Submitted by: Ken Ivey, Living Water Digital and member of the Marketing Committee
Recently, The Chamber sponsored a seminar which featured Wayne Brieitbarth on the subject of LinkedIn success.
It was a very popular event, and well attended – so I thought I’d add a few observations and highlight a few key points made at that session.
One of the most important things Wayne stressed is that we’re building a relationship – and that LinkedIn is merely a tool to facilitate that.
All too often we see folks trying to use LinkedIn as an advertising medium with the result being salesy, spammy posts or content that just doesn’t add value.
So what do I mean by “add value”? I mean creating content in a way that is irresistible to the recipient. I fondly recall a newsletter I subscribed to several years ago, when personal computers were as rare as they were slow. Every Tuesday morning the newsletter would arrive in my Inbox and be chock full of tips and tricks to make my computer run faster. This in turn helped me get my work done faster. I started to look forward to Tuesdays – really! I had been “conditioned” to expect great content on a regular basis. I’d internalized it as a “reward”. For what, I’m not sure – showing up to cubicle city maybe?
In the same way, you can condition your followers with either great content that they’ll eagerly consume – or junk mail they’ll ignore. Each time you click “send”, you’re either depositing to – or withdrawing from – your own credibility account.
The key to success on LinkedIn (or any social media platform for that matter), is to focus on education and/or positioning – not selling. Well, not overt selling anyway.
One way to “sell without selling” is to educate. Tell your target market WHY they need your product or service. Find out what their pain points are – what kind of problems they’re having, then explain how your product or service eases that pain or solves that problem. If you can incorporate that into a story or case study, great! Remember the WIIFM. (What’s In It For Me?)
If you’re not educating, you should be positioning. What I mean by that is positioning yourself as an expert in your field. LinkedIn is a great place to do that – you can demonstrate your expertise by sharing content that adds value to your target market.
Another method to position yourself as an expert is to have people endorse you for your skills or services. LinkedIn makes this super-easy. You’ve probably heard the saying that “We do business with people we know, like and trust”. It follows that if your prospects friends know, like, and trust you – that they should too. This element of social proof can be very powerful, especially if your target market is ready to buy but they don’t personally know you.
Remember that no matter which social media tool you use to grow your business, it’s all about creating content that adds value, builds relationship, positions you as an expert, and addresses the challenges or desires of your target market.
Not sure what is “irresistible” to your target market? Buy me a raspberry mocha and I’ll help you find out.
If you like this sort of thing, stay tuned for upcoming Chamber sponsored webinars where we talk about social media, positioning, marketing, and other business topics all of the time.
About the Author: Ken Ivey, affectionately dubbed ‘the Web Czar’ by peers – has been helping businesses embrace technology for 27 years. Contact Ken here: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 920-645-2700