What does it take to make LinkedIn work for business development?

I’ve been asked a lot of questions since launching the LinkedIn Masterclass, I launched the Masterclasses earlier this year after I saw two things:

1)     Tons of LinkedIn courses not really giving people practical advice about how to use LinkedIn for business development.

2)     Lots of people asking me questions but not having the time or monetisation structure to help them.

I don’t consider myself a LinkedIn expert, in fact I worry about people with that title, in my humble opinion an expert does not self-pronounce, but what do I know?. The only people who are LinkedIn experts are LinkedIn themselves. My experience and expertise on LinkedIn stems from my own use and experience. I keep up with the changes and help people understand how to exploit those changes for their business. I practice what I preach.

In the past two years, I have shown people how to and helped people generate thousands of appointments, gain hundreds of thousands of views and win clients. Before you question the statements above, I can justify or back them up, so there is no BS here.

One person who I have helped recently had their first post reach 200,000 views and their reach across the network has extended massively. I could fill this whole post up with stories but suffice to say after the training and insight I share everyone sees results. No cheating, we followed a strategy and process that delivered 200,000 views.

LinkedIn is in a golden age right now, despite how busy it seems, it really isn’t that busy, the vast majority of users are spectating rather than participating, so there is a window of opportunity whereby people can exploit the low activity levels to gain reach beyond their connections and connect with their prospects.

That won’t last forever. One of the other reasons I refuse to badge myself as Mr LinkedIn is that I love LinkedIn because it works, but I like Facebook too and a lot of other tools. I don’t want to brand myself as one thing when I know once this LinkedIn train gets moving, the opportunities may be better elsewhere. So, for as long as it works, I’ll help people make it work.

So what does it take to make LinkedIn work for business development?

A simple approach

It’s a lot simpler than you think.

One of the reasons why so many people suck at LinkedIn and I do mean suck at it is because they over-think it. They assume they need to demonstrate their expertise by sharing industry insights 24/7 or they spend hours trying to perfect their experience or profile picture.

PLEASE… if you have your company logo or some abstract profile photo… sort yourself out. Why are you trying to hide your face?

Complete your profile, but don’t go over the top. You don’t need a photo shoot or a 1200-word explanation of what you do, nor do you need to list every single letter you have after your name.

When you boil it down, business is done based on whether you are relatable, capable and trustworthy.

People do business with people they like, trust and can see they can do a good job for them.

Nobody does business with people who are difficult, rude or up themselves.

So, don’t over think it, keep it simple, your focus is trust, relatability and credibility.

You don’t gain those by telling people you are, but by showing people you are.

Starting with the end in mind

If you are building LinkedIn to make sales, your priority is to make sure people know what you do and how you can help them. BUT if you do that all the time, you are a pushy second-hand car salesperson.

The biggest issue on LinkedIn is people having no strategy, no understanding of how they intend to achieve their aim. What happens then is random messages, inconsistent posting and an ‘all over the show’ approach. Then it all goes awry and you quickly come to the conclusion “LinkedIn doesn’t work”

  • Do you have a plan or do you just jump on there when you feel the urge?
  • Do you know who you want to win business from?
  • Do you have key actions, processes and steps to make it all happen?

My guess for most people is they don’t. This doesn’t have to be complicated, but you do need at least a one-page plan of how you are going to use LinkedIn for growth.

Being consistent and persistent.

I don’t have time. If you don’t have time to grow your business, then find the time. If you don’t have time to build relationships with people who could become customers, then you have a major business bottleneck which could impinge on the future of your company.

The main reason people do not have time is because they have assessed the reward to effort ratio based on their previous efforts and made the judgment call that the time spent to the rewards is just not worth it.

They are right! If you have over thought it, have no strategy and no consistency, it isn’t worth it at all. If you want a steady stream of weekly appointments you can’t expect that to come from erratic and inconsistent activity.

One of the projects I’ve helped one small business owner with was generating weekly appointments. They invested in us helping them through personal support. That’s a big investment for a small business. After doing the work, they are now getting their own appointments on a weekly basis to meet new prospects. We helped them build a system.

Depending on the size of your business, your system can adapt, a higher priced service probably needs a longer consideration and gestation cycle. But it still works all the same. If you are inconsistent, you could be one day away from getting that meeting, but if you give up or don’t follow through, the whole process has been wasted.

But if I have the option of being in front of my prospects every day, letting them see I am there and can help them practically grow their business, why would I not do it every day?

Every day I win a new customer.

No BS. Every day someone, somewhere pays me money for my services.

Whether that is for one of our training courses, consulting in their business growth plans, doing a corporate training event or speaking at events.

50% of those customers come from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn does work, it can work for B2B and B2C but you have to have the clarity and consistency of approach.

If you would like to get help with your approach to business development on LinkedIn you can sign up for one of our LinkedIn Masterclasses on Eventbrite (http://maverrikco.eventbrite.com) or if you are a larger organisation, I can come and deliver a course for you at your business.

Drop me a line to find our more.