LinkedIn is about one thing, and one thing only – creating relationships. Whether the “relationship” you build is a new connection, a “like” on an update, a comment on your post or a long-term business engagement, it all starts with using the LinkedIn platform to initiate some sort of relationship. Here are three strategies where you can connect “to the world’s professionals to make (you) more productive and successful*”….. and take your marketing to the next level. (*LinkedIn’s tagline.)
Use Groups to Connect and Engage
LinkedIn groups have changed – a lot. With the newest user interface and the denigrated group API starting on June 30th – it is more difficult to use LinkedIn groups to market your content like you once could. While this makes it harder to automate discussion blasts – it does mean that there will be less spam – and those members who remain might be more open to engagement. Which is how I want to talk about them – as a great place to find and engage with prospects. But to be successful, you must do two things:
- Download the LinkedIn Groups mobile all (iPhone only)
- Turn your outreach into a message and invitation to connect
Why the app?
It is very difficult to get notifications on your group engagement through LinkedIn on the browser. Even if you turn your notifications on, you might not see any engagement on your group discussions. Fortunately, the Notifications section in the LinkedIn group app will notify you of activity. If you post a discussion, and a good prospect responds to it, you now have an opportunity to engage with them.
How to find a prospect in a group
If you go to a prospect’s profile, you can see if you share a group with them in “Highlights”. If you do share a group, simply find them and send them a message through the group. But even if you don’t share a group, LinkedIn has literally millions of groups to review. All you need to do is find a group (use the Discovery tab) and request to join a group where your target market hangs out. In fact, you can do a very basic search within a group you have joined to find your targets, and then send them a message inviting them to connect.
- Join a group
- Click on Members
- Do a simple search by clicking on the magnifying glass
- Click on member’s name
- Review their profile and engagement – see if there is something you can reference
- Go back to their name in the group members search
- Click on “Message”
- Send a quick message like:
I liked the article you shared about…
I see with both are connected to…
And then I saw you were also a member in this group.
Want to connect?
Sign with your name and relevant links
Once they respond to your positively respond to your message, send them an invite! Once you are connected, check out the following two strategies.
Use LinkedIn to Find Strategic Partners to Expand Your Visibility
A colleague of mine recently said: “one + one + one equals a million.” When it comes to business, simple math does not apply. If I have 10K in my audience and a strategic partner has 15K in her audience, the total number of people we can market to is not 25K, but 25K to the nth. Our combined voice is stronger and more authoritative. Which means that any content we mutually share will get more amplification (friends sharing to their networks who then share to their networks, etc.).
If you have a product, service, webinar or free lead magnet to market, then find a strategic partner through LinkedIn that you can work with and share each other’s content. It doesn’t have to be a long term official business partnership. Some of my joint ventures have lasted exactly as long as the webinar we did together, and some of my strategic partnerships have lasted 7 years!
Ninja Trick: Check the “People Also Viewed” section. LinkedIn tracks our viewing activity, and knowns who is viewing who. If people are viewing your profile and another’s, it means you have something in common. Some people will be your competitors, but others are very likely to be people you could easily create a strategic partnership with.
As I look at the people in the “People Also Viewed” section of my profile, two of my long-term business partnerships regularly show up in the top four. Because we promote each other and amplify each other’s voices – which has only built our visibility and businesses!
Create “Influencer” Articles with LinkedIn Publisher to Amplify You Voice
If you aren’t quite ready to commit to a strategic partnership with someone, then think about using LinkedIn Publisher to showcase them and their expertise. Why? Because these Influencers might have a higher “standing” than you within your industry, and they might have a more loyal audience then you do. But if you use your Publisher platform to highlight them (and their work), and if you notify them of the article about them (if it is positive!) they might share it with their significantly larger audience. And hey, if you happen to have a great lead magnet in your post, you could significantly build your list with your Influencer’s audience!
And awesome example of this is the eBook that Brynne Tillman (who just happens to be a strategic partner of mine) wrote featuring several other LinkedIn Influencers:
I think there is no better place than LinkedIn to find partners to co-market and mutually build your businesses with. While it should go without saying, I’ll say it anyway – co-marketing works when there is a win-win situation. If you want to market your product, service, lead magnet or webinar to another’s audience and they gain nothing from it, well, you are not going to have a ton of people tugging at the bit to work with you! But if you have a great offer that you can both benefit from, start mining LinkedIn for good strategic partners.
If you are having a hard time reaching a potential strategic partner to co-market with, then reach out to them though groups. And don’t forget, LinkedIn will even give you some leads in the “People also Viewed” section of your profile. If you can’t find someone to promote your content, then promote them (or other Influencers) in your long-form posts.
Doing good stuff for others and with each other means a better marketing results when using LinkedIn!