As someone who makes his living teaching professionals how to utilize LinkedIn to generate more business for themselves, I remain convinced that the platform is one of the most exciting--and misunderstood--business opportunities available right now.
For whatever reason, LinkedIn cannot seem to shake the notion that it's "only" a place to find a job or hire a new employee.
But as I've learned spending 48 straight months selling products and services on the site, LinkedIn is the single biggest (and best) opportunity online right now for you to generate oodles of sales leads, add new clients, and land new business.
I want to spend the rest of this post sharing the specific path I see successful professionals taking on LinkedIn when it comes to generating more sales leads, adding customers, and increasing revenue.
Some of these tips might seem counterintuitive at first glance, but that's why they work so well: They break from the conventional wisdom and outdated beliefs about LinkedIn.
Here are seven unusual things successful people do every day on LinkedIn:
1. They invoke emotion.
People are so worried about appearing ultra-professional and competent on LinkedIn that they forget a core tenet--your prospects are people! They're human, which means they're relational, emotional creatures. When you create content (especially images and video) on LinkedIn that has some passion and emotion behind it, you instantly stand out from the crowd and make yourself more memorable, relatable, and likable with strangers, prospects, and clients alike.
2. They ooze authenticity.
Yes, I know LinkedIn is not Facebook. People are not on the network to see funny videos of your dog or pictures of your kids. But when we peel back our polished profile photo and let people into our real lives in an appropriate fashion, it builds the type of trust and empathy critical to any business relationship.
3. They give value first.
One of the biggest mistakes people are making on LinkedIn is approaching prospects or perfect strangers and immediately asking for their time and attention. In today's environment, where anyone can claim authority or expertise, what separates the players from the pretenders is proof. Utilize LinkedIn's powerful publishing tools to demonstrate your expertise, and then use that valuable content as "bait" when fishing for new prospects.
4. They take a personalized, one-on-one approach.
The single most powerful feature of LinkedIn from a business perspective is the ability to build and scale hundreds of personal, one-on-one relationships in a fast and efficient fashion. New automation tools (see the next tip) have made that easy to achieve--great news, given how critical it is to see prospects as real people when selling on LinkedIn.
5. They are ultra-efficient.
When I first started training others how to sell using LinkedIn back in 2012, it was a tedious, time-consuming process. In order to scale your one-on-one, personalized marketing efforts, you had to manually search for, sort, organize, tag, and track your interactions with every single prospect you came across. Now there's one simple automation tool that does all of that for you. God bless the internet!
6. They get visual.
Because human beings are such visual creatures, understanding how to properly utilize images and video on LinkedIn is an incredibly valuable sales and marketing tool. When used correctly, visuals generate an emotional response with potential buyers, boost your personal brand, make you appear more credible and competent, and build massive trust as well. Need I say more?
7. They stay organized.
Again, this is where automation tools come into play. In addition, LinkedIn makes it easy for you to manually tag and even take notes right on a prospect's profile page. Being organized is a must if you want to be effective and efficient with your lead generation efforts and sales using the platform.
There you have it--a proven path successful people like these folks are following each and every day to generate more sales leads, clients, and revenue on LinkedIn. Make sure you start following it...ASAP!