How I’m Creating Leads and Sales on LinkedIn

The biggest mistake most of us are making when promoting content within a LinkedIn Group is sharing a link back to what we’ve published. Instead, success depends on your ability to use what you already know works within the walls of LinkedIn Groups and, ultimately, getting prospects off of social media. Yes, I’m serious. I’m living proof. I’ve been using LinkedIn to create leads and actual sales with good success.

The biggest mistake most of us are making when promoting content within a LinkedIn Group is sharing a link back to what we’ve published. Instead, success depends on your ability to use what you already know works within the walls of LinkedIn Groups and, ultimately, getting prospects off of social media. Yes, I’m serious. I’m living proof. I’ve been using LinkedIn to create leads and actual sales with good success.

Most of us believe that setting up an engaging LinkedIn group or attractive profile is the key to success for businesses or job seekers. But it’s just not true. Finding crafty ways to mention your blogs, webinars or new product releases within LinkedIn rarely works—produces appointments, leads or sales.

The key to success is founded in creative thinking about what you already know works and getting your target market off of social media. Here’s proof—in the form of my experience and how you can do the same.

Step 1: Create Content That Provokes
I recently decided to go after a niche: small- to mid-sized kitchen cabinet dealerships who need help using LinkedIn for sales. My goal was to create sales of my book and leads for my social sales training product. My strategy was to get people already engaged in discussions relevant to the pain I can cure to actually leave LinkedIn and register at my site, call me on the phone or buy my book.

First, I created content that I knew would scratch the itch of my market. I baited my hook. I interviewed an industry expert who had something truly different to say about how successful kitchen cabinet dealers are using social media and using LinkedIn for sales leads.

What my expert had to say was contrarian, valuable, provocative and actionable. This part was key. This was the barb in the hook.

Step 2: Locate Qualified Discussions
I then published a handful of stories and audio interviews featuring my guest, Jim, discussing how successful home improvement businesses are using social media to create leads and sales. He didn’t talk about how they should be using Twitter, Facebook, blogs and such. Instead, he spoke on how they are and gave readers/listeners the chance to learn how they can do the same. He told them how to take action.

I then carefully joined related LinkedIn groups, taking care to make sure I was clear about my intent to join. I had something honestly valuable to share—actionable insights on a topic that is of current interest to group members.

I joined and waited. Within a few days I spotted a discussion on a Kitchen Cabinet industry group where I could answer a question in a way that “brought to life” the specific valuable answers my guest expert was offering … but not in the usual way.

Step 3: Tease Prospects Into Action
The biggest mistake most of us are making when promoting content within a LinkedIn group is sharing a link back to what we’ve published. You see, the minute I stopped sharing links and started saying less the more action I got—the more people did what I wanted them to do (visit my site and become a lead).

Ultimately it’s all about getting prospects off of social media (and on a lead-nurturing system). How you go about doing that is critical when using Linkedin. You don’t want to waste time!

Bottom line: The more I’m baiting people—teasing them—the more I’m getting emailed directly through LinkedIn from hungry customers who want to connect, become a lead or buy a product on-the-spot.

Sure, my website is good at selling products and capturing leads—that requirement doesn’t go away. Remember your job is to tease your audience into taking action on something that you already know they want to act on.

I didn’t get paid by “telling a story” or “providing valuable content” or educating my target market. That’s social media guru blather. I ethically bribed my customers into taking action on something that they wanted to take action on to begin with. I then gave them full satisfaction—useful, actionable answers to burning questions they had.

Next up, I’ll explain exactly how I did it in more detail. See you then!

The One Thing LinkedIn Experts Won’t Tell You That Always Nets Sales and Interviews

Making LinkedIn generate more job interviews (sell your personal brand) or leads for your business is all about how you think about what you already know-not new information about social media. Contrary to what “the experts” say, knowing how to set up an engaging LinkedIn group or rock solid profile isn’t the end game. Nor is pushing content marketing (blogs, webinars, etc.) out onto LinkedIn going to create results. The key to success is actually rooted in creative thinking-something most of us have accidentally shoved aside.

Making LinkedIn generate more job interviews (sell your personal brand) or leads for your business is all about how you think about what you already know-not new information about social media. Contrary to what “the experts” say, knowing how to set up an engaging LinkedIn group or rock solid profile isn’t the end game. Nor is pushing content marketing (blogs, webinars, etc.) out onto LinkedIn going to create results. The key to success is actually rooted in creative thinking-something most of us have accidentally shoved aside.

The Excuse
I know, I know … “Jeff, I don’t have time to get creative with social media. I’m being deluged with information about social media. I can hardly come up for air between getting it done (blogging, posting, updating, monitoring) and keeping up with what’s new … it’s taking up all of my time.”

I hear you. I felt the same way. That is until I met people who think about this challenge differently. People who are successfully generating leads and sales on platforms like LinkedIn using an unusual strategy: Taking a breath and getting creative. This approach even helped me recently recover my stolen wallet!

The Proof

If you read me regularly you know of the success stories-B-to-C and B-to-B companies like Logan Services, AnchorBank and others. I often present their success principles in the form of specific strategies. You’ve heard me say things like, “The best next step to getting the most out of LinkedIn is to surround yourself with what you already know about customers and find ways to leverage what you are already doing (outside of social media) that effectively creates and nurtures leads.” And some of you have written to me saying, in essence, “Great, I’m sold… what’s the next step?”

The Next Step: Simple, Fun & Empowering
Ignore the din of LinkedIn experts and start valuing fundamental marketing principles that you already know work. This is the path toward tapping into your own, personal creativity. Yes, for many this is a leap of faith. Yet faith is the starting point for accumulation of all riches (thank you Napoleon Hill!).

We marketers are too reliant on short-cuts and quick fixes when it comes to strategies like content marketing on LinkedIn. We don’t trust our instincts and end up taking the half-baked advice of experts pitching juvenile ideas like being “more human” or “likeable.”

How I Generated Sales on LinkedIn Last Week
I recently posted a handful of stories and interviews on my website discussing how home improvement businesses are using social media to create leads and sales. I then joined related LinkedIn groups. Within a few days I spotted a discussion on a Kitchen Cabinet industry group where I could answer a question in a way that demonstrated the specific valuable answers I was offering … in a way that tempted Group members to both email me for more details and click onward to my site to acquire the knowledge. The results rolled in: Lots of industry-specific leads and a handful of sales!

I got creative. I created valuable content (answers), then looked for people demonstrating need for it and finally provided answers in ways that created cravings for more of what I had to share (encouraged interaction).

How I Found My Stolen Wallet
I recently had my wallet stolen out of a gym locker-the guy stole my pants while I was in the shower! Gym management didn’t care or help. So I started thinking creatively-like a criminal! I immediately realized that my adversary would unload those jeans first. Hence, my trip to the dumpster alongside the building produced my jeans-sans wallet. But I wasn’t done. I wanted my wallet and was sure the thief was after my cash (only). A trip to the local train stop (my thief’s mode of transportation, I wagered) and a glance in a trash can revealed my wallet. All of its contents with the exception of my cash, which I had already kissed-off anyway, were intact.

What did creative thinking get me? I found my charge cards, debit card, drivers license and even a train pass intact! All because I stopped reacting and started thinking about what I already knew was likely true. This guy didn’t want to get caught with my stuff!

Rise Above the Drones
It’s worth mentioning that my local police department was of little help during this upsetting event. In fact they didn’t think my dumpster-diving ideas were worth pursuing! Again, lack of creative thinking. How has creative thinking spurred success in your business life? How can you start using your ability to think creatively right now to create results in LinkedIn or on other social platforms?