I am asked a lot whether LinkedIn is the “right” tool for a B2B. My answer is almost always “it depends.” One thing that separates me from many other professionals is that I want the best for your business first, regardless of whether you choose to work with me. If LinkedIn isn’t the best option for you, I don’t want you to use it.
So, is LinkedIn the right option for you? The best way to determine that is to jump on a call with me, but here are a few cheats to try to figure it out for yourself:
Ask Yourself: “Is my audience on LinkedIn?”
It’s simple, but it’s critical. If you are targeting a group of people who don’t like LinkedIn, you may struggle with results. That’s not to say your target has to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. I have clients who have had great success reaching out to individuals who spend little time at a computer.
The key is to look at the connections of the people you are targeting. If your ideal client has fewer than 100 connections, no headshot, and next to nothing in his or her profile, you may want to avoid LinkedIn. Again, this isn’t a dealbreaker, but it’s one thing to consider.
Ask Yourself: “Can I easily identify my target audience?”
This is a big one.
The first thing someone is going to do when you reach out is qualify whether you have a legitimate reason for reaching out. You have a split second to catch his or her attention before being written off as a spammer.
This is why people who target a specific geographic location can often have more success than those who target behaviors or industries. If you start by saying, “Hi, I’m reaching out to local businesses to ask …” you are instantly relevant. Yes, some people will still be annoyed, but it’s a far cry from reaching out with something along the lines of, “Do you need a new website?!”
If you provide bookkeeping services for influencers who have little time to focus on anything other than influencing, you have that same relevance. “Hello, I see you are a big-time influencer in your space and I would love to chat with you about the bookkeeping services I offer.”
On the other hand, if you are target people who are dissatisfied with their websites, you can’t know that without asking. That drastically increases the time and energy you will have to expend before you uncover your ideal target and it makes for a tough ask. Think about it: by approaching them, you have to assume they hate their website. And what if they are the ones that designed it?
Ask yourself: “Are those within my target audience disgruntled?”
I once worked with someone whose target audience was angry. Every fifth person I looked up had “don’t contact me or I will publicly shame you” written within their profiles. It was so stressful!
If the people you are contacting have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to cold reach-outs, there’s a good chance you’re going to fail miserably at your LinkedIn sales endeavor. You’re probably best to settle in with a nice, safe inbound marketing or SEO campaign and call it a quarter.
Ask Yourself: “Will my leads make me enough money?”
Personalized reach-outs take time, which means money. This is true whether you’re conducting them yourself or hiring me to do it — time equates to money regardless.
It’s important that what you’re selling will make you enough money to make the reach-outs worth it. This can happen in volume or value. Convert many lower-tier services a month to cover the cost of outreach or convert one high-end service a month to cover the cost – either way works.
Okay, you say. If time is money, is it better to just go with ads?
If you are selling on LinkedIn, I see one reason to leverage ads instead of personalized reach-outs and that is if your ask will insult your audience. As mentioned above, if the only way you can approach your audience is by asking whether they’re dissatisfied with their current way of doing things, ads may be a better approach.
So, what do you think? Are LinkedIn reach-outs the way to go for you? Do you have any questions? Ask them in the comments below!
About Chrissie Wywrot
Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.