Jane Anderson Blog | What Type of LinkedIn Lead Generator Are You?
With more than 365 million users, LinkedIn is a great opportunity to grow your business in front of a highly targeted audience. It was originally created for executives only, but has grown to connect professionals at all levels – even graduates, who are the fastest-growing LinkedIn demographic. The most under-represented group is women, and this presents one of the greatest opportunities online.
LinkedIn was developed in 2003 by Reid Hoffman. He organised a team from PayPal and SocialNet to work on the idea. Growth was slow to begin with – some days only attracting 20 people at a time. Fast-forward to 2009 when Jeff Weiner, previously an executive at Yahoo!, took over the reins as LinkedIn CEO while Hoffman managed product development. By the end of 2010, LinkedIn had 90 million members and 1000 employees world-wide. By 2013, it had reached 225 million members, acquiring two members per second. Today, LinkedIn has more than 7600 employees and is listed on the stock exchange. The site is available in 24 languages and has members listed in more than 200 countries. In 2015, LinkedIn acquired online training company Lynda.com® for $1.5 billion.
So, LinkedIn doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. It has made a dramatic impact on the way business is conducted in the digital world and has been a game changer for professionals and businesses.
The greatest challenge with LinkedIn is knowing where to start with your profile and how to make the most of your time on it. It’s important that you understand the correct sequence of activity required, otherwise you lose time and may put LinkedIn in the too-hard basket.
LinkedIn is a bit like baking a cake. There’s no point having the icing ready until you have the basic ingredients and have made the cake. Similarly, there is a formula you need to follow with LinkedIn. Most profiles read like a resume and sound like an obituary when read aloud.
The key is to move up the scale one step at time, so you can then do them all at the same time, all the time. As Winston Churchill said, “It is a mistake to look too far ahead. Only one link of the chain of destiny can be handled at a time.”
Level 1 – No account. At this level, you’ll be judged; judged that you’re not up with the times or stereotyped in a way that may not be true. If you have no social media account, especially if you have no LinkedIn profile, you won’t be seen as managing your presence. If you don’t manage your brand, someone else will.
Level 2 – Account. You have a LinkedIn account, but it may have come about unexpectedly for you. You didn’t ask for an account, but someone invited you to join, so you set one up. You haven’t entered any information. It’s an empty profile with just your name and current position, and possibly a previous role. At least you’re on LinkedIn, but it’s not helping you or your organisation.
Level 3 – Resume. Your profile contains your career history and the tasks you undertook in previous roles. Your summary is more about you and less about how you help your customer. With a profile that reads like an obituary, you come across as a commodity in a market of talent, rather than an expert in your field. You appear vanilla and boring; the same as everyone else, which is untrue.
Level 4 – Positioned. Your profile is written for your future and designed to attract the right people. When people land on your profile, it’s clear who you help and you are positioned as an expert in your industry. They make a decision about you in less than four seconds. There is nothing untrue in how your profile is written; it matches the human being and ensures the reader categorises you correctly without making assumptions.
Level 5 – Active. You’re positioned and starting to become more active with your profile. You feel confident about liking, sharing and commenting on posts that are linked to what you’re trying to achieve. You don’t like or share anything that doesn’t relate to your purpose.
Level 6 – Influencer. You are now creating original content and posts that link to your strategy. People are starting to follow you and like what you’re saying. A tribe might even be forming and you’re seeing the same people like and comment on your posts. Your profile may get 50-150 views per week. You’re seeing more clients coming to you, wanting to do business.
Level 7 – Ninja. You’re now leveraging your profile to create connections and open doors. You have specific scripts that you use to gain meetings with potential clients. You’re starting to have more clout to ask for what you want, as you’ve been contributing to your audience. You know how to move potential clients through your sales funnel.
So start with getting your LinkedIn profile to position you effectively, then move from level 4 to level 7 so that your profile starts working for you rather than against you. You will then be able to work with those clients who really need your help, rather than repel them.
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Jane Anderson works with Sales Managers, Marketing Managers, Thought Leaders, Experts and CEO’s to leverage the expertise of their talent through LinkedIn.
She is an author of “CONNECT: How to Leverage Your LinkedIn Profile for Networking, Business Growth and Lead Generation”. Her 1 day Brisbane LinkedIn For Lead Generation Workshop can be delivered in-house. You can find out more about Jane’s CONNECT book here.
To inquire about Jane speaking at your next event, please email email@example.com