I didn’t always have a passion for networking on LinkedIn.
After I graduated, the CEO of the company I was working for tasked my colleague and I with bringing in business from some of the biggest BPO's in Massachusetts.
We made a list of 20 prospective companies, and divided it.
Four months later, I met with C-level executives from 9 out of the 10 companies on my list. My colleague only managed to meet with one company.
That's a big difference, right? I bet you're wondering how I did it.
He made cold calls and sent emails. I used LinkedIn.
Realizing I had the power to reach anyone was an amazing feeling. I just needed to make sure that my messages were well written. When I reached out to executives in the highest funded startup companies in the country, I used the same techniques.
You can understand why I'm so obsessed with studying what does and doesn’t work on LinkedIn.
In addition to studying, I've documented and analyzed the response rates. I also measured how different accounts preformed, so I could see what other factors, besides the message, were having an impact. I wanted to know what makes people decide whether they're going to respond or ignore a message.
First impressions matter. I’ve learned that a good profile generates trust. When a recipient sees your message, they know three things about you. They know your name, what you look like, and your headline. It’s important to maximize the effectiveness of those three things to increase your chances of getting a response.
You can’t change your name or your face, but you can change your profile picture. You want to make sure that your picture is clear, crisp, professional, and friendly. It’s important to look at your headline. You want to make sure that is clearly portrays the value you’re proposing to prospects.
The goal is to appear trustworthy, credible, and intelligent. After someone reads your message, they'll either respond or visit your profile to
Go take a look at your profile right now. What kind of impression are you making?
Do you look influential? Would you trust yourself, based on what you see? Your summary should be brief, specific, and well-written. It should tell readers exactly what problems you want to help your clients solve. Are you showing how your clients have benefited from your solutions? Have you written articles that show prospective clients that you know your stuff? Are credible people endorsing your skills and leaving feedback, expressing gratitude for your services?
Closely examine every detail of your profile to make sure that it looks good. Think about it from the perspective of a potential client. What can you do to your profile that will make them want to speak with you?
Have you clarified your value proposition?
In the real world, you can’t walk up to a stranger and pitch a product, or request an appointment. You have to engage in small talk and other formalities before you can reveal your purpose. On LinkedIn it’s easy, and people expect it. Users also appreciate it when you get to the point quickly.
If you have something in common with a prospect, for example you both went to the same university or you both grew up in Phoenix, then mention that when you introduce yourself. However, make sure you are concise. Connecting on LinkedIn doesn’t have to be like a social setting. Make your value and proposition are clear in the first message.
If you need examples, here are a few to learn from:
1. A good profile will sell itself.
Make an effort to connect with new people as often as possible. The best way to grow is by learning from other people and it also keeps those profile views coming in.
Our goal is to help our customers build strong profiles too, profiles that make an impact because their value proposition is clearly stated in the headline.
With a powerful profile, every connection request you make becomes an inbound lead.
2. It's super important to follow up every time someone accepts your request to connect.
You can follow up with a thank you note, or you can request an introductory call.
Don't forget; if you don't ask, you will never receive!
3. Content is King.
If you want to be perceived as a thought leader, you have to remember that content is king. It's important to show that you know your industry by sharing analysis, developments and insights. Your thoughtful expert opinions give prospective clients the peace of mind they need to feel confident choosing you.
It's OK to hire writers, and share that curated content in your network. It's your message and your job to spread it. LinkedIn Pulse is another great place to publish.
Make sure that you mention your service or product throughout your content so that readers know exactly who the expert is and how you can help.
4. There's nothing wrong with using fear as a motivator.
The truth is that if they're not maximizing their opportunities their competition will.
This template shows how we've helped other companies reach an ROI of 1000, in the same industry. If they're not getting that high of an ROI they're going to wish they were.
5. Leverage specific calendar dates.
A timely message gives readers a sense of urgency. We tripled our January target with this one.
After that, we learned to create messaging around other holidays and events too. It helps conversion and creates a sense of urgency. No holiday lasts forever.
6. Grow and Connect!
The cool thing about LinkedIn is that you're rewarded for quality connections.
When someone searches LinkedIn to find a solution to their problem, it brings up people who are connected first. That's what the first degree, second degree business is all about.
So if you are connected with some of the same people your prospective client is connected with, you're going to show up higher in their search. That means they're more likely to find you and trust you.
7. Always follow up.
Don't worry if someone doesn't respond, just keep following up every 3-4 days.
Be polite about it, and experiment with different times of the day. You can skip Monday mornings because everyone is usually swamped on Mondays. Weekends, too, there's like a 16% drop in weekend response rates so don't bother.
Most importantly, make sure you add value to every single follow up. Successful busy people don't want time-wasters, if you keep bringing value and brevity, they will appreciate it.
When someone sends you a connect request, don't forget to follow up with them too.
8. Make it easy for them to say yes!
This is an experimental approach I used to see if it improved conversions
When you make it easy for them, more people will sign up. This one increased conversions by 23%, that's no joke.
9. Pay attention to job change notifications.
When people start a new job, they want to make a difference and are receptive to change.
In another article, I showed readers how to use LinkedIn Navigator to find connections who have recently begun working for a different company, so it's easy to find them.
I hope you have a better understanding of LinkedIn user behavior. You should be able to understand why some messages get a response while others don't. If you want me to take a look at your business and help create a social selling approach, feel free to reach out through LinkedIn's messaging or comment feature, or via email.