The LinkedIn Tutors

Build your business with LinkedIn


Generating sales in professional services using LinkedIn

How do you get the best out of LinkedIn to generate sales in professional services?

For a great starting point, check out this blog on using LinkedIn for sales prospecting from Anna Bratton at Salesforce.

I particularly like her advice on using LinkedIn’s advanced search function well:

“By intelligently mixing the different filters you can get really deep and identify key individuals quickly and easily….You can also save your search criteria and get a weekly report listing anyone new who matches the customers you’re looking for.”

And she also explains how it’s possible to map the decision makers within target companies:

“You’d be surprised how much people put in their profiles – which team they’re in, which office they work out of, what projects they’re focusing on. With a little detective work, you can quickly build up a picture of who you should be talking to, what they’re like (check out their recommendations) and what they’ve done before.”

Great advice – in professional services, it clearly makes sense to use these ways to find the specific individuals you want to talk with and their role in any decision to engage your services. I’ll be talking about these and other ideas in my next workshop on Using LinkedIn as a Business Development and Marketing Tool.


LinkedIn lead generation: ‘the warm handshake we all need’

If you’re considering using online marketing channels, which is best for generating sales leads?

According to a study by Hubspot earlier this year, LinkedIn is almost 3 times more effective than Twitter or Facebook for converting more website visitors into leads. The data are based on using organic networks (including LinkedIn groups), not on pay-per-click advertising through these channels.

The results are a little complicated by the mix of B2B and B2C companies studied, and it doesn’t reveal what sort of organic marketing worked best within, for example, LinkedIn – whether it was using groups, company pages, personal pages, email, or other means. From the comments at the Hubspot blog, it seems different people have different results, but some of this may depend on having used advertising rather than organic networking, and it may also be that LinkedIn is more useful if you are trying to target specific professionals with a specific service they need, rather than a broader group of consumers.

As one commenter puts it: “LinkedIn is the warm handshake we all need.”

For professional services businesses, developing a thoughtful and sustained approach to networking in LinkedIn should be a key part of your business development efforts. I’ll be talking more about that at my workshop later this month in London on Using LinkedIn as a Business Development and Marketing Tool.


LinkedIn: new design for company pages

LinkedIn has now rolled out a new design for its company pages to all users, and it’s worth taking a look at your company page – if you have one – and using some of the new design features to give your page some added flair and update followers on your products or services.

In particular you may want to make use of:

  • New headline banners. These offer you the chance to add some images that communicate your brand and message visually.
  • Status Update feature. This gives you the opportunity to communicate with the people who look at your company page or even better ‘follow’ your company page – it can be updated with news, offers, events, etc. Visitors to your company page can like, comment or share your status updates so these messages can be spread virally.

Company pages, in addition to your personal profile, are a great way to generate sales leads. Among other things, you should consider:

  • Updating the page often to ensure people who follow your company receive new information.
  • Creating high-quality banner images of your products, services or offers – these can be clicked to take potential clients to your own web site.
  • Encouraging clients to recommend any of the products and services you show on the company page.

There is more information on the new design, from LinkedIn.


Tips for getting the most out of attending events by using LinkedIn

Use LinkedIn to get more value out of every event you attend.

Here are some tips for integrating LinkedIn into your face-to-face networking activities when attending an event:

Before the event:

  1. Let your LinkedIn connections know you are attending by posting a ‘status update’ on your profile.
  2. Post the event in your LinkedIn Groups and ask if anyone is going and would like to meet up during the event.
  3. Let everyone on LinkedIn see that you are attending by searching LinkedIn Events (in the ‘More’ menu) for the event and clicking on the ‘I’m attending’ button.
  4. See if there is anyone you’d like to meet at the event by going to the event’s LinkedIn page and having a look at who is attending. You may want to connect before the event and suggest meeting up at the event.
  5. If the event is not listed on LinkedIn, you can create an event page and let your connections know you are attending.  Others can then go to the page you’ve created and register their attendance as well.

After the event:

  1. If you meet someone new at the event, send them a personalised LinkedIn invitation to join your network.
  2. Once you’ve connected, have a look at their connections, is there anyone there you’d like to be introduced to?  Ask for an introduction via LinkedIn or by picking up the phone and calling your 1st degree contact.
  3. Notice what groups your new LinkedIn connection has joined – would these be good groups for you to join?  Find out by going to the LinkedIn Group landing page and clicking on the ‘See group statistics’ black button.

How do you use LinkedIn to build on the face-to-face networking you do?


Is LinkedIn a replacement for face-to-face networking ?

I’m a LinkedIn coach, so of course, I am very keen on LinkedIn as a marketing and business development tool.  But does it replace face-to-face networking?  Absolutely not!

Some people have the misconception that if you simply have a LinkedIn profile, the business should starting rolling in.  LinkedIn activities are most effective when they are used in conjunction with offline networking.  LinkedIn can help you raise awareness and interest in your offering, keep you ‘front of mind’ with current clients and reveal potential new clients.  The key is to take your online networking activities offline.

If you are in the professional services sector (lawyers, accountants, architects, designers, etc), you will rarely gain a new client through purely online activity.  Usually a phone call or face-to-face meeting needs to take place before the prospect knows you well enough and trusts you to give you their business.

Use LinkedIn by all means, but always focus on how you can take your online relationships offline — and watch your business grow.

Do you have any examples of how your LinkedIn activities have resulted in new business?   I’d love to hear from you!


Does your Twitter feed add value to your LinkedIn profile?

Personally, I don’t like to see someone’s entire twitter feed on their LinkedIn profile – especially if they use twitter as a business channel AND a personal one.  I am interested in any business-related conversations or information they can provide via twitter but I am decidedly not interested in where they are going for dinner or how nice it is for them to walk their dog!

I decided to find out what others thought and created a poll on LinkedIn.

Does seeing a person’s complete twitter feed on their LinkedIn profile annoy you?

Yes:                  96%

No:                     4%

Don’t care:           0%

For details of the poll, click on the link below:

http://linkd.in/szJMLl

Based on the results of this poll, I took my twitter feed off of my LinkedIn profile and now post twitter jargon free status updates — there’s no point in annoying people when you don’t have to!

What’s your view?


No more hit and miss when joining LinkedIn Groups

Until recently, if you wanted to join a closed LinkedIn Group, you could only see which of your connections were group members before joining.  You may have joined groups based on this information and then found, once you were a member, that the group wasn’t what you thought it was and you had little in common with the other group members.

That’s all changed now.

If you want to learn more about a LinkedIn Group (closed or open) before joining, you can look at the group’s statistics (found on the right hand side of a group’s landing page) before clicking on the ‘join’ button.

This handy statistical infographic provides the titles of the group members,  where they are based, the group’s discussion activity level and much more.  You now don’t have to join a LinkedIn Group blindfolded only to find out it’s not for you.

Which new LinkedIn tools have you found helpful?