Use these five expert tips to connect with more quality prospects and spur sales opportunities with current clients.
ADD RICH MEDIA: Posting multimedia offerings like videos and presentations enhances your profile. It’s a great way to establish yourself as a thought leader and showcase the value you bring – something that’s sure to impress prospects. “I upload presentations into my company’s SlideShare account and then link to them through my profile,” says Kathleen Booth, CEO and owner of Quintain Marketing (asi/303131). “This allows my LinkedIn connections to view my presentations right from within LinkedIn.” Take a similar approach and create presentations highlighting your favorite giveaways or case studies of successful projects you’ve completed for clients.
START PUBLISHING: Expand the breadth of your network by publishing blogs and articles through LinkedIn’s publishing network. Do this by going to your profile and clicking the pencil icon in the post status update box. “I have published several posts in the last few months and each has gotten several hundred views,” says Booth. One of those posts – “7 Bad Marketing Habits To Break In 2015” – was picked up by LinkedIn Pulse, which highlights trending topics. “As a result, I got over 23,000 views, 769 ‘likes’ and 134 comments – all within 48 hours of being published,” Booth says. Even if you get a fraction of that traffic with your posts, you’re likely to catch the attention of desirable buyers.
PROSPECT STRATEGICALLY: Looking for new clients among the connections of people to whom one is linked is a fairly common practice. But just reaching out and saying “we have a shared connection” doesn’t necessarily provide a compelling reason for the prospect to contact you. Instead, says Patrick O’Malley, get savvier about your digital networking. The social media trainer/consultant suggests that you ask some of your key connections to give a very brief video testimonial about, for instance, why it was a pleasure working with you – how you helped that person achieve a marketing objective. Then, send this video to select prospects in that person’s network, explaining briefly that you were able to provide value to this shared connection and that you believe you could do the same for the hoped-for client. “It’s a great way to get in the door,” says O’Malley.
KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED: Monitor the LinkedIn activities of customers and prospects. Doing so can lead to new sales opportunities. For instance, staying abreast could tip you off to promotional campaigns or other initiatives that would benefit from branded merchandise. Additionally, your monitoring may lead you to see that a good client with whom you are linked has just connected with an ideal prospect, such as a marketing director at a Fortune 500 company. That’s certainly someone you would like to have a conversation with, and now there is a bridge between you two.
PARTICIPATE IN GROUPS: People who post and engage in discussions within LinkedIn Groups generate as many as four times the amount of profile views as those who don’t. Plus, they get access to a broader array of people – fellow group members. Start by getting involved with a handful or so of groups that other promotional product selling pros are in. Then, jump into groups with clients and top prospects. Be active within the groups, posting and sharing thoughts. Relatedly, consider starting groups relevant to your clients and target audiences. Invite customers and prospects to join. Doing so helps establish you as a reliable expert.