By Mike Podesto, founder of Find My Profession, Inc. | Definitely Not A Recruiter | $100k+ Executive Career Finder

Marketing and advertising costs continue to be some of the most substantial expenses for businesses across the globe. According to a CMO marketing survey, a business should budget anywhere from 2-20 percent of total revenue toward marketing and advertising. I am here to tell you that marketing and advertising should not cost you a penny. With the digital age that we live in, social media sites such as LinkedIn have made it extremely easy to advertise for free.

Since 2016, I have been utilizing LinkedIn for social selling and training my staff to do the same. I have accumulated over 40,000 followers, 1,000,000 profile views and receive more than 10,000 unique visitors to my site each month directly from LinkedIn. Would you believe me if I told you I have never paid a penny for advertising?

Lead by Example

Start by posting daily on LinkedIn. Share content that is relevant to your business or industry. In my case, I work with executives to help them find new jobs. So, everything I post on LinkedIn is related to job searching and career advancement. If you are a SaaS company in San Francisco, discuss SaaS related news or current events in the Bay Area.

Whatever you do, the idea here is to provide your reader with value. Don't post exclusively about your product or service. Instead, write about other interesting topics that will attract a larger audience. If you attract a larger audience with non-promotional content, eventually they will wonder what you do, bringing you one step closer to a sale.

Empower Your Staff

Once you have gotten into the habit of posting regularly on LinkedIn, it's time to involve your staff. Rather than having an entire marketing department dedicated towards these efforts, empower each member of your staff to begin social selling on LinkedIn. It doesn't take more than 20 minutes each day to find a topic and share it on LinkedIn. The more team members you have posting on LinkedIn, the easier it will be for future staff to pick up these social selling strategies.

The first team member I began to train on LinkedIn social selling was very reluctant to learn at first. He was shy and felt he was not knowledgeable enough to post. We worked together on his first couple posts and after seeing the positive reactions, messages of gratitude and a huge increase in following, he quickly became a natural.

Understand There Is Power in Numbers

The more team members you have posting regularly on LinkedIn the better. Encourage your staff to like and comment on each other's posts. The more engagement each post receives, the more visibility it will ultimately receive. Whether you have a staff of five or 500, engaging with each other's content will significantly increase what you get in return.

Tip: Create a private LinkedIn page or group chat where each staff member can share their most recent post with other members of the team.

What You Get

If you lead by example and empower your staff to post regularly on LinkedIn, you will increase the number of visitors to your site, boost the number of sales for your business, enhance staff knowledge on current events and relevant business topics and establish your team as thought leaders and experts in their industry.

Is It Worth It?

Is social selling on LinkedIn really worth it? Or are you better off just paying for Pay Per Click (PPC) ads? To answer this question, let's do a bit of math. Currently, each member of my team is responsible for roughly 5,000 unique website visitors per month. Five thousand visitors corresponds to about $5,000 in a PPC budget. If you can empower each member of your staff to drive 5,000 visitors to your site each month, with just 10 employees, you will have 50,000 unique visitors per month. Not only will your staff become thought leaders themselves, but you will save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on marketing and advertising.

Mike Podesto is the founder of Find My Profession, Inc. | Definitely Not A Recruiter | $100k+ Executive Career Finder

Published on: Apr 13, 2018
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.