How to Grow Your Business with LinkedIn [30 Minute Webinars]

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Note: The transcription is currently of a previous, similar LinkedIn webinar. The content will be updated soon.

Hey Everybody this is Rich Brooks and you’re tuned in to another one of our 30 minute webinars and this one is all about linkedin, we’re calling it How to Grow your Business with linkedin. Linkedin is one of these platforms that doesn’t get the attention like facebook or instagram or even twitter but the bottom line is it can help you reach a wider audience, especially in the B2B space. Today, I do try to get through all of the training within 30 minutes. I want you to ask questions as we go along but probably won’t get to answering them until the end. As we wrap up at the end of the 30 minutes I’ll go and look for questions and I’ll answer them there.

The BARE Essentials

Here at flyte new media we have this format called the BARE essentials of digital marketing. Basically this is a digital marketing plan that you can use and there are four components. BARE stands for build, attract, retain, and evaluate. Build is all about how to develop a website that turns visitors into customers. Attract is about how to drive quality lead traffic to your website and that usually comes down to search, social, and digital ads, today we’re going to be focusing on one aspect of social. Retain is about how do we stay in touch with our customers after the fact, after they’ve left our website and that’s a lot of email marketing and retargeting. And finally E is for evaluate, using tools like google analytics as well as the metrics we get from our email service providers and using our social media sites, the ones that do provide analytics, so we can make better decisions going forward.

Who is this guy, anyway?

So for those of you who don’t know who I am, my name is Rich Brooks and I’m the president of flyte new media, we’re a web design and digital marketing company located in beautiful Portland, Maine. I’m also the founder of agents of change, it’s an annual digital marketing conference that takes place here in Portland, Maine in September, as well as a weekly podcast and on it we interview digital marketing experts from around the world on how to reach more of your ideal customers through search, social, and mobile marketing. I’m also the tech guru on 207, the evening news program on the NBC affiliates here in Maine. I also wrote a book just last year called the Lead Machine: the small business guide to digital marketing, where I go into a lot of these topics in a lot more depth.

Why linkedin?

So why did you guys come today? Why are we talking about linkedin? Linkedin is actually a very underrated social media platform in my opinion. There’s a lot of reasons to like linkedin, compared to facebook, or twitter, or snapchat, it’s a very small time investment for what you get out of it. I hear from a lot of people that they want to be an expert, that they want some thought leadership. Linkedin is a great place to develop that thought leadership. It’s just a fantastic prospecting tool, that’s something we’ll get into today as well.

Today’s Topics

In fact, this is what I’d like to accomplish today. I want to spend some time showing you how you can build and improve your profiles so people will be able to find you, they’ll be attracted to you. I want to talk about how to build your network. I want to talk about how you can be seen on linkedin. And finally I want to show you how you can prospect and connect with other people on the platform.

Profile

So in my opinion it all starts with your profile, your profile is really your tentpole here on linkedin. What you want to do is focus your attention first here, make your profile as attractive as possible. One of the things I want to point out is the ability to add a background image. Now I have a free account, I’ve played around with a paid account, but I believe everything I’m showing you today is part of the free account. I say believe here because they keep changing some of the rules here, but this is what I believe. The background image should be approximately  1584 x 396 pixels, which is basically a 4 to 1 ratio, it does seem to be a thin sliver. As you can see one of the things I’ve done is I’ve overlaid some text on this, I did this with photoshop but you can do it with any kind of image editing software, because one of the things I want to do is establish my credibility and people are going to see this when they come visit my profile on linkedin so I want to let people know that I like to speak, that I’ve written a book, and that I’m also a consultant on things like digital marketing and social media. I even write the link to my website, admittedly that is not a clickable link, but still that is a call to action to let people know where they can find more. A headshot is always great, mine does look to the side, but generally people have ones that are looking straight out. This is a professional platform, so you should have a professional photo here, obviously your own brand is going to play into that, but taking a photo where your friend’s arm is around your shoulder and you just crop your friend out, that’s probably just not the vibe you want to give out on linkedin. You do want to give a slightly more professional look and feel and again whether you’re a professional speaker or a bank accountant that’s going to give you a different vibe on terms of what kind of story you want to tell. Your profile is really your story on linkedin, this is where you’re going to tell people who you are, who you can help, and who you want to connect with. Also keep in mind that your headshot is obviously round so that may play a part in how you crop your image. Next down below you’re going to put your name there, but you’re going to have what’s called called your headline and it can be up to 120 characters. What I see a lot of people doing is saying things like president, or vice president in charge of sales, what I recommend doing instead is using your headline to kind of promote yourself and the kind of things you want to be known for. If I put president down there all that means is everybody who’s looking to get in front of decision makers is going to start hounding me on linkedin. So instead I reiterate digital marketing and social media consultant, author, flyte new media, and the agents of change. You need to think about what’s going to be the most enticing headline for you. Then you’ll see down below I’ve got my current job, my college I went to, where I am, and the size of my network. Linkedin never shows more than 500, but if you’re serious about marketing on linkedin then it generally looks good if you’re showing that 500+ , so I’d look to grow your network to at least 500. Then you’ve got your summary. Your summary can be up to 2000 characters, but only the first two lines show without clicking on ‘show more’. Again this is where a lot of people have a very boring, dry summary and you really want to find something that’s going to make you stick out. The secret to a good ‘about’ page, which this really is except it’s about you, is talking about someone else. That’s always one secret, but of course do what makes you be you. I purposely tried to find something that made me stand out, I don’t think most people talk about connecting with a psychic in their first two lines. So my thing says, as you can see, “at a company party years ago my boss hired a psychic who told me I needed to trust my gut more”, hopefully that gets people to want to learn more and click on that ‘show more’. Now as we scroll down the page, especially after someone’s clicked show more, we can see the full profile, the full bio that I’ve got up there. Like I said it can be up to two thousand characters, there’s no links, there’s very little formating. You can see that I’ve tried to recreate bulleit points near the top by using the greater than signs and then just put some of the things we offer, I tried to break up as much text, people don’t like reading big blocks of text so I tried to make it with as much breaks, as much white space as I could get away with, again your format is very limiting but that’s what you can do. Then below that is the media section. You don’t have a lot of control over how your media shows and you can’t chose the order. The first two things generally show and media could be videos, it could be pdfs, could be slide decks, whatever you want to put up there. If there’s something in there you want to make sure shows up in the first two slots, you’re probably going to have to re-upload it. For example, I had uploaded the BARE essentials of digital marketing, a presentation I gave, I posted some things after that, that disappeared, so I just went back and re-uploaded it so it would be the number one option and show again. The next section down is going to be your dashboard and that is only seen by you, nobody else. You can see who viewed your profile, how many post views you have, how many search appearances you have and I believe this was in the last week, it’s usually in the last 7 days, and you can click on who viewed your profile as well. So I can see some of the people who were looking for me, searching for me, if you want to turn the tables on them you can always send them a message and say “hey I saw you were checking me out on linkedin, I was wondering if I could be of help in some way”. You can also see the number of profile views in the last 90 days, not the last week, but this gives you an idea of how many people are checking you out and if you scroll down that page you can also see the number of people who are not yet connected to you but were checking you out. Maybe those people are worth following up with.

Articles and activities

The next section down on your profile is your articles and activity and this is just a recap of how you’ve been doing, on how you’ve been staying busy on linkedin.

Experience

Below that is your experience. This is a section you definitely want to spend some time on, not just with your current job but with your previous jobs as well. The more things you put in here, the more opportunities there are for you to connect with somebody, so I really do recommend this, also I should’ve mentioned this earlier, linkedin has a search box, we’ll talk about that later, but it’s looking at a number of things; including your headline, including your bio, including your experience. If there are specific keywords you want to be found with, hr professional, digital marketing strategist, psychic, whatever it is you should be using those words in your job descriptions, in your job titles, all those sort of things. Make sure you’re using your keywords because linkedin’s search is not as sophisticated as google’s so you can really kind of hack it. So putting your best keywords into your job title, job description, that’s going to make a difference. You can see here some of my current and recent positions and if I want to make a change or update any of them there’s a little edit icon over here, I click on that, then I can change my title, the company’s already connected to linkedin so that’s easy enough, I could add a location, and then you can give some more information as well. Again if you’re looking to put some keywords in, your title right there is a great opportunity.

Skills and endorsements

The next section down is skills and endorsements, honestly I think this is the most useless part of linkedin, but linkedin liked it for a while even though now they’ve kind of deemphasized it. This is like people can endorse you for different skills, but since for at least a couple years all you had to do to endorse somebody on a scale was to click on a button that linkedin put above their profile. I’ve never put in any sort of validation into this and I don’t pay a lot of attention to it.

Recommendations

The section that I think is more valuable is the recommendations section. Recommendations is definitely a two way street. I actually love giving recommendations, like whenever I have a good experience with a client, or a vendor, or a coworker, or somebody who our paths cross, one of the coolest things you can do is leave them a nice recommendation on linkedin. They can always approve it before it goes live, but especially when they haven’t asked for a recommendation are just completely blown away. There’s also a certain amount of reciprocity, sometimes when I go and write a recommendation for somebody, I’m not completely surprised when I see they’ve written a recommendation back to me and that just kind of build some of the visibility and builds some of the social proof that linkedin is so famous for. There are certain times when you want to be more strategic about your recommendations and getting recommendations. For example I decided this year, 2018, that I wanted to get more speaking gigs and I thought one of the ways that might be helpful is making sure a lot of my recommendations were around my speaking prowess. So I reached out to multiple people who had engaged me multiple times and I asked if they would leave me a recommendation on linkedin and they all did, so I filled up some of those that way too. Again, I think there’s as much benefit in giving a recommendation as there is receiving one. What I really can’t stand is when someone I barely know asks me to write a recommendation for them on linkedin or endorse them for some skills because I have no idea if they’re any good or not, so I only leave recommendations or even endorse somebody for their skills based on my personal experience.

Interests

Then below you’ll see interests, which basically linkedin fills in for you.

Adding a section

Now going back to the top of the page, if you didn’t see one of these sections in your own linkedin profile or if you just want to add something, on the top of your profile you’ll see ‘add profile section’ and you click on that and you’ll get this little window. Basically you can add work experience, if you haven’t added all of your previous jobs, you can add education, and you can add volunteer experience. Now I don’t have anything in volunteer experience, but according to some of my friends who are linkedin experts they say this is a really important area to enter information into, so it might be worth doing. To be honest, some of the things I put in as my work experience were actually volunteer positions so maybe I’ll change those out so I get some more visibility in my volunteer experience area.

Vanity URL

One more thing that I think is important for your profile is to have what’s called a vanity URL. if you click on the vanity URL link you can see what mine is I already have a vanity URL it’s linkedin.com/in/therichbrooks , unfortunately you always have to have that /in/ , but other than that you can come up with any unused vanity URL and that just makes you look a little bit more professional as opposed to rich-brooks-74917349L. That just doesn’t look like you know what you’re doing so one takeaway I would definitely want you to do is make sure you have secured a vanity URL by the end of the day.

Networking

Once you’ve spent some time on really building up your profile, it’s time to get out there and start networking. Networking is one of the tabs at the top of the page here and down in the bottom left there’s a ‘connect’ button. One of the things I can do is click on connect and basically, depending on how you’ve done your linkedin, linkedin is going to say look at all these people you know on linkedin do you want us to invite all of them to connect. You absolutely do not want all of them to connect or you to connect with all of them so deselect all is a good one and you can just manually add people one by one if you actually want to be connected with them.

Upload your contacts

There’s actually a cooler option down here though, back to the previous screen, ‘more options’ which doesn’t even look like a button but it is, so click on more options and you have this ability to sync your contacts and then you can pull those people into a page where you can decide if you want to add them. If you’re on gmail you can see that you can connect with gmail, or yahoo, aol, or you can upload a file, that’s my personal favorite. If you’ve got a CRM or a database of your contacts at your office, you can just upload that file as long as there’s email attached, if you have something like constant contact you can upload all your subscribers. Linkedin will then tell you who is already on linkedin and I wouldn’t, like in the previous screen, I wouldn’t say yes connect me with everybody, I’d go through that and see who I actually want to be connected with and then build my network that way.

Connecting the right way

Once I do that I’m going to see all these people I can potentially connect with and the mistake that you can make here is just click on the connect button. Unfortunately if you just click on the connect button, Quincy here would receive a very generic message from me that says Rich Brooks wants to connect. Quincy may have no idea who I am, or may not remember that we actually went to this event and we had a good time together or that e worked on a project together five years ago. So a better way is to click on the person’s name, take me to their profile and then connect from their page. I don’t know why linkedin makes you go through this extra step, but once you do and you click on connect here, you get this little pop up box where you can add a note. You can go in there and say hey we worked together on this project or we sat on a board together or you’re my father, whatever it is and add that note and you’re much more likely to get somebody to A) accept your connection and B) not put you down as somebody unknown because if you reach out to too many people on linkedin and they say I don’t know who this person is, linkedin actually will penalize you and sometimes shut down your account if you’re too aggressive with it, so be careful.

The feed

So far what you’ve done is you’ve improved your profile, and then you’ve uploaded your database to make as many connections as possible with people you want to connect with. Once you’ve done those first two steps, then the next thing you want to do is start being interactive and being seen on linkedin. Linkedin has a newsfeed, very similar to facebook’s, where you can see here there’s a few different things. Things pop-up in your feed because either somebody you know shared it, somebody you know engaged with it, or perhaps it’s promoted. You can see even though I am connected with Marcus Sheridan, Kimberly Reynolds liked this, that’s one of the reasons this showed up in my feed, the next things is a microsoft office that’s promoted so that’s an ad, and then down below somebody has another post as well, so that’s your feed. You want to gain visibility by posting things into the feed. At the top of the page you can see this, one of the things you can do is you can share an article, photo, video or idea and just like in facebook you can start typing something out, or copy and paste a URL, embed a video, whatever you want to do and that’s going to show up in the feed, potentially in front of all the people you connect with. There’s an algorithm in here, kind of like there is with facebook, you have more chance of being seen here than facebook but that’s kind of how it works, so you can post something here.

Sharing to the feed

Another thing you can do , whether on your own website or another website if you want to share a blog post or video or whatever it is, you can just click on that linkedin button and that will bring up a little pop-up box and as you can see they give you a little information here on what someone’s going to see when you share it and the default check here is ‘share and update’ and you can add some additional content to it as well. By default you can share it with the public or you can share it just with your contacts and you can see there’s a little button to share it to twitter as well. Besides that you can also take the same post, either instead or additionally, post it to groups or send it directly to individuals through linkedin, and then click o the share. Again if you’re sharing it as an update it is going to appear in that newsfeed.

Articles

Here’s an important thing that not enough people on linkedin are doing and that’s using the ‘write an article’ option. So back to this box and instead of sharing something simple like an update I’m going to share an article, I’m going to write an article. I click on that button and now I’m taken to this very simple CMS, very simple content management system, on linkedin publishing and I can go ahead and create a new article, something I’m going to share that linkedin will share on my behalf that will live on linkedin. A lot of you my be saying I can’t even keep up with my blog, or my podcast, and social seems so overwhelming, how am I possibly going to write more articles. Well I do think creating content is a very good investment on your success online, but you can also repurpose content from your own website. I generally recommend posting something to your website first and then sharing it, so I’ll just show you an example of what I did here. So last week I had a podcast, usually I do interviews but this one happened to be a stand alone I was just talking, so basically you can see it. It’s an article about how to get the most out of conferences and business events, all this information, it’s got a podcast too you can see the little play window, so I basically did the same thing as before I went over to that page and did a little copy and paste. I obviously kind of rushed through it because I would’ve chosen a different image or  cropped this image differently so my head wasn’t cut off, but you get the idea, it’s basically the exact same article. This is why I recommend posting it first to your website so when google indexes this, which it will, it assigns the value to the first place which it appeared, which is your website and then this is the second. So I’m using this tool specifically to get in front of my linkedin contacts. So I’m not creating any more information or any new content, this took me about four minutes to bring over and then I click on this little link right here and I’m able to embed the audio. Now unfortunately libson, which is where my audio is hosted for my podcast, can’t be imbedded in here. I took my audio form the podcast and I slapped a little image on it and I uploaded it to our agents of change account on youtube and from there I was able to embed it because youtube is one of the ones. So I basically with very little work, have gotten in front of a whole new audience and that now is going to be published on linkedin publisher. At the bottom of this article I just make some links that link out to my website, I linked visit the agents of change, subscribe to the podcast, and connect with me on linkedin. Those are all options as calls to action that I put on the bottom of the page.

Groups

Now I briefly want to talk about groups. Groups used to be a really powerful networking tool that unfortunately just got overrun with spam, but there are still some good groups out there. To get to groups they’re now buried under the work tab in the navigation and then you can click on groups. You immediately get to a different section of linkedin, it looks different, you can see that there’s all this different information. You can click on over to my groups and if you manage any groups, you can see there’s a group there that I kind of let go dormant because we don’t do any more Maine tweetups. The benefits of creating a group in linkedin is that once a week you can email that group through linkedin but it will also end up, depending on their settings, in their inbox. So that’s a pretty cool powerful tool if you do want to spend some time making a group on linkedin it might be worthwhile.

Different groups

You can also see the groups your in, you can also come on over to the discover tab to find groups that linkedin suggests for you or you can do a search to find groups that might be relevant to you and join them to join a smaller community. Again I think most groups have been overrun by marketing scam, but there are still well run groups that might be worth your time and effort.

Inside groups

Then inside groups that are kind of like a quiet section of linkedin that you can join in conversations or post something new.

Prospecting

One of the more powerful sections of linkedin is prospecting, so here’s how I do it. You can see at the homepage, on many pages, there’s a search box at linkedin. If you click in it you can type right away, you can see some of the different options that you can search for; people, jobs, or posts, you can also see your recent searches. I’m going to type in social media mentor because as the founder of the agents of change I want to get in front of social media managers that might be interested in attending my conference. I can see there are social media manager jobs and people with that title and then there’s other options down below; companies, schools, groups, and so forth.

Search results

So if I choose people, I find 360,000 people on linkedin that are social media managers, that’s pretty awesome but maybe that’s just too big of a group.

Adding filters

My conference is local so I click on locations and I narrow it down to just the three areas in Maine that linkedin identifies and I apply that filter.

Filtered results

Now I’m down to 354 social media managers that are here in Maine. Very powerful tool and that gives me the opportunity of really reaching out to them either one to one or doing linkedin ads if I choose to, however I want to connect to them and invite them to the agents of change conference.

All filters

There’s also this ‘all filters’ button up here, as you can see you can search for people, maybe you just want to get into fedex, so you could search for people in the company fedex, maybe with a specific title. Maybe you’re looking for HR managers because that’s who you’re selling to, so you could leave everything blank and just search on HR managers and you already saw that we can also narrow this audience down by location or current companies and also how connected are they to us. Do we want to search for people we’re already connected to, or do we maybe want to search for people who are just out of our reach and then we figure out how are we going to connect with them afterwards.

Messenger

Then there’s also messenger. This is probably one of my favorite tools within linkedin. As I’m connecting with these people, as I find them I try to connect with them also on messenger, which is basically just like facebook messenger except on linkedin. Here on this tab I can see all the people I’ve had some sort of connection with on linkedin messenger. I can either, by clicking on the little icon button next to messaging, start a new message, but I could also head over to their individual page and message them from that page as well. Click on that (message) and all of a sudden I’m starting a conversation with Trivinia.

Company pages

I just want to mention company pages because I often get a lot of questions about them. Company pages in my opinion have just in my opinion been overlooked by linkedin. For most small businesses they’re just not that potent. We use ours, basically when we’re sharing something new like in this screen capture you can see when we were doing our 30 minute webinar on google analytics we posted that to our linkedin page because people are following it, I just don’t think there’s a lot of interaction here. Now if you’re a bigger company or you’ve got a lot of recruiting going on, then I think your linkedin page means a lot more or if you’re a media company I think there’s a lot of value. I see linkedin more about individuals and less about companies, so I don’t spend a lot of time on my company page, except to do the updates, the same kind of social media updates we post to our facebook page or our twitter account.

The mobile experience

Now all of today’s screen grabs have come from the desktop, but I do want to mention that the mobile experience on linkedin is pretty slick. When you first get into your linkedin account you’ll see the newsfeed that you can scroll through. You can also check your network, make connections, add people, you can add your contacts from your phone very easily, then you see people you may know, see all your invitations. The messaging tool here is really slick too, it’s just like facebook messenger so you can connect all those messages are over here as well. Then there’s your notifications so you can see what kind of activity is going on in your network, maybe something you want to pile on or check out.

Takeaways

Now I know we can go much deeper but I did want to keep to the 30 minutes. So what I want you to walk away with today, you need to invest some time into building an attractive profile, by attractive I mean literally just to attract people to it. Think about the words you’re using in you headers, titles, job descriptions because those all feature into that linkedin search. Upload your database so you can make those connections and find your regular connections so you can connect with those people on linkedin, in fact one thing I do if I have a new prospect and I’ve sent out a proposal or if we’ve had an initial conversation is I find that person on linkedin and I connect to them there, it just adds one more level of connectivity we have. Get seen on linkedin by posting updates and articles. Then prospect with the search and filters tool linkedin provides for you. Depending on your job requirements this can be an incredibly powerful tool for getting in touch with potential partners, donors, volunteers, and of course customers and clients. And lastly, don’t overlook messenger. Messenger is an amazing tool to connect with people and the default setting with messenger is it’s also going to send emails to people’s inbox, their actual email inbox, so be aware of that it’s a great way of getting that deeper connection and taking the conversation outside of linkedin as well. That’s the content I wanted to cover today, if you did have any questions hopefully you put them into the questions box and if you didn’t but you have a question right now go ahead and pose it in the questions box and I will follow up with you or answer it right now and I’ll just that you know I will be sending out an email either today or tomorrow with links to the on demand content, you can watch this content again, and we also add just the slide deck if you want to go through that as well as the audio file on your ipod or phone, you can listen to it in the car, you can totally do that as well.

I’ll open up the questions now

Q: Do you feel sales navigator is worth the money?

Great question, my feelings toward any of the paid linkedin tool is the same, linkedin itself is an incredibly powerful social media tool and the average user won’t need anything more. The exceptions to that rule are headhunters and executive directors for membership organizations, there are some benefits to sales navigator and premium tools that allow you to connect to people you otherwise don’t have a connection to, send messages them, more search features and things like that. I would say go as long as you can with the free version. I’ve played with the paid version, I’m an active user, and I’ve yet to find a reason to stay on the paid version, that’s my takeaway with the sales manager.

Q: Can you see the people who viewed you without the upgrade on linkedin?

You can see some of the people, but not all of the people. I find that when I log in and I click to see who’s viewed me I don’t know the exact number but there is a cut off point where they’ll say something like you can see more, or they’ll tease you like ‘someone from idex or somebody from ups was looking at your profile, upgrade to sales navigator to see who that was”. So there will be people that are hidden, but you have to decide if that upgrade is worth it to you.

Q: Can you write an article on a company page? If so, where’s the link?

What I would recommend is having an individual write it for you and then the company would share it. I think that since they’re looking for people to write these articles that you’re not going to be able to. So, no you can only post things that have already been created here or just write something briefly, you’re not going to have those same tools. This also brings up something I forgot to mention, that you can tag people in a lot of these posts, so if you do want somebody to get a little bit more visibility, do that. When I interview somebody, like when I did my interview today with Brian Fanso, when I share that I’m going to tag Brian Fanso in this tag, so more people are going to see it.

Q: You spoke about an article on repurposing a blog in that spot, what’s the difference between writing an article and posting a snippet and adding a link back to your website? What are the benefits of the article approach?

I think they’re two perfectly fine ways to go, I think that linkedin wants to reward you for writing an article, whether it’s a new article or not they don’t seem to care, so I would play around with both. Just have a call to action in your article so there’s a link back to  your website. But in the same way when people are on facebook they don’t want to leave facebook, you could argue the same is true in linkedin, like I don’t want to leave linkedin to read that article, so I might be less interested, or I might click on the link and suddenly I’m taken to a website when I wanted to finish my linkedin work I might click back and lose it forever. So for me the perfect way to do this would be I launch the blog or the podcast on my own website, I go to linkedin and over the next few days I share that a number of times, and maybe two weeks later I go into linkedin and basically repurpose the article within linkedin and then I share it that way. That’s probably the way I would do it to get as much visibility as possible.

Q: In prospecting, is there a way to avoid linkedin’s monthly limit without a paid account?

There are limits on the free account and no I don’t think there would be a way to do that, but what exactly are you bumping your head against because they do change the rules quite often. I know you’re limited to the amount of searches you can save and I think now you can’t save any searches, that seemed to be gone when I was putting together my slide deck, but there are some limits and I think the only way to get around that is with a paid account. But let me know what exactly you’re being limited on and I’ll see if I can fix that for you.

Q: How can you use linkedin for online advertising?

I’m actually having a podcast soon where I’m interviewing someone who’s a linkedin ads expert because I’ve had no luck with this and I tend to think the people that have success with linkedin ads are people who have too much money to throw at advertising. We’ve tried it a couple times with clients who have very poor ROI and I just don’t see it as a valuable tool. I would rather advertise on facebook, even though it might not be a perfect thing for B2B, I’d find different ways to drive traffic to my website, use a facebook pixel and then re-pixel people on facebook who had visited my website. But there are online advertising options on linkedin if you want to play around with them and you can target people based on their job title or whatever else and then your ads will appear in front of them. You can see though my experience with linkedin ads as a consumer is they tend to be from big companies, you know they tend to be form ups and microsoft and other large companies that have a much bigger advertising budget than flyte new media or a lot of our clients.

Q: What’s your opinion of using linkedin ads, I’m attracted to it because it allows for such fine scale targeting, but the little I have already spent on it has not brought in any business.

That has been our experience too, it seems great in theory, and obviously people are using it too, but it does tend to be these bigger corporations. It may just be that the ROI is only there selling something that has an extremely high markup, that’s all I can think of.

Q: Is there a way to discontinue seeing every notice on linkedin in my inbox? It drives me nuts.

Yes, at the bottom of every one of those emails there should be a link that will let you change your settings, you can decide for example very few of my groups are allowed to send me emails anymore, there’s only like two or three that send me the weekly email just because it became too much. You can set it so linkedin doesn’t send you any emails, but there are emails that I think are valuable. In messenger I’ve gotten a few speaking gigs from people who just reached out to me and thankfully now I pay more attention to those because a few of those leads had gone cold because I wasn’t paying enough attention to the stuff that was coming through messenger and now some of those paydays have been pretty big so I like to pay attention to them, but there are some tools within, if you click on the bottom of those. One thing I can’t stand in linkedin is when you have a work anniversary and literally two to three hundred people congratulate you on it, it fills up my messager thing, it’s all the same message because all linkedin says is ‘congratulate Rich on his work anniversary’ and people click on the link and they don’t even get the chance to leave a personal message, it just says ‘congratulations on your work anniversary’. I don’t even know when my work anniversary is, so then I have to go and figure it out and I just find it pointless and if there was one alert I would turn off it would be that one. However there is actually a way to turn off that alert if it bothers you as much as it bothers me. Earlier on there was a screen where I showed your job description and everything in the edit field and there’s a switch there, a toggle where you can say (it’s on by default), let people know of any changes to my job and my anniversary, if you shut that off they won’t know it. I like to keep my anniversary notification on because it increases visibility because linkedin keeps on telling you it’s Rich’s anniversary at flyte new media or agents of change or social media marketing world or whatever it may be, but then they click on the link. So it’s a little bit of a tradeoff and that’s why I keep it on because it does greatly increase my visibility.

Q: How do you recommend opening up a conversation in an invitation with somebody you don’t know on linkedin?

So linkedin does penalize you if you have too many people who say ‘I don’t know who this is’, I’ve actually gotten that alert before.so I would probably, depending on why you want to get in touch with this person, tell them why. Say ‘you don’t know who I am, but I have been following your blog for years’, or ‘you don’t know who I am, but I always see your sign and I’ve always wanted to connect with your business for reasons x, y, and z’. Tell them what you want to get out of it, but maybe a better way of looking at it is tell them why connecting with you might be valuable to them. And if you don’t want to do that you can find somebody in between you and say would you connect us. I’ll sometimes get something, you know Catherine might see that she wants to connect with Brian but Catherine’s not connected to Brian she’s two degrees away, she see I am connected to both her and Brian and there’s a process on linkedin that says Rich would you make an introduction for me? And in that case I can turn to Brian and I can say ‘Catherine is very cool you should get to know her, she wants to meet with you’ and basically if Brian accepts then he will be connected with or start a conversation with Catherine. So that’s another way you can go about it.

Q: Linkedin recently updated their policy against automation tools. Do you use any automation tools?

I do, his name is Preston he works in my office. I don’t use any bots, I shouldn’t say in social media because I do use things like hootsuite, and tweetdeck, and facebook scheduler occasionally, on linkedin I don’t use any bots but I have to admit that as president of the company I just have to delegate stuff. So one of Preston’s jobs is to log in as me and basically respond to all of the requests that I get to connect and I have parameters on who I’ll accept an invitation from that he is familiar with, he has a canned response from me that says, ‘hey, thanks for reaching out Allan, what’s up?’, which is great because that’s exactly what I would say to somebody whether I knew them or didn’t know them because if it’s my best friend or my mom that wants to connect with me it’s a slightly more middle of the road response. Then if someone responds to me, then I get the message and then I start a conversation with them. I get sometimes up to a hundred requests in a week, I just can’t keep up with that and everything else so I do that. Also when we’re promoting our new webinars, when we’re promoting different things like the podcasts I just have somebody on my team promoting that, although that’s not done from my account so that’s actually not the same thing, I would say accepting invitations, or sometimes if I’m trying to do a big outreach to people I’ve already connected with through messenger I might have Preston go in on my behalf and do that for me. That’s really common for people who are really active on linkedin, in fact all of my linkedin expert friends, they all have V.A.s, virtual assistants who do this for them.

Q: It says my photo visibility doesn’t align with public profile. Do you know what that means?

I’ve never heard that. I would google that phrase exactly and see if there’s some response to that. You can only see it up to three connections away, so you might be trying to reach someone who’s more than three connections away, I’m not entirely sure.

Q: What are your thoughts on paid ads that target specific titles and/or sponsored content?

Again, my experience has been that it works better for big brands than it does for small businesses but, if you have some money to play with one of my favorite things to tell people is the best practices do not always equal the best results. So just because I tell you one thing doesn’t work well for me or a few of my clients doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play around with it. If you’ve got a fine target of exactly the job title you want to go after, throw 50 bucks, 100 bucks, 500 bucks behind it and see if you get any response. Make sure you carefully track those leads though, I would recommend if you’re sending somebody to say download a white paper, if that’s what you’re selling them, make sure you’re using the UTM codes to really track that behavior, and if you’re not sure what UTM codes are check out my 30 minute training on google analytics because I go into it there.

Q: When building my network most of these are cold calls. What do you recommend to keep the dialogue in them from sounding just like another spam ad?

It is almost impossible, is really what I would say. It’s probably going to take you longer to get going. I would say, find out where these people hang out on linkedin, probably in certain groups, I would join the groups and I would not try and sell them anything, I would just try and answer every question that comes up, I try and share things, not necessarily for my own website but I would want to look like the most helpful human being on the planet both in groups as well as in the newsfeed and then I would just try and connect with people and let’s say you’re targeting shop owners, I’d say ‘I love connecting with shop owners and I’d love to know what’s going on with you and I’d love to connect with you here’. Then just leave it like that and don’t after 30 seconds of them accept your invitation run back to them and say ‘hey I’ve got this great plan that’s going to help bring down your overall costs and inventory’, I just get so sick and tired of people who think because I’ve accepted an invitation that suddenly I want to do all this business with them. Take it slowly, date by date, it takes longer, but it pays off a thousand times better.

Q: How do you build a company page? Where is that?

Like for flyte new media, a lot of times the company may already be in there because they buy databases of companies, so you can go in and claim the company and then you can just create a company and go in and enter in information. Under work, scroll down to ‘create a company page’ and I’m sure it just walks you through the process of all the things you want to put in there.

Q: You say linkedin is good for B2B, but is more individual focused. If you’re tasked with increasing your company’s presence on linkedin, but you work in the marketing department and are not the person your company’s customers interact with is your task then to get those who are interacting with your company’s customers to ramp up their linkedin presence?

You’ve hit the nail on the head. I do think you should have your own account on linkedin and be promoting what you company is doing, like when flyte new media has a new blog post or agents of change has a new podcast, I’m going to go in there and promote it. Admittedly it’s probably because I wrote it or because I’m the host of the podcast but I do it anyways. On top of that I would have a meeting with all of the customer service reps and all of the sales reps and I would basically show them something like this. How do you use linkedin and then also why it’s in their best interest to be on linkedin. A lot of the salespeople I’ve talked to never realized what a great prospecting tool linkedin is. They don’t know much about it and they think it’s just a place to post your resume so they don’t even want their boss to know they’re on linkedin. I would basically get people to rethink their approach to linkedin because it’s going to be good for them and good for their company and if you want to talk to me after this broadcast about the kind of in house training I do on linkedin, I’d be happy to talk about that too.

Q: When I’m drilling down into a company or category such as UPS recruiting managers I can quickly hit the monthly limit.

I hadn’t done that so what I think what you’re seeing there is that’s more of a hardcore recruiting tool or prospecting tool and linkedin’s like yeah if you want that kind of data you are going to have to pay for it. I apologize I haven’t run into that before.

Great questions everybody. I appreciate your time. Everybody have an awesome day and if you’ve got a storm bearing down on you, stay warm.

If you’d like some one on one help to tune up your own LinkedIn profile or if you’d be interested in Rich coming into your office to train your team in LinkedIn, please let us know.