Social networking sites like LinkedIn have revolutionised the way we communicate and market our businesses.A wise man once said there are only four ways to grow a business:
- Cold calling
- Word of mouth
Social networks can help you in all four business growth disciplines.
LinkedIn provides us with the opportunity to build a personal profile, a company profile and to profile the individual services we offer. You can solicit recommendations on a personal basis or get testimonials for the various services you provide.
Building a bank of testimonials in LinkedIn from your happy clients has a number of benefits. Today, if I recommend you on LinkedIn, I will be telling around 750 business contacts in my area that you are great at what you do. That can’t hurt!
At digital marketing agency Intergage, we have made a point of collecting feedback from happy customers and right now our products and services pages boast well over 100 such testimonials. What you won’t see on the Intergage LinkedIn page is the additional information we see when we load our own product and service pages (left).
These 100 testimonials have been shown on LinkedIn over 60,000 times in just ten months – that’s 6,000 times a month on average! Little wonder then that our rates of referrals have doubled since we started asking happy customers to post their feedback here.
If you do still cold call (few businesses do it these days and even fewer do it well) then checking out that business person on LinkedIn before you pick up the telephone can pay all kinds of dividends. Chances are you’ll have contacts, interests or some element of your background in common, you’ll find it easier to build rapport by mentioning these. You’ll certainly find it easiest to approach the contacts of happy customers and pointing to a LinkedIn recommendation from somebody they know is a great way to open the call.
By linking to somebody on LinkedIn you are creating a permanent link that either of you would have to deliberately sever in order to break. If that person changes jobs or moves to a new area, you’ll know about that and you’ll maintain that contact. The act of linking to a business contact in LinkedIn makes it difficult for them to forget you exist. Just using LinkedIn means you’ll be creating status updates and notifications of your activity so you’ll be reminding everybody you are alive and kicking. In terms of personal PR, this is an awesome tool.
Advertising on LinkedIn is very easy to do and extremely targeted. The Ads that you see are NEVER the same Ads I see. All that information we provide when we sign up to LinkedIn means that advertisers have the ability to target us with total precision. For example, if you want to target all the Marketing Managers in a certain size of company, in a certain geographic region and in a certain industry, then you can, no problem. The best bit? You can choose a payment system that means you only pay when the visitor actually clicks on the ad. Never before in the history of advertising has it been so easy to place your ads in front of the right people and to pay only for results (real, targeted traffic to your website).
So, if you have business cards piled up on your desk, pull those cards out and start connecting to those business contacts. In doing so, you will be building your own personal network – a business asset that can last a lifetime. My advice is to only connect to those whom you trust however. By connecting on LinkedIn we share our networks and effectively open our “little black books” to each other and you’ll only want to do that with good people.
Would you like more information about LinkedIn? Book onto the next training course.