Social Selling on Linkedin (14 Tips)
Ask just about any #eventprofs a go-to tip for selling successfully, and you’ll likely hear the value of building relationships and connections. It’s a tried and true technique for good reason – it works.
But as potential customers have grown weary of receiving yet another cold sales pitch, selling best practices have evolved. Enter the concept of social selling.
Social selling is a targeted strategy, using your personal and professional social networks to build relationships with new potential customers. As HubSpot defines it, “social selling is when salespeople use social media to interact directly with their prospects. Salespeople provide value by answering prospect questions and offering thoughtful content until the prospect is ready to buy.”
Since LinkedIn is the social platform that was built for networking and has grown to over 500 million members, it’s the prime place to focus your social selling efforts.
We sat down with Dahlia El Gazzar, event tech evangelist and idea igniteur at DAHLIA+ Agency, to get 14 tips for social selling success on LinkedIn.
Review your LinkedIn profile
“The best connections happen when people feel like they’re talking to another human being. And on LinkedIn, that first impression to being a real human starts with your profile,” says Dahlia.
Set up your LinkedIn profile for social selling success by reviewing these questions:
1) Do you use a professional headshot for your photo?
2) Is your profile complete, meaning you have an engaging summary, complete descriptions of your current and past roles, have added skills and fields of expertise, and include your education details?
3) Have you customized your public profile URL with your name (i.e., https://www.linkedin.com/in/dahliaelgazzar/)?
4) Does your professional headline grab attention and communicate your unique value by using key event-industry related terminology, responsibilities, or outcomes?
5) Do you use your profile to communicate how you help potential clients solve problems or overcome challenges?
Another way to achieve social selling success is by demonstrating thought-leadership. Says Dahlia, “When you provide relevant information, have genuine conversations, and focus on needs, that ‘give first’ mentality signals you care about nurturing the relationship and building trust.”
Gauge your thought-leadership approach by asking:
6) Do you share relevant industry content with your connections?
7) And beyond sharing links, do you offer unique perspectives or ask questions to spark discussion?
8) How often do you post content? A one-and-done approach isn’t enough for long-term relationship building. Many find success with sharing content multiple times a week, but find the right sustainable schedule for you.
9) What’s your tone? Friendly, warm, helpful, and externally focused? Or filled with sales jargon, buzzwords, and focused inward?
10) Do you frequently like and comment on other relevant content?
Build your network
There are tons of industry-specific communities and influencers to help you tap into new potential customers on LinkedIn. Build your network by trying these tactics:
11) Have you made connections with contacts? Don’t just limit it to your professional network – think beyond to include friends, family members, neighbors, vendors, suppliers, speakers, influencers, and all those other connections you’ve made throughout your career.
12) Have you given or requested peer recommendations?
13) Have you connected with thought-leaders in the events and meetings industry – as well as those in other fields like technology, marketing, and leadership?
14) What industry, association, or peer groups do you belong to and participate in?
Check your Social Selling Index
Once you’ve used this checklist to launch or uplevel your social selling on LinkedIn, you may be wondering how to measure your success. Dahlia recommends that all #eventprofs get acquainted with their LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI), which rates a user’s social selling skills from zero to 100 based on his/her individual LinkedIn activities. LinkedIn has found that those with higher SSI scores get better results.
“While this is a helpful metric, ultimately your selling success on LinkedIn is about the results you specifically generate,” says Dahlia. “Take a peek at this metric every few months and use the insights to guide or renew social selling areas to re-focus on.”
Adopting a social selling strategy takes time. Use this checklist to get started and keep the feelings of being overwhelmed to a minimum.
And if you have a tip that’s worked for you, share the knowledge and share below!