Social selling is the process of leveraging the most out of your social networks. It’s where you need to reach the right prospects, nurture long-term relationships, and achieve sales goals.
In most industries, the best place for social selling is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is where thousands of companies go to find new leads and business opportunities.
So, in this article you will learn how to master social selling and how LinkedIn can help to find new business opportunities.
Why Is Social Selling So Important?
Cold calling and sales demos are not working the way they used to. Many companies use social media to connect with potential leads and educate them about their products and services.
According to Accenture’s State of B2B Procurement Study, 94% of B2B buyers research online before making a business purchase. About 55% conduct online research before completing at least half of their investments.
Where do these companies conduct their research? On social media. According to a study from IDC:
- 91% of B2B buyers are on social media
- 75% of B2B buyers are influenced by social media
- 84% of senior executives use social media to support their buying decisions.
These stats prove that social selling is very essential in connecting with potential customers. The best platform businesses can use to communicate with their potential clients is LinkedIn.
So how do you create a successful social selling strategy on LinkedIn? First, you need to:
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
You want to create a profile that appeals to your target audience. Your prospects only care about what you can do for them, not how great your company is. They want to know how you can solve their problems; not how excellent your products are.
So, it is a must to create a profile that stands out among the crowd and tells what you’ve done to help your past customers.
If that’s not where you excel, there are LinkedIn services like Social Selling Coach that can turn your LinkedIn profile into lead generation and social selling machine
Your LinkedIn Headline
The first thing you need to do is create a headline. There’s a simple formula for doing this:
“[Title], helping [prospects] do X.”
Here are some real-world examples:
- Enterprise software executive | Helping retailers find better performance, productivity, and profitability.
- Senior Sales Manager at HubSpot helping small businesses in Chicago, Denver, Dallas, Salt Lake, Minneapolis, Milwaukee make SaaS decisions.
Your LinkedIn Summary
Your summary is your virtual elevator pitch. An elevator ride doesn’t last very long. So, your resume shouldn’t be very long, either. It should be no more than three paragraphs with 3 to 4 short sentences to deliver your pitch.
Your summary should describe what you do, what makes you unique, and why you love your job. Don’t be afraid to add a little personality to your summary. Let readers feel like they know you.
Here’s a sample of an actual LinkedIn summary from Morgan J. Ingram, a corporate sales trainer from Atlanta, GA.
“I help develop, motivate, and teach tactics to sales teams. I also do motivational speaking by assisting people to remove their negative thoughts to unlock their inner potential and stress the importance of not making excuses in their life.
I’m knowledgeable in sales, public speaking, marketing/social media marketing, branding, networking, and relationship building.
When I’m not working away, I love watching sports, playing video games, watching movies, and reading books.”
LinkedIn Job Descriptions
In the “Experience” section, you may want to write how you helped your current employer succeed. You want to show how you helped your company increase sales, reduce overhead, etc.
You want to write things like:
- Work with businesses in X, Y, and Z industries to increase sales by 30%.
- Help customers reduce costs by $750,000
- Wrote an email marketing campaign that increased webinar attendance by 60%.
These accomplishments tell a potential buyer that you have a positive impact on this business and that they want to hire you. Once they see your deeds, they’ll more likely accept your connection requests and respond to your InMail.
Your Profile Picture
Your profile picture is an important part of your LinkedIn presence. According to LinkedIn, a profile with a picture is 14 times more likely to be viewed. That’s why it’s an important part of your LinkedIn profile.
Here are a few tips on creating a professional-looking profile picture:
- Choose a photo that shows your face clearly with no obstructions
- Use a high-resolution image
- Make sure your face takes up at least 60% of the image frame
- Be the only person in the picture, and no other distracting objects
- Get someone else to take the picture for you
- Dress professionally
Ask for Recommendations
When people decide who they want to do business with, they are persuaded by the people who give glowing recommendations. That’s why you should have as many LinkedIn recommendations as you possibly can on your profile.
A LinkedIn recommendation coming from a satisfied customer adds excellent social proof to your profile. The best time to ask for a recommendation is when you get a written compliment.
Every time you receive praise via email or personal message, thank the sender and ask them if they could write that as a LinkedIn recommendation.
Join LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn groups are a great way to spread your message to like-minded people. You need to check your target customer’s profiles and determine which groups they belong to and request to join them. Also, look for groups in your industry to join. That will not only allow you to keep up with what’s going on in your industry, but it will help you connect with prospects too.
Share Relevant Content with Your Audience
One of the best ways to get your prospect’s attention on LinkedIn is to share relevant content. That will help you build credibility and engagement. There are two ways you can do this; one, create the content yourself by writing articles, the other is to curate it from other sources.
Creating your content is one of the most effective ways to build authority.
According to a Demand Metric study, 82% of consumers perceive a brand more positively after reading custom content, and 90% find custom such content useful. Also, 60% of people are inspired to learn more about a product after reading content about it.
An Infosys study showed that 65% of buyers feel that the vendor’s content impacted their final purchase decision. Moreover, 82% of buyers viewed five to eight pieces of content from a winning vendor.
So, what type of content should you create for your target market?
You need to create content that discusses the top problems your prospects and clients are facing. Depending on your buyer’s journey, there will be different types of content that appeals to them.
You must become more strategic in using content based on your objectives at each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Curating Content That’s Relevant to Your Target Market
Curating content is finding meaningful content created by third-parties and sharing it with your target audience. It should be an essential part of your content marketing strategy along with creating your content.
The curated content that you decide to share should be unique and attractive to your audience. One way to may this content stand out is to add your opinion or give it your own spin.
Social selling is here to stay. To make the most out of it, you need to connect to your customers on LinkedIn.
Be sure you have an optimized LinkedIn profile, join relevant groups, and establish yourself as an industry leader by creating and curating content and sharing it with your target audience.