Archive for January, 2009

 

Getting Sales from LinkedIn – Actions You can Replicate

If you are searching for techniques that you can replicate to get sales from LinkedIn, here are some success examples. These specific tips come from small business owners already experiencing profitable results using LinkedIn. I’m not talking about getting a job, although I did find numerous examples there too. These examples and the hints & tips they include are all people who’ve stated that they successfully got projects and sales from LinkedIn activities.

“I’ve made millions of dollars through LinkedIn” states Jeff Ragovin, Buddy Media. He says it’s important to find the right person at a company. For Jeff, doing just that has netted his company “over two to three million dollars”. He’s done this by reaching out to the right person with a valuable proposal. Jeff says they’re more inclined to reply when approached via LinkedIn, because “they already have the opportunity to look you up … and maybe even see in your network where you have 14 recommendations. So there’s trust.”

Xurxo Vidal indicates in his comment on the above post, “I’ve found that participating in LinkedIn Answers by answering questions in my field of expertise has allowed me to help others while showcasing my knowledge of search marketing in front of a wider audience. This one activity alone has provided me with tremendous results by allowing me to connect with interesting people and by directly bringing in new contracts.”

Steven Shimek (Ruder Finn), used LinkedIn to build client relationships by following up over 20 leads that led to business worth over a quarter of a million dollars! He says, “People like to help people by human nature and they want to see their friends and associates get up to the next level”. He uses LinkedIn as a litmus test to qualify leads for his business development practice and explains his philosophy in a video. “LinkedIn isn’t just about networking. It’s about your friends, clients, and associates being a resource to you. I like helping people because they’ve all helped me!” He is also a strong believer in Answers. He recommends answering questions in ways that share and showcase your company’s skills.

Ron Lissak talks about LinkedIn as a research tool and its ability to unearth hidden connections through the power of common contacts. He claims over $300K in sales from his LinkedIn efforts.

Although many of the stories about sales from LinkedIn came from blogs and members of LinkedIn, there are lots of other examples found elsewhere.

Tim Hayden, President of Game Plan Marketing & Events In the past two months, used three strategies to identify more than 20 new business leads -and converted two into clients!

  1. Focus on connecting. Anytime you receive a business card, search for that person on LinkedIn. Because you have their email, you can send them an invitation to connect. Do it right away so they’ll remember you.
  2. Increase your visibility. Don’t simply add people to your network. Ask or answer questions on LinkedIn. Make sure your public profile is complete. But most of all, recommend people in your network and ask them to recommend YOU!
  3. Make LinkedIn your homepage. Whenever I open my browser, I can immediately review my “LinkedIn Home Page” which shows what others in my network are doing and who they’re connecting with.

If you consider that LinkedIn can increase traffic to your Website, then Geraldine Roy says, “yes, it can increase your sales. “For small businesses, Google Ad key words and SEO can be a bit of a long shot. Social media is an interesting approach for businesses that have limited resources. We track the origin of visitors to our website and found out that 15-20% come from LinkedIn. Again, that’s a small business perspective but I’d say for B2B where most of the business comes from referrals, LinkedIn definitely has a play.

Attorneys are getting LinkedIn to clients online. Thomas N. Shorter, a shareholder in the Madison office of Godfrey & Kahn S.C., says he has LinkedIn set as his homepage. Every time one of his 200 or so connections adds a connection, he is notified of that. If the new connection is someone that Shorter would like to know professionally, he telephones his connection and asks him or her to make an introduction. This has happened a number of times since joining LinkedIn in February, and he’s garnered a number of new cases and clients via this method.

BizBox contributors Peter Montoya and Tim Vandehey state “if you are in the right industry and you are a savvy user and network, then absolutely yes [LinkedIn can help you build your business and cultivate your personal brand.]

Josh Morgan of “Don’t Eat The Shrimp” told the story of his success in Using LinkedIn as a Small Business Owner.  Basically, someone posted to LinkedIn asking for suggestions for a Bay Area PR agency with a special background in education; Morgan humbly put forth his own business; and–whaddya know!–soon enough he had himself a new client. Josh Morgan, recommends that you check out the “Answers,” section of LinkedIn. This is a forum for people to ask questions.

A LinkedIn member, Zale Tabakman claims success: “With sites like LinkedIn and Facebook, I get more business than I ever did with traditional print advertising.” His Blog and video, Seven Ways To Generate Revenue On LinkedIn, will help take you to the next step. He advises to use LinkedIn to create useful 1-to-1 relationships with people. Don’t focus on the 30 million or even your own large network of thousands. Think about getting to the right contact in a meaningful way.

One example Zale provides is to find 15 people to fill a seminar. Using Profiles he identifies 60 people who fit the profile of his target audience and reasons why they would want to attend. Then he uses his network to get introduced to them so he can invite them personally.
Wow! Several articles mentioned an A-hah! moment where they clicked about how to use LinkedIn to grow their businesses.

So to summarize, here’s the top 5 things recommended by those already getting sales from LinkedIn:

  1. Add people you’ve just met and invite them via email to LinkedIn immediately after you’ve gotten their business card.
  2. Make recommendations to people you like working with now or in the past.
  3. Find people who fit your profile for sales you want to make and ask for introductions from people in your network.
  4. Research the profiles of people and companies you think you’d like to do business with so you can identify why they need what you offer.
  5. Answer questions in your field of expertise so people will come to view you as an expert.

Share your success at sales from LinkedIn by adding a comment. Hey, share your frustration too, if results are too slow in coming!

Now stop reading about sales from LinkedIn and start doing! Let’s create your personal profit strategies for growing profit. Call small business profitability coach Merra Lee Moffitt, CFP®. She can be reached at, 888-920-2030 or by email at merralee@captureprofits.com.

“Seek new clients, seize better income, capture more profit”

Is Online Linked Networking a Profitable Use of Business Owner Time?

Caution: I’m skeptically optimistic about online linked networking using LinkedIn for real business profit results. (As I think maybe at least a million other people are at this point.)

I originally joined LinkedIn as a favor to my friends and associates so they could increase their online linked networking. Lately I’ve been giving worthy endorsements, so they’ll be viewed favorably as they find more projects and jobs. I know a bunch of people and with very little effort I garnered 56 connections and 172,000 people within three degrees of separation. So what?

But will it work as a source of projects, clients, and profits? Is it worth my time to get involved? Will LinkedIn be a profitable use of my time?  How will it benefit me?

Sorry I don’t know the answer just yet. But here’s my thinking process so far.

  1. Connecting friends and associates online gives them something of value. They know I care, they get one more positive thing in their life, and they get to feel better. Giving them the endorsement they deserve helps build them as an authority in their field. So hopefully they’ll reciprocate if they think I am deserving. This is part of the “give and you shall receive” mentality, which has been very profitable for me so far in life.
  2. It’s mainstream. As of October 2008, LinkedIn had more than 30 million registered users, according to LinkedIn at About LinkedIn. That sounds like something worth checking out.  So you wouldn’t be part of some lunatic fringe that probably won’t go anywhere. Although a recent study showed 40 million people in America have tattoos and I don’t really want to join them!
  3. It’s not a time waster.  It’s free at its basic level. So far I haven’t found any better way to spend my late nights and early mornings when I’m not writing my blog, writing my book, spending time with my family, or in general having a life. It’s a better use of time than watching television. When I think of something more profitable to do with those hours than investigating LinkedIn, I’ll do that. So no chance of becoming a social networking junkie nor much time or money wasted while you check it out.
  4. It’s Professional. So far Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube occur to me like people with too much time and too few written business goals (sorry to offend). I reserve the right to change my mind on them. LinkedIn focuses on people and where they work and where they have worked, so it’s people with professional interests and professional connections. That seems like something worth networking into. More like a Chamber of Commerce mixer which I have used profitably in the past to get clients.
  5. Networking and particularly giving endorsements and referrals for me has been profitable in general. In my Professional Referral Exchange referral group, we are strongly encouraged to give referrals so that we will get referrals. Over my 4 years of being in that group I have gotten over 15 clients and try to give 40-50 referrals each year. So I know the concept of giving endorsements and referrals works as a strategy for getting referrals and clients absolutely yields results. LinkedIn doesn’t seem too far removed from a real world referral group.
  6. It is increasingly used by recruiters to post jobs and to search for passive candidates, people not actively looking for a job. It allows me to look at job postings and find who I know who knows someone there. While I am not looking for a job, many of my friends are and it’s one more way I can help them.
  7. According to Guy Kawasaki in Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn,” Most people use LinkedIn to “get to someone” in order to make a sale, form a partnership, or get a job.” Well, that sounds exactly like what I want.  So HOW do they do that? You can use linked networking into a target company, or find people with the job titles you’re looking for. Same with job seekers.
  8. Is LinkedIn where your target audience is? Well my prospects are professionals and small business owners so that seems like a no brainer.  An example of reaching that target audience and food for thought using LinkedIn can be found in The Power of LinkedIn and The Speed of Trust by Paul Allen, Internet entrepreneur.
  9. It helps build your credibility. People who’ve just met you don’t know if you are successful or good at what you do. If they check out your profile, they’ll find endorsements, where you’ve worked, groups you care about, and people you know. Intuitively, they’ll feel more connected to you and who you say you are. 
  10. It helps build your reputation. When they see job history, areas of expertise, and participation in groups you’ll be solidifying your brand via linked networking.
  11. You’ll be viewed as insignificant if you’re not there. According to Deb Dib, a coach who helps CEO and C-level executives find their next opportunities, in LinkedIn – What It Is and Why You Need to Be On It, “If you’re an executive and you don’t have a presence on Google, recruiters and employers are likely to dismiss you as a lightweight. Increasingly, if you’re not on LinkedIn, the same thing happens.” 
  12. It may be like a business card, an advertisement, or a brochure. We all use them, they’re necessary to prove we’re professional, but don’t expect them to make the phone ring. No one ever said, “Hey I have your brochure and want to buy from you.” In fact, when they finally do call you to do business, they seldom mention the last place they saw your name or the catalyst that had them pick up the phone or send an email.  
  13. Increases name recognition, website ranking, and link backs. Louise Fletcher in The 7 Mistakes You’re Probably Making on LinkedIn points out that LinkedIn is ranked very highly in Google. So if your name is part of your LinkedIn profile, you’ll be found on the web ranked more highly there than almost anything you can do on your own.
  14. You can use LinkedIn to gain introductions. These are awkward because each introducer has to individually forward the introduction. However as you reach out to a new contact, every person who is between you and that contact gets reminded of your brand and message, and sees how you are approaching potential contacts. It’s more name recognition with a slight multiplier while meeting a new potential prospect. 
  15. Recommendations help you build credibility, but you need to get recommendations consciously and strategically. Make sure they describe what you want to be most known for being good at. That is, recommendations about your brand and coming from people who aren’t employees or obvious family.

Bottom line, LinkedIn seems to supply name recognition, branding, ability to research people and companies you want to target, and online resume and references. If you know how to make profit from these things work in the real world, you should be able to extrapolate additional profits from the online world using LinkedIn.

So tell me is online linked networking using LinkedIn working for you?

Now stop reading about linked networking using LinkedIn and start doing! Let’s create your personal profit strategies for growing profit. Call small business profitability coach Merra Lee Moffitt, CFP®. She can be reached at, 888-920-2030 or by email at merralee@captureprofits.com.

“Seek new clients, seize better income, capture more profit”

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