Originally published on Skaled
If you’re in B2B Sales and Marketing, LinkedIn is the place to be digitally. It’s a major tool in the arsenal when it comes to communicating with potential buyers. However, many sellers and marketers are still trying to figure out the art and science behind effective LinkedIn communication to generate more interest and quality leads.
The first thing that needs clearing up is LinkedIn is not a second inbox to spam prospects, and it is not a place to cold pitch. Traditional social selling only focuses on selling buyers by “connecting” and messaging.
However, LinkedIn has become the go-to platform for professionally relevant content, so it makes sense that a modern approach focuses on content and engagement.
Each channel has its own cadence for effective sales communication. LinkedIn’s cadence is one-to-one engagement, providing value at every possible touchpoint, and building relationships with buyers digitally.
Follow the steps in this ultimate guide to better understand the effectiveness of using LinkedIn in modern outbound and how to build your profile, grow your network, publish content, and have genuine conversations with buyers.
- Optimize Your Profile for Your Buyer
- Spend Time on Audience Development
- Algorithm 101 to Further Reach
- Follow the 90/10 Content Rule
- Post High-Quality, Authentic Content
- Create Opportunities from Engagement
Optimize Your Profile for Your Buyer
Did you know your profile is a form of communication?
It communicates to your buyer if you’re as much of an expert as you claim to be. If you’re the advisor that can help them and cares about their needs.
How a buyer gets to your profile may be different from person to person.
- Someone liked or commented on your post and it popped up in another person’s feed.
- They follow a hashtag you used in a post.
- A buyer is researching your company and comes across your profile.
- You sent a connection request.
- You liked or commented on a prospect’s post.
- You sent an email, and they decide to look you up on LinkedIn.
Regardless of how they got there, assume your profile is a buyer’s first impression of you and therefore needs to communicate who you are for you. The four main things you want to focus on are your headline, about, role description, and visuals.
Your headline should not be your title or talk about your accomplishments as a salesperson (unless you’re only using LinkedIn as a resume). Instead, your headline should describe what value you bring to buyers.
The formula we use at Skaled is “Helping [target audience] achieve [desired outcome] through [unique value prop].”
Your About or Summary Section should not read like a resume or sum up all of your glorious achievements. Position yourself as a thought leader and include industry insights.
Your About should build a feeling of trust.
Your role description should also be written with your buyer in mind.
No quotas hit or MVP of the month talk.
Put yourself in your buyer’s shoes. What would you want to know about a person’s experience to do business with them?
Lastly, your profile picture and cover image are also important. The level of professionalism behind them will depend on your buyer and the market you’re selling into.
Always ask yourself, “Who would your buyer want to do business with?”
Spend Time on Audience Development
Audience development is so simple and yet so crucial to LinkedIn communication success.
Even if you optimize your profile for your buyer and consistently put out great content, if the only people in your network are coworkers, ex-coworkers, and college buds, then:
- You’ll get absolutely no engagement
- because your audience doesn’t care (they’re not your buyers).
Building your network should be an ongoing piece of your LinkedIn strategy to ensure you’re capturing the ears of the right people.
I promised it would be simple, so here’s what you need to do:
- Get LinkedIn Sales Navigator if you don’t already have it
- Build a list of prospects based on your company’s ICP and buyer personas.
- Connect with 50 – 100 people a day.
This will take you maybe 10 minutes of your morning. Or maybe it’s the last thing you do each day.
If you’re thinking to yourself you don’t have the time to add 100 connections a day, then don’t waste your time posting either.
All of that great content will just fall down in a forest and no one will be around to hear it.
Algorithm 101 to Further Reach
Since LinkedIn is a social media platform with its own rules on how it distributes content to users, understanding this algorithm will give your content the boost it needs to further your reach and get in front of more buyers.
I’ll cover some of the top Do’s and Don’ts here. But if you want to dig in a little deeper, this post by Brandwatch did a fantastic job of breaking it down for anyone to understand.
Don’t post links in the body
The number one don’t when posting is sending people off the platform. This means links.
You heard me right. LinkedIn wants people to stay ON LinkedIn, so placing a link in your post will get it penalized and kill your reach. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t share a link – but put it in the comments.
Don’t be spammy
Yes, LinkedIn scans your post for spammy behavior. Including, using bad grammar, tagging more than five people, using multiple links, posting more than every three hours, and using clickbait hashtags like “follow,” “comment,” or “like.”
Make your post easy to read
Format your post so it’s easy to read.
You’ve probably noticed people who get good engagement on LinkedIn break up their text.
Using no more than one or two sentences per paragraph.
Like so 👆.
LinkedIn Loves Text-Only Posts
Compared to other social platforms where punchy posts with videos and images perform better, LinkedIn over-indexes on text-only posts. Adding an image (especially if it doesn’t add value to the post) or a video, will not help your reach.
Follow the 90/10 Content Rule
You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule in social media marketing.
The rule states that 80% of your content should be non-promotional in nature, and only 20% should be promotional.
However, as a salesperson looking to master effective communication with buyers on LinkedIn, this rule should look more like 90/10.
This 90% of non-promotional posts also means not sharing company blogs, white papers, or ebooks. As a salesperson whose goal is to speak “directly” to buyers, your content is going to look a lot different from what your Marketing team is posting on the company page.
Your content should almost always be complete thoughts that give value and can be consumed quickly on LinkedIn. You don’t want to create too many extra steps or barriers that take the user off the platform and away from your post.
Post High-Quality, Authentic Content
High quality, authentic content is crucial for two reasons.
- What LinkedIn ranks as high-quality content also affects the algorithm and can hurt your reach if it deems it low quality.
- Buyers build relationships with people, not brands. This is why your authentic voice and own experiences are so important when communicating on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is not a platform to cold prospect and reiterate product features and services. That would make it no different from your website, the emails Marketing sends out, or your company’s ads. And we’ve already established the proper cadence on this platform is providing value at each step and building relationships.
To give you an idea of what this content would look like, here are some ideas for high quality, authentic posts:
- Have an opinion on industry news or trends
- Talk about common misconceptions in your industry
- Answer a common question you get from clients
- Ask a question you really want to know the answer to
- Share a challenge from your week
- Pull back the curtain to what’s going on in your office
- If you’re in a leadership position, inspire and give advice
Related Content: Using LinkedIn Touchpoints to Increase Sales Performance
Create Opportunities from Engagement
When you get to the root of it, the whole reason behind putting so much time and effort into your LinkedIn communication strategy is to have more conversations with buyers. I.e., effective conversations that position you as a trusted advisor and helps bring in new business opportunities. These performance insights will only increase your business.
Engaging with buyers on their posts and replying to comments on your own posts, is how you have those conversations.
Waiting for those golden DMs or pushing downloads of an ebook to officially classify a buyer as a “lead” isn’t what social networking platforms are built for.
If a buyer or peer comments on your post, reply back. And then comment or like one of their posts. Do this a couple of times before sending them a message.
This approach has been extremely effective because in communicating through comments first, you’ve built up a tiny bit of rapport and relationship capital before you send that first DM.
Related Content: Blueprint for Generating 500% More Linkedin B2B Leads
Now You’re Ready to Head Over to LinkedIn & Get Started!
This guide covers a ton of material on how to communicate with buyers and post on LinkedIn effectively. It’s going to take some trial and testing to get into a rhythm, especially if you haven’t already been consistently posting and engaging with buyers.
An important takeaway I want to make sure you capture is that each of these tips for effective communication layer on top of one another. If you leave one of these steps out, you may not see the results you were hoping for. So remember,
- Write your profile as if you were talking to your buyer.
- Add the right audience to your network daily, or your content won’t be seen by the right people.
- The algorithm decides if people see your content or not. Stay away from the big algorithm no’s, and you’ll be golden.
- 90% of your content should be about giving value; the other 10% can be salesy.
- Be authentic, have a voice, and post quality content.
- Posting content isn’t the last step. Engage with your buyers daily on their posts and your own.
Have you already started incorporating LinkedIn into your outbound strategy but want to take it to the next level or get your whole team on board?
If this sounds like something that could boost your current business initiatives, contact us, and let us know what challenges you’re having and where we can help.