LinkedIn and social selling give sales reps powerful tools to learn about their prospects and communicate with them. Many reps aren’t using the platform to its full potential and feel stuck with sharing canned, impersonal messages that are promptly ignored.
Build real, meaningful relationships with valuable content and use the many tools at your disposal to create quality, actionable leads without a lot of effort.
During our Sales Development Summit 2020, Daniel Disney shared his top 10 tips for selling more through LinkedIn in 2021. Here’s how to keep up with the trends and changes to the algorithm and stay on top of what’s relevant now.
Focus on a Personal Brand
Personal brands are the biggest untapped gold mine for social selling. Reps should have a credible presence online. A good personal brand will generate inbound leads as reps share and create valuable content. Prospects will absorb a personal brand and then reach out to a sales rep to learn more.
“A personal brand done right can have a huge impact on nearly every part of the sales process,” says Disney.
A personal brand also helps speed up the outbound process. The first contact with a prospect is less awkward and more engaging when both the rep and the prospect know more about each other through LinkedIn. As you share insights about you and your journey, your prospects will know more about you and how you’ll be able to help them solve their problems.
And the best part is you don’t need to spend a penny to get started.
Build a Better Profile
Many sales representatives do not have fully optimized profiles, which is one of the simplest ways to make a big impact. The standards and expectations for profiles have changed, and it’s important to keep them up to date and relevant. Here are a few tips for filling in the gaps on your profile:
- Solid color profile background. They make you stand out more with less clutter behind you.
- On-brand backgrounds. Optimized banners are like your own billboard. In a few engaging words, tell your prospects how you can help them.
- Optimized summaries. Dig into the problems you solve, the customers you’ve worked with, and your background.
“Your LinkedIn profile is your digital presence; make sure it looks professional,” says Disney.
If you were speaking with customers face to face, you’d dress well and look the part, and your digital presence should be no different.
Take Advantage of Video Messages
Video messages are among the top trends in sales, but many sales reps don’t know how to use them well. The key is to use them in a balanced cadence and find out what format works best for your prospects.
Here are a few more tips on how to make your videos pop:
- Keep your messages 45 to 90 seconds long.
- Make them hyper-personalized. Take this beyond just a sign with their name on it and include pertinent information about them and their brand.
- Don’t over-rely on video messages. Continue to send mail, email, cold calls, and referrals.
Production value matters with video. Think about what you wear and what your background looks like, as well as your sound and lighting quality.
Tell Your Story in a Post
Long-form posts continue to be the best performing content on LinkedIn. To start writing them, spend some time reading what others in your market are writing about to learn how to craft them well.
Consistency is key for posts. Share personal and professional stories that provide value to your prospects once or twice a week. These posts are not the place to focus only on what you sell; keep it relevant and interesting to your audience.
Lastly, optimize your content for readability. Add spaces between your paragraphs to make it easier on the eyes as readers scroll, and only add a couple of relevant hashtags and avoid tagging people unnecessarily.
Drive ROI with Native LinkedIn Articles
Like long-form story posts, articles published on LinkedIn have high ROI. While it can feel like a big step to generate content, it’s another important way to deliver value to your prospects. Sales reps are used to writing engaging content in emails and sales material, and a blog post or article isn’t much different.
Keep articles from 800-1000 words and focus on the value you bring to your customers. Choose topics and key areas that you’re passionate about.
At the end of your post, include a good CTA and fill out the “About the Author” section. This is where you can deliver your pitch and talk about yourself.
“When sharing content on LinkedIn, make more of it valuable to your network,” Disney says.
Research Your Prospects
A little preparation goes a long way. Spending 30 to 60 seconds skimming a profile is generally enough to gather important information you can use to increase your conversions dramatically.
Many reps don’t take the time to read about their prospects and miss out on valuable information. Some other places to look include what they’ve shared, their activity, and even who they’ve connected with.
Comment and Share Authentically
When it comes to leaving comments on prospects’ posts and content, it’s important to stay true to yourself. Don’t comment to sell; engage to provide value and build a relationship.
Commenting on every post can look fake or forced; only add a comment when you have an opinion and feel confident to engage professionally.
“If your only motivation is to sell, people will see right through you on LinkedIn,” Disney says.
Copy and paste messages and comments will be crystal clear to prospects as a selling tactic. Have a genuine interest in your prospects and seek to provide value.
Build Voice Notes Into Your Cadence
Voice notes are another option for messaging in LinkedIn to add to your cadence.
Include a strong CTA and keep them engaging. Invite prospects to reply with their email address to start a conversation.
Create Video for Your Feed
Video content and LinkedIn Live bring video to your feed. Just like video messages, make sure you talk to your camera and keep your production value high.
Look for opportunities to do things differently with video. Conduct an expert interview with someone credible and relevant. Provide stories and insights you might have written in a long-form post. Keep it fresh and always relevant to your ideal audience.
ABC, Always Be Consistent
If you want to leverage social selling, you need to be consistent. LinkedIn engagement isn’t a one-and-done task or something you can do for a week and let fall by the wayside.
While social selling and developing relationships may take time, the opportunities are there for those willing to work for them.
If you’re not social selling, now is the time to start. Time is running out to catch the wave of organic growth on LinkedIn.
Just like Facebook has made organic growth next to impossible after they focused on paid ads to reach an audience, it won’t be long before LinkedIn follows suit. It will require more effort and budget to get the same results.
Organic reach is available on LinkedIn to everyone willing to put in the effort to create, share, and engage with relevant, authentic content.