Archive | LinkedIn Strategy

Strategies and techniques for LinkedIn and Social Selling to improve sales results.

Advanced Personal Branding – creating scale through leverage

LinkedIn Lead Generation Advanced Personal Branding Mark Stonham Wurlwind

Some people have been very successful at developing their personal brand into very successful businesses. Richard Branson and Virgin, Steve Jobs and Apple, Jamie Oliver to highlight just 3.

To me there are three things they do extremely well:

  • They have created and developed a reputation or personal brand that positions them very successfully
  • They have a means of monetizing their value in ways that go far beyond trading time for money
  • They run promotional projects and develop partnerships with peers to create a win:win

Solo-preneurs such as independent consultants, coaches, trainers, some sales people, and others have developed products or alliances that match these aspects and they run them as virtual organisations.
Business leaders do similar but in a more formal way, through a company that employs people and has contractual relationships with suppliers and distributors.

In both scenarios there are many similarities about the person who is the leader, the figure-head, the entrepreneur. And Advanced Personal Branding is an important factor.
The reality also is that they have a team of people who support them in what they do, and these people gain in several ways, financially, reputationally, in skills and experience etc.

Think of a few people in your field, or other fields, who you recognise as leaders? Think of 3 specific people – maybe at different levels – A-List, B-List and C-List to use the media celebrity classification.

Would you like to be viewed by others in the same way? How would that feel?

How would it change the way you went around lead generation, and the revenue and profit of your business?

How would it change your goals, plans and activities?

Who would benefit from Advanced Personal Branding?

Here are some examples of the types of people we’ve worked with for whom this strategy is applicable:

  • Business Leaders – people such as the CEO or Managing Director who are the public face of the business and who have a team of people who they support and who support them.
  • Independent Consultants – especially those who have a productized offering such as books, training courses, group programs and other revenue systems.
  • Sales Leaders – people in a senior business development role who are leading growth in existing or new markets for the business.
  • Subject Matter Experts – for example in technology companies this could be the CTO, or in a marketing agency the Creative Director.

What does Advanced Personal Branding look like in practice?

There are many activities that can be part of the mix to develop and build visibility through advanced personal branding such as:

  • write a book
  • speak at conferences
  • be active in the professional association for your sector
  • run a masterclass group
  • lead a discussion group or forum online

And alongside this LinkedIn is a powerful network to support, re-inforce and leverage that activity.

How can LinkedIn be used as part of a strategy to develop Advanced Personal Branding?

There are many techniques and tactics for how LinkedIn can be used to support an advanced personal branding strategy such as:

  • write our LinkedIn Personal Profile to convey our value and influence in a way that positions us as a leader in our field, and be found for this
  • create content, especially articles and status updates to lead the thinking in the specific specialisation and educate and inform followers
  • curate content from other reputable sources to help followers to develop their knowledge, their sources, as well as to build credibility

And within that strategy, LinkedIn can be part of the Customer Journey to lead people to other resources, such as newsletters and downloadable information via landing pages on our websites.

What results can be achieved through Advanced Personal Branding?

With a well designed and executed strategy there are many potential outcomes and benefits, for example in the following areas:

  • Increased conversion rates at various stages throughout the buyers’ journey, for you and/or your marketing and sales team
  • Generate and attract enquiries and approaches for partnership, co-ventures and other commercial alliances
  • Gain invitations to speaking opportunities to further raise your personal and business profile
  • Referrals to people who would benefit from your specialist knowledge
  • Enquiries and leads for sales opportunities for you, or that can be passed to your sales team
  • Increased visitor/traffic to your Linkedin profile, website and other digital and online properties, where you can build your following, your email list etc.

Having various lead capture, qualification, response and lead nurture processes and systems in place is beneficial to effectively and efficiently handle what will hopefully be a rapid increase in the number of inbound contacts and enquiries received.

Three essential elements to make Advance Personal Branding commercially effective

The ability to deliver value to partners as well as customers and clients becomes increasingly important for those who want to develop an advanced personal brand.

  1. Clarity about our Identity – because we will be investing a lot of time, effort and money to develop our reputation. Building a reputation around a skill and ability that we are naturally good at is so much easier and less stressful.
  2. Mastery of our Market – to understand not just customers and clients but also the other players, and whether they are competitors or potential collaborators. This helps us identify a unique niche where we can be Number 1.
  3. Effective Promotions, Projects and Partnerships – design and execution of effective promotional campaigns ourselves and then agreeing and executing joint campaigns, co-promotions, partnerships and similar activities. This helps us plan and run successful campaigns that achieve financial, development and learning goals and increase in scale progressively.

It takes years to build a reputation. It can also take years to build the team and infrastructure to support the monetization of that reputation. For those who are successful the rewards can be huge.

How Linkedin can be used in Advanced personal Branding

Here are a number of suggestions for ways LinkedIn can be used as part of Advanced Personal Branding

  • To research a market, to understand what it is, who the players are, what they offer and who their clients are
  • To communicate our identity and specialisation through our LinkedIn Personal Profile and the content we share
  • To identify potential partners and activities that we can collaborate around, such as conferences and events
  • To develop a channel of followers who we can provide value to
  • To invite our followers to enter our sales funnel is an appropriate way
  • To share the successes that we have helped our customers, clients and partners to achieve

Additional LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies from Wurlwind

This is one of 7 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies we’ve designed and developed to progressively help people get more benefit from LinkedIn.

Have a look at other strategies via these links, or download our Pocket Guide below for a handy guide.

And if you’d like an exploratory chat please book a call and add a topic via the following online diary.

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Download LinkedIn Lead Generation Pocket Guide

Wurlwind LinkedIn Lead Generation Blog

Welcome to the Wurlwind Community Blog. Here you’ll find articles, features, tips and techniques to help you develop and grow your business as a Trusted Advisor.

Referral Marketing and Customer Appreciation – Encouraging people to recommend you

LinkedIn Lead Generation Referral Marketing Image Mark Stonham WurlwindReferral Marketing is one of the most powerful lead generation techniques for people running smaller businesses.

It’s like having an unpaid sales team out there, listening out for signs from their clients and contacts. Personal recommendation makes the sales process much smoother.

It’s easy to overlook the potential for referrals through LinkedIn. And there are major benefits for people who put a little time and effort in to boost their online referrals position.

Who is more likely to provide Referrals?

Lets start with satisfied and delighted customers. They have already gone through the Know, Like and Trust journey, and made a commitment to you and your business. A little bit of effort in the post-sale period using LinkedIn to create a public win:win situation will pay huge dividends.

Then there are those who offer complementary services. They may well have clients who are your ideal customers. It may help them to develop relationships and protect their clients if they introduce an ally. There is also a reciprocal aspect, where they may look to you for an introduction in return.

Then there are people who recognise your expertise and are willing to put a good word in for you when the opportunity arises.

How can people provide referrals?

Ideally this is happening out of sight as it were, and your name is being mentioned by many people although for the large part you are unaware it’s happening. The first you may know is when the prospect gets in touch and mentions that so-and-so gave them your name. Sometimes this is visible in LinkedIn, when people say they are looking for a supplier and they ask for recommendations.

Taking a more pro-active approach, you may be looking for a way into a company or to an individual. And through LinkedIn there are suggested links of people you both know. From this you could ask for an introduction, or a specific referral to that person.

And in a low-key way, when people like, comment and share your status updates and articles there’s an implied referral aspect, or endorsement going on.

How can we encourage referrals?

Delivering an excellent service is the starting point. Satisfied clients may refer, whereas dissatisfied customers won’t refer, and may put out negative messages generally or specifically.

Having a well written LinkedIn Profile will make the referral process easier. And if the profile makes it clear not just who an ideal client is but also the circumstances for a referral so much the better.

And then being visible through activity on Linkedin is pretty important. Staying front of mind will prompt people to refer us, rather than stay silent or refer someone else.

There’s also an approach that starts sowing the seeds for referrals from the first contact with a potential client. It’s much easier to ask for a referral if it’s not a surprise at the end of the sales process, part way through, or in various other ways.

Next Steps to develop referral marketing

Showing appreciation and reciprocating with people who have previously give referrals is a good move.

Identifying other people who could be encouraged to provide referrals is another step.

And for more suggestions, and guidance on how to develop a referral marketing channel appropriate for your business and situation, why not book a call with me, Mark Stonham, below.

Additional LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies from Wurlwind

This is one of 7 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies we’ve designed and developed to progressively help people get more benefit from LinkedIn.

Have a look at other strategies via these links, or download our Pocket Guide below for a handy guide.

And if you’d like an exploratory chat please book a call and add a topic via the following online diary.

Linkedwin LinkedIn Review Masthead Image

Download LinkedIn Lead Generation Pocket Guide

LinkedIn Lead Generation – 7 Strategies for Social Selling

If you sell to other businesses and want to increase sales and grow your business you’ll want to find out all about these Seven LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies.Using LinkedIn for lead generation, business development, marketing, selling and customer loyalty processes is incredibly beneficial. By connecting with your clients you’re a huge step closer to your next customer.To grow your business you almost certainly need one or more of these lead generation strategies.But it’s also easy to waste time in unproductive activity, following the wrong strategy, or failing to execute effectively.Many business owners, independent consultants and sales professionals use LinkedIn to find new clients. They know LinkedIn isn’t just for job-seekers and recruitment.These strategies have been developed and refined through the training I’ve developed and delivered over since 2011, and overhauled after the LinkedIn changes early in 2017.

Which of these strategies will create new opportunities and add new clients to your business?

SEVEN LinkedIn Lead Generation Training modules

Which is the best fit for what you need to achieve?

 

7 LinkedIn Lead Generation Strategies Wurlwind LinkedWin Image

 

 

1. LinkedIn Lead Generation Foundations

This strategy covers using LinkedIn effectively to support online and offline marketing and selling activity.

When buyers are looking for and short-listing potential suppliers it’s important to be found and also to not to be eliminated for lack of presence.

It’s ideal for people starting out or needing a refresher for LinkedIn. This module underpins all other modules, because if this area is weak the other activities will be less effective.

This module reflects the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI) as a solid and measurable foundation on which to build other lead generation campaigns and activities.

  • LinkedIn Introduction / Refresher –  what’s available in LinkedIn, and their value for business development.
  • Navigating around LinkedIn – key areas in LinkedIn and what function is available where (especially in the new UI).
  • Profile – completing the essential areas of your LinkedIn Profile and optimising for skills, keywords and customer focus.
  • Network – finding and connecting with the right mix of people to support lead generation and other goals
  • Content – what to share on a regular basis to build profile, visibility, reputation and trigger conversations.
  • Conversations – how to engage with people on Linkedin and develop sales related conversations.
  • Processes – developing effective routines, systems and using tools for sales productivity.

Takeaway – LinkedIn Foundations Checklist and Activity Planner for daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly activity.

See how strong your LinkedIn Foundations are

2. Social Prospecting using LinkedIn

This LinkedIn strategy focuses on finding and making contact with new people to build a prospect list at scale.

Most Consultants, Business Owners and Salespeople will need to do this to boost their sales pipeline at some time or another.

It’s about identifying and reaching out to say 100 people, connecting and starting sales conversations with 15-30 of them. Then rinse and repeat with another 100!

  • Search – Smart ways to use LinkedIn Search to find people and companies
  • Engage – 7 ways to reach out to people and contact them
  • Positioning – Profile update tips to improve engagement and conversations
  • Follow-up – Tips for organising and following up contacts and list building

Take-away – LinkedIn Prospecting Campaign Planner

Get better at finding and reaching out to decision makers on LinkedIn

3. Account-based Marketing (ABM) & Growing Key Accounts

How to use LinkedIn to go wider and deeper in larger and higher value client and prospect companies.

Opening and growing Key Accounts can create very large rewards, but it takes careful planning to get the strategy right.

It’s about expanding into a major company through LinkedIn, identifying multiple entry points and engaging with purpose. Then rinse and repeat with another major company!

  • Research & Listening – using LinkedIn to build up a comprehensive understanding of major businesses
  • Relationships – getting closer to key people through LinkedIn
  • Account Penetration – gaining introductions to the right people via existing contacts
  • Complex sales – using LinkedIn through an extended sale/purchase cycle to improve win rates.

Take-away – LinkedIn Key Account Planner

Gain tips to get into major accounts via LinkedIn

4. Advanced Personal Branding through LinkedIn

Raising our profiles and growing our networks by being more active in focused ways creates more enquiries and opportunities to follow-up.

Ideal for Subject Matter Experts (Consultants, Business Owners, Salespeople) with a specialist skill or in a niche.

It’s about attracting buyers and prospects by building authority and visibility, becoming a go-to person in your sector or niche.

Key techniques covered include:

  • Being Distinctive – with Advanced Positioning and Profile techniques
  • Boosting Credibility – building social proof and a powerful network presence
  • Increasing Visibility – Curating, sharing and creating content to develop your specialist positioning.
  • Building Relationships – Joining discussions, starting conversations, generating interest.

Take-away – LinkedIn Personal Branding Planner

Discover ways to boost your visibility through LinkedIn here

5. Developing Referrals through LinkedIn

Word of Mouth, and Word of Mouse, are important sources of business that many people overlook, or could be more structured about.

Whether the referral and partner channel is informal or formal the development techniques are similar, even if the reward structures differ.

This module focuses on tips and techniques to develop an effective referral channel through LinkedIn

  • Identifying – people who could become referral partners, formally or informally
  • Recruiting – How to approach people who you’d like to refer and introduce you
  • Educating  – Making it easy for people to refer you, and reminding them regularly
  • Rewarding – Identifying, offering and delivering appropriate rewards to referrers.

Take-away – LinkedIn Referral Campaign Planner

See how you could get more referrals through LinkedIn here

6. Article and content-based lead generation

Writing Blog posts and Articles is not only good for credibility but, with the right structure, promotion and distribution can also be great for lead generation.

A good lead generation article will engage the emotions of the reader, provide learning and rational proof, and lead them towards wanting to take action.

This module focuses on using Articles on your LinkedIn Personal Profile for Lead Generation

  • How to design the Customer Journey to increase lead generation through your profile.
  • Key elements to include in your Lead Generation Article
  • How to promote your article to increase views
  • The Call to Action and your response – What to offer beyond the article.

Take-away – LinkedIn Article based Campaign Planner

Find out tips on article marketing through LinkedIn here

7. Using your LinkedIn Company Page to generate leads

For those in a position to create and develop a LinkedIn Company Page there are several ways to use it to generate leads and enquiries.

This LinkedIn Training module focuses on using the LinkedIn Company Page to generate leads

  • Company Page optimisation – for keywords, call to action etc.
  • Status Updates and sharing of news and educational content
  • Sponsoring Updates and how to use them effectively
  • How to get more Followers – ways to organically grow the number of page followers
  • Ways to increase engagement – encouraging people to like, comment and share your content
  • How to generate leads through the Company Page – different lead generation techniques

Take-away – LinkedIn Company Page Promotion and Campaign Planner

Learn how to promote your business and advertise through LinkedIn

Hopefully at least one of those will be relevant and attractive to you.

Which LinkedIn Lead Generation strategy is your top priority?

If you’re not sure (and it’s a difficult choice to make) let’s have a chat.

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Social Selling Matrix – the Business Development Blueprint for Consultants

Many people have an official or unofficial role as a consultant.

They are Trusted Advisors who make recommendations based on their knowledge and assessment of a particular situation.

Medical Consultants are a great example. They assess complex situations. They also educate and advise their less experienced colleagues.

In Business most disciplines and functions have people in consultant roles, going through a similar work pattern.

– Business Consultants
– Management Consultants
– Sales Consultants
– Marketing Consultants
– IT Consultants
– HR Consultants
– Technical Consultants
– Legal Consultants
– and so on

NEXT PAGE >> Goals & Objectives

 Trust is Critical

Successful Consultants are Trusted in their area of expertise. The advice the provide has significant implications on the recipient.

In a medical context it may be the difference between life and death, with huge implications on the patient and their loved ones.

In business it may be the difference between growth and profit of the client, or missed opportunities, liability, fines, or worse.

Reputation is Key

As a patient or client we probably don’t know enough to judge whether one consultant is better than another.

So we rely on third parties to verify and validate the consultant credentials.

Have they passed relevant exams? Are the respected by their peers? Who are their clients? What results have they achieved?

Multiple Clients

Senior advisors within an organisation will have established channels through which they gain opportunities to add value.

Independent Consultants need to gain multiple and regular opportunities to contribute – to have a bank of clients who seek them out.

The Hybrid Network – Off-line and On-line

The rise of the Internet, websites, search, social media and more has extended the options to develop a network considerable.

While the principles of attracting clients and finding new customers still apply there are far more choices that can be used.

At Wurlwind we’ve developed an end-to-end, joined up, full-cycle approach to business development for Consultants.

This reflects the subtle and significant ways BUYING IS CHANGING

And in response Marketing, Sales and Business Development is CHANGING TOO.

It is the Internet and access to information and the ability to publish that lies behind this disruptive change.

And in the Business to Business (B2B) market it is the LinkedIn platform, network and community that is providing a means for independent consultants to respond.

Why we developed the Social Selling Matrix for Consultants

To help consultants to understand, plan and implement changes at strategic, operational and tactical levels we’ve developed the Social Selling Matrix.

The Matrix is grounded in 30 years B2B sales experience plus deep understanding of LinkedIn and participation in the evolution of Social Selling.

There are 10 elements to the Social Selling Matrix which encompass all the areas of business development that are essential.

Each of the following 10 pages introduces that section or topic.

The top of each page provides highlights and quick actionable tips – with the lower part providing additional tips if that’s where you want to drill down.

The Social Selling Matrix sections:

To put the sections into a logical sequence for someone approaching this for the first time:

1. Goals and Objectives

Four Foundations
2. Ideal Client
3. Value Proposition(s)
4. Personal Brand and Profile
5. Company Brand and Page

Three Stages of the Sales Funnel
6. Attracting and Finding Clients
7. Gaining Agreement
8. Nurturing Clients and partners

Supporting Resources
9. Content
10. Technology – Apps and Tools

Where’s the payback?

There are some quick win highlighted throughout the matrix. The Worksheets and Toolkits are the way into these.

The main payback is a change of mindset, culture, sales operations and resources.

This is a journey. And it may take 3-6 months for people to make appreciable progress.

Do you want to Develop your Consulting Practice and Win more Clients?

If so – Click here to Start Your Journey into Social Selling with me, Mark Stonham, Founder of Wurlwind.

 

Or, if you’d like a chat first, send an email to me, Mark Stonham at mark@wurlwind.co.uk, and I’ll be in touch asap.

NEXT PAGE >> Goals & Objectives