3 Steps to Create Better Positioning and Attract More Leads from LinkedIn

Posted by Pat Henseler in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Insights, Entrepreneurship, LinkedIn Marketing Insights

Positioning.

It can make your break your entire business. If you have it dialed in, you become attractive to your ideal prospects and stand out from the crowd. If not, you blend in and no one cares to find out more about you or your services.

It would be like if the receptionist at your office who you always thought was bit shy was actually in a rock band. From then on, it would be likely to completely change how you view them and one thing is certain: that person now stands out in your mind.

It’s also like an experiment done at Harvard, where a lecturer was introduced two different ways: to one group he was introduced as a dishwasher and to the other, he was introduced as a tenured professor at a prestigious university. You can imagine which group of students were more attentive to what he had to say.

While you likely aren’t positioned as the ‘janitor’ of your industry, the extreme example points out an important truth.

You can’t afford to be viewed as ‘just another vendor’ in your sales and marketing outreach.

You want your business to stand out and allow you to win more meetings with your prospects and today we’ll be sharing 3 specific actions you should take on LinkedIn to make it happen. Here’s an overview before we jump into the details:

  1. Build a community
  2. Optimize your profile
  3. Share the right content

It seems pretty simple, but you'd be surprised how effective this can be to position your business effectively to stand out and become the go-to name in your industry.

Build a Community

The secret to creating and growing a successful LinkedIn Group that positions your business as the trusted and tenured Harvard professor people pay attention to (as opposed to a business no one would bat an eyelash at), is simple:

You become a leader in the eyes of your best prospects when you bring them together and provide a platform for discussion. You also become a resource – a valuable asset to you industry.

This means that you want to first of all, make sure you attract the right people and this starts with your group name. The natural thing for most business owners to do is to create a group around the topic of their own expertise, but this is a mistake. Your prospects will join a group that’s relevant to them and their industry, not yours.

Remember this: you want to build a group to attract your prospects, NOT your competition.

Take for example, Aaron Agius who runs one of Australia’s leading marketing agencies, Louder Online, which specializes in search, social, and content marketing. When he came to us, he was not only looking for more leads and new business. He also wanted to position his company as THE leader in his space. The problem was, with potentially thousands of other marketing firms offering a similar service, the competition was fierce.

We used LinkedIn groups to enable him to cut through the competition and be seen as a peer to the senior marketing decision makers he targets.

Here is his group page and LinkedIn profile:

So now, as someone who leads a successful “Marketing Leaders” group, he is seen as a peer and as an expert that over 10,000 marketing leaders trust (that’s over 10,000 prime prospects, by the way!) This is totally different from being seen as just another marketing agency.

Mistake to avoid: Naming the group based on your interest and not the prospects.

We could have built a group for him around his expertise as a content marketing agency and gone with a title like ‘Content Marketing Strategies’ but that would have attracted other marketing agencies (his competitors, not his prospects).

By positioning the group for how his top prospects identify themselves, he’ll attract more of them into the conversation.

Optimize Your Profile

Once you’ve created your LinkedIn Group, to use it as a positioning tool, it’s a good idea to include it right in the headline of your LinkedIn profile so that when you prospects find your profile, they immediately see you as a trusted leader in their space.

Below are a few examples of how some our clients have done this over the years. Notice how specific their headlines are about exactly who they help, and how they call out their positioning and the name of the group right in the headline…

Matt Jones, Founder of Health and Safety Professional New Zealand:

Tom Swip, Founder Midwest Manufacturing Leaders:

Annie Brock, Founder, BOLD Leaders Forum:

Henri Schauffler, Founder of D.C. Small Biz Executives Forum:

Mistake to Avoid: Listing out your job title in your headline without calling out the types of people you help.

There is a lot that goes into a well-optimized profile that we’ve covered extensively in the past, but as a note – you’ll want to avoid not referencing the people you help and how you help them.

Make it clear what’s in it for them when your prospects visit your profile.

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Share the Right Content

It’s one thing to create a group and it’s another entirely to make sure it’s successful. To properly use your LinkedIn group as a positioning tool, you definitely want the latter.

One of the keys to ensuring your group’s success is to share the right content. Doing so not only keeps you top of mind (your prospects will be notified of all group updates), sharing the right content also serves to cement your positioning as an expert who can help them.

Here are a few tips we tell our clients:

Use Discussions As Well As Articles

Now, content in LinkedIn groups comes in two forms, via discussions and via content you create or 3rd party content you share. Here you can see an example of a discussion Tom Swip, founder of the group “Midwest Manufacturing Leaders” has initiated with his prospects…

As for sharing content, here are two golden rules for sharing content that instantly builds trust and authority….

Curate Don’t Create.

Think of yourself as a curator – finding and sharing amazing resources for your prospects.

The most obvious reason to curate is that you don’t need to take the time to create your own content. But saving time is just the surface. It’s also a very strategic move because the type of content you share is also a great positioning tool.

When you can actually share content you know will be appreciated, content that’s already received a good response, you position yourself as well-read, humble (because you’re willing to step aside and let others shine), helpful, and just as knowledgeable as the original content creator.

It’s the perfect way to position yourself as an authority because you achieve that without being pushy or salesy.

Mistake to Avoid: Writing all the content yourself.

Share What Your Prospect Values. Not Just What You Value.

Most content online never gets shared because businesses make their content about themselves instead of their prospects.

When you do the exact opposite and share content unique to your prospect’s interests… they’ll be more likely to notice, engage, and remember you. That’s why getting to know them inside and out is so important.

For example, if you are an IT consultant like Tom Swip and you sell to the owners of small manufacturing firms… don’t only share IT content. That’s what you are most interested in NOT what they are most interested in.

So Tom shares articles and resources related to manufacturing and other topics C-level executives in the manufacturing industry would be interested in.

How to Find 3rd Party Content to Share

Here’s a bonus tip: you can use simple tools like Feedly that make finding great content a breeze. Feedly delivers the content to you so you just need to scan a list of relevant content to share and choose the topics your prospects would like.

Putting It All Together

Will this approach work to create a strong positioning for your business? I’ll let the results speak for themselves…

“Josh and his team have been great to work with. They’ve helped me build our group to over 5,000 members online. The members are high quality, engaged professionals that really enjoy the content and information I provide for them. I stand out as the go to expert for our members. I’ve done over $600,000 in business from the leads generated with this system, and am currently working on a half a million dollar deal that is a direct result of meeting one member in the group.”
 – Tom Swip, IT Consultant

“What this did was give “me the confidence to NOT wait until somebody to tell me that I’m a leader and a professional. I could wait my whole life before somebody gave me that accolade. I’m gonna take it, but I’ve got to live it, I’ve got to prove it, otherwise people will see through it quite quickly.”
– Matt Jones, Owner Advanced Safety

“I've got to tell you, within DAYS of using your techniques, I've landed two engagements that are in the low to mid five figures. It usually takes me over a year to gain the trust and privilege to entertain that level of proposal. The best training and insight I've ever come across.”
– Dan Demers, Business Consultant

In our experience, using LinkedIn Groups are a fantastic way to position your business so that your prospects get to know you as an expert, they trust you, and most importantly, they are more open to hearing your message because they know you’re there to help, not just to push your services on them. However, the LinkedIn Groups strategy is just one part of our lead generation process.

If you’d like to learn more about how LinkedIn Groups fit into a full-scale LinkedIn strategy and how you can implement it in your business to get consistent leads every month, click here to schedule a LinkedSelling Rocket Launch Session.


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