These 5 "S Words" Can Take Your Social Selling Presence Up a Notch
Learn the five words you should add to your social selling vocabulary with these tips from Matt Black for taking your LinkedIn presence to the next level.
August 11, 2015
So without further ado, here are Black's five "S words" that can take you from "I have a LinkedIn presence" to "I make things happen on LinkedIn."
Show & Sell
“How much time have you really spent on your LinkedIn profile?” Black asks. With more than 300 million users, LinkedIn houses a lot of potential visibility for your professional brand. Giving considerable thought to what potential partners and customers see when they click your name can lead to valuable new connections.
As Black says, your profile should “communicate who you are and what you’re all about.” That means your profile should be less about your résumé and more about your reputation. “Leave no stone unturned, but more importantly, show as many sides of yourself as possible,” says Black.
Prospects want to ensure they are working with someone who can deliver value, so craft a summary that clearly explains how you help potential buyers solve problems and achieve goals. A great place to start is uploading a professional photo. “People are more likely to connect with someone they can see,” Black says. “Whether it’s a professional headshot featuring a warm and inviting smile, or a picture of you doing something you love, an image alone can draw connections in.”
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“Whenever possible,” Black says, “you should start thought-provoking discussions.” Identifying opportunities to initiate helpful dialogue can increase your online credibility, and LinkedIn Groups can be a great platform for accomplishing this.
“With approximately 2 million active groups on LinkedIn,” Black says, “there’s something for everyone to discuss.” By joining the digital conversation, you draw positive attention to yourself and demonstrate your investment in both gaining and sharing industry knowledge.
“Bring up current industry trends, common dilemmas that most members likely face, or even seek answers to questions you may legitimately have,” Black advises. “Failing to engage with other LinkedIn users – especially those in groups that are right up your alley – is like standing still on the dance floor. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”
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“A great way to bolster your network and prove to your connections that you’re serious about LinkedIn’s potential is by sharing meaningful, practical content,” Black says.
True social selling success comes from giving as much, if not more, than you take. Sharing valuable content shows you care about the collective success of LinkedIn users.
“Whether it’s articles, infographics, links to websites, media files such as podcasts or webinars… spreading great ideas and useful knowledge shows that you’re thinking of others,” says Black. “It humanizes the LinkedIn experience and in a way, says ‘we’re on the same page and I feel like this will help you.’”
Sales pros can share publically with all LinkedIn users, or directly with specific, first-degree connections. By occasionally opting for direct shares, you can capitalize on opportunities to say things like, “After speaking with you about your employee advocacy goals last week, I saw this article about creating a social workplace culture and thought it might help.”
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Soak It In
As Black points out, there is a “dizzying array” of influencers and companies you can follow on LinkedIn. This is great because their updates can show up right on your homepage, but if you saw updates from every thought leader on the platform your head would spin.
“Set up strategically,” Black says, “Your homepage will greet you with the latest from the thinkers and organizations you trust the most. This will save you time, allow you to remain up-to-speed on breaking content (which you should be sharing, of course!), and equip you with timely information you can use in your day-to-day with clients and colleagues.”
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Spread the Love
According to Black, “You should spend some time each week, month, etc., and identify someone in your network who you want to recognize for their efforts or expertise. Write truthfully, of course, dig deep to showcase the very best of the person.”
You can vouch for your connections through LinkedIn Recommendations, helping to showcase their professional value. You might point out how instrumental someone has been in furthering your career, or describe how a colleague’s exemplary work led to a successful outcome. Something as simple as, “Jill takes an ordinary request and delivers an extraordinary result, and I always have peace of mind knowing I can count on her commitment to excellence,” can go a long way.
As Black says, “Providing recommendations for your colleagues and LinkedIn connections can carry real weight and help them paint a clearer picture of their abilities and experience.”
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To learn more about building an impressive social selling presence on LinkedIn, check out The Ultimate Guide: Getting Started with Social Selling.