Episode 46: 12 Days of LinkedIn | Happy Holidays!
In this special holiday episode, the Social Sales Link team talk about the valuable tips in 12 Days of LinkedIn and why they are great gifts for the holiday. Tune in to learn how you can use these twelve gifts to help you build your connections, convert them into conversations, and achieve your business goals on LinkedIn.
Bill McCormick 00:00
Happy holidays, everyone! Welcome to Making Sales Social Live on Holiday Edition. Where today we are going to talk about the 12 days of LinkedIn and we’re not going to sing it, just to let you know (Bob: Ohh, I practiced. ) Well, if Bob wants to sing, Bob can sing. I’m not feeling very “singy” today.
Bob Woods 00:27
Welcome to Making Sales Social Live! As we share LinkedIn, and social selling training, strategies, and tips that will have an immediate impact on your business. Join Bill McCormick, Brynne Tillman, and me, Bob Woods every week. Making Sales Social Live! This is the recorded version of our weekly Making Sales Social Live show.
Bill McCormick 00:51
So, welcome! The 12 days of LinkedIn, we’re going to talk about 12 Different things that LinkedIn gives us that we think are great, great gifts. And the first one, I think is one of the most, least known of the really great features that have been around for a long time. Like it’s been as long as I can remember that LinkedIn had this feature, and that’s taking inventory of your existing connections.
Brynne Tillman 01:19
Yeah, you know, this is something that most people don’t do but it’s so critical. We go out there, especially for social selling, we get, you know, connect with new people, new people, new people, but we’re not nurturing our existing people. So guys, export your connections or search your 1st- degree connections and look at all the hundreds of people that you’re already connected to that you should be engaging. And just a quick like cut a note on that is send a little video message which wishing them a happy holiday. Let’s go rapid-fire, we’ll go to the next one and Bob can chat.
Bill McCormick 01:55
Yep. The next one is leveraging the featured section on your profile.
Bob Woods 02:01
So featured is what? Just like a couple of years old now? But it’s really important because we call it the “scroll stopper” for a person’s profile. So you know, you’re scrolling through the profile, that’s all text and blah, blah, blah… looks boring as all hell, until you get to the featured section and it gets exciting because there is this area there that’s set up like a gallery if you know what I mean about when it comes to different websites and things like that but there’s graphics there, and there’s words there and you can click through this stuff and the way that we teach it is to use this for education about not only your company but about what it is you do, how you help the people who are coming to your profile, and specifically speaking to those people so that you can show them that you’re the expert in your field and you know what the heck that you’re talking about and you can actually help them.
Brynne Tillman 02:55
That this is such a great place to show up as that resource. We can actually connect posts to these articles. Any link to any blog post from your website, there are so many ways to leverage this but just you know, what Bob saying is make sure you’re using this as a resource, not as a pitch, right? This is where we’re showing up and bringing value. I love this! What’s number 3, Bill?
Bill McCormick 03:21
Number 3 is “save a post for later” and so confession time. I forget about this all the time, right. I’ll go and say, “Oh man, Brynne had this great post like four weeks ago.” And I’ll go and I’ll scroll through her activity and scroll through activity and I forget that you can just go up to the three little dots and you can click and there’s “save posts for later.” And where it shows up is when you’re on your homepage on the left-hand side underneath your picture, there’s a spot for save posts, and you can go click on that and then you can go back and visit those for later. Great, great option. Like I said, a feature that I often forget about but now because of the 12 days of LinkedIn, I’ll remember it.
Brynne Tillman 04:07
I use it all the time. I mostly use it when I’ve created a post or a poll myself that I want to continue to go back to look at who’s voting on it and who’s engaging on it, so I don’t have to go scrolling through all of my own activity. But there are a lot of – Look, I have some Andy Foote posts that I’ve saved some Richard van der Blom where here’s really good statistics and research so I can continue to go back to that. So I love it.
Bill McCormick 04:38
Yep! So great. A great one to remember. Number 4 is to optimize the use of your banner.
Bob Woods 04:45
This one is one of those things where we can’t really zero in on something specific just because it’s graphics and as we all know, there are so many different ways to use graphics, to do so many different things. One of the things that we say is, use them as a billboard for your brand and or business. The thing is, you see all kinds of billboards out there, they’re in so many different styles and everything else. It’s difficult to give a step-by-step thing for your business or for your own personal brand but I think that you kind of know what it needs to look like because you know your own message. You probably have your own colors, you may have an idea of what to look like, you just need to get that into a banner so that you can use it for your profile and if you’re a personal business, but you have a LinkedIn page, LinkedIn company page, LinkedIn page for it, you could use it for that spot, as well but the LinkedIn banner is a very, very valuable space within the LinkedIn profile. Don’t let it go to waste, do something with it, create that billboard for you.
Brynne Tillman 05:55
Yeah, I mean… first of all, to make it a little bit easier for you check out canva.com (C-A-N-V-A.COM) and just type in “LinkedIn banner.” it’ll give you the right size and you could start to brand it the way Bob talked about. But this is –If you have events coming up, if you have a podcast you want to promote. I mean, as Bob mentioned, it’s a billboard so it’s not static, it’s not “set it and forget it.” Although you could it’s also a great opportunity to promote something.
Bill McCormick 06:24
Yeah, and I’ll just say if you work for a company for a large corporation, check with your marketing department. They may already have created banner images that are on a file somewhere that you can grab and that you can use. But like Bob said, make sure you’re using that space. Number 5 is to get the most out of your headline, and the top of the fold.
Brynne Tillman 06:48
Yeah, so I think this is a big deal. The top of the fold. We did already talked about the banner in the top of the fold but the headline is also a big piece of top of the fold. That’s what they see when they land here and the goal of that headline is to get them to keep reading. Bill, why don’t you talk about headline a little bit?
Bill McCormick 07:05
Yeah, so a headline is the area right underneath your name and for most people it defaults to, you know, LinkedIn defaults to your position and the company you’re at, like Chief Sales Officer at Social Sales Link. That doesn’t tell anybody really anything, it doesn’t create any curiosity, it really doesn’t resonate with anyone and you have 220 characters with spaces for your headline. So what we talked about is be more descriptive with this. Talk about who you help, how you help them, the results that you bring, and what it is that you do. And so, mine says something to the effect of helping sales professionals convert their connections to conversations on LinkedIn. So who do I help? I help sales professionals. How do I help them? I help them convert their connections to conversations and that also happens to be the results that I bring are more conversations. And then after that, you’ll see virtual and live training, I think podcasts, we have our podcasts listed on there. So you can make it a lot more descriptive so when somebody lands on that, it resonates with them. But also, like Bob likes to point out your profile headline follows you around all over LinkedIn, it’s kind of like your shadow. And so when somebody sees a comment that you make on a post, your headline shows up there, when someone hovers over your name on in the newsfeed or in their my network space, your headline shows up. So it’s really a great space of real estate for you to use. Make sure you’re resonating with your prospects and with your ideal clients and being more descriptive, kind of a “call to read” You want them to click on that and read more about your profile.
Brynne Tillman 08:51
Love, love, love that! What’s next?
Bill McCormick 8:53
Next is to write content around what your prospects care about. Lead to your solution and not with your solution.
Brynne Tillman 09:02
Yeah, here’s the problem. The problem is typically as salespeople we have so much we want to tell our audience but we rarely step back and say, “Is this really what they want to consume?” So it’s absolutely vital that the content we’re putting out there is stuff they want to engage on. And it has to align with what we do but it shouldn’t lead with what we do. So, we want to make sure the content that we’re putting out there is attracting and teaching, and engaging our targeted buyers, not just the stuff you want to pitch.
Bill McCormick 09:44
Yeah, great, great point. And that kind of points to the next part, the next day that we want to talk about which is to position your profile to provide value for your prospects. So actually, what I tell folks all the time is your profile is actually content too. (Brynne: Right, absolutely!) So we want to position our profiles to provide that kind of value. And so, really quickly, there’s 5 things we say that we want any content to do in our profile being that content and this speaks to providing value. First is to resonate with the right audience to make sure it resonates with the right people. To create curiosity. Brynne calls it the “pug tilt” You know when the dog kind of hear something funny and goes, “Huh?” I call it “lean in moments.” You know, I’ve got a big monitor in front of me, but sometimes I’ll read something that’ll cause so much curiosity I”ll actually do this, “hmmm… I never thought of that” So right, create curiosity. I always have trouble with the third one but that’s, get them thinking differently, right? Get them thinking differently. Teach them something new, which is 3, which gets them thinking differently. Yeah, right, which then leads to more raised hands. So you can do that with your profile. You know, we’ve told you a few things that you can do with that. Your banner image, above the fold, and that headline, are just a few of the things that you can make sure that you’re positioning your profile to provide value.
Brynne Tillman 11:12
So Bob, just talk really quickly about the value in that about section? And how to move that from resume to a resource.
Bob Woods 11:20
Right! Yeah, so essentially, in the about section, everybody, and LinkedIn actually hurts with this and this is one of the things that’s coming out about the new profile is that LinkedIn actually puts together an about section for you, that is totally wrong. It’s – At least for our purposes as salespeople with our specific goals, I should put that on there. Because it puts together something that is about you, but about you like you’re presenting yourself to an employer, so a resume. So what you need to do is you need to turn it into a resource so that you are attracting teaching and engaging the people who are there to read about what it is you do, and not about you. Because again, this is no longer about using your profile as a resume. It’s about using it as a resource.
Brynne Tillman 12:11
So we start with a challenge, right? What is the challenge that our buyers are facing? Then we provide insights. These are vendor-agnostic insights, ultimately that get them. We’re teaching them something new, they get something new differently but vendor agnostic. it’s not about us. Right? So once we’ve done that, just a line or two about how we help, and a call to action, right. So if you’re facing these challenges, let’s chat and your contact information. Perfect. I love it. Thank you, guys.
Bill McCormick 12:42
And the next stage actually speaks to a comment that was made asking about the video introduction and that’s cover story. So, day 8 is to take advantage of cover story. So Brynne speak to that a little bit.
Brynne Tillman 12:54
I love this and mine is really goofy right now but I change it out. This is 30 seconds to welcome people to your profile. I actually use it, I’m using a Bitmoji as we’re doing this. It’s kind of cute, right? It’s not really me but I recommend for you guys, we have a lot of videos, so people get to know us. If you don’t do– Especially we don’t do a lot of video, but this is your one chance, your one shot or your first major shot of someone getting to meet you in person, right? Because it’s a video. Do 30 seconds of no pitch and you just welcome them to your profile. Invite them to connect with you or engage, even ask them a question and you know, have them say, “Hey, connect with me and tell me your answer to the question” whatever it might be. That’s 30 seconds. It’s like the first 30 seconds when you walk up to someone at a networking meeting. So I love this.
Bill McCormick 13:53
So next one, number 9 is to build rapport through natural conversation.
Brynne Tillman 14:00
This is a mistake that so many salespeople do they connect and pitch. Did you have something in there, Bob?
Bob Woods 14:07
No, I’m just given the finger-snapping salesperson type of thing because that’s what everybody gets into. “Hey, thank you for connecting. Now, let me borrow you for the next 15 minutes about what I do and how I can help you” And I don’t care if I can actually help you or not help you. I’m still going to tell that.
Brynne Tillman 14:23
Yeah. And so starting real conversations. I’m just going to give one example because there are just so many. Let’s say we find someone who’s engaging on a Brené Brown post and we’re like, “Ohh, this is someone I’d love to connect with” We should normally start a conversation if we were in you know, we went to you know, an in-person event with Brené talking. We would in the audience or people sitting next to us say, “Hey, what do you love about Brené Brown?” You know, and “Have you seen her before?” Right, So let’s have a similar conversation on LinkedIn. So maybe it’s, “Hey, I see we’re both Brené Brown fans, did you hear the podcast she was on the other week? I’d be happy to send that to you. Here were some of my takeaways. Let me know if you want the link” Right? Like just start a natural conversation with people around the topic they’re engaging on. We have to slow down our outreach to speed up our outcome and when we jump right into pitch, I mean, in the words of the great Larry Levine, they can smell commission breath, even over zoom, right? Like, we want to make sure that they’re not feeling like we’re in this to sell. We’re in this to start a conversation if it means business. Great!
Bill McCormick 15:43
Yep! And that brings us to number 10 which is very similar, it’s to engage beyond the like. You know, Mark Connor says, “You can’t take clicks and likes to the bank,” Right. And, you know, just giving a thumbs up, I’m liking it too, you know, somebody’s outside on their porch, and you drive past and you just wave to them, and they wave back.
Brynne Tillman 16:06
Yeah, and so I absolutely love that drive-by-wave analogy for sure. When you just like sometimes they don’t even check likes, they don’t even see who’s liking. You want to make sure that you are constantly engaging, right? That you are adding comments, even mentioning other people that could get value from the post. That’s a powerful thing. Bob, do you have the next one,
Bob Woods 16:32
I will take the next one. So leveraging LinkedIn polls to start conversations, which is quite frankly, I think, if LinkedIn didn’t do this on purpose, they, you know, in terms of using polls to start conversations, everybody kind of stumbled into it, because there are so many different ways to start conversations with polls. And one of the easiest ways to do it is that when you come up with that original poll question, LinkedIn gives you four choices to have as answers. So what we would recommend is having three questions and then the fourth one be other discussing comments, because that way, you’re actually Yeah, three answers. The fourth answer being other discussing comments. So if they click on that, or heck, even if they don’t click on that, they’ll go down to comments, and then they will be able to do to leave their opinion about the poll themselves or about what the other is. And at that point, when they do that, guess what? It’s conversation time, and you can start a really good conversation with those who not only respond to your original post but to people who are having their own side conversations to which trust me, if the poll is good, there will be side conversations about what it is that you do, and what a great way to start those initial conversations on within the post and then if it makes sense, connect with them. And then again, if it makes sense, have that initial conversation with them.
Brynne Tillman 18:11
I love that and you know, just because you post a poll, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get all the engagement from the right people. So one of the things we recommend is, you know, when you take inventory, which was one of our tips, identify people that you want to engage with, and send them a poll asking for their one-click vote, right, and then we can start to get the engagement. So that’s great. Number 12, our 12 Day on LinkedIn, you want to take that one?
Bob Woods 18:39
Sure! So this has to do with giving kudos, endorsing, or simply engaging on their content. So this is actually supporting other people through your content. And what a great gift to give at the holiday season when they’re on LinkedIn when they’re trying to, when they have specific business goals on LinkedIn, whatever those goals are, you can help them out by giving them a kudos and that’s through a normal message. You go to the… I’m sorry, post Yeah, post that message. You’re right. Everything’s got to be really specific when you’re talking about LinkedIn. So I’m going to a message and that… to post caught myself that time.
Brynne Tillman 19:21
And the easier way I think Bob just cuz I know there’s like so many ways to do this (Bob: Yeah, there are Yeah, there are a lot of ways) You can go to somebody’s profile, click on the more button. I think that’s the fastest way. (Bob: That’s right! Yeah, you’re right. That probably is the fastest) So for the ease of folks. If you see, if you go and you click the more button, you can give them a kudos and you’ve got lots of choices, right? We’ve got making an impact, great mentor, there’s a ton. This is a great opportunity to thank people in the holiday season. What an awesome thing. You can recommend to them and you can engage on their content. The bottom line is bring them value in a way that’s not just about selling it’s about really just showing up with value which I think is awesome. Guys, this has been so much fun, right? We wish you Happy, Safe Holidays. Happy Holidays. Have a wonderful time no matter how you’re spending them and you know when you’re out and about make sure you are making your sales social. Thanks for joining!
Bob Woods 20:25
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