You are probably familiar with how to use LinkedIn. At some point, everyone that has to earn sales for their company, whether a team member or an owner, has probably thought to use LinkedIn in this day and age. And many have probably tried to do so, whether with ads or a Premium account using InMail. But just as there are many ways to use other platforms and sales techniques, it’s also possible to use LinkedIn in ways you may have not thought of, and I wanted to share a few with you today.
How to Use LinkedIn to Stand Out in B2B Marketing
Granted, any one person can also use these LinkedIn tips, so don’t despair if you’re a lone salesman, or a business owner putting feet on the ground alone! These are easy, actionable tips that any business-to-business marketing team should be able to implement and get some return on, and they are absolutely just as simple to use as one person, too. With all of that said, how about we get into those tips now, shall we?
Use Who You Know… Sort Of.
How often do you go to trade shows or expos and collect tons of business cards? You shake hands and chit-chat with people from all over, learning tidbits about them and what they do, only to throw those business cards in a pile to languish away on your desk or in a drawer because you’ve forgotten about them, or they end up in the trash because you realize you never did send that follow-up email? (Guilty!) But remember, that’s money! Let’s promise ourselves – and our teams – that we won’t do that ever again.
Or perhaps you’re quite diligent in reaching out after your conferences and trips, and at least you connect on LinkedIn or you’ve sent an email or had a phone call. These are all great, but do you keep up with them after that initial touch? Do you ever reach out again? Do you make it a point to pick up your phone or send another email, just to check in? That’s just what I’m proposing you do with my first tip.
After you collect business cards or names and emails/phone numbers, add those people to your LinkedIn as soon as you’re back in your hotel room, or the next morning during coffee. Connect with them by being sure to add a personal note to your connection request, and then make it a point to reach out to them in the next week – and set a reminder to reach out again next month!
Already have a ton of contacts but you don’t regularly reach out? Do it. Now! Start with small batches of 10–15 people and send a message to them asking to re-connect over coffee or a phone call. I know someone that did this very thing to just a few connections on his profile, and ended up with 3 new leads. Now think about how that adds up if your whole team is doing this as a strategy. Yeah. Boom.
Become Brand Ambassadors
Is your team excited about the brand? Do team members love their jobs? Do they talk about the company to all the people they know and love? These people could be your brand ambassadors. If they talk up your company and/or products and/or services to everyone they know, then they are the ones you want people to know when they “meet” the company. The sales and marketing teams are the face of the brand – why not try to use that a little more literally?
Schedule a LinkedIn Team Day (or two). Hire a photographer for headshots for the team, work on everyone’s titles and descriptions, the layouts of their profiles, etc., and why not have coffee and cookies or lunch for the people that love the company so much? You want everyone to have the same look and feel as everyone else representing the company on LinkedIn. Anyone that has chatted with one of these team members should be able to easily spot another team member on LinkedIn without looking too hard. Showcase these people and how much they enjoy the company, and what they do to help clients. Build them up, and show your customers and clients that your brand is more than just another logo.
I recently spoke to a colleague about a company she helped doing this very thing. They had a whole day dedicated to their small marketing team to update LinkedIn profiles, and had her help get titles and descriptions reinvented. She said it really helped everyone get excited about the new strategy!
Use Your Uniqueness
What makes your brand stand out from all the other sales pitches? What makes your customers remember your company, versus your competitors? Get the team together for a brainstorming session and come up with a special way to stand out in the minds of your customers. Can you offer something (for free) every time they meet with you (hopefully set up through LinkedIn!)? What about making a special note of children’s birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and sending them a gift card or a special, handwritten note of congratulations, or sending best wishes when no one else does?
When I worked for an industrial electronics repair facility, about 5 years ago, we had a vendor we used for parts that would send a full-sized chocolate-crunch bar with every order we made. It was a very small gesture, but boy, did our parts manager LOVE that vendor! I once worked with a client that, as a thank you gift, sent me a gift card/voucher to give money to my favorite charity. I’ve heard another story of a financial planner/CPA that would have his clients’ cars detailed in his parking lot while they met in his office for an annual review. In fact, just last year MY financial planner offered their clients a free family photo session at their very well-designed and beautifully set up offices, which included a free 8×10 print! What small but significant gestures can your team think of?
Put these Tips on How to Use LinkedIn in Your Toolkit, Starting Today!
I hope that these tips have helped you come up with some ideas, and gets your team excited about gaining new leads and earning new business through Linkedin marketing campaigns! It can be difficult to stand out in a B2B market, but using some of these tips, you should be able to not only stand out and make your brand memorable to your clients and customers, but also create new strategies to earn new business over and over again.
Is a “LinkedIn Team Day” in your future? Share your thoughts and LinkedIn tips in the comments!