4 LinkedIn ‘Best Practices’ You Should Ignore

Posted by Pat Henseler in LinkedIn Marketing Insights

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There's a lot of information out there about what business owners, marketers and salespeople should be doing on LinkedIn. In this post we'll examine some of the common strategies we see being used ineffectively that you should ignore. And give you the blueprint for what does work on LinkedIn and is worth your time.

Everywhere you look you’ll find a “solution.” Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. Here at LinkedSelling we aim to be a beacon in the never-ending sea of confusion and conflicting advice.

The only way we can do that is by taking it upon ourselves to test what’s out there through our own experience in working with clients and in growing our own company.

In this post specifically, we’ll discuss four things we’ve learned about LinkedIn that seem like they’d be great options, but that, in reality, are often counterproductive in the quest to get more quality leads to book calls with you.

That doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to get a result from any of these strategies on their own, but moreso that if you were to apply the 80/20 rule to your LinkedIn marketing, these strategies would be the ones that take up more time and result in less leads, appointments and sales.

1. Relying on InMail to Start Conversations

InMail is positioned as email for LinkedIn. You can message someone who is not a connection and it goes to their inbox. Plus, if they haven’t looked at your message after a time, LinkedIn automatically sends a reminder. What could possibly be wrong with that?

The trouble with InMail is that it’s essentially a direct advertisement and people instantly know that when they get an InMail message, someone wants something from them and they know that salesmen and women have come a-knocking.

It’s become overused and probably in many cases misused to the point that it gets ignored.

Meaning that it’s unlikely to get responded to.

That’s why we recommend that you first and foremost aim to connect with people on LinkedIn. This allows you to build up your database of quality connections that will see your status updates, content, and direct messages that you can structure as a drip campaign.

This lets you create a stronger relationship that opens the doors to a quality conversation and relationship that your prospect is far more likely to engage in. That means you’ll have a higher likelihood that they’ll accept a call when you get to the point in your campaign of asking for one.

Pairing the direct messaging opportunities with the automatic sharing of status updates and comments means that they’ll recognize who you are, your name, your business so that your direct messages don’t feel so out of left field. Staying top of mind and building that trust needed to open a sales conversation is easier when you focus on building a relationship first before selling. InMail is not required to make that happen.

Helpful Tip

Aim to make connections with your prospects on LinkedIn rather than just sending InMails. A connection will receive your status updates and messages directly and is much more likely to lead to an eventual phone call or appointment.

2. Stuffing Your Profile with Keywords

There is a big misunderstanding here.

Yes, you absolutely want to include relevant keywords in your profile that your audience will be searching for or that will speak to them when they are on your profile. However, don’t make the mistake of stuffing keywords in a big list without context. Stuffing keywords in your profile in hopes that someone will search for it and find you not only makes your profile look bad (and hard to read), but is an ineffective way of getting consistent, quality leads on the phone with you.

If you put more effort into making the profile readable and relatable to the people you’ll be directly trying to connect with, it’ll take you much further than just writing a bulleted list of potential keywords a prospect might use.

Here’s what to focus on:

  • Use your profile to tell a story about WHO you help.
  • Be sure to describe what you help them achieve by sharing what you've helped others JUST LIKE THEM achieve.
  • And be clear about what makes you different (why they should do business with you as opposed to your competitors).

If you’d like to get your LinkedIn profile up to speed and be sure that it’s actually pulling its weight to attract your best leads and clients, register now for our upcoming workshop.

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3. Overusing Jargon

Too often, when people think of “business” they too often see the walls of a giant corporation, or the hip logo of a start-up and they immediately feel the need to “keep up.” One way they do this is with “business speak” - the jargon that gets reused and recycled but doesn’t really mean anything.

For example, instead of telling people how “disruptive” your strategy is or how “turnkey” your approach, just describe what kind of effects or outcomes working with you will have. How will using your solution make a difference in their daily routine, in getting clients, or in their business in general?

While LinkedIn is for business people, this doesn’t mean you should hide your personality. Don’t share content or communicate like it’s a boring resume. People connect with people, not businesses.

4. Making Yourself the Star

This is a common mistake. You’ll hear people saying “you should always be selling” so you’ll hear people always talking about themselves and their products and services. They’re not wrong per se, but what really needs to happen is that you need to redefine what selling is.

Selling does NOT mean always push yourself and your business. It really means that you need to become an expert advisor who knows your prospect inside and out and can help them solve their problems. This is more true in this day and age than ever before because people have never been able to research this easily. That can be both a positive and negative (fi you handle it the wrong way).

Here’s what you need to do instead:

  1. Focus on your prospects and what they really care about. Talk about their interests and problems. Share content that they’re searching for.
  2. Tailor your profile to call out your ideal prospects and let them know you work with others just like them.

We’ve all engaged in these activities at some point or another and frankly, that’s how we know that they don’t work. What does work is simplifying your marketing to focus on the 20% of tasks that get you 80% of the results. We’ve found that the 20% that works for us is being human and building real relationships with strategic targets.

If you’d like to know how we do it on LinkedIn, click below to learn the system that grew our business to 7-figures just using LinkedIn and how our clients continue to use the same approach to grow their businesses, increasing their revenue, impact, and time freedom.

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