I wrote a post a couple weeks ago about using LinkedIn as a personal inbound marketing machine. I wanted to use today’s post to focus in on the value of content sharing on LinkedIn. It’s a very simple pro-move: Share content 6-8 times per day to your LinkedIn profile.
I used to only concentrate on sharing on Twitter because that was the place to be. About a year ago, I started sharing consistently on LinkedIn. I started at 6 shares a day and am probably sharing 10-12 shares a day now. Since I started sharing on LinkedIn, I have seen a 300% increase in people that viewed my profile. That’s pretty sweet. Now I am a big time advocate for content sharing on LinkedIn with my anyone who will listen. I had one client who saw a 20-30% increase in people viewing sales people’s profiles by sharing consistently on LinkedIn. In other words, real results from the people in the trenches.
Profile views are awesome, but I have been seeing a new trend lately that inspired me to produce this post. Over the last couple months, I have walked into a prospect or a client and they have kicked off the conversation asking me about an article I have shared on LinkedIn. Invaluable. Just the other day, I met with a client and three minutes into the meeting, they mentioned: “I know you are a fan of <insert topic here>” I had no idea what he was talking about. Turns out, he was talking about an article I had shared. This client NEVER returns emails and I am pretty sure does not have a desk phone. He would never sign up for a webinar or fill out a reg form. Pretty simple, he read a post I had shared on LinkedIn and I was able to build trust, add value, and build on our relationship. And guess what, I had no idea. No likes, no shares, nothing…but he read it and he liked it. This scene has is playing every week now. Last Friday, a prospect I hadn’t talked in 10 months wrote to me saying: “I see you posting about inside sales every day, do you have any statistics on response times?” Besides walking in and the guy offering to give me a million dollars, you can’t ask for much more from today’s non-responsive buyer. It’s not that Twitter or Google Plus aren’t good places to share. It’s that LinkedIn is the business community, YOUR business community. And sharing don’t cost nothing. Why wouldn’t you? The steps are simple:
- Step 1: Have a complete, compelling profile — Again, I will write a post on this but in the meantime, use Gerry Moran’s post on the topic.
- Step 2: Make growing your network a habit — When you have a two-way interaction with someone, then connect with them. Send LinkedIn requests to every prospect and customer you interact with immediately after your first conversation.
- Step 3: Share content 6-8 times a day — Start by focusing on the 5 business days but as you become a pro, get some weekend action going as well.
Have a process for identifying content
First of all, every sales person should devote 30 minutes out of their day to read or watch content that will improve their skill set and market knowledge. You should use a resource that allows you to find content quickly like a Feedly.
Secondly (and potentially more importantly), your organization should have a process that allows sales and other employees to easily access content to either consume themselves or share. A simple system is to follow the main social account if that is account is sharing both internally produced content as well as third-party content. Other companies share content via their internal community application such as Chatter or Yammer. If the company wants to get serious, they can roll out applications designed to share on your behalf such as NewzSocial and GaggleAmp.
I use TwitterFeed. I have identified a number of websites that I trust will provide the kind of content quality I want to share. I have loaded these sites into TwitterFeed and it shares their new posts. My buddy Jason Kapler once teased me about employing the “Guy Kawasaki Strategy” for sharing content without reading it…but I am good with it. Everyone is vetted before making my feed and this app has allowed me to share a lot of content without having to burn too many cycles.
Share other people’s content
Come on, do we really have to tell you this one? If you really want to show that you are adding value to your network, the majority of the content you share should be from other sources. Realistically, you can’t hit the 6-8 shares a day number on internally produced content alone. More importantly, you want to share other people’s content to help brand yourself to your community as a trusted advisor. If all do is share your own content, then you are perceived as promotional. Being promotional won’t help you, it will hurt you.
Trust me, it works
Sales people don’t like to add new things to their toolkit especially if they can’t see instant results. I get that, but you have to trust me on this one. It doesn’t cost you much so if it helps you build trust with a prospect or customer then you have ROI.
If you can’t sell and aren’t willing to put in the work necessary to be successful, sharing on LinkedIn isn’t going to help you. Please believe that. I am not the guy saying to drop everything you are doing and only send inmails and direct messages. Sharing on LinkedIn will help, but won’t cure poor overall sales execution. So — add this tactic to your already stellar day-to-day selling. It will help (and will certainly not hurt unless you are sharing “2 for 1 sale on enterprise software! Today only!”.
I am Craig Rosenberg and I approve this blog post.
A quick note on the image in this post: The image is of Frank Chu who is a famous street walking sign carrier in San Francisco. I chose his picture because I have been dying to share an image of him for years…but also because he spends all day running around the city sharing content. Read about him here on Wikipedia.