Tips From My Business Network Session

By Nigel Cliffe

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Last week I had the pleasure of being invited by Leeds Trinity Business Network to deliver an interactive and insightful session on how people can maximise their use of LinkedIn.

The seminar was aptly named: “LinkedIn? You REALLY Don’t Know What You’re Missing!”. I say aptly as sadly; many people really don’t know what they’re missing when it comes to the often untapped potential of the powerful business-to-business platform that is LinkedIn.

And what a session it was! We covered everything from how to maximise your LinkedIn profile to the significant benefits of engaging on the platform, plus the crowd was enthusiastic and eager too!

One person who attended the session was Jess Sewter, Head of Partnership, Placements and Employment at Leeds Trinity University. Jess is also the founder of the Leeds Trinity Business Network, which is a friendly, free and lively network that offers professionals the valuable chance to forge great business relationships and master new skills with like-minded people to help them grow their businesses. The network regularly hosts beneficial events to help local professionals gain positive exposure and learn something new.

After previously attending one of my LinkedIn training sessions before I led last week’s Leeds Trinity Business Network lunch, Jess had learned that a way to identify what stage your LinkedIn activity and profile is at is by using the Social Selling Index (SSI) – a handy tool available to everyone with a LinkedIn profile which assesses your LinkedIn activity, scoring it out of 100… and she wasn’t very happy with her score!

From having a score of 37/100 and being ranked in the top 20% in her industry by LinkedIn’s tool at the start of August, Jess managed to utilise my advice and transform her SSI score to 67/100, boosting her ranking to the top 4% in her industry – all inside of 4 weeks!

Below, in her own words, Jess shares the tips she learned from my sessions that helped her improve her LinkedIn profile (they can work for you too!):

1) Be found

Decide what you want to talk about on LinkedIn – what are your areas of expertise? What do you want people to know you for? What are you most interested in? – And start talking about it!

Post updates, like other people’s updates, reach out to relevant people and only accept requests from people you’d like to connect with – essentially be strategic about your social media and curate your LinkedIn profile to fully represent you and your business, expertise, product, service, etc.

2) Tell stories

As Nigel says, ‘the concept of selling is sooooo yesterday’ – we live in a world of influence and engagement where consumers know exactly what they want (because they’ve researched it before even thinking about making a purchase) and they really don’t like to be sold to. So, what can you do? Use LinkedIn to sell your professional story – why do you do what you do? What is the impact of your product or service? How does it solve other people’s problems?

Search engines like Google and social media platforms like LinkedIn love story-driven content and if it’s useful content, they’ll reward you through their algorithms by making sure that it’s seen by the most relevant people. It’s a win-win situation!

3) Sort your profile

Make sure your photo is professional – wear the clothes you’d wear to work, have a plain background, make eye contact with the camera and smile!

Don’t be tempted to put qualification abbreviations after your name – there are plenty of other opportunities to do this on LinkedIn.

Use your bio – or your 15-second digital elevator pitch (as described by Nigel) – to describe the impact of your product or service – not just your job title and what you do.

Make sure your location reflects where you want your business, not just where you live. And if you want to do business across the whole of the country enter ‘UK’ in the postcode box and it your location will default to ‘United Kingdom’.

Utilise your background image and make it relevant to you.

4) Engage

You should have already decided what you want to talk about on LinkedIn and as a result, your feed will display more relevant content for you. Your audience will also have a better understanding of your areas of expertise and what you can do for them. So, now’s the time to start engaging, and a huge thank you to Nigel for sharing his LinkedIn Engagement Funnel!

Start off by attracting people – increase your activity by liking, sharing and commenting on other people’s posts, and publish your own content including posts, blogs, images and videos.

Then engage – create interest by providing knowledge, ask questions and be interested in other people. Add relevant connections and follow thought-leaders for intelligence gathering.

Thirdly, nurture – be credible, build trust, educate and be consistent. Never sell. Always engage and build awareness. This may be a slow process but when your target customers decide they’re ready, you’ll be the first person they come to.

And finally, close – develop new, relevant relationships that turn leads into opportunities. Take the relationship off LinkedIn and move to email conversations, phone calls and face-to-face meetings.

Intrigued? Why Not Come Along to These Events?

Leeds Trinity Business Network’s next lunch session will be in October with the theme of video marketing.

If you would like to book onto one of my LinkedIn Bootcamp sessions for beginners click here. Alternatively, if you fancy one of my upcoming LinkedIn Masterclasses designed for advanced users of LinkedIn click here. To keep up-to-date with my other events click here – I’d love to have you along to one of my sessions – passion and results are always guaranteed!

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