This is a guest post from Bianco Te Rito who makes you look good online. I asked her to share how she’s rocking LinkedIn to drive new business leads and referrals.
I have been active on the main social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn since 2007.
In 2010, I focused my services to concentrate on video presentation coaching, and started publishing content on this subject once a day, whether it be a quick tip, or a link to my video presentation resources.
Sure, my business contacts would share my content providing it was a “fit” for their various networks, but it was slow progress. Having a small close network is great, but unfortunately it limits my “reach”.
I really wanted to get a handle on utilizing LinkedIn more effectively. I use LinkedIn primarily for staying in touch with my business contacts. I keep a fairly small network on LinkedIn and only connect with people if I have met them in person or we have exchanged enough email communications for me to feel like I would be able to honestly vouch for them if someone were to ask me about them.
Personally, I like to keep my focus on the quality of the connection (someone I know, like and trust) more so than the number of connections. To help me sift through LinkedIn requests from people I do not know well, I use this great social media etiquette practice I discovered on The Suitcase Entrepreneur, to help decide whether or not to engage.
I joined various LinkedIn groups and posted targeted content, but I was getting very little traction – and didn’t know why. I knew my content on how to deliver effective video presentations was adding value as I was often re-tweeted, favorited or mentioned on Twitter, but it was slow progress.
Frustrated and reluctant to accept random (non-personalized) LinkedIn requests to connect with people to build my reach – I went searching for ideas and came across The Suitcase Entrepreneur.
I felt an instant connection with Natalie. We both originally came from New Zealand, spend our lives living as international citizens in various countries, have online businesses, are athletic, model, and we are both TV presenters. I thought, “Hey, why not sign-up for her newsletter?”
I enjoyed her straight-forward free eBook, The Entrepreneur’s Social Media Workout. The first chapter I went to was Workout 5: Lunging into LinkedIn.
The tip that made all the difference was Exercise 8: Content is King: “Edit the initial sentence for your article and add a personal message asking (the LinkedIn Group) for their feedback or to contribute.” – Natalie
This one tip alone provided me with the following results with 2 pieces of content I posted to 3 different LinkedIn Groups during November and December 2011. It never occurred to me to ask a question, or add a personal message or encourage readers to share with me their experiences or to engage with me – and engage they did.
The Results from Implementing Natalie’s Tip: “Content is King – Add a Personal Message.”
- Created the most engagement, comments, and likes I have ever encountered on my content or in a LinkedIn Group
- Listed me as a “top influencer” in two LinkedIn Groups (enhancing my brand and visibility within the Group)
- 93% increase in traffic to my website
- 250% increase in email sign-ups on my website (unsolicited and with no email sign-up offer)
- 3 direct email requests for more information about my services
- An invitation to form a business alliance (in my niche)
- A testimonial from a (high profile) Group reader with a promise of future referrals
In responding to readers’ comments under the original posts, I avoided talking about my services and my offers – instead I asked and answered reader questions, and provided them with additional tips and suggestions, and where appropriate, links to my FREE resources and articles.
Some readers emailed me privately to ask me questions. They later become LinkedIn connections. Via our communications they now have a thorough understanding of what it is that I do and how I can help, and they are advocates of my brand to their own clients.
I used the magic words “thank you” in all my communications and posts, personally thanking each reader and encouraging their efforts. It did take time to personally respond and provide value – but it was worth it.
Note: If I had asked an even more engaging question as Natalie shows in her example – I can only imagine what the result would have been!
Bianca Te Rito is the Founder & CEO of STEBIAN.com – Video presentation coaching to make you look good online. With a unique mix of business savvy, combined with screen acting, modeling and fronting commercials – Bianca works virtually with a variety of clients from all around the world, including professional service firms (accounting firm partners), well-known Hollywood actors, to best-selling business authors – who want to deliver effective online video presentations; sales presentations, video blogging, video interviews, or sharing their thought leadership online.