JoAnne Funch, an Independent LinkedIn Trainer, Consultant, and Speaker, was our most recent speaker for the Social Media Breakfast Central Minnesota. LinkedIn is one of my favorite social networks, and I went to JoAnne’s seminar at a Social Media RocksStar Event a couple years ago to see if I could learn more. Needless to say, I walked out with a lot more ideas and inspiration!
What is Social Selling?
The definition that JoAnne uses for social selling is:
“Social selling is the process of using your professional brand to fill your pipeline with the right people, insights, and relationships.” – Koka Sexton, LinkedIn
Unlike cold calling, a social selling strategy focuses on building long-term relationships, by building and connecting with your social network, not “selling” to them. People do business with people that they know, like and trust! Determine how you can be a helpful resource to your prospects so you will stay top-of-mind when they are looking for your products or services.
The Value of your LinkedIn Network
Linkedin and Social Selling are not just about collecting new connections. How many of your LinkedIn contacts have you actually engaged with recently? The value of your LinkedIn network is in keeping these relationships active by engaging with them. For instance, you could comment on their update or article that they posted on LinkedIn, congratulate them on a work anniversary (with a personal message of course), or send them a message “just because”. Remember, your connections also have the potential for referrals and introductions to your 2nd-degree connections. Your 2nd-degree connections (those you are not connected to yet, but one of your contacts are) are where the real potential for referrals and growth are.
Pro LinkedIn Tips from JoAnne:
- Avoid sending out the default LinkedIn invitation. Stand out from the crowd by adding a personal message, such as why you are reaching out or what you have in common. Also, be aware that when you add a connection from your phone’s LinkedIn app, that the default message is sent automatically. For this reason, it is best to request a new connection from Linkedin on your desktop.
- Optimize the most important parts of your Linkedin profile: the headline and summary sections. Make your headline stand out and draw interest. Write your summary in a way that shares who you are, why you are credible, and who you serve.
- Ensure that your LinkedIn profile doesn’t look like a resume. Make it about the people reading it, and what you can do for them, not just about you.
My Favorite Piece of Advice from JoAnne:
As marketers, we all know how great it is to get comments on our social media posts. So why don’t we all do it more? JoAnne’s advice is to “Ditch the thumbs up!”. Hitting the like button (or an equivalent) is easy, but it is not engaging. JoAnne’s recommendation is simple: Instead of a thumbs up, commit to adding a thoughtful comment. Get engaged in a conversation with your contacts and see how it makes a difference in building more meaningful relationships.
JoAnne is engaging both online and in person! If you are looking for a corporate trainer or national speaker on the topics of LinkedIn or Social Selling, I encourage you to contact her. For more information, or to learn more tips and strategies on LinkedIn, visit her website at www.linkedinforbusiness.net or connect (and engage!) with her on Twitter or Linkedin!