7 tips that will help you use Linkedin to boost your business growth

7 WAYS LinkedIn WILL HELP YOUR BUSINESS

LinkedIn is one of the peculiarities of the social networking experiment. It’s not ubiquitous like Facebook, Twitter or even Pinterest. Yet, it has found a niche all its own, as a business tool, and particularly for small to mid range companies who want to network and reach their intended market.

The only problem you might be facing is, how do I use this tool—seemingly with unlimited possibilities—specifically to promote my business?  We’re going to break down seven strategies that can’t fail you.

  1. Make Valuable Connections

Like any social networking site, the ultimate goal of LinkedIn is to connect people and allow you to network your brand to new leads, or new business associates that can help you. While you may only find a few friends and associates based on email searching, you can take advantage of LinkedIn Groups, and connect to people in your niche industry or in local and regional locations.  You can also used the Advanced Search option to target a specific market and find people, companies and industries of interest by keyword. 

  1. Build Your Authority by Showcasing Your Knowledge

Publicizing your name under the guise of answering simple questions is a great way to generate brand awareness, and also get a keen insight into the mind of your potential customers.

A few years ago, posting articles on online directories was a fairly good way to prove your authority. However, it wasn’t long before VIPs in the search engine industry realized that the lack of interaction between writer and readers was less than impressive. 

The truth is, people are far less inclined to believe someone who gives a speech, than a person who takes unscripted questions and has the ability to reply.  This shows your potential leads and associates that you know your industry well enough to interact with the public in an objective and neutral way, and also gives you the opportunity to repeat your name and brand publicly without link spamming.  In general practice, avoid just talking about your opinion and instead quote reputable sources and include your own expertise.  Leave your answer open-ended so as to encourage more conversation and perhaps make more connections.

  1. Get Endorsements on Linkedin

A recent study from Dimen-sional Research shows that positive endorsements from sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, & Amazon influence a decision almost 90% of the time.

Endorsements are easier for a connection on LinkedIn to put in a positive word in for you without going to the trouble of writing a recommendation.

These endorsements are like reviews for your small business.  You can use them to build up your business’s reputation.  Plus endorsements can lead to recommendations which we’ll talk about below.  

  1. Get Recommended and Build Authority

The age old saying that you should “let someone else say it” rather than saying it yourself proves true in online marketing. It always has.

People are more persuaded by word of mouth, by the seemingly objective endorsement of other people.

This shows your audience that your service or product is great enough to earn other people’s recommendations. Recommendations are like referrals, and referrals are gold!  Best of all, LinkedIn’s recommendations appear on your page, and even better, they cannot be forged. 

  1. Host an Event and Keep People Up to Date

Hosting an event via LinkedIn lets you build awareness for your brand and also generate additional leads, since the event is advertised to your network. The Event Platform is easy to work with and helps you “promote the event” by asking questions about your purposes and subject. Online RSVP will help you keep in touch with your most important targets, and the announcement also shows up on their page. 

LinkedIn has an Events Tool search that lets people find your event based on mutual interest, as well as geographic location and industry. The flexibility of this online tool has resulted in many more links and connections being made, since you are no longer limited to traditional in-person events but can actually organize workshops, virtual webinars, phone conferences, round table discussions and more. One of the hottest strategies right now is to organize a regular monthly event, online or otherwise, and build visibility with your regular audience and with new members that hear about the meeting from LinkedIn announcements from friends of friends. 

Other tips you can try incorporating include:

Creating a logo, using simple and probably free software, that will make it stand out.

Come up with a creative title so that it will capture attention and hopefully be shared (and shared on more social media sites than just LinkedIn)

Always finish with a call to action. We remember this in articles and yet we seem to forget this golden rule in social media. If you don’t tell your audience what to do at the end, they won’t do anything. Always include a strong call to action after advertising a meeting.

Include keywords that describe your industry and reason for the event.

Promote your event in groups, preferably the most relevant groups to the theme of the event. It’s not blatant advertising if you’re providing value

Post about the meeting on your status messages. Remember an active page represents a busy company. Ideally, you tie in the latest company event with your status messages, generating excitement for the event

Much like other social networking sites, the ability to speak openly & candidly is another way you address any issues and provide amazing support to potential customers, so use it wisely.

  1. Use Sponsored Updates

If you are afraid of coming across as an aggressive or too spammy, then using LinkedIn’s Sponsored Updates to reach targeted users can help, and generate greater paid lead generation than many other social media strategies. Recently, HubSpot worked with LinkedIn and reported a 400% lead increase with their targeted audience.

  1. Reach Out and Make the Personal Connection

The biggest mistake people make using LinkedIn and other social pages is to lie back and wait for the traffic to generate.

Particularly because this website is professional and the opposite of the informal Facebook atmosphere, people tend to be suspicious when you add them without explanation. It is better to be proactive and to send personal messages to people before or as you add them. This way you can create the emotional connection that so many companies are missing in an overly optimized and online market.

The best approach to these messages is to look for areas of interest that you might have in common and then write to them personally, not as a form letter. Mention why you are reaching out and create an honest and meaningful message introducing yourself.  HP recently used LinkedIn for greater emotional engagement with its social media audience and reported 300,000 new followers in two months, along with an increased attrition and engagement rate, and even a 2.5 increase in customers who refer the company’s products to friends, family and acquaintances.

The biggest mistake people make using LinkedIn and other social pages is to lie back and wait for the traffic to generate.

Chances are, if someone was searching for you, you have a targeted lead that would not so easily dismiss a personal message. The Who’s Viewed Your Profile option received 76% of respondents’ votes for the best feature of LinkedIn.

As you can see, using LinkedIn has a number of benefits but only if you are willing to use its variety of tools and features consistently… As opposed to blindly posting and visiting once every month.

This doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours at a time that take up your entire day.  Most people couldn’t bear to spend literally hours a day on a social networking site, right?  Err… Sorry Facebook devotees. Make the most of your efforts by spreading out the time you spend on LinkedIn, try to check in daily, or at least a few times a week. This way you can keep your presence consistent, your name ubiquitous and your brand promoted.

Need some more reasons why you should be using LinkedIn? Check out our infographic on our blog by clic

5 Techniques To Get Visitors To Come Back For More

5 Foolproof Ways to Get Visitors BACK to Your Website 

Attracting a visitor to your website once is good. It means that your marketing is strong enough – or your Google rank is high enough – that you stood out from the competition and snagged some traffic.

So what?

If you know anything at all about marketing, you know that it’s rare for a first-time visitor to a website to buy anything or even fill out a subscription form.

It’s what they do on their NEXT visit – and the one after that – that will determine whether you’ve gained a new customer.

Makes sense, but it never ceases to amaze me how many businesses don’t focus on repeat traffic. But, that’s about to change.

Here are 5 foolproof ways to get those first-time visitors BACK to your website so you can make some money.

#1: Get Them to Opt In to Your Mailing List

I know, I just said it was asking a lot to get a first-time visitor to your site to subscribe to your mailing list. But I didn’t say it was impossible!

The key, of course, is to give them a compelling reason to subscribe. Here are some ways you can do that:

  1. Put your opt-in form above the fold. That way, they won’t need to scroll down to see it – and they’ll know what they’ll be getting if they decide to subscribe.
  2. Simplify your form. I get that it’s tempting to ask a new subscriber for extra information – but all you really need is their email address and maybe a first name if you want to personalize your emails. Anything else – whether it’s their phone number, mailing address, URL, or shoe size – is extra. You should think long and hard about adding fields to your form.
  3. Incentivize the opt-in. A compelling and useful lead magnet can do a lot to get someone to fill out that form.
  4. Write a killer headline and call to action. Instead of just “Subscribe to our newsletter,” try “Get new marketing tips every day” as a headline. And make the CTA just as exciting.

Once a potential customer’s on your mailing list, you can email them with reasons to come back to your website. Simple, right?

#2: Prioritize the User Experience

If people aren’t coming back to your website, it could be because they didn’t enjoy their experience the first time they visited. That means that prioritizing usability is one of the best ways to encourage repeat visits.

Some of the things to think about when it comes to usability are:

  1. Your site’s loading time
  2. Mobile responsiveness
  3. Clear and easy-to-use menus
  4. Text that’s broken up with white space, images, and formatting (sub headers, bullet points, numbers, etc.)
  5. Working internal and external links that make it easy to find related content

If it’s been a while since you’ve evaluated the usability of your site, now’s a good time to do it to make sure that you’re not frustrating visitors and discouraging them from returning to your site in the future.

#3: Make the Content on Your Site Relevant to Your Target Audience

Are people finding what they expect to find on your site? If a customer comes to you because they’re searching for art supplies, for example, think about what you can offer them that will add value to the products you sell. Can you provide a video tutorial on painting technique? A link to the website of an artist who uses that product?

The idea is to make sure that the content on your site – whatever it is – is directly relevant to the people you most want to attract. If you’re selling Human Resources software, have blog posts about topics that are relevant to HR professionals.

#4: Retarget Visitors with Advertising

Because it’s rare for first-time visitors to convert, it’s essential to have a way to connect with them again even if they don’t opt-in to your mailing list. That’s where retargeting comes in.

As you probably know, retargeting is a kind of advertising that targets individual visitors to your site based on their behavior when they’re there. For example, you can:

  1. Display an ad for a product they viewed – or an alternative product
  2. Let them know about a new blog post on a similar topic to an older post they viewed
  3. Remind them of the lead magnet they passed up when they didn’t opt in
  4. Encourage them to complete the checkout process if they added items to their cart

Retargeting is something you can do on Google or on social media. Simply pick the actions you want to target and watch your conversion rate soar.

#5: Offer Solutions to Common Problems

The final thing you can do is to make the content on your website solution-oriented. Most people who type a keyword into Google do so because they’re looking for answers. That means that if you want them to bookmark your site, you need to provide them with what they need.

Focusing on solutions can also help you improve your site’s rank for keywords in voice search. Given the increase in the use of “Ok Google” as well as virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana, it makes sense to think about the questions that searchers are likely to ask when looking for sites like yours. Then, you can optimize your useful content for those questions.

Your solutions may come in any format you choose. You might create a blog post with a response to one question or produce a video or even a short webinar for another. The key is to focus on the visitor’s needs instead of promoting your company or brand. There’ll be time enough for that later.

Visitors need an excuse to return to your site… 

The five things I’ve listed here can help you give them one. Remember, it’s less about promoting the awesomeness of your brand and products, and more about providing visitors to your site with reasons to return – as well as giving yourself the tools (like opt-ins and retargeting) to connect with them after they’ve navigated away.

7 Conversion Tricks To Engage Your Audience

7 Conversation Starters to Get Your Audience Talking

You can’t read anything about marketing these days without reading about engaging your customers. But what does that really mean?

Engaging means capturing someone’s attention – connecting – and having a conversation. Not easy to do on the internet, particularly when there are millions of other things clamoring for attention at the same time.

But, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. It just means you need to try harder.

The thing is, your customers want to talk to you. They want to know what you think, and most importantly, they want to believe that you care what they think.

It’s not as hard as you might think. Here are 7 simple conversation starters to get your audience talking to you.

#1: Express an Opinion about Industry News

You want to build authority within your industry or niche? One of the best ways to do that AND start a conversation with your followers is to express an opinion – particularly if it might be new or controversial. Of course, you should only do this if you can back up your opinion.

A good way to get started with this tactic is to follow relevant publishers and influencers in your industry. When you see them post a piece of news that’s relevant to your followers, read the article (or watch the video) and figure out what you can add to the conversation. Then share it – and make sure to include a call to action that encourages your followers to chime in with their own opinions.

#2: Ask for Stories and Experiences

Everybody has a story to tell – and when you’re speaking to an audience who all have something in common with you, then it’s easy to think of a topic that may inspire people to share their stories.

The key here is to share your own story and then ask your followers to share their best stories with you. For example, say you own a travel agency. You might tell a story of a trip you booked for yourself before you were a travel agent and how it went wrong. Then, you could ask your followers for their travel horror stories.

The benefit of this type of sharing is that it provides you with an opportunity to respond, express sympathy or amazement, and build a bond with potential customers online.

#3: Get Recommendations

People might love to tell stories, but do you know what else they like? Giving advice and making recommendations! And asking them for recommendations is a great way to get them talking.

What kind of recommendations should you ask for? Ideally, they should be relevant to your product or service. For example, I’m a marketing guy. I might ask:

  1. What are your favorite marketing podcasts?
  2. What publications do you follow on Facebook and Twitter?
  3. Which marketing technique is your favorite, and why?
  4. What marketing apps would you recommend?

You get the idea. The key is not to stray too far from your brand and product. Instead, keep a tight focus and encourage your followers to share their experiences and recommendations with you and each other.

#4: Promote Your Events and Your Community

Are you appearing at a local street fair or charity event? Sharing your involvement is a great way to remind people that you stand for something other than making money – and to underscore your involvement in your community and industry.

Even if you’re not appearing at an event, there’s a benefit to letting your followers know what’s going on in your community. Giving a nod to other businesses or to local charities can help you build trust and earn the admiration of your followers. You can encourage conversation by asking questions like these:

  1. Will you be attending the Fourth of July celebration?
  2. What the last community event you attended?

Another option is to include an open call to action at the end, something like “We hope you’ll stop by and check out our booth! There’s a free gift in it for you!”

#5: Ask about DIY Projects

Whatever industry or niche you’re in, the chances are good that your followers have some DIY experiences that are relevant. Asking about them is a great way to learn about potential customers and build a warm rapport with them by responding to what they share.

Ideally, a DIY project should be something that uses (or could use) your products. However, it doesn’t have to be. The key is to find a way to make what you post relevant to your brand – and then stand back and let your followers do the rest.

#6: Ask Open Questions

Asking questions is one of the best ways to get your followers talking. It’s especially helpful to you if you can get them talking in a way that helps you to learn more about them – because that’s information you can use to create future content.

For example, if you’re targeting small business owners, you could ask questions like:

  1. What’s your biggest challenge as a business owner?
  2. What problem do you wish someone would solve for you?
  3. What product or service has helped you the most?

The answers to these questions can help you write blog posts, create a social media strategy, or even develop new products that are ideal for your target audience.

#7: Ask for Testimonials

You already know that reviews and testimonials are hugely important in the world of marketing. What better way to get some new testimonials to share on your site than to ask your customers to provide them on social media?

Not only will asking for opinions help you get some positive testimonials, it may also help you discover potential issues and nip them in the bud before they become big problems. You should be prepared for some surprises – but if you approach the request with the right mindset, this technique can help you learn a lot about your customers.

Look who’s talking… 

The bottom line is that your audience wants to talk to you. They don’t read your blog or follow you on social media because they’re looking for a lecture. The key is to give them the encouragement they need to share their thoughts, experiences, and opinions with you – and then, to stand back and listen to what they say.

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