How to avoid the LinkedIn lazy marketing trap How to avoid the LinkedIn lazy marketing trap

How to avoid the LinkedIn lazy marketing trap
31 Aug 2014

I am going to share an important story with you about what I call ‘the LinkedIn lazy marketing trap’ and how you can and must strive to avoid it.

If you are a typical LinkedIn member in professional services, here’s where you’re probably getting it wrong. You sign up then send out some invitations to connect- you have a poke around in the odd LinkedIn group, maybe share some posts and then become deflated when not everyone responds to your connection requests or your LinkedIn updates and discussion posts.

Here is the reality

If 40 per cent of LinkedIn users accept your connection requests, you are not doing too badly. If one to two per cent of your network engages with your updates or discussion posts that is not bad either. Surprised? You should not be, as these response rates are no lower and possibly much better than any other form of ‘marketing’ you might choose to use to promote your services.

One thing you need to know about LinkedIn users

You need to know that some LinkedIn members do not log into their accounts regularly to check their message inboxes and their settings are not always set up to receive an email prompt, alerting them to your invitation to connect or other message.

So why be on LinkedIn then?

It’s simple. As a business user, you have access to the most incredible database of prospects imaginable for free. If you’re prepared to upgrade to any of the premium account levels, then for a very reasonable cost (check out what you might pay for a third party spreadsheet of leads, with only a fraction of the information visible on a LinkedIn profile), the information and access to these prospects simply gets better.

What else should you consider?

You cannot simply send an invitation to connect or a message to an existing connection and when they do not respond give up the ghost. This is wasteful and lazy behaviour.

You must consider what other methods of communication could be applied to get your message to who could potentially be your next biggest client. Could you send a LinkedIn inmail or email them instead? Should you write a letter or maybe telephone them? What other options and tools do you have at your disposal?

Lazy marketing

The danger with using LinkedIn as your primary marketing platform is that the huge number of contacts available on this site can result in you applying a lazy approach to marketing avoid simply trawling through the lists of potential target connections, without really considering the potential value of each profile to your business.

The other consideration is that the 40 per cent plus of LinkedIn connections who do choose to accept your invitation to connect or the one to two per cent who respond to your messages and posts are gold dust to you. Your online professional relationships, via LinkedIn, should be cultivated through effective content sharing and relationship building. Don’t waste these very warm prospects.

Proactive marketing

This is the solution but it requires patience and consideration of your LinkedIn network. You should begin to build your relationship with your new connection on LinkedIn. Send them a thank you message and follow up with content, such as a case study, every so often. Send them content that they feel is of value to their business and not content that overtly promotes your services.

You need to segment and manage these important LinkedIn connections and select those who you feel would benefit from other forms of communication at your disposal within your firm - this might include sending direct mail in the form of the firms’ brochure or a letter, possibly inviting your potential client to take advantage of a great service offer. LinkedIn must play a part in your marketing strategy. It should not be your complete strategy.

There are no magic tools and platforms out there that will turn your business world around. However, if you need more clients then LinkedIn is a very good place to spend your time, as long as you understand the odds and you are prepared to be creative and patient and you do not apply a lazy marketing approach.

Steve Phillip is managing director of Linked2Success Limited. Since 2009, he has helped hundreds of professionals around the UK and in Europe, such as FedEx, The EDHEC Business School and many universities and professional service businesses to raise their online profiles and generate hundreds of new client opportunities, using tools such as LinkedIn and other social media.

 

I am going to share an important story with you about what I call ‘the LinkedIn lazy marketing trap’ and how you can and must strive to avoid it.

If you are a typical LinkedIn member in professional services, here’s where you’re probably getting it wrong. You sign up then send out some invitations to connect- you have a poke around in the odd LinkedIn group, maybe share some posts and then become deflated when not everyone responds to your connection requests or your LinkedIn updates and discussion posts.

Here is the reality

If 40 per cent of LinkedIn users accept your connection requests, you are not doing too badly. If one to two per cent of your network engages with your updates or discussion posts that is not bad either. Surprised? You should not be, as these response rates are no lower and possibly much better than any other form of ‘marketing’ you might choose to use to promote your services.

One thing you need to know about LinkedIn users

You need to know that some LinkedIn members do not log into their accounts regularly to check their message inboxes and their settings are not always set up to receive an email prompt, alerting them to your invitation to connect or other message.

So why be on LinkedIn then?

It’s simple. As a business user, you have access to the most incredible database of prospects imaginable for free. If you’re prepared to upgrade to any of the premium account levels, then for a very reasonable cost (check out what you might pay for a third party spreadsheet of leads, with only a fraction of the information visible on a LinkedIn profile), the information and access to these prospects simply gets better.

What else should you consider?

You cannot simply send an invitation to connect or a message to an existing connection and when they do not respond give up the ghost. This is wasteful and lazy behaviour.

You must consider what other methods of communication could be applied to get your message to who could potentially be your next biggest client. Could you send a LinkedIn inmail or email them instead? Should you write a letter or maybe telephone them? What other options and tools do you have at your disposal?

Lazy marketing

The danger with using LinkedIn as your primary marketing platform is that the huge number of contacts available on this site can result in you applying a lazy approach to marketing avoid simply trawling through the lists of potential target connections, without really considering the potential value of each profile to your business.

The other consideration is that the 40 per cent plus of LinkedIn connections who do choose to accept your invitation to connect or the one to two per cent who respond to your messages and posts are gold dust to you. Your online professional relationships, via LinkedIn, should be cultivated through effective content sharing and relationship building. Don’t waste these very warm prospects.

Proactive marketing

This is the solution but it requires patience and consideration of your LinkedIn network. You should begin to build your relationship with your new connection on LinkedIn. Send them a thank you message and follow up with content, such as a case study, every so often. Send them content that they feel is of value to their business and not content that overtly promotes your services.

You need to segment and manage these important LinkedIn connections and select those who you feel would benefit from other forms of communication at your disposal within your firm - this might include sending direct mail in the form of the firms’ brochure or a letter, possibly inviting your potential client to take advantage of a great service offer. LinkedIn must play a part in your marketing strategy. It should not be your complete strategy.

There are no magic tools and platforms out there that will turn your business world around. However, if you need more clients then LinkedIn is a very good place to spend your time, as long as you understand the odds and you are prepared to be creative and patient and you do not apply a lazy marketing approach.

Steve Phillip is managing director of Linked2Success Limited. Since 2009, he has helped hundreds of professionals around the UK and in Europe, such as FedEx, The EDHEC Business School and many universities and professional service businesses to raise their online profiles and generate hundreds of new client opportunities, using tools such as LinkedIn and other social media.