Linkedin Leveraging: How to Tap Groups for Traffic, Leads & Sales
Do you get any business from LinkedIn? If not, no worries – it doesn’t happen automatically. You signed up for an account two or three years ago, right? You filled it in with some of the basic info and uploaded a picture. Since then you’ve accepted a few connections and maybe left or received a review. Not much else. So how come you hear these stories about people networking their way to six-figure jobs or landing mega contracts through LinkedIn?
Here’s the thing. There’s a reason those people are getting big deals, while you are left feeling like LinkedIn is a waste of time. They know the proven strategies for driving leads from LinkedIn to their own site.
A few months ago, Lewis Howes led this Mixergy course, and shared the strategies he’s implemented on LinkedIn to earn over $1.5 million in revenue. In this article, I’ll break down the steps used by Howes, so you can use the same effective strategy to get your own great results.
Groups: The Powerful LinkedIn Feature You Probably Aren’t Using
This is how I generate all these leads, this one thing and it’s my opinion that this is the best resource on all social networking sites. It’s your own LinkedIn group because if you can send an announcement with just a link on here for your webinar, some copy and some compelling calls to action… you’re going to get a lot of people opting into your webinars or to your sales pages or wherever you want to drive them to, it’s ridiculous.
– Lewis Howes, on the social networking feature that drives his business
First, let’s introduce the LinkedIn feature that we will drive our leads from: groups. LinkedIn groups are useful both in size and scope. Some of the more popular ones have tens or even hundreds of thousands of members – like social networking sites within a social networking site – that’s a lot of potential leads, right?
What makes this number more meaningful then groups you’d find on Facebook or Google is that the members are qualified. Lewis says LinkedIn is “the most targeted business social networking site in the world – people who have money and know about business”. He adds that “you don’t go on LinkedIn to search through pictures or video like you would on Facebook”. When you concentrate those people down into a group of common industry or interest, you have a targetable niche.
So, how do you find the groups that match your niche?
Getting Involved With Groups
There are two ways to approach LinkedIn groups. You can form your own or join others.
You can have up to 10 groups and be a member of up to 50.
Starting your own group is a little more work, but the benefit is worth it: administrators get to send a weekly announcement directly to group members’ real inboxes.
To form your own group, do this:
- Sign in to LinkedIn and from navigation click Groups then Create a Group.
- Give your group a generic name with recognizable keywords (people are searching for these keywords not your company). If you provide a local service, add the city/state name as well.
- Edit your welcome message email. Introduce yourself, then manage people’s expectations by telling them what kind of content you will be sending and how often you will send it.
- Jump start your membership by inviting your personal network to join the group.
The advantage of joining existing groups is there is already an established membership for you to share your links with.
To find the right groups to join, do this:
- You can search groups from the search box at top right of LinkedIn. Use keywords relevant to your business. Each result has a Similar Groups link which will help you find more.
- Read the Group Rules in top right of content area. Make sure promotional activity is allowed. Many groups have a Promotions tab specifically for your use.
- Check out the group stats available in right side bar. This provides insight like how active a group is, and what industry the members are part of.
Once you’ve created or joined groups, you can start generating leads.
Broadcasting Messages to Groups
This little tiny button that says “Share” and it’s really hard to see but you want to click on this button right here and this is the most important part for leveraging Linkedin groups to drive more traffic.
– Lewis Howes, on how to get traffic from LinkedIn
One way to share messages with group members is to go to that group’s page, write your message and press share. But that way is inefficient. Wouldn’t it be better to write your message once and share it with all your groups? Simultaneously broadcasting messages to multiple LinkedIn group isn’t difficult – but it isn’t obvious either.
Here are the steps:
- Sign into LinkedIn and share your update as usual.
- Make sure the message and link are relevant to the groups you plan to broadcast to.
- Write the kind of headlines people click on: http://blog.kissmetrics.com/how-to-write-headlines/
- Your message will instantly show in the update feed in the bottom half of the page.
- Click the small “share” button, then “share to groups”. Start typing the names of groups you want to broadcast to. Then share.
Members of the groups you broadcast to may receive your update via their email inbox (if they haven’t opted out), or will see your update when they visit the group page. Since they can reply to your message, treat it like blog comments and be around to respond and answer questions.
When you are ready to focus on leads instead of just driving traffic, consider running a free webinar.
Lead Generation: Setting Up Your Webinar
Lewis got 1473 registrations (names, email addresses) within 30 minutes of sending out his email.
You guys saw from the beginning by promoting to LinkedIn groups I was getting thousands of people opting in for webinars. That’s the way I use my sales funnel. I’ll get them on a free webinar.
– Lewis Howes, on how powerful LinkedIn groups can be
If you’ve established and grown your own groups, you’ll be able to send them a direct email inviting them to your webinar. Otherwise, Lewis provided this template email to pitch administrators of other groups. Note: You should modify the template below to make an offer you feel comfortable with.
Hey Robert, I know you’ve got a great group of marketing professionals and I’ve got this amazing training that teaches them how to get more leads using social media, absolutely for free. I would love to do a free webinar with you and give them the best training they’ll ever receive, make you the champion of your group and then make you money on the back end by the sales we get by giving you information. What do you say? Also by the way I’m a group owner and I’ve done this myself a number of times, here’s the results.
Lewis says this tactic works because “none of these LinkedIn group owners know how to market, they don’t understand so if you can do this for them you’re able to leverage so many more opportunities for yourself, for your business, and your services than you can even deal with”.
For the webinar content, there are two parts.
First, focus on giving attendees the best content they’ll ever receive in their life on the topic.
Second, turn attendees into visitors/customers for your own site by saying “Thanks for joining. Hope you learned a lot. And hey, we have this email list/paid course/whatever you want to promote”. Lewis says the key is to make sure that product is 10 to 100 times more value than the price you charge for it.
5 Tips for Using the New LinkedIn Company Pages
Have you kept up with the changes at LinkedIn?
Did you know you can do more for your company on LinkedIn?
Keep reading to learn more.
What’s new with LinkedIn for businesses?
Do you want to increase your opportunities to network with customers, clients, vendors, peers, potential job candidates and even your own employees? If you’re a business of any size, you need to have a well-developed “business” presence on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn recently announced an update to company pages that can help companies and small businesses to become more engaged on the network.
Up until now, your company page existed in isolation. Now businesses can update their individual company pages to enable their followers to receive updates and insights about job opportunities, company news, employee moves and more.
Are these the only kinds of updates that companies can post to their pages? Absolutely not, and I’m going to suggest that you think about this as a brand-new opportunity to showcase your thought leadership and expanding your business!
Although it appears on the surface that the new company updates are designed to help big brands and corporations become more connected with potential candidates and employees, I believe small businesses and professional services that get creative about their company status updates and commit to being active with their company pages can also benefit from increased engagement with industry peers, prospective customers, strategic allies and potential new hires.
There are some great resources from Social Media Examiner for building a business presence on Facebook and Twitter, and both of these networks are essential for positioning your business and engaging your community. Now you can extend the reach of your business with your LinkedIn company page to grow your influence as the industry expert!
How do you take advantage of this new tool as a small business or professional services company participating on LinkedIn?
Below are 5 steps for expanding your business through LinkedIn company pages.
#1: Update/create and complete your company page
Currently there are over 2 million businesses with a LinkedIn company page, many of which are corporations looking for talent on the network.
At some point, many professionals will choose to follow numerous company pages on LinkedIn just as they do Facebook business pages, and the stream will become noisier.
Keep in mind that with these pages, LinkedIn provides you with the opportunity tointegrate rich media content such as images, hyperlinked banners, links to your website and blog and videos from YouTube into your company profile. Take advantage of these benefits to make your page more attractive, engaging and interesting to your target markets!
To either create or enhance your existing LinkedIn company page, focus on the following tips:
- Populate your company overview page using informative descriptionsabout whom you serve (your ideal customer) and how you serve them. Include the key specialties of your company in the designated “specialties” area and use keywords here that will resonate with your target markets. Also be sure to pull in your blog posts by inserting your blog feed URL!
- Build out your products and services pages on your profile. On these pages you can include an image, description, list of key features, landing page URL to your site, a link to a special promotion and you can even embed a YouTube video both on the products and services overview page as well as on each individual product/service page! Take advantage of the opportunity to integrate rich media. It will liven up your company page significantly.
- Once you have completed setting up your LinkedIn company page, you will want to enable the page for status updates. You must officially designate who can update the company page within your settings. Once you’ve completed this, designated people within your company will be able to post status updates to your page.
#2: Build followers for your LinkedIn company page
Before you can really start to see any benefit from your LinkedIn company page, you’re going to have to work to get company followers just as you work to build a community of followers with your Facebook business page and Twitter profile! Otherwise, your updates won’t be visible unless someone visits your page directly and decides to share or comment on a status update.
Increasing your company followers will increase your company visibility. Your updates will be seen throughout LinkedIn and can easily be shared by your followers with their professional networks.
Building followers for your company isn’t just a one-time process. You should constantly be working to build followers for your company page on LinkedIn in order to expand your reach. It doesn’t matter if your business is big or small. Perhaps you don’t need the masses to follow your company page. You simply need to focus on gathering relevant followers as a small business or professional services company.
Below are some suggestions to quickly build your unique business community for your company page:
- Encourage existing employees to link up with your page (existing employees can help extend your company’s reach by sharing your status updates with their connections on LinkedIn).
- Follow the company pages of industry peers, vendors, current customers and prospective customers (many of them will reciprocate the action). Also consider following companies outside of your industry that are in your same geographic location!
- Send an announcement to the appropriate LinkedIn personal connections. (Best practice: Always provide 2 to 3 concrete benefits for why someone should follow your page. What will they get out of it? How can it help them to be better at what they do?)
- Consider sending that same “call to action” message to your existing database of customers and prospects, especially if many of them are on LinkedIn.
- Post a “call to action” to follow your page within relevant LinkedIn groups.
Remember, the more relevant followers you have for your LinkedIn company page, the more opportunities you have to be visible and build influence with your target markets!
#3: Provide interesting and value-added company page updates
Although LinkedIn suggests that you post status updates to your company page about jobs and breaking news, these types of posts are all about you and your company. If you want to engage followers, make it all about them and provide interesting and value-added updates that can help them to succeed in business!
This is your opportunity to establish your company as the industry expert. Also, don’t forget to include rich media such as an image in your company updates in order to make them stand out and capture attention!
A great example of this is HubSpot. They update their company page with valuable resources and insights that can help marketers and businesses to be more successful in their online marketing efforts. Notice how they end their status update with a question. This is a great strategy to engage your company followers.
#4: Engage and network with people from companies you follow
Want to get on the radar screen of a business you’d like to work with? Watch for their company updates and engage with them! Just as you can engage with individual status updates that you see on LinkedIn, you can do the same with company page updates.
Perhaps a company that you follow is looking for a qualified candidate to fill a position. Point them to several professionals in your network who might be a good fit!
Maybe a company posts something that is helpful to you in your business. Thank them for the resource publicly and share it with your connections!
By helping the companies that you care about grow their visibility, you’ll also expand your influence with the company. It’s a very simple concept that most people don’t think about. Promote and refer the companies that are important to your business by liking, sharing and commenting on their updates. These companies may also return the favor and help to promote your business on LinkedIn as well.
In order to find the right companies to follow on LinkedIn, I would suggest utilizing LinkedIn’s advanced search features to find and follow industry partners, companies in your geographic location, companies that you currently do business with, companies that you’d like to do business with and companies within your same industry (competitors and non-competitors).
Also, check out this article for more tips on using LinkedIn Company Search to expand your network.
Engaging and networking with relevant LinkedIn company pages will also help you develop and grow your personal LinkedIn network with other professionals who are engaging with these companies. You may discover other professionals who share the same business interests.
#5: Monitor and focus your efforts
LinkedIn does provide a nice “Analytics” feature to help you monitor and track visitors to your company page, but these metrics do not yet highlight how effectively you are engaging your target markets. However, on the main landing page for your company profile you will be able to see who has engaged with or commented on any of your company updates. Read more about the LinkedIn Company Page Analytics feature on the LinkedIn Blog.
Carve out time specifically for “company” networking on LinkedIn. Update your company status frequently, check for comments and engagements on those updates to determine what’s working, and continue building followers for your page through the strategies mentioned in section #2 of this article!
Also remember to keep your LinkedIn company page fresh and interesting. Add new videos or images from time to time, run special promotions, etc.
I have found that if you focus your time with your social networking efforts, you can accomplish greater success rather than just skimming the surface.
There are several places within LinkedIn to focus on company networking. On your LinkedIn home page under “Companies,” you can view the updates from the companies that you follow.
Or you can visit “LinkedIn Companies” home page (see image below) to see the same update. I find this to be a better place for focusing, as you won’t be distracted by all of the other items on your primary LinkedIn home page. Finally, you can also visit a company page directly and engage with any of the status updates right there on the page itself.
Regardless of the size of your business, it’s important to invest in your LinkedIn company presence. I believe that going forward, this will be one of the very best ways to set your company apart and provide ongoing value to your customers and prospects.
Don’t forget that your LinkedIn company page will also be indexed by search engines, which can provide another positive gateway online to your business.