the process of turning them from a lead to a paying client.
7. Post Status Updates to Stay Relevant
By creating and curating updates, you can continue to show two things:
1. You are remaining knowledgeable and proving this by creating new updates
2. You are staying connected to the status quo and proving this by curating updates by others and commenting on them
Together, both of these facts prove to others that you are someone to pay attention to. By proving this, you draw more people to notice what it is you offer them.
Doing this also offers opportunities for others to engage with your creations in many different ways. It can create discussion and further engagement. In the case of controversial or relatable content, your posts could even go viral if you are fortunate enough.
8. Reach Out For Introductions
There is nothing wrong with trying to start relationships with potential clients by being the one to reach out. This is especially true if through a third party. So, if you see a “2nd connection” you know would be helpful to know, bring it up with the 1st connection who bridges the gap.
LinkedIn agrees with this course of action and has the stats for it. Their blog talks about referrals and says that “84% of B2B decision-makers begin their buying process with a referral”
So, do not be afraid to make use of this very high statistic to improve your chances for collaboration or sales opportunities.
9. Talk to Any New Connections
When you make a connection, do not allow it to linger and stagnate. Talk to them straight away to build a rapport, and see what you can both offer one another.
It is often said that the best way to draw someone to you is to offer them something. Thus, if they are not competition, maybe put them in contact with others in your sphere who may be able to help them in other ways.
10. Use Advanced Search to Find Opportunities
Advanced Search is a professional feature that can be very helpful to find potential clients. With the details you put into a search, you can focus your search on certain demographics. This allows you to be laser-focused in how you grow your network.
Start Social Selling on LinkedIn
Now that you understand how social selling on LinkedIn works, you should be able to start moving forward in this arena. Still, you might have questions that are as yet unanswered. But do not worry, we would be happy to help you answer them and continue your journey.
We can help guide you to the right tools you will need to get moving in this space. So, throw us a message today and we will get you started.