You want to start using LinkedIn as part of your marketing mix, but thought it was just a cv and job hunting tool -right? Wrong.
It is a rich source of contacts, sales leads, a support network, sounding board, insights & information and a great way to connect to like-minded people.
But where do you start?
Think about who you want to find – and (as importantly) why you want to connect. Are you simply trying to sell them your services, or are you asking for help or reaching out to a group. Whatever the reason you need to consider what you are going to say. Just as if you were picking up the phone to someone, you introduce yourself, explain why you have got in touch and clarify the required outcome.
Use the search bar to find people in certain industries, companies or locations. There are some add on tools to LinkedIn such as DuxSoup which enables you to send multiple connection requests at once but be careful not to spam people, and also control your numbers so you can effectively follow-up.
I have created some templates (below) which I hope will act as a good starting point for messaging prospective LinkedIn connections or people who have recently accepted your invitation to join your network. They can be customised to fit each individual situation:
Invitation to Connect with someone new
The purpose of the invitation is to get the other person to connect with you or, at a minimum, cause an event (ie reply, view profile, ask questions).
Rather than sending the standard (default) LinkedIn invitation, personalise your invitation with a direct message.
There are numerous places from which you can send the invitation, but the safest one is from the person’s own profile using the Connect button next to the person’s name and photo. Be succinct and to the point because you only have 300 characters including spaces. Please note: you cannot attach documents or share a link to a web page in your
Keep your invitation friendly but professional.
Here are three examples of good invitations:
Hello Robert, my client Jim Smith suggested that I get in touch. He thought you might be interested in having a chat about how we could help your organisation, just as we helped his. We offer a full marketing planning & strategy service which could help you attract hundreds more customers. If you would like an informal no-obligation chat then please let me know. [Name][Tel]
Hello Robert, I noticed from your profile that you work advising businesses. Based on your job responsibilities, I thought you might be interested in having a chat about voluntary benefits for employees. If that’s the case, let me know. In the meantime, please feel free to join my network.
Hello Robert, I see you are working with schools and I am trying to find the right people to contact to promote activities in schools – is this something you could help me with by pointing me in the right direction? I really appreciate your help.
Once someone has connected, send them a second message – or better still a personalised email thanking them and send over some more relevant information or links or documents for them to read. In messenger or email as you are not limited to character counts you can give a lot more detail and start to build your relationship (part of your marketing funnel).
Thanks for connecting on LinkedIn. As I mentioned in my connection request, I wouod really like to talk or meet with you to explain more about how we can help you the way we have helped a number of other businesses like yours over the last few years. I have attached some documents which I hope you will find inspiring, and please take a look at our website www….. and our social media pages at …. . I will give you a call in a few days to maybe set up a meeting.
Feel free to add links or copy and paste other background and supporting info as appendices: e.g., testimonial, case studies, checklist, articles or include a link to evidence that will demonstrate you understand his industry.
Within LinkedIn there are a number of industry led groups which you can apply to join, and this gives you a forum for sharing ideas, asking questions, and demonstrating your knowledge, so some other members could well become new contacts and clients. These would be warm leads and can really help in developing next steps and trust.
I hope this gives you enough information to take your first steps into LinkedIn, but please feel free to call me if you need any more guidance or support.
Owner Ringmaster Marketing