LinkedIn is no longer a virtual resume. Through the addition of a new user interface, interactive features, and Sales Navigator, it has evolved into an online social selling tool. The key to visibility is online presence. Given that, everyone’s within the organization as well as the business page needs to be a driver of LinkedIn thought leadership.
Where other social media platforms are a highlight reel of our leisures, passions, and family life, a LinkedIn personal page reflects our professional pursuits. It’s through sharing these interests that we can elevate our voices within a niche. For example, if your passion is sustainable fashion and branding, you can share your ideas paired with content. To take it a step further, connect with companies and individuals within the space.
Never before have we had such unprecedented access to social networks. Building these relationships online can open doors to enter new industries and create growth opportunities between businesses. The companies that had the foresight to leverage this social selling tool to its full capacity have activated a powerful, modern b2b sales journey.
Eric Haar – Digital Business Coach at Tricycle Europe recently had a conversation about Linkedin thought leadership with Joseph Taiano – Managing Director of Marketing for Consumer Industries at Accenture. “LinkedIn is a great platform to demonstrate what you know, who you know, but more importantly today it has become a platform to demonstrate who you are. It’s no longer a place where you post your resume” says Joseph.
LinkedIn For B2B Sales
Why do we attend networking events or emphasize building our professional networks? It’s all about creating new opportunities. At live networking events we have the barriers of attire, posture, time, and sensory overload. Within our LinkedIn communities, these barriers fall away. The elevator speech is on your profile, along with your career progression, interests, and greater network. Information that once took several conversations to ascertain is available in minutes.
Activating your online community is an opportunity to learn from one another and elevate your voice within your niche. As a C-Suite executive or high-level manager, employees look up to you to learn from your expertise. Why would it be any different in an online professional community? When you take the time to share an article that you found relevant, up-and-coming industry happenings, or a more efficient way to accomplish a task, it makes them feel good. Imagine the ripples you could create if you could extend your expertise beyond the organization. Owning this idea is an integral piece in building your personal brand on LinkedIn.
How To Become A Thought Leader on LinkedIn
LinkedIn offers powerful opportunities to niche down within targeted professional circles. Where networking events might be advertised for young professionals, expat professionals, or women, LinkedIn has the opportunity to connect with people as specific as “sales leaders in upper management roles in North America.”
To do it right, you need to show up. It takes more than blasting out connection requests to build online relationships. There are layers of engagement that need to be addressed in order to position yourself as a leader. Before sending out connection requests, make sure to look at the person and find points of interest to engage the conversation.
The next layer of your personal LinkedIn strategy is sharing relevant content. The lifespan of a LinkedIn post is around 2-months. Sharing every day is beneficial, but not always necessary. When you share content that resonates with your connections, the engagement will follow. Be ready and willing to respond to comments and take mental notes of people that frequently engage with your posts. LinkedIn thought leadership is not a one-off. Treat it like a plant and give it the nourishment it needs to grow and evolve.
About this topic, Joseph Taiano shares: “what I don’t hear a lot about is LinkedIn as an educational tool…You’re getting news and information on topics that you’re interested in from people that you hopefully know and trust…It’s also a great place to share your own expertise. ”
LinkedIn Thought Leadership Best Practices
LinkedIn is as much a social networking platform as it is a sales enablement tool. A sales enablement strategy is centered on building genuine trust and relationships between two parties. Actively listening to the industry and leads, and then connecting those thoughts to the product and marketing message is the recipe for sales enablement. While we don’t email and message our leads everyday, they do log in to their LinkedIn accounts and check their feed. If you regularly post interesting, appealing content, you’ve made yourself memorable without being overbearing.
LinkedIn Tips for CEOs and Executives
Why LinkedIn is so Important for Personal Branding
- Updating your profile doesn’t make you look like a flight risk – Tweaking what users see to better explain your expertise and role can actually make your content more relevant to users.
- *All* of your LinkedIn actions will be a reflection of who you are – Carefully consider if you want to share content related to politics or sensitive topics. People can see your likes, shares, and comments.
- Work the LinkedIn algorithm in your favor – LinkedIn will show your profile to people more often if you interact with people and regularly share content.
- Keep an open mind about connection requests – Even if you don’t know them personally or see a reason to know them, the only reason to reject it is if the profile seems fake or suspicious.
- Give special attention to your photo – Your picture needs to reflect your brand. Steer away from stuffy headshots, pixelated and cropped photos, or something too “fun.”
“Know the top 3 things that you want to be known for and really make that your guiding principle for everything that you do on LinkedIn from content to commenting to sharing. That is your North Star” says Joseph.
Tricycle and Sales Team Development
“The biggest barrier that we’ve all heard is ‘I don’t have time.’ One of the lessons I’ve learned in life is that when people say that they don’t have the time, it’s really just another way of saying that ‘It’s not a priority for me’’’ shares Joseph Taiano.
LinkedIn needs to be a part of your sales enablement strategy. Understandably, diving into a network of billions of people is overwhelming. Tricycle works to train your sales leaders and ensure that they can pass the same skills down to the team. Consider our people at Tricycle your guides for choosing the right connections to catalyze your network’s growth.
To be truthful, it’s quality over quantity. You want connections in your network that truly care about the same things as you. These strategic choices coupled with sharing and engagement can leverage your voice over the competitions’. What we’ve just explained is a sales enablement strategy in a nutshell. There is no one-sized approach to aligning your marketing and sales efforts. To ensure inbound success, teams need to adopt the modern selling journey.
Would you like to learn more about Thought Leadership on LinkedIn? Watch the interview with Eric Haar – Digital Business Coach at Tricycle Europe and Joseph Taiano – Managing Director of Marketing for Consumer Industries at Accenture.