LinkedIn may not have the social cache of Facebook, the constant chatter of Twitter or the visual appeal of Instagram, but it is absolutely gaining traction particularly for the B2B sales cycle.
If you are in marketing or sales in any B2B enterprise, you need to stop believing that social media is a fad and pay attention to how buyers are shifting on their journey towards research and information gathering.
For example did you know that 84% of C-level/vice president executive use social media to support purchasing decisions?
If you are in B2B sales you should also be aware that the buyer journey is changing, and they aren't sticking to just one network. However, when buyers are looking for potential suppliers the majority (56%, in fact) use LinkedIn.
Having said that, I am astounded at the number of profiles I come across on LinkedIn (and yes these are sales profiles) that say absolutely nothing. What a wasted opportunity to build credibility, inform your audience of your expertise and provide them with information that could result in leads!
Three Tips That will Help Build Your B2B Sales Pipeline in 2016
That's it, just three. Most other "How To" LinkedIn articles will have at least six or seven tips, which let's face it, who has time for if you're busy chasing leads, closing sales and getting on with relationship building?
With this in mind, I have whittled it down to the THREE essential tips to create a LinkedIn profile that will help you increase profile views and generate leads for your 2016 pipeline.
TIP 1: Think Visually - Update your Profile Picture
You wouldn't attend a business meeting with a new prospect in a t-shirt and thongs! So why is your LinkedIn profile picture a fuzzy, out of focus image featuring your last holiday? It's time to enlist someone with decent photography skills to update your look.
Things to keep in mind when updating your picture:
- Keep it crisp and clear – you can enlarge LinkedIn pictures to allow people to see you closer
- Smile for the camera – it creates a feeling of trust
- Dress appropriately – this doesn’t mean a suit, but the clothing right for your profession
- Non-distracting background – the focus is you
TIP 2: Put the Customer First in Your Summary
So often I've seen sales people use LInkedIn as their online CV tool, which to be fair was the original intent of the platform. Things have changed, though! Your prospects will research you before speaking with you - so make sure your profile speaks to them in their language.
Even worse, some people don't use the summary section at all, which is a wasted opportunity to speak about what you can do for your prospects. Include your latest projects, customer wins and how you can help your prospects achieve their outcomes. If you specialise in an industry, make sure you speak their language. People buy from people they know will "get" them.
TIP 3: Author a Blog
Giving away your expertise is a great way to establish trust and build credibility. Everyone has an area of expertise they can talk about, and the more you 'giveaway' the more likely your prospects will see you as a credible source of expertise they can approach for advice and guidance.
LinkedIn provides this platform through Pulse, which is a great way to add your input into your industry by providing informative content related to industry trends, research and information, positing you as an industry leader. It’s also great for exposure and will lead to more profile views. If you already have an established blog you have the option to feed that into your LinkedIn profile.
Your Call – Should I Continue?
I was prompted to address this issue as I saw so many sales people missing a golden opportunity to set a positive first impression online. Is there anything else you would like to know about updating your LinkedIn profile? Simply leave a comment and I will explore these in future blogs.
Or, if you would like a one-on-one consultation on how your LinkedIn profile looks, or need help updating it, Clevertype Services offers a range of affordable packages that include photography, profile update and a thought leadership blog on your subject of expertise.
Mention this blog and get 10% off your LinkedIn profile update!