If you're wondering how to actually get started with social selling on LinkedIn, you've come to the right place.
In this blog, we'll share practical tips, strategies, and actionable steps to help you navigate the world of social selling on LinkedIn like a pro. Get ready to unleash the potential of this powerful platform and start building valuable relationships that drive revenue.
What is social selling?
Social selling is a sales technique where salespeople find potential customers and build relationships using social networks.
To succeed in social selling, both your company and you personally must have a strong presence on social media. Building meaningful connections requires earning trust by being a helpful source of knowledge and making prospects feel like they know you.
Without a visible online presence and personal information, you might as well just be cold calling.
Why is social selling important?
In today's digital realm, social selling is key to captivating your audience. With almost everyone spending their time online, it's essential for businesses to stay current and connect with customers in the way they prefer.
According to LinkedIn, here are some of the results that leaders see from social selling:
- 45% of social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than peers with a lower social selling index.
- Social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach quota.
- 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.
How to get started with social selling on LinkedIn?
Social selling is all about building relationships on social media by using social insights to relate with your prospects, have meaningful conversations and ultimately guide them through the buying process.
Daunted? Don’t be. Here’s how to get started.
5 ways to set your LinkedIn profile up for success
1. Build a credible profile
To build trust and leave a memorable impression, it's crucial to lay a solid foundation for your personal brand.
Here are some key steps to consider:
- Optimize your profile pic: Get some top-notch headshots that show off your professional and approachable side. No need to hire a pro photographer! Just find a well-lit spot near a window or head outdoors. Grab a colleague, snap a few shots, and choose the one that makes you look like a superstar!
- Showcase your company: Let's put your company in the spotlight! Display an eye-catching banner on your profile, ideally featuring your company's branding. It's a great way to show your pride in the organization and introduce others to your awesome brand.
- Harness the power of recommendations: Time to bring in the cheerleaders! On platforms like LinkedIn, make the most of the "ask for a recommendation" feature. Reach out to your close colleagues or friends who know just how amazing you are. Ask them to jot down a few sentences highlighting your positive qualities. These recommendations act as social proof and give your credibility a solid boost.
- Craft a trustworthy biography: It's your time to shine! Your biography is like a snappy pitch that offers a glimpse into who you are as a person while staying true to your professional self. Make it personal, let your unique personality shine through, and keep it aligned with your professional goals and endeavors.
If you're seeking inspiration, take a look at the profile of Jonna Ekman, the Marketing Director at Storykit.
2. Ensure your company’s profile is up-to-date
When you're connecting with potential prospects, here's the deal: they're probably going to check out your company's profile right away. Ensuring that your company's products or services are presented with utmost clarity and leave a lasting impression is crucial. This might mostly be in the realm of marketing, but as a salesperson, you've got a role to play too!
Remember that you're part of a unified team, working towards shared goals. Even if refining the company's presentation isn't solely your job, don't be shy to jump in and lend a hand.
Collaborate with your teammates, share your insights, and offer help wherever you can. By working together, you'll level up how your company is perceived, leaving those prospects totally wowed and ready to engage.
Check out Salesforce’s LinkedIn profile for a little inspiration.
4. Actively post on your LinkedIn profile
If you want people to trust you, it's not just about your company's social media presence—it's about you being active too. Don't be shy to share your opinions on your own feed and in relevant groups. Choose the topics that you want to talk about and stick to those
Take it up a notch by liking and commenting on other people's posts. This way, prospects can start getting to know you even before you reach out to them.
Tip: When it comes to building your personal brand, it's important to select topics that align with your expertise and are relevant to your industry. By focusing on these key areas, you can establish yourself as a credible authority and maintain consistency in your messaging.
To stay on track, jot down five core topics that resonate with your brand and refer to them whenever you find yourself veering off course. This simple practice will help you realign and ensure your content remains in line with your overall branding strategy.
One shining example of the power of consistency is Evan Shapiro. Evan has a laser focus on one thing: streaming news and trends. This allowed him to attract a consistent audience but has also helped him build a solid reputation as a go-to source for all things related to streaming.
To kickstart your posting game, here's a simple daily schedule to follow:
- Monday: Let's start the week with a personal message. Share something about yourself or your experiences to create a connection.
- Tuesday: It's product or service time! Share something related to what you offer. Highlight its benefits, features, or even success stories from satisfied customers.
- Wednesday: It's time to show some love to others. Share content from someone you admire or would like to connect with in the future. It could be an article, a post, or a shoutout to give credit where it's due.
- Thursday: Stay up-to-date with industry news and share your take on it. Share your insights, opinions, or observations about the latest happenings in your field. It shows that you're actively engaged and knowledgeable.
- Friday: Wrap up the week by sharing helpful tips that are connected to your product or service. Provide value to your audience by sharing practical advice or insider tips that can benefit them.
4. Keep an eye on the competition
Keeping an eye on what your competitors are up to can actually be pretty helpful in shaping your own game plan. It's not about getting obsessed — just taking some time now and then to see what they're posting and who they're interacting with.
Now, don't go overboard with this, but setting aside a monthly check-in can be a smart move. It gives you the chance to gain some valuable insights and even find a little inspiration along the way. So, go ahead and peek into their world every once in a while. You might just discover something that sparks some new ideas for your own strategies.
5. Don’t cold outreach
When it comes to building connections on social media, let's keep it real and focus on creating long-lasting relationships. Skip the whole "pitching your product right off the bat" thing. Instead, concentrate on making a genuine connection and finding common ground with the awesome people you reach out to.
Here are some down-to-earth tips to reach out to your prospects:
- Find common ground: In your first message, dig up those shared experiences or interests. Did you both attend the same event recently? Drop a mention about it and create an instant connection.
- Show some real interest: If you've been interacting with their content, let them know! Express your appreciation for their insights and tell them you'd love to dive deeper into those topics. It shows that you genuinely care about what they have to say and opens the door for meaningful conversations.
- Tap into mutual connections: Got a mutual connection with the prospect? Bingo! Use that as your starting point. Bring up your shared acquaintance or colleague. It helps build trust and familiarity right off the bat.
For more tips on how to approach cold outbound messaging, check out this post by Robert Kaminski.
Boost your social selling strategy with video content
Now we’re going to share the secret to getting your content noticed because, hey, what's the point of posting valuable stuff if nobody sees it, right?
So, here's the deal: when it comes to LinkedIn, video is where it's at. Believe it or not, videos on LinkedIn get a whopping 5x more engagement than other types of posts. If you're feeling adventurous and go live, hold onto your hat because that engagement skyrockets to a mind-blowing 24x more.
But video isn't just about racking up the likes. It's also about storytelling, humanizing yourself, and letting people get to know the real you in a more personal way. Plus, it creates buzz and demand for your awesome products or services. Win-win!
Using video can also save you time when it comes to your content creation. Grab some text for your latest blog article or a sentence from your website and just paste it into Storykit. Then you have a video. It’s that simple.
Here are some content ideas and video templates that'll take your social selling game to the next level:
Take talking points from your blog
Got a killer blog? Perfect! Use those helpful insights and turn them into engaging videos. Don't have a blog? No worries! The internet is bursting with great resources. Just grab some interesting paragraphs, credit your sources, and boom! You've got yourself a shareable video using the ‘Main Takeaways’ template.
Showcase your products or services
You've got a sales deck or a website, right? Well, that's a goldmine of talking points to make your product shine. Copy that text and paste it into the ‘Grow Your Differences’ template to create an attention-grabbing video.
Share industry news
Stay on top of the latest happenings in your field and share the juiciest stats and insights using the ‘Trend Focus’ template. It keeps your audience informed and positions you as the go-to source for industry updates.
Get personal with insights and opinions
Remember, it's not all about what you're selling. People love people, so let your human side shine! Post about your good days, bad days, or anything you think might be valuable with the ‘Basic Facts’ template. Building relationships means delivering content that resonates with people.
The key to success is consistency
When it comes to social selling, don’t sweat it if you're not seeing immediate success. It's easy to get caught up in social selling metrics and feel discouraged if your posts don't get a ton of likes or your messages don't always get a response. But here's the thing: success in social selling is all about consistency and persistence.
Instead of obsessing over every single engagement or lack thereof, focus on building relationships and providing value to your audience. Be patient and keep showing up. It takes time to gain traction and establish trust with your prospects.
Don't believe us. Read Nick Broekema's experience here. It took him one year of posting reagularly on LinkedIn before he started seeing results.
Now, if you're itching to gauge your progress and leverage some insights, LinkedIn has a handy tool that gives you a Social Selling Index (SSI) score. It's basically a way to measure how well you and your team are doing compared to the industry benchmark and can be a helpful indicator of your social selling efforts.
Follow this guide to kick-start your social selling strategy, stay consistent in your efforts, and remember that success will come with time and dedication. You've got this!