LinkedIn is the new cold call. Perhaps this sounds familiar to you...
As a marketing speaker and marketing coach, I continually study the field, read a ton of books, and attend seminars and workshops from my fellow marketing enthusiasts.
And I'd like to respectfully disagree with that analogy.
LinkedIn is way better, smarter, faster, and more effective than a cold call. In fact, I'd slant the analogy a different way altogether:
LinkedIn is the new email with a red velvet rope around it, a priority seal, and a much more attractive return address envelope!
First let's explore those three points and then you'll see an example of LinkedIn in action PLUS here are some sample social media scripts you can use that have gotten awesome results for our clients in our marketing mastermind and private mentoring programs.
3 Reasons LinkedIn Beats Email
1. Red Velvet Rope - This is a term popularized in the marketing arena by Michael Port. It means there's an exclusive, members-only feel to your marketing. It's not for everyone - and not everyone qualifies. You need to be "in the club." When you reach out to a fellow Group member on LinkedIn, you both are in the club and there's a strong element of peer-to-peer belonging that encourages community, communication, and responsiveness. Can't say that about a cold call or a plain old email!
2. Priority Seal - Most executives and business owners feel overwhelmed by email. When they're not tackling the email monster (click here if you'd like to master your email!), they are wall-to-wall with meetings, phone calls, and their daily dose of dealing with crises. LinkedIn messages DO trigger an email notification but you have the choice of responding via email or via LinkedIn -- and LinkedIn messages (for most of us) are few and far between so they give the impression of being more important, more filtered, and more personally relevant. Think of it as a FedEx envelope arriving in your daily mail. Sure, you can ignore it - you can toss it - you might not get to it for a few days. But chances are greater that you will because of curiosity - a basic trait of human nature.
3. More Attractive Return Address Envelope - LinkedIn messages tend to be shorter than emails - and a shorter note merits a shorter response. You've just given your prospects, clients, and connections a huge "out" because they do NOT need - and probably would not even consider - sending you a long, involved response. If you send a short, succinct note to reconnect with a past client - they'll respond with a short, succinct note and you'll probably use LinkedIn to make plans to connect in a longer format offline (phone call, lunch, coffee, in-person meeting). Yours will be a fast, easy and appealing note to respond to - so your chances of getting a prompt response just went up considerably!
LinkedIn in Action and Results
Using LinkedIn to (Re)Connect and Build Business — Jim Clemmer
I have been using LinkedIn to reconnect with old contacts and to connect with anyone signing up for my newsletter. I do this with the LinkedIn for Outlook utility showing if anyone sending me an email (or completing any website form that is emailed to me) has a LinkedIn account. As my connection numbers build, more website visitors, book readers, and subscribers are now asking to connect with me. We’ve also done a few email blasts to our database asking for connections to those who have LinkedIn accounts. Over the last two years we can directly trace a few hundred thousand dollars in speaking/workshop or long term/ongoing consulting fees that started with these (re)connections.
3 LinkedIn Secrets from Jim's Success:
1. As my friend and Speaker Hall of Fame member Dr. Alan Zimmerman likes to say, "your business comes from your business." (He's a guy who enjoys a 92% repeat and referral rate from his client base so he's walking that talk.) Note that Jim Clemmer is also generating his success not ONLY from new connections - but from RE-connections. Try it for yourself and see what conversations you can generate with the folks who already know you, love you, and have given you money in the past.
2. You gotta ask for the connection. Note that Jim's strategy also involved email blasts to his list proactively asking them to connect on LinkedIn. And not just once - but several times over the past 2 years. Remember to make your social media scripts appealing, relevant, and NOT focused on you - but focused on the value you'd like to deliver to your connections.
3. It takes time and there are both direct and indirect benefits. Notice that Jim said, "over the last two years" - not the last 2 weeks or 2 months. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Notice also that he said he could DIRECTLY trace several hundred thousand dollars of new business. That's great - and in addition, Jim has likely generated that much money or more INDIRECTLY, meaning that people didn't hire him FROM LinkedIn but BECAUSE they saw something he contributed, received a connection update, or otherwise "bumped into" Jim's name, content, ideas, website, blog or network - and were prompted to engage with him.
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