Apr 272014
 

This post is being created due to the sheer frustration I am having with LinkedIn.  More specifically, the continual misuse of Linkedin.

Is LinkedIn one of the absolute BEST ways to generate leads?  Yes

Are all of us looking for more leads? Yes

Is there a RIGHT way and a WRONG way to generate leads on LinkedIn…….YES!

There are now almost 300 million members on LinkedIn.  It accounts for 64% of all corporate website traffic that comes via social media channels. Don’t just skip over that last sentence…SIXTY-FOUR percent of corporate traffic to your website will come from LinkedIn.  It is an incredible platform to not only meet new people, but meet the right people for your business.  But you have to know how to find the right people, introduce yourself properly, and build a relationship.

(Related: LinkedIn Prospecting)

Find the Right People

Joining groups is the best way to start building relationships with the people in your niche.  You are allowed to join up to 50 groups on LinkedIn….so join as many as you can. Type in the search box for groups in your industry.

Once you have joined a group, visit its Members Page.  This is the entire list of people who belong to this group. You can search of specific job titles, company names, geographical locations. This is your new list of prospects.

Introduce Yourself

Here is where I feel like setting my social media hair on fire.  Once people have their new list of prospects they tend to cut corners, try to save time, and essentially spam LinkedIn inboxes.  I want to make sure I am very clear about this so I will just use two words….STOP IT.  You are doing more harm than good.

Some of you think you are being clever and will swap out the name every time you send your generic letter to people.  So at least your letter to me starts out with “Dear Katherine.”  But trust me…I’m still going to delete it.  I do not ever read any LinkedIn emails that seem generic, nor do most people.

Want to know how to get me to actually READ your email?  Do your research.  It takes very little work to look at my profile and find out I’m a single Mom, I enjoy fishing, hiking, and long walks on the beach.  You can find out where I graduated college from.

I guess I forgot to add the "long walks on the beach" part.

I guess I forgot to add the “long walks on the beach” part.  But you get the point.

FIND SOMETHING IN COMMON WITH ME.  Are you a Mompreneur like me?  Then start off your letter with something like:

Hey Katherine, I read you were a single mom who owns her own business.  I too am a Mom running a business from home.  It’s quite a juggling act, isn’t it?  I have to take double the mult-vitamins just to make it to 3:00pm.

Immediately I can relate to you.  I am interested in hearing more about you.  Or maybe is a hobby you can relate to….

Katherine, I read that you love to fish.  Last weekend I went fishing with my son and he caught a 10 pound bass.  How often do you get to go fishing?

People aren’t expecting you to approach them with a non-business subject.  It immediately stands out and sets you apart.  If I receive an email like one of those, I know that a person has taken the time to find out more about me and they aren’t just sending out 100 emails in 10 minutes.

After you connect with them on a relatable level, you can explain how you came across their information and why you are interested in connecting with them.

(Related: LinkedIn Endorsements – Doesn’t Mean You’re Special)

Build Relationships Through Content

Become the expert and share valuable information.  That is what we do with blog posts.  We don’t just spend all of this time writing in HOPES that someone will read it someday.  We write and SHARE.

Just like on many social media platforms, people become bad infomercials.  Their Facebook walls and Twitter pages are one promotion after another.  LinkedIn is no different.  Over and over I see people sharing sales, catalogs, and ads.  But CONTENT is what will build relationships.

Bottom line: I’m not going to listen to you because you’ve TOLD me your an expert.  I’m going to listen to you when you’ve SHOWN me you’re an expert.

Final Thoughts:

LinkedIn is the best platform for you to find both personal and professional information on your prospects.  If you want to become an expert at building your business via LinkedIn (and trust me…you do), I would HIGHLY recommend Linked Prospecting.  It was created by Kimberly Bohannon and Viveka von Rosen two fabulous gals who are the world’s leading experts in building your business through LinkedIn. Love them!  Check out their quick video >>