Creating Clarity #018
Reading time: 3 minutes. 18 seconds
Everybody wants to get leads on LinkedIn these days, so there is no shortage of people willing to help you. The two main activities this helpful lot wants you to do are:
- Join a POD.
- Use a 3rd party Chrome extension.
The problem is that both of these “solutions” violate LinkedIn’s T&Cs. Do these activities work? For some, yes, but for most, they don’t. So, how are you supposed to get leads on LinkedIn? By understanding what LinkedIn is vs. what it is not.
Social Networking vs. Social Media
LinkedIn is a social networking platform. Every decision it makes or features it adds furthers networking on the platform. Things go awry on LinkedIn when you try to treat it like a social media site. Can those short-term tactics work? Again, yes, but you have to ask what type of brand you are trying to build – a helpful or spammy one?
To help you get the most from LinkedIn and build a helpful brand, here are the steps you should take to build an audience, start conversations, and network the right way.
Five Steps to get leads on LinkedIn
1 Publish content
Most want to skip this step, but it is vital for brand awareness, highlighting your value proposition, and building trust. Publish content that speaks directly to the obstacles (pain points) your audience struggles with regularly. If you stop talking about your audience’s problems, they will stop listening. Use your content to position you as the solution.
Pitfall to avoid: Talking about yourself too much and not enough about your audience’s problems.
2 Like, Share, and Comment
Dale Carnegie said, “To be interesting, be interested,” and when it comes to networking on LinkedIn, this advice rings true. If you want prospects to engage with you, you need to show interest in them first by Liking, Sharing, or Commenting on their posts.
Every time you do one of those three activities, your prospect will be notified and will become curious about who you are and what you do. They’ll review your profile, and if it’s customer-facing and you have content discussing the challenges they are facing, they will become interested in you. Over a few interactions, the Like, Share, and Comment strategy will help prospects Know, Like, and Trust you.
Pitfall to avoid: Leaving drive-by comments or generic statements like, “Nice post!” Be authentic and add something thoughtful to the conversation.
Notice this step is third, not first, because by the time you get to this step, you will have built some familiarity with your brand by doing steps one and two, so you are no longer an unknown entity. Instead, your prospect will know who you are and have an idea of what you do, so accepting a connection request will feel more natural to them.
Make sure you personalize the message with your connection request by relating it to the content you engaged with so they don’t feel like just a number.
Pitfall to avoid: Trying to connect too quickly, which is like asking someone to marry you on the first date. Take your time, show interest, and your prospect will become interested in you.
4 Build Rapport
In his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, Dr. Robert Cialdini described six principles of persuasion that affect decisions people make regarding purchasing a product or service. One of those principles he called, Liking.
Liking builds rapport. Find areas of similarities (the Interest section at the bottom of a profile is an excellent place to start), ask questions, and give genuine compliments on their content or accomplishments before you get down to business.
Pitfall to avoid: Jumping to your sales pitch too soon. No one likes the guy handing out business cards during an introduction at a networking event. However, jumping into your pitch right after connecting is the same as being that guy. Take time and build rapport first.
5 Book a call
While building rapport with a prospect, ensure you assess and discuss the obstacles in their path. Be helpful by making the conversation about them and their interests. If appropriate, provide them with relevant resources, which will build reciprocity, another of Cialdini’s persuasion principles.
When the time is right, and you’ll know when that is, ask to take the conversation offline by booking a call.
Why this LinkedIn prospecting strategy won’t work
There are two reasons this strategy won’t work for you.
2 You don’t follow it.
LinkedIn “gurus” exist because they know you want everything Now. In other words, you won’t take the time to follow a proven process because you don’t have the patience to follow it through.
On the other hand, if you follow the process laid out here and you are patient, you will build an audience who understands you, what you do and how you help, so when they are ready to overcome their obstacles, they will think of you.
That’s it for this week’s edition of Creating Clarity.