Playing the LinkedIn “Long Game”
In this article, we explain some ideas on how Playing the LinkedIn “Long Game” can result in massive benefits to your business, nurturing and pulling prospects to you and your business when the time is right for them.
Editors Note: Expert content needs an expert content writer and Yorkshire Powerhouse is pleased to publish this business advice article on LinkedIn Marketing and LinkedIn Strategy, kindly written by a real expert in his field – Stewart Leahy – our very own founder!
In the last 5 years, Stewart has taken his own LinkedIn profile from ‘only’ 1,700 connections to well over 18,000 and has become the ‘go-to’ guru for straighttalking advice on the subject.
Please consider contacting Stewart to discuss any aspect of LinkedIn strategy – just click on the advert links above or below – and please mention this page if you do make contact.
Making LinkedIn an integral part of your long term marketing strategy:
As with all marketing tasks, you should only be using LinkedIn if it is the ‘right’ place for your prospects – i.e. LinkedIn is somewhere that you can use to influence prospective clients to consider your services or products when they want to consider buying.
Your marketing strategy should clearly identify your dream/target prospects and, assuming they are business people who use LinkedIn, you should be using LinkedIn to drive connections to them … your profile should justify why they should connect to you and, in my opinion, you should be gently pitching to them following the initial connection, just in case the timing happens to be right.
BUT … here’s a big dose of reality. If you send 200 connection requests per week and 25% agree to connect (so 50 new connections every single week) … and then you send a gentle sales message to follow up on the connection … the MOST you can reasonably hope to draw into conversation would be 1% – so one possible ‘conversation’ per fortnight. And, I’m not suggesting that a conversation is really a sales lead at this stage … but it might be, especially depending on how you phrase your follow up message!
So … if you are very lucky, you might win some short-term new business opportunities from your efforts but the real gain is when you look at this activity over the medium to long term.
Extracting Long-Term value from your connections:
One of the joys of LinkedIn is that is it VERY RARE for someone to choose to remove a connection from their account once it has been made. As such, you can largely consider LinkedIn connections to be yours for life. So, if you are a regular user of LinkedIn and you build your visibility amongst your connections, then you are likely to be able to build your reputation and credibility enough so that you become a solution to your prospects ‘WHEN’ they choose to start looking.
So, the old-school principles of publishing posts and articles from time to time, engaging in other posts and becoming an active user of LinkedIn all definitely apply here.
In principle, therefore, you should be able to plan a series of posts and articles that you can publish on the platform. If done well, you should be able to get other connections to comment and ‘like’ your publications which means that LinkedIn will increase their visibility to more of your connections. So … building up a library of content and commentary is a good idea – not only for LinkedIn but also to potentially feed an email nurturing campaign too.
On average, 97% of LinkedIn profiles provide you with an email address and if you sell B2B and have only used business messaging in your connection process, then the fact that your new contact has openly shared their LinkedIn email address with you on the B2B LinkedIn platform is enough to be able to justify the use of that email for future B2B email marketing – under GDPR rules, a business relationship has been established, your contact has shared their email address openly with you and, under the ‘Legitimate Interest’ GDPR basis, you can use this unless they choose to unsubscribe. See other articles on Yorkshire Powerhouse specifically on GDPR and email marketing … please note that this opinion is simply that of the author, it is not intended to provide legal advice … you should ensure you fully comply with all GDPR rules and requirements before sending email communications.
Remember, your goal here is to nurture and educate … never to sell. This applies to LinkedIn posts and articles, and email marketing messages.
Variety is the spice of life when you’re playing the LinkedIn long game!:
What exactly can you post and promote? Here are some ideas:
Case Studies: Normal ‘detailed’ write-ups or even micro-studies that provide an overview of the WIIFM (what’s in it for me!) content.
Educational Articles: Specific to your clients and prospects – sharing your knowledge. Publish on LinkedIn or your blog and promote on LinkedIn
Hints & Tips: Lists of short-form content.
Industry Content: Facts, figures, observations and more from your industry.
News Commentary: Putting your own comments on news that impacts your clients.
Reviews & Testimonials: Letting others do your promotion for you and sharing their experiences.
Sharing other LinkedIn posts: Adding your own comments and thoughts onto a shared article makes you the curator and expert.
Ideally, you should create a content library and schedule your content so that it doesn’t come if fits and starts. Many business people struggle to find time for this so consider outsourcing this task to a copywriter, digital marketer or content creator who can take the responsibility over … leaving you to concentrate on following up with comments, messages and other communications.
Further thoughts on taking LinkedIn to another level:
In these few articles, I have presented a basic overview of what an ‘average’ business user should reasonably expect to do with LinkedIn to drive sales leads and business growth. But LinkedIn is capable of much more and we’re only scratching the surface. Ask for a copy of our free e-Book to view other areas including thoughts on using LinkedIn for recruitment, using Groups, using the Company page feature and much more. Just get in touch.
LinkedIn is unquestionably the #1 B2B Digital Networking website … approaching it with a clear strategy and with the knowledge of what you’re doing is essential to benefit from the platform – if you’re not 100% confident in your abilities then ask for help.
Thoughts on finding LinkedIn success from Yorkshire Powerhouse
Have you any questions?
Here at Yorkshire Powerhouse, we’re happy to help as much as possible – is there anything else we can do to help you, do you have any further questions or can we help introduce you to an expert – please let us know:
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