How to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Small Business

Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET.  This is excerpted from my recent interview with BrynneTillman – How to Use LinkedIn to Grow Your Small Business. She is an Amazon bestselling author of The LinkedIn Sales Playbook: a Tactical Guide to Social Selling has helped tens of thousands of sales professionals leverage LinkedIn for business development. As a career sales professional herself, Brynne bridges the gap between traditional sales, networking and social media…For more info log on to her website:  http://www.socialsaleslink.com

 SMALLBIZLADY:  Brynne, I understand that this is your 3rd book – what is different about this one? http://LinkedinBook.info

Brynne Tillman: The LinkedIn Sales Playbook – a tactical guide – it is what to do and what to say on a daily basis.  It also comes with 11 videos to guide the reader through profile building, prospecting and thought leadership.  This book is as granular as you can get when it comes to the steps needed to leverage LinkedIn for growing your business. It has every step-by-step you need to do on a daily and weekly basis, all the messaging templates needed and recommended cadence of workflow.

SmallBizLady: You mention the profile, what do you recommend people do to make their LinkedIn profile pop?

Brynne Tillman: First you want to look at your profile from your buyer’s perspective. Make sure you are a resource not a resume.  Provide value to your reader, make them interested and curious to want to learn more about how you can help them.  All they care about is how you can help them. And, most importantly, lead to your solution not with your solution.

SmallBizLady: What are some ways entrepreneurs can provide value to their LinkedIn connections from their profile?

Brynne Tillman: Draw them in with a branded banner, great headshot and a headline that is your value proposition not title.  Talk about your buyers’ challenges, offer vendor agnostic insights that matter to your buyer and a CTA.  A CTA can be an invitation to download powerful content or a request for a phone call.  Include case studies and client success stories to your summary and experience sections.

SmallBizLady: Most people aren’t using LinkedIn for prospecting, why do you see it as the #1 sales tool?

Brynne Tillman:  8 out of 10 people that you hand your business card to will look you up on LinkedIn before they get to your website.  First of all it is the largest database of professionals in the world, with insights around title, company etc.  Next, you are able to identify who in your network can connect you with buyers and stakeholders.  You can quickly identify and gain access to all the stakeholders makers inside of your targeted accounts.

SmallBizLady: Once these people connect with you on LinkedIn what should you do?

Brynne Tillman: Start a conversation, offer value and begin to build rapport – just like the real world.  Send welcome messages and personalize them. Learn about your connection before engaging.

SmallBizLady: You said to customize messaging, but it is time consuming to start a new note every time, any suggestions?

Brynne Tillman: Write the templates w/fill in the blank and save them. I use Chrome ext AutoTextLink.com – game changer.  Sending LinkedIn connection invite w/o a note is like walking up to someone, handing them your card & walking away. Customizing a note when connecting is foundational to successful social selling. Let them know how you found them, why you thought it makes sense to connect and even offer them value through content. Send a welcome message once they connect helps move the conversation forward, leads to converting to a phone call.

 SmallBizLady: What other LinkedIn features do you teach about in your book http://Linkedinbook.info?

Brynne Tillman: To engage with people who viewed your profile. Look at it as caller ID – if you’d call back, than connect.  The LinkedIn Sales Playbook covers how to use and combine Twitter and LinkedIn to attract, teach and engage your targeted audience.  And, peek into Sales Navigator by using this premium feature in ways that transform your sales efforts.

SmallBizLady: Your book talks about curating and sharing content – how would you recommend people do this?

Brynne Tillman: Start with the right tools. I use Feedly.com to save content and Hootlet.com to schedule & share.  Next find good content – and when you do save it to Feedly or schedule it right from Chrome.  Make sure you are sharing content that your buyers care about and don’t water it down with noise.  LinkedIn is different than twitter – unless you have original content keep shares to 3 times a day.

SmallBizLady: You said original content, I know LinkedIn has their own blogging platform, why should people use it?

Brynne Tillman:  First, LinkedIn is the 5th most indexed site by Google, your LinkedIn blog posts will be found in searches.  LinkedIn blog posts tend to get more traffic than those that are on website blogs.  You can repurpose blogs as well – if you have older content, freshen it up and publish it on LinkedIn.

SmallBizLady: How can entrepreneurs find the right people on LinkedIn?

Brynne Tillman:  On free version they have to build out search strings to find the targeted buyers http://bit.ly/2obyRdH.  A search string can look like: (Sales OR Marketing) AND (“Vice President OR Director).  You can then filter down on the right to shared connections, company name, location etc.  This will deliver a list of targeted buyers that fit the criteria you are looking for.

SmallBizLady: Should people pay for Sales Navigator?

Brynne Tillman: Sales Navigator is like a gym membership – many pay and don’t show up, and that won’t work.  If you do show up a few times a week to Sales Navigator with a plan in place – you will get in shape.  I think LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator is one of the most powerful tools available to hunters and farmers.  You can save leads and customize your newsfeed, so engaging with the right people is easy.  You can search your connection’s connections and ask for warm introductions to targeted buyers.  And, you can tag and take notes on prospects and clients for better organization.

SmallBizLady: Tell us about your book and why it will be helpful to entrepreneurs and sales professionals?

Brynne Tillman: The LinkedIn Sales Playbook: A Tactical Guide to Social Selling is what to do and what to say daily.  It comes with 11 videos that guide takes people through the strategy and navigation.  You will be successful if you follow the simple steps.

If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.

Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz

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