Are You a LION or an Archer?
As with all things Social Media, there are no lack of articles, case studies and statistics on the value of using LinkedIn. But what may be a bit more difficult to unearth are the few tips that make this tool effective for your particular business. Answer these few key strategic decisions upfront and you can ensure your use of LinkedIn will drive sales effectively and efficiently:
- Is your business based on expertise and/or connections? LinkedIn was originally created as a place to find and connect high-tech specialty experts. While it has clearly expanded beyond Silicon Valley, it is still designed to promote credibility and networks. If your business does not rely on this as a core, you can move on to other social media tools.
- Are you a LION or an archer? What is your strategy? If you are a network builder –-for example you lead an association where you want to build breadth of relationships— you are a LION (LinkedIn Open Networker). Your strategy is to connect to as many people as possible, making yourself the hub of a community. If, however, you prefer a targeted sales approach where you only connect with a specific group of trusted partners, prospects and clients, you are an archer. Here you build a small but high-quality network focused on only those contacts that can help drive sales.
- What is your main sales pitch? One of the greatest mistakes LinkedIn users make is to fill out the background information as a straight resume. Instead, make your profile customer-centric speaking to the few key messages you want to convey. List credentials and build recommendations that support that key message. Post questions, answers, white papers and presentations that detail and deepen this sales pitch. Everything else muddles that message and dilutes your impact.
Your Next Best Three Steps:
- Decide if you are a LION or an Archer and set up your LinkedIn connections accordingly.
- Decide your key sales pitch and design your headline, profile, updates, etc. to reflect that position.
- Connect regularly but strategically. Comment on other’s status updates. Give testimonials. Join LinkedIn groups that align with your key sales pitch. And finally, proactively connect others – the good will, trust and loyalty generated is the best credential you can hope for.