In this article, we dive into 4 elements that are crucial to your Social Selling effort, and simple mistakes that can damage your credibility, personal brand and ultimately the company you work for. Exactly what you are trying to achieve with Social Selling.
It is no secret that we, at Digital Works, are advocates of Social Selling. Social Selling can create benefits for both your personal brand and your company – we give you 4 simple elements.
Create a strong personal brand with a professional LinkedIn-profile
LinkedIn has approximately 585 million users around the world. If you are one of them, you are already working with Social Selling – maybe in a good way, maybe in a bad. The personal profile is your display and is evaluated whether you want it or not. And especially LinkedIn is important in your professional career, as you have the opportunity to show customers, partners or a future employer what you are capable of.
So… What does your profile say about you?
Does it tell your visitors that you are professional, competent and trustworthy, or is it outdated and deficient? You will probably reduce your chances of building a professional relationship with important connections.
In our article “10 actions to your personal LinkedIn-profile” you get a 10 step plan on how to fill out your profile on LinkedIn. When building your profile, you should have focus on 3 elements:
- Describe how you solve problems in your field
We see it everywhere – personalized offers based on habits and behavior. The “personalized” revolution is upon us, and it affects the way we sell and approach customers. And the method does not only apply at the corporate level but also at a personal level.
Therefore, there is also a focus on personal interaction on LinkedIn. Although you are selling to a company, one must not forget that it is primarily a person with a specific need or challenge you face. Therefore, it can be an advantage to connect with them and in that way personalize the relationship. Write a message with the request to connect, describing how you will enrich this person.
But it doesn’t end there…
Your efforts also depend on you being continuous in your efforts to create value. Share enriching content from your profile or send personal messages with content that you think may be relevant to the individual.
Get more tips on LinkedIn with the article “18 do’s and don’ts on LinkedIn”.
Consistency and hard work
To succeed with Social Selling on LinkedIn, you should have a progressive approach, a strategy and be consistent. There is no advantage in talking to everyone and everybody – then the personality goes away. Therefore, it may be a good idea to select and focus on leads that you would like to talk to in the future. The following is a 5-step progress method that will strengthen your efforts with Social Selling.
1. Find interesting people
There is two way to do this – use LinkedIn’s advanced searching tool or search for help in your network.
2. Create the first contact
Get in touch with your chosen person and remember the “invitation message” with the enriching message.
3. Create dialogue
If the person accepts your request to connect, you can send them a “welcome message” with a thank you for connecting and maybe share an interesting article.
4. Build a relation
From here, it is about enriching each other’s inbox or news feed. Look out for relevant readings you can send – of course, make sure your messages aren’t going to look like spam and become too much. Remember the word enrichment.
Read more about how you can strategically share content here as part of your social selling effort.
5. Move the conversation offline
The last “level” in your efforts is to move the conversation “offline” – it can be a telephone, a Skype conversation, a webinar or maybe even a physical meeting. It is all about building the relationship, and in this way getting a collaboration going.
Build authority and trustworthiness through content marketing
We often preach about the model “Know, like, trust, buy”. The model is based on the simple principle that the person must first know you, then like you and/or the content you share and find you trustworthy – and maybe after this, you can do business with them.
But it is not easy to gain trust in the digital world, and it requires a big effort.
It’s about sharing relevant and enriching content. The content you share can be in many different formats:
- Written – Blog posts, articles, whitepapers, e-books, reports, surveys, etc.
- Sound – Podcasts, interviews, Q&A, FAQs, etc.
- Video – How to’s, demonstration of product features, testimonials, Q&A, webinars, live streams, vlogs, etc.
- Visual content – Infographics, images, PowerPoint, charts, graphs, quotes, checklists, etc.
The important thing is that you know your audience and their needs. Positioning you and your content as the solution to their problems and make sure you share high-value knowledge for the recipient. Also, consider whether you want to share your content with your entire network or simply send it to individual people in a personal message.
All the actions described in the article have an impact on your efforts, and you should, therefore, work with all elements continuously to achieve the best result.
Do you have any good advice on how to work effectively with Social Selling?
Then we would be happy to hear from you in the comments.
The article is written with inspiration from this.