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Personal Branding – making the most of the LinkedIn Personal Profile

Social Selling Matrix Personal Brand
The Internet and Social Media has changed our ability to find information, and also to publish information.

One significant area of this is our ability to publish information about ourselves, so that others can find, read and make decisions based on it.

This opens up the opportunity for personal branding for everyone – business leaders, sales leaders, business professionals.  

No longer is it just celebrities; politicians, sports personalities, film stars, pop stars and others who have access to vast audiences through media.

Whether your prime role is sales leader or business owner, there are several ways you can use LinkedIn to support your customer service and set up subsequent sales.

By investing a little time and thought we can all create and communicate a personal brand. For people in business this can be a huge benefit, in many many ways.

Quick start tips

LinkedIn is the principle place to publish the substance of our personal brands and establish our professional positioning.

  • Complete the background sections of your LinkedIn profile – your work history, education, qualifications, additional interests etc. as fully as possible
  • Create a Summary and Headline that is crafted for your audience and objectives and your specialisation and role
  • Add credentials through the company that you keep – your key connections, professional associations, groups and more
  • Share content that builds and enhances your positioning, to stay front-of-mind, start conversations and develop business relationships.

The mechanics of the LinkedIn Profile is about execution. The challenge for many is (re)defining our purpose, positioning and proposition for the brave new world of Social Selling.

LinkedIn Tips for a compelling Personal Profile

1. Getting the Profile basics right

A minimalist profile on LinkedIn is a missed opportunity, and could have negative consequences for your marketing, sales and customer relationships.

  • Follow the LinkedIn Prompts and complete the various section for education and previous work experience etc.
  • Check your profile settings so the ‘right’ things are visible and the sensitive things are hidden
  • Use the Skills section to find keywords relevant to your role and position, and add them to your profile and to the text sections of your profile so you show up higher in the search rankings.

Now is a good time to check out who is also in your space. Search within LinkedIn for your keywords and location, eg. LinkedIn Trainer Bristol for me.

2. Write a Summary and Headline appropriate to your role

LinkedIn is not just for CVs and Job-seekers, so set yourself apart by writing with the goal of being more successful in your current role rather than your next one.

  • If you’re a Business Leader outline the purpose of your business in a way that multiple audiences can identify with
  • If you’re a Sales Leader demonstrate your expertise in client areas by highlighting business issues/aspirations your current clients were facing/desiring that you’ve resolved/enabled
  • If you’re a fee earner or part of the delivery or support team outline your contribution to clients and support for your customer facing colleagues along with your subject matter expertise.

Find some of the thought leaders in your sector, particularly those in America, and see how they are describing what they do.

3. Now build in all the social proof you can

Spend a couple of hours adding layers of proof to your profile, to extend your reach and visibility and impact when people look at your profile

  • Invite customers, business partners and colleagues to provide testimonials about you, your expertise and your contribution
  • Join relevant groups, follow relevant influencers, connect with thought leaders in your market
  • Add media to various sections of your profile, from your company website, your hard drive, and from authority sources in your market

The power of LinkedIn lets us go beyond What we know, through Who we know, to Who knows us.  Kick-start that process as soon as you can, and build on it periodically.

Download our Pocket Guide to Social Selling

If you haven’t already done so get a copy of our guide, which covers more LinkedIn Tips and introduces the Social Selling Matrix.

Three easy ways a sales person can generate leads with LinkedIn

Three easy ways a sales person can generate leads with LinkedIn

prepared and presented by Mark Stonham – LinkedIn Trainer and Social Selling Consultant

The Sales Challenge if you’re to make quota

Cold Calling sucks … right. Warm calling is much more effective.

Leads from Marketing won’t Fill your Funnel. Treat these as a bonus.

You need to take the initiative. Create your own lead-generation system.

There’s no time for ‘Social’ fluff. You and your buyers are Crazy Busy.

You want to minimise delay and effort. It has to be simple.

You really want quick results. Leads the next day would be brilliant.

Then Pick and Apply one of these 3 techniques today

… and generate leads with LinkedIn now

… and start new sales conversations tomorrow

Turn your LinkedIn Profile into your Lead Capture Landing Page

  1. Outline your Value Proposition to your Prospects
  2. Create a clear opening sentence: Who, What, How
  3. Make it engaging, distinctive and memorable
  4. Introduce example trigger events that initiate research
  5. Highlight problems solved including your contribution
  6. Add proof about impact, outcomes and testimonials
  7. Add skills about your Customer Sector specialisation
  8. Include a clear Call to Action – to Connect with You!
  9. Include Introducers – ‘If you know someone who…
  10. AND Your Picture and Headline need to grab attention!

Use Slideshare for your simple ‘Lead Generation’ bait

  1. Pick a topic that is a priority for your prospects
  2. Make the front slide really clear and bold
  3. Engage rapidly with your audience (slide 2)
  4. Deliver value on next slides (slides 3-5)
  5. Add clear Call to Action and Incentive (slide 6)
  6. Add your contact details
  7. Upload the Slides to www.slideshare.net
  8. Add the Presentation to your LinkedIn profile

Email Groups of your LinkedIn contacts with Useful Information

  1. Nurture Relationships regularly with Valuable Content
  2. You can email up to 50 contacts a time within LinkedIn
  3. LinkedIn groups contacts by Company, Title or Location
  4. Or you can create Tag Groups for different interests
  5. Create your ‘News’ content incl. URLs in a Text Editor
  6. Get into ‘Message’ contacts and paste in your text
  7. Add an attractive and intriguing Subject line
  8. NOTE: Uncheck the ‘Allow recipients to see other’s email address.’
  9. Double check content and recipients, then Send
  10. Repeat for additional groups as appropriate

For more details and other ways to generate leads with LinkedIn…

If we’re not already connected on Linkedin then…

INVITE ME TO CONNECT ON LINKEDIN NOW

Invite me, Mark Stonham, to connect on LinkedIn
and in your Invite include
‘Please send me ‘Lead Generation for Sales People’ details’

OR send your request by email to me,
Mark Stonham at Mark@Wurlwind.co.uk

I look forward to helping you
GET MUCH MORE FROM LINKEDIN
very soon.

Mark.

Lead Generation ideas for B2B businesses

Are you and your sales team getting the leads you need to hit your targets? Since you’re reading this I guess that there is either a lead quantity challenge, or a lead quality issue. Recognising that there is a shortfall, finding the root causes, and taking action to address them quickly, are essential steps to prevent further knock-on implications.

Lead definition

If there is a Quality issue with your leads then a starting point is to review your definition of a lead. Our article market segmentation and lead definition outlines some approaches and specifics on this topic. The second webinar in our lead generation series builds on these points.

Lead nurture

You may already have a lot of contacts and previous leads that have not yet bought anything. Reviewing and updating your lead nurture campaigns could be a very effective way to re-engage and re-activate contacts you’ve made over the last few months, or even years. Our article on lead nurture, and the accompanying webinar provide tips and strategies to help build relationships and create sales-ready leads.

Develop current customers

Creating new opportunities with current customers can be a very fruitful area for additional business, and also for referrals and testimonials. We can help you develop and execute a strategy in this area.

Find new customers

This is one of the most challenging areas of marketing and sales for many businesses. There are so many options and approaches that could be taken, and knowing which ones will be most fruitful is very hard to predict. Lead generation campaigns will involve many inter-related activities, and the overall result can be compromised by the weakest link in the sequence. Wurlwind can assist at strategic, operational and tactical levels to help you improve your lead generation and win new business.

 

Engage and gain permission to communicate

Engage is all about gaining permission to communicate with someone, or having them ‘Follow’ you in Social Media.

You need to make it worthwhile for people to choose to engage with you, through the value you offer, expressed in the content you make available. So, for a start it’s worth taking about issues the other person may have, rather than jumping straight in and talking about your products, services or offers.

Permission indicates that someone is prepared to put in some time, so offer something of value to make it worth their while. You could offer insight that may help them understand an issues they are wrestling with and help them gain some clarity. You could sign-post people to useful resources, ones you provide or ones that other people provide.

How and where can you gain permission?

There are many places you can tempt people to engage with you, depending on your market and resources to follow-up.

For example:

  • An email sign-up on your website or elsewhere
  • A ‘subscribe’ feature on your blog, or your video channel or daily newspaper (www.paper.li)
  • A ‘Follow’ to your Twitter account
  • A Connection in your LinkedIn profile
  • As a Facebook connection or fan of your business page
  • And a plethora of other social media options.

Offline contacts and connections

And let’s not overlook that you might want to reach out to contacts you have made at exhibitions, networking events, partner meetings etc. (that pile of business cards you have collected) where you may initiate the connection by requesting they connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or you add them to your email distribution list (and best practice is to ask them to opt-in).

Segmentation of contacts

People who engage and give you permission to communicate may fall into four categories:

  • ‘Buy now’ – They have a pressing problem they want to solve right now
  • ‘Buy later’ – Not yet ready to make a decision but interested in researching the topic
  • ‘Buy never’ – Inevitably some people who engage are never going to make a decision, for a whole range of reasons
  • ‘Refer on’ – Some people may not have the problem themselves but may know others who could have

The purpose of the Nurture phase next is to move the relationship forward and to help you to determine which category they fall into.

I hope you will engage with me to find out more about the ideas I provide to help you improve your sales funnel.

I hope that through my own relationship nurture activities that I can respond appropriately to you, depending on what you are looking to achieve.

So, before you leave this sign up for our ‘Hints and Tips’ to get ideas to improve your sales funnel on a regular basis.

Attract new leads and customers

Being able to attract people who have a problem, issue or need that you can solve is a very effective way to feed your sales funnel.

There are literally dozens of new options available, which makes it confusing, complex and costly, (especially in terms of your time), to make choices. And then implementation takes time. And results can be disappointing. Increasing traffic to your website, and to other points of engagement, can take a concerted and sustained effort. Meanwhile there are still targets to hit, and you’d like some time at evenings and weekends for other activities.

How marketing and sales is changing

Attraction marketing and inbound marketing are terms that mean roughly the same. Sales 2.0 takes these concepts and extends them further through the sales funnel, through to sales-ready leads and beyond.

New applications made possible by the Internet and World Wide Web, particularly Search and Social Media, mean that people now go online to do their research when they have a question, problem or needs and they want to find information, advice, products and solutions. And since you’re reading this you are doing the same.

Traditional marketing and lead generation is based on Interruption, where the vendor puts their message infront of someone whether they want it or not. This is becoming less effective, and turns many people off, and they put up physical and mental barriers to protect themselves, and their time. We block out time to do what’s essential and important to achieving our goals, and find ways to batch-up communications and handle them all at the same time, because it’s also more effective. Picking up and responding to voice-mail messages and email between meetings is just one form this takes.

Attraction marketing is about being Found when someone is looking for information on a topic related to what you offer.

Three steps to attraction marketing:

To be successful this means that the vendor really needs to understand, and take action based on, three things about the buyer.

1. What the buyer looks for before they find the solution that the vendor is offering.

2. Where the buyer would go to look.

3. What would persuade the potential buyer to give up their contact details, ie. email address, in order that the vendor can follow-up with additional information, which is the next topic, about engagement and gaining permission.

Content marketing

Content Marketing is a powerful way to be found. Creating and publishing content which displays your knowledge in a way that helps the reader understand a topic better or outlines a way to solve a problem is the first step. The content could be in the form of articles, videos, slidecasts and many more.

Inbound marketing

Where you don’t yet know the name of the business or person you are communicating with is referred to by some as Inbound Marketing. Publishing your content in many places where the prospects you want will find it means you need to understand where those readers will find it, visit or hang out.

This might be through search engines, so your content needs to rank well and appear high up on the page listings, it might be through forums and discussions, or on social media, or several other places online. Offline may also be part of the equation for your market, such as trade publications.

Next Steps:

There are some basic questions that need to be addresses, or reviewed and reconsidered

• Can you define who your potential customers are?

• Do you know where your potential customers hang-out these days?

• Are you present and actively participating in those places, channels and communities?

Where you don’t yet know the name of the business or person you are communicating with is referred to by some as Inbound Marketing.

Sign-up for the hints and tips and let us guide you through the process.