How to write your LinkedIn Profile

How to Write Your LinkedIn Profile to Generate Maximum Visibility

Professionals and businesses pay to be able to search the 575 million profiles (260 million active) on LinkedIn, so it makes sense to put time (and maybe money) into writing a LinkedIn profile that will get you found.

I have been writing LinkedIn profiles for nearly four years, knee-deep in the platform that has been rapidly growing since Microsoft purchased it in 2016.

Here are my best practices for writing a LinkedIn profile for maximum visibility:

Focus on Your LinkedIn Headline

There are multiple approaches to take with your LinkedIn headline, but it is one of the most important aspects of your profile.

Your headline is one of the heaviest-weighted items of your LinkedIn profile, so it is important to think through your primary LinkedIn goal and whether your target audience will be searching for you or finding you through inbound marketing (e.g. they see you post because of organic reach or through the post of a mutual connection).

  1. If your target audience will be searching for you — you are hoping to be found by a recruiter or staffing agent or your potential client will be searching for your services — comprise your headline of keywords.
  2. If you expect your target audience to find you via inbound marketing, make sure the first 50-70 characters of your headline will draw them in. Depending on your audience, this may be keywords, but I’ve also seen people write coy or sarcastic headlines that are incredibly effective.
  3. If you are a top-level executive, consider your title and company only. If you are a C-level executive of a Fortune 500 company or are in a specialized industry like finance or medicine, a minimalist headline may be the best approach. Add keywords in your Current Experience or Skills sections.

Write A Summary with A Strategy

Just as there are multiple approaches to take with your LinkedIn headline, there are multiple approaches to take with your LinkedIn summary. The majority of the time, your summary should serve the same purpose as a cover letter: it should summarize your professional journey and your expertise.

If your primary focus on LinkedIn is sales, you may want to promote your product or service using your Summary. A few things to remember with your LinkedIn summary:

  1. Your first three lines should draw in your audience. When someone clicks to view your LinkedIn profile, they will see your banner, headshot, headline, and the first paragraph of your summary (see above). If that first paragraph doesn’t draw them in, they’re more than likely clicking away.
  2. Include keywords: Your summary is heavily weighted for search, so make sure you are including keywords and phrases throughout your copy.
  3. Add two links that support your expertise or business: How links are displayed has changed many times in recent years. Currently, having two links is (in my opinion) the best option because you can see the headline along with the thumbnail. This is much more attractive than 5-6 teeny tiny thumbnails across the bottom of a section.

Make Your Current Experience Section(s) Count

You can have more than one current experience section, and they are heavily weighted for search. If a user with Sales Navigator or Recruiter is using the “Title” field, what you have listed as your current experience headline will be searched for a match.

  1. If you are looking for a job, think through what a recruiter or hiring manager would type into that title field and make sure it is a part of your current experience headline!
  2. If you are unemployed, create a current experience section to position yourself as a consultant. Be creative if you have to, but this serves multiple purposes: it adds valuable keywords to your profile and it fills an unemployment gap.
  3. If you are selling on LinkedIn, make sure you populate your current experience section with relevant keywords and/or services your target audience would search for.
  4. If you are an executive on LinkedIn, include your title first and then add other keywords after that. For example: “CEO of The Best Company | Website Management and Design for Fortune 500 Companies”

Complete Your Skills Section

This is especially important for anyone unemployed or looking to make a job change. LinkedIn Recruiter has a search field for Skills, which recruiters or hiring managers will fill out to narrow a candidate search. LinkedIn job postings also include specific skills ideal candidates should possess.

If possible, use already-established skills. You can type anything you want into the skills section, but it’s best if you use common terms.

Choose what you believe to be your most relevant skills to put in the top three.

Make Your Profile Public

If you are trying to be found on LinkedIn, make it easy. Whether you like it or not, having a headshot and making it visible increases trust.

In fact, LinkedIn users with a profile photo receive:

  • up to 21X more profile views
  • up to 36X more messages
  • up to 9X more connection requests

Other Important LinkedIn Profile Best Practices

  • Make sure each section is linked to the appropriate company page. When you begin to type in the business you work with, the page should populate for you to select.
  • If you have your own business, you must create a company page for your logo to show up on your personal profile!
  • Write articles specifically for LinkedIn or cross-post your articles natively on LinkedIn. This adds more to your LinkedIn profile because your most recent article is prominently displayed in the “Articles & Activity” section!

Any questions I didn’t address? Please ask them in the comments below!

You can also download my free LinkedIn Profile Optimization Checklist!

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a LinkedIn visibility expert and lead generator working with six- and seven-figure businesses. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

LinkedIn lead gen

This is ‘My Right Way’​ for Generating Leads on LinkedIn

“LinkedIn doesn’t actually generate business, though, right?”

You’d be surprised how many times I’ve been asked that question. It jolts me every time, because LinkedIn is my business.

I’m jolted for the opposite reason when people are offended because individuals do generate business through LinkedIn.

The (obvious) bottom line? Generating business via LinkedIn is 100-percent appropriate when it’s done the right way. 

What is the right way?

I am going to articulate my “right way,” which isn’t necessarily another person’s “right way.” I market myself and my clients using a genuine, organic method. I’m not a fan of automated messages, bots to auto-connect, or pitching hard with the first outreach.

I believe in the human touch.

While that way isn’t always the fastest (though sometimes it is, as you’ll read later), it is like building a house on rock instead of sand. When done consistently, the groundwork is laid for regular leads to come in.

My “right way” has generated leads for me — some immediate and some more than a year after the initial connection — and consists of the following actions:

1. Writing An Effective Headline

This is your LinkedIn billboard. 

I have one client who found me through my LinkedIn headline. I had commented on a mutual connection’s post and this client saw that I specialize in “LinkedIn profile optimization and visibility.” It was a need and she reached out.

Your LinkedIn headline is made up of 125 characters with the first 75 visible at all times. That means your headline is hugely valuable when commenting on other people’s posts.

Headline dos and don’ts:

  • DO use SEO-relevant words
  • DON’T fill your first 75 characters with prepositions
  • DO catch the attention of your target within the first 75 characters

2. Having Fun with Outreach

This is part of my “be human” philosophy and why I’m not a fan of auto-connections. When I reach out, I frequently look over his or her profile, noting anything that jumps out.

Sometimes nothing jumps out, and that’s okay!

Other times, I will see a mutual interest, a business name I think is clever, or a particular achievement that impresses me. I mention it when I reach out.

Doing this accomplishes a few things:

  • It humanizes us
  • It catches the attention of the recipient
  • It shows the recipient you took care in reaching out

I have received immediate leads after sending a whimsical, off-the-cuff reach-out. First, I caught the attention of the recipient with my note, and, second, had the information in place within my headline and profile to lead them through the initial phase of my sales process.

3. Engaging Consistently

I know I’m not one of the “big dogs” with this statistic (I will get there!), but I receive – on average – between 150-250 profile views per week. At least once per month, I spike between 400-500 profile views per week.

I generate those profile views by consistently engaging on LinkedIn, and by having a keyword-heavy headline and profile that pulls me up in search.

“Going down the rabbit hole,” as I call it, also helps you as it pertains to the algorithm (the more you engage, the better your posts do), and puts your headline in front of more people. I see a lot of value in engaging on LinkedIn, even for those who are crazy-busy influencers or business owners (seemingly) without the time to do so. 

The key question: do you have enough time to generate leads for your business?

If a potential client says they have zero time to respond to comments or private messages within LinkedIn, I will suggest they work with someone else.

Lending your genuine expertise to your LinkedIn network is what will sell you – generic comments from someone responding on your behalf just won’t cut it.

The (Obvious) Bottom Line

I mentioned earlier that the (obvious) bottom line is that generating business on LinkedIn is 100-percent appropriate when done the right way. Remember that this is my right way, and that others are effective using other methods. 

If you are wondering whether my methods will work well for you, check out the following four categories and see if you fit into one of them:

THE INFLUENCER: Someone with a significant audience and following who has not yet taken advantage of LinkedIn and what it has to offer. These individuals can get a huge boost simply by optimizing their profiles. If they are sought after on other channels, they will certainly gain visibility by optimizing on Google-friendly LinkedIn.

THE NICHE: Someone with a B2B that is one of the first of its kind, or with a business type that doesn’t yet have a significant presence on LinkedIn. In addition to profile optimization (always the first step), this person can develop a defined strategy that will boost him or her to influencer status. With that will come more leads in less time, and potential business partnerships.

PLENTY-OF-TIME: Someone with a stable, successful six-figure-or-more B2B, with no fear of losing clients or incoming leads in the near future. An optimized profile and marketing strategy can build a funnel for this person in 3-6 months, depending on the sales cycle for the business. Personalized connection requests will add the right people to spread awareness and generate leads.

AMAZING CONTENT: Someone who is posting incredible things on LinkedIn … but no one is seeing those posts! After optimizing their profile (yes, it’s always the first step) and making — more than likely — small adjustments to their posts, their content will be seen by more people.

These four categories are my jam. Anyone who falls into one of them will generate traction on LinkedIn, often generating leads right away when working with me.

If you are interested in learning more, reach out to me on LinkedIn or book a call!

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a LinkedIn visibility expert and lead generator working with six- and seven-figure businesses. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

LinkedIn Job Search

LinkedIn 101 for College Students and Recent Graduates

Are you a college student or recent college graduate looking for a job?

Focus your attention on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has steadily grown into a networking and job-seeking powerhouse. More than 26 million companies are represented on the platform with more than 15 million open jobs.

Great, you say. Where do I start?

I’m glad you asked!

These are my best practices for young people looking for employment on LinkedIn:

1. Be more than a student, a graduate, or an intern.

This may be the Millennial in me talking (the old-geezer Millennial), but please own your expertise. I recognize your expertise has a long way to go, but categorizing yourself as a student, graduate, or intern screams inexperience.

As much as Millennials get a bad rap for thinking highly of themselves, it is critical to properly represent your knowledge to compete in the LinkedIn job market.

Use your 125-character LinkedIn headline to sell yourself.

Circa 2004, I was the “New Media” intern with the Detroit Lions, editing the team website and helping with content creation. Instead of using “New Media Intern for the Detroit Lions” as my headline (yawn), I could have used:

Content Creator for the Detroit Lions | Photographer | Editor | Website Manager | Graphic Designer

Don’t get me wrong, my skills were nowhere near polished, but this headline represents the areas I could have contributed to another organization. Had a human resources professional conducted a LinkedIn search (had it existed back then) for “content creation,” this version of a headline gives me a chance of being found and contacted.

Also make sure your profile is optimized and you have a complete set of skills – you can use my free checklist as a guide.

2. Connect, connect, connect.

As a young person in a competitive job market, it’s all about who you know. (After that, you better know what you’re doing, but that’s for another blog post.)

The bandwidth of who you can know is wider than ever, but social media shouldn’t be your primary objective. Reaching professionals via LinkedIn and other digital platforms must be a gateway to connecting in the real world.

Start with who you know and spider your way out.

As a college student or recent graduate, leverage the influencers in your real-world network. Begin with professors, employers, or professionals you’ve helped as part of an internship or class project.

  1. Ask for introductions. Do you want to work with a particular company? Search for the right people in that company and see if you have any common LinkedIn connections. If you do, ask your common connection to make an introduction.
  2. Ask for a promotional post. If you know someone with a large and active network on LinkedIn, ask that person to post about you and what you are looking to accomplish as a professional. These posts not only help you, they help the person sharing about you!
  3. Ask for a recommendation. While these are less prominent than they used to be, having recommendations from professionals on LinkedIn can help immensely when potential employers are vetting you out by looking at your profile.

3. Make up a job.

This is on the up-and-up and it applies to anyone out of work and looking for a job on LinkedIn. If it is applicable to your industry to be a consultant, be a consultant, even if it’s only on your LinkedIn profile.

Current experience sections on LinkedIn are weighted heavier for SEO than past experience sections and the additional section allows you to promote yourself and your skills. 

Consider what you could offer as a consultant and be ready to actually consult.

If your industry doesn’t allow for consulting, try to find something you can do to keep yourself current. Volunteer with a local business or a local professional, for example.

As much as we wish it weren’t the case, a current experience section is critical to avoid the dreaded “gap.” Thankfully, LinkedIn provides flexibility with what can be presented.

4. Have a presence.

Have a presence and an identity on LinkedIn beyond searching for a job! Post on the platform to generate trust and likability, and to showcase your expertise.

Stand for something without ruffling any feathers (make sure you play the part of good representative of your future employer). If you are a writer, write. If you are a teacher, share ideas or articles about your teaching philosophy. Add value by commenting on the posts of others.

Be seen.

I could argue that No. 1 thing valued by all employers is proactivity because of what it represents. Proactive people are making an effort, they clearly care about what they’re doing, and they have a fire in their belly to succeed.

Show up on LinkedIn and experience the fruits of your labor.

5. Be patient.

Last, but certainly not least, recognize that this will be a process. If you are a student now, you have an advantage because you aren’t in a rush. 

Know that you are investing in potential job opportunities by having a high quality headline and profile, connecting with relevant individuals, properly representing your skills and abilities, and engaging on the platform.

Follow these steps, and you will be on your way to a robust and fruitful LinkedIn presence.

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a LinkedIn visibility expert and lead generator working with six- and seven-figure businesses. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

LinkedIn profiles

These Are the Linkedin Profiles I Want to Get My Hands On

There are certain LinkedIn profiles I drool over.

Wait, wait. Don’t click away yet, hear me out.

There are individuals on LinkedIn with such untapped potential that I want to shout (or type in a PM), “Just let me get my hands on your profile! I promise, it will be amazing!”

If you’re wondering if you have untapped potential, read through these four descriptions and see if you can find yourself in any of them!

The Influencer Model

The Influencer: Someone with a significant audience and following who has not yet taken advantage of LinkedIn and what it has to offer.

This person has a successful six-figure-or-more B2B with a small staff. They know they could be using LinkedIn, but just haven’t gotten around to it. They often have a popular podcast, blog, or presence on another social media channel.

Why haven’t they done anything with LinkedIn yet? They haven’t had the time … they’ve been too busy building their incredible business!

How can LinkedIn help them? These individuals can get a huge boost simply by optimizing their profiles. If they are sought after on other channels, they will certainly gain visibility by optimizing on Google-friendly LinkedIn.

Beyond that, they can network with other high-powered business owners, add content to build their LinkedIn audience (and SEO), and generate leads by being in front of a new audience.

The Niche Market Model

The Niche: Someone with a B2B that is one of the first of its kind, or with a business type that doesn’t yet have a significant presence on LinkedIn.

This person is already sought after on LinkedIn because they have a corner on a specialized service or market. In fact, they generate significant traction on LinkedIn just by showing up.

Why haven’t they done anything with LinkedIn yet? They haven’t had to! This person barely has enough time to field the leads they’re getting, let alone put significant time into building a LinkedIn presence.

How can LinkedIn help them? In addition to profile optimization (always the first step), this person can develop a defined strategy that will boost him or her to influencer status. With that will come more leads in less time, and potential business partnerships.

The Plenty-of-Time Model

Plenty of Time: Someone with a stable, successful six-figure-or-more B2B, with no fear of losing clients or incoming leads in the near future.

This person has plenty of business experience, and recognizes that establishing a new lead generation funnel will take time. He or she has the time and is prepared to invest 3-6 months in testing a strategy on LinkedIn.

Why haven’t they done anything with LinkedIn yet? This business is either well-established offline or is leveraging another social media channel to generate leads.

LinkedIn has always been in the back of this person’s mind because colleagues have mentioned it as an ideal place to set up shop. Now they’re ready.

How can LinkedIn help them? An optimized profile and marketing strategy can build a funnel for this person in 3-6 months, depending on the sales cycle for the business. Personalized connection requests will add the right people to spread awareness and generate leads.

The Amazing Content Model

Amazing Content: Someone who is posting incredible things on LinkedIn … but no one is seeing those posts!

This person may be in the early stages of business. He or she is producing great content, but doesn’t know how to optimize that content so it will be seen by thousands of people.

Why haven’t they done anything with LinkedIn yet? They have, but they don’t know the tips and tricks that will get content to the top of the news feed.

How can LinkedIn help them? After optimizing their profile (yes, it’s always the first step) and making — more than likely — small adjustments to their posts, their content will be seen by more people.

Those people will be curious and click on this person’s (now optimized) profile. Personalized connection requests will grow their audience as well as visibility.

Do you fit into any of these categories?

If you see yourself in any of these categories, get excited! You have significant untapped potential on LinkedIn! The first step — you know what it’s going to be — is optimizing your profile!

For help on that, you can download my free Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Optimization Checklist! If you would like additional help after that, don’t hesitate to reach out!

ABOUT CHRISSIE WYWROT

Chrissie Wywrot is a LinkedIn specialist working with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

This is Why LinkedIn Sales Navigator is Totally Worth It

Sales Navigator. Is it worth it?

The short answer: yes.

The long answer: before I dig in, let’s take a follow-your-own-adventure quiz.

Question 1: Do you sell products or services?

If your answer is no, Sales Navigator is not for you. If your answer is yes, move on to the next question.

Question 2: Do you form your target audience around professional attributes?

In other words, can you find your target audience by conducting a search through LinkedIn? If your answer is no, Sales Navigator is probably not for you. If your answer is yes, move on to the next question.

Question 3: Is your audience active on LinkedIn?

If you aren’t sure, that’s okay, because this is (sort of) a trick question. There isn’t an easy way to know whether your audience is active on LinkedIn unless you’re using Sales Navigator … which brings me to one of the primary reasons to subscribe in the first place.

Reason 1: Pinpointing Active Profiles

If you are leveraging LinkedIn as a selling tool, you will need to connect with relevant individuals, either through personalized reach-outs or InMail. Without knowing whether a profile is active, you may waste a lot of time reaching out to people who haven’t logged into LinkedIn for years.

We all speak to those people. You ask if they have a LinkedIn profile and they say, “Oh, LinkedIn? Yeah, <insert boss’s name here> had us create one, but I never use it. I still get connection requests to my email. Do you know how to turn those notifications off?”

Time is money … so why waste it on people who don’t use LinkedIn?

This is an example of Sales Navigator search results:

sales navigator search results

There are 2,903 profiles that fit my search criteria, but only 433 have posted on LinkedIn in the past 30 days! That’s a huge difference! I could waste my time reaching out to 2,470 dead profiles. Instead, I can target my communication to those 433 active profiles and know that I’m reaching out to someone who actually uses LinkedIn.

Reason 2: Detailed Search Results

Yet another time saver: the ability to narrow a search further than with the standard LinkedIn search. Yes, there is the ability to conduct a search on “regular” LinkedIn, but you will end up trying to find a needle in a haystack instead of searching through a pile of needles.

I provide my clients with detailed LinkedIn marketing strategies. If they don’t already have Sales Navigator, I compare their search criteria with Sales Navigator vs. without Sales Navigator to illustrate the power of the tool.

One of my clients was searching for physicians in the Chicago area who had been in their current position for the past 6-10 years.

With Sales Navigator:

Industry: Medical Practice

Title: Physician

Years in Current Position: 6-10 Years

Location: Greater Chicago Area

The results? There are 550 total profiles that matched this search criteria and five had posted on LinkedIn the past 30 days. Five. It’s fair to say there was a need to refine the search to focus on a different group or alter the strategy altogether.

Sales Navigator shows us right out of the gate that there are no active profiles within that target, so we waste no time reaching out to those individuals.

Without Sales Navigator:

Industry: Medical Practice

Title: Physician

Location: Greater Chicago Area

Without Sales Navigator, we can’t narrow the search by the number of years in the current position, but we can use the other three fields. The results? There are 4,071 profiles that match this search criteria.

At first glance, this might seem like a fantastic route to take. The only problem: when we put that same search criteria into Sales Navigator, we receive similar general results: there are 3,914 profiles that match … but there are only 55 that posted on LinkedIn over the past 30 days. See how Sales Navigator saves us a lot of time? If you’re hiring someone to engage on LinkedIn for you, you’re also saving money.

Reason 3: Targeted Engagement

My final reason for subscribing to Sales Navigator is targeted engagement. I will admit that I haven’t used this much for myself, but that might change considering a recent added feature that has me excited.

Sales Navigator has always allowed users to save leads, which adds it to a list. You can then go into Sales Navigator and select “Lead Shares” for a feed of recent posts by your saved leads. This allows you to stay top of mind with users you believe will give you business.

The feature recently added? We can now save leads into lists, much like with LinkedIn Recruiter. That way, if I have multiple target audiences, I can divide them into those audiences through lists:

sales navigator lists

My System

Sales Navigator is a key piece of my LinkedIn funnel system, which includes optimizing the LinkedIn profile for keywords and inbound marketing, sending targeted reach-outs to add relevant individuals to your network, and then posting optimized content to nurture those leads.

Engaging with leads — whether they’ve connected with you or not — is also critical in the process. If they don’t remember you exist, they won’t remember to buy from you!

What is your opinion of Sales Navigator? Do you use it now? If you don’t, would you consider using it in the future? Why or why not?

Feel free to comment or add questions below!

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a LinkedIn specialist working with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

Does LinkedIn Confuse You? Let’s Change That!

Does LinkedIn confuse you? Overwhelm you? Make no sense to you?

Let’s change that.

If you’ve been avoiding LinkedIn, there is a good chance you have untapped potential. Whether it’s networking, selling, collaborating, or influencing, LinkedIn has something for just about everyone … and it’s growing at a rapid pace.

As of August 2018, there were more than 26 million companies represented and more than 15 million open jobs on LinkedIn. Add to that the steady increase of engagement – members are taking or sending more than 200 million viral actions and messages every week – and LinkedIn is at least worth a look.

What You Need to Know

Before we dive into how to use LinkedIn, it’s important that you understand these three things:

1. LinkedIn has evolved.

To the dismay of early adopters, LinkedIn is no longer a place to have virtual coffee with the people you already know. Do you remember the slap on the wrist you would get back in the day when you’d try to connect with someone you didn’t know? Those days are gone. Now it’s all about growing your network.

2. The news feed is the place to be.

Forget groups, forget article posts … LinkedIn wants you on the news feed, engaged in conversation. If you don’t believe me, post a link to the news feed with a one-sentence description and watch it die. Today’s LinkedIn is all about posting engaging content (use ALL 1,300 characters!) and generating comments.

3. Hashtags actually have a purpose.

Remember when LinkedIn tried to implement hashtags awhile back and they promptly had no purpose? That’s not what happened this time! Hashtags are like LinkedIn’s filing system. Trust me, you want to use them.

We Know This Isn’t Facebook

… Though you will be reminded of this frequently by annoyed LinkedIn users who are upset by “personal” posts.

While it is a good idea to keep things business-focused, it’s important to incorporate personal thoughts and feelings into posts. If we didn’t, LinkedIn would be pretty dry … the way it was when you stopped using it three years ago, remember?

But content isn’t the only reason LinkedIn isn’t like Facebook. The most exciting reason it isn’t like Facebook is because it has the potential for organic reach.

Yes, that’s right! As opposed to Facebook (where we can’t even get our content in front of the people actually following our business pages), you can post to LinkedIn and your posts have the potential to go viral on the platform.

How exciting is that?

Simplifying LinkedIn

I simplify LinkedIn by breaking it into three primary components:

  1. Your profile
  2. Content/posts
  3. Connection requests

Here’s how they work in tandem:

1. Optimize your profile.

What does that mean? LinkedIn is a heavily searched platform. In fact, LinkedIn makes its money by selling the ability to perform detailed searches. Make sure your profile has relevant keywords, is easy to read, and has all of the necessary components filled in. If you want a breakdown of those components, you can download my free LinkedIn checklist.

2. Post quality content and posts.

What you post will depend on you and your audience, but – regardless of what you post – you want to make sure you optimize. Use hashtags, use your 1,300 characters, and don’t put links in your original post (add it to the comments).

3. Send connection requests (with a note).

Reach out to individuals that will improve your bottom line, but do so with an eye towards a relationship. With the potential for organic reach, the connections you make may not be the people who help your business or career, but they might lead to the people who help your business or career!

Did that help?

I hope this provided ample evidence that you should at least explore the possibilities LinkedIn has to offer!

If you have any questions, please comment below!

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a LinkedIn specialist working with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

Can You Take Advantage of an Accelerated Sales Cycle on LinkedIn?

What is an accelerated sales cycle and how do you know if you’re one of the lucky ones who gets to use it?

Allow me to explain. There are two types of businesses on LinkedIn: those who leverage a “typical” sales cycle using the LinkedIn platform and those who have a strong advantage because of the LinkedIn platform.

It all comes down to industry, specialty, and how you identify your target audience.

Typical Sales Cycle

This is a typical sales cycle with added LinkedIn elements. Anything done specifically on LinkedIn is in blue. As you can see, these individuals are executing the sales cycle the same way they would whether they are on the LinkedIn platform or not.

 

The benefit to leveraging LinkedIn for a typical sales cycle is access to target audience. The ability to search using Sales Navigator and nurture leads through engagement provides a different method for an existing practice.

A relationship is established with a potential lead through connection on LinkedIn instead of a cold call, web search, or in-person engagement. The ability to ask whether the potential lead has interest in the product or service right away is a more forward method and another advantage to using LinkedIn.

Even if the potential lead doesn’t have an interest right away, the sales cycle continues with the nurturing process, which may come before or after closing the sale.

Accelerated Sales Cycle

If you are in a camp that can take advantage of the accelerated sales cycle on LinkedIn, you are one of the lucky ones. The accelerated sales cycle allows you to recognize and execute two of the steps before even reaching out to your potential lead.

How is this possible? It’s possible because you are in an industry or have a specialty that allows you to identify the individuals that needs your product or service through a LinkedIn profile — the individual’s title, company, industry, location, etc.

Examples:

  • A lawyer who works specifically with real estate agents
  • A CPA working with nonprofits
  • An event planner specializing in corporate picnics in Phoenix, Ariz.
  • A freelance writer that specializes in whitepapers for tech companies

Each of these examples can know the individual they are reaching out to has a vested interest in their services before reaching out, skipping to the third step of the sales cycle. Even if the individual isn’t interested in that moment, connecting on LinkedIn adds a qualified lead to that person’s network for nurturing.

If you fall into the Typical Sales Cycle …

You should still leverage LinkedIn reach-outs, but you should alter your messaging to a softer approach. The goal in a typical sales cycle is to add potential leads to your funnel for nurturing with the hope that a handful will happen to need your services when you reach out.

Potential messaging in a connection request:

Hi Sarah! I’m a business coach working with female entrepreneurs. I know we don’t know each other yet, but it would be great to connect with you so you can take advantage of my content and learn a little bit more about what I provide my clients. Thank you!

If you fall into the Accelerated Sales Cycle …

First, get excited.

Second, make sure you have Sales Navigator.

Third, take advantage of the potential you have on LinkedIn!

When you have the ability to target exactly the right individuals before you reach out, you can be more direct and shorten the sales cycle.

Potential messaging in a connection request:

Hi Sarah! As the director of employee development with XYZ company, you probably put on events throughout the year. I’m an event planner working specifically with individuals in your position to take a lot off your plate! Do you have any coming up? Either way, I’d love to connect!

Regardless, stick with LinkedIn!

Whether you are in the typical sales cycle camp or the accelerated sales cycle camp, make sure you are using LinkedIn to its full potential! It provides the ability to add leads to your network and nurture them along using your knowledge and expertise!

Optimize your profile and — if you don’t have time to conduct your own reach-outs — take advantage of my reach-out offering. I look forward to hearing from you!

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 chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

How to NOT Make A Fool out of Yourself on LinkedIn

It’s so simple, but it’s so true.

Whether you’re looking to send an InMail message, a connection request, comment on a post, share in a group, WHATEVER IT IS … the key is to focus on the mutual benefit of what you’re doing.

Will anyone else benefit from what you’re about to do or is it all about you?

It’s a message I share with my 7 1/2-year-old daughter all the time. She wants to go outside and ride her scooter. Our next-door neighbor wants to go to the park. My daughter is beside herself, not quite understanding why the next-door neighbor is not understanding the importance of scooter riding.

“But it’s what I want to do!”

Precisely. It’s what she wants to do. She’s not thinking of the next-door neighbor and what she wants to do. It’s simple, but it’s so important and it applies to sales.

What is “appropriate” sales behavior on LinkedIn?

So often, I see people posting advice about what to do and not to do on LinkedIn. I’m one of those people. It is action-oriented advice, looking at the method and not the intention.

“Don’t ever ask people to buy from you in the first message!”

“Don’t ever use a connection request for sales!”

“Don’t ever post an article link in a group!”

Here’s the thing: there are valid points to each of those arguments. I get that. But the intention behind the actions is more important than the actions themselves. If I reach out to someone and ask them to buy from me because I recognize a clear need that person has, my genuine desire to help will come through.

If, on the other hand, I reach out without reading someone’s profile — therefore knowing nothing about the person — and ask him or her to buy from me, I’m going to come off like a self-absorbed jerk.

The actions are the same, but the intention is different.

I truly believe this is the difference between success and failure in sales. If the intention is to form a working relationship with someone based on both parties receiving a clear benefit, the strategy will work.

Sometimes that means nurturing a relationship because reaching out to someone to be his or her business coach without ever having a conversation is a bit forward. On the other hand, it may not be.

Hear me out.

Let’s say you are a business coach for female entrepreneurs who have a podcast. That is a narrow scope and you can find those women without ever reaching out to them. This is so important in the LinkedIn lead generation game!

This provides the opportunity to conduct a thoughtful, relevant reach-out, but only if you think through the process and have a genuine desire for a mutually-beneficial relationship.

Example of a thoughtful reach-out:

Hi Sally! My name is Chrissie and I’m a business coach for female entrepreneurs who also have podcasts. I have a ton of experience in this segment and believe I can really help you leverage your podcast for your business. Are you interested in a quick call so I can learn more about you?

Now, this is a forward reach-out. You can change the final line to any variation of the following to “tone it down”:

  • Are you interested in this article I wrote that details how to do this?
  • Are you interested in connecting on LinkedIn to learn more about each other?

Example of a self-absorbed (and bait-and-switch) reach-out sequence:

Hi Sally, I’d like to connect with you to learn more about your business.

Once Sally accepts the message, the almost-immediate follow-up message includes a full sales page worth of services and a statement (not question) of, “Let me know when you’re available for a call next week.”

If you’ve ever received a bait-and-switch like this (and you probably have), you feel dirty for having experienced it. It’s low, intrusive, and not effective.

These types of interactions have turned people off from the idea of sales on LinkedIn, believing the platform should be solely for relationships. While I understand their post considering the tactics being employed on LinkedIn, I completely disagree.

The idea of being on LinkedIn is to form business relationships, yes, but that might mean services are exchanged. The key — as always — is to know your audience, recognize whether they need what you’re selling, and convey your mutually-beneficial relationship.

Whether that’s through inbound or outbound marketing is irrelevant. The key is recognizing the person you’re trying to sell to as a valued person and developing a relationships that will serve both of your interests.

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 chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

Does LinkedIn have a connection request limit

Does LinkedIn Have A Connection Request Limit?

Back in the day, LinkedIn was intended to be an intranet of sorts … you were only supposed to connect with individuals you knew. Try to connect with someone “outside of your network,” and you’d get a not-so-friendly slap on the wrist.

That has changed the past two years since Microsoft purchased LinkedIn. Now, LinkedIn is meant to be a networking tool. You can reach out to individuals you don’t know personally to expand your reach – much more beneficial for business owners and job seekers!

I have based my business on this practice, helping individuals connect with relevant professionals on LinkedIn as a way to grow their businesses. I see connection requests as a great way for professionals to grow their networks while engaging in active lead generation. In my opinion, using InMail for cold reach-outs sends a warning to the recipient, which is: I’m trying to sell you something!

I generate a lot of interest with my lead generation service, but have had the same question asked multiple times over the past week:

“Does LinkedIn limit the number of connection requests you can send out?”

The answer is yes and no. There isn’t a publicized limit, but LinkedIn does pay attention to whether your connection requests are converting. In other words, if you are sending request-after-request-after-request and people aren’t accepting (or worse, they’re reporting you), your account may get flagged for spamming.

Here is what LinkedIn has to say, word-for-word:

“If you’ve sent a large number of invitations, your account may be limited from inviting more members. This is generally due to many of your invitations being rejected or ignored by the members you’ve invited. We recommend you send invitations only to people you know and trust to be part of your network, as stated in the LinkedIn User Agreement. Having only quality connections in your network greatly improves the relevance of content shown in your feed, surfaces more appropriate matches in your searches, and better guides other features to help you discover opportunities on LinkedIn.”

Does this mean you can’t send connection requests to individuals you don’t know? Absolutely not. The key is to send relevant connection requests.

What constitutes a relevant connection request in my book?

The relationship must be mutually beneficial.

This, to me, is Sales 101, but it is critical to recognize that what constitutes a mutually-beneficial relationship is always relative to the business making the request and the person receiving it. There is a spectrum of “sales asks” on LinkedIn, ranging from connecting as a way to network to connecting as a means to sell. I will use three “for instance” examples to illustrate my point.

Example 1: The direct sell

Let’s say you manufacture desks. You want to connect with furniture stores on LinkedIn to ask if they want to stock your desks in their stores. Because you know before you reach out that they have a vested interest in purchasing desks, it is a reasonable reason to connect. In fact, the person you’re reaching out to may be thrilled you did. They are on LinkedIn as part of their profession and you are connecting with them to directly benefit their job.

Example 2: The information share

You also may connect with someone outside your network to share relevant information. If you are a financial advisor specializing in real estate, you may send connect requests to real estate professionals on LinkedIn with a note letting them know you publish articles they may find relevant to their business. This helps them by providing them with information and helps you by expanding your reach.

Example 3: The survey request

It is reasonable to connect on LinkedIn as a way to increase knowledge of your target audience. If you are a business coach, perhaps you send connection requests asking individuals what they look for in a business coach or how they find their business coaches.

With all three of these examples, though, one thing is critically important:

The note you include should be truthful.

Whether you’re looking to sell directly, share information, or request information, be honest about what you want. There is nothing worse on LinkedIn (or sales, for that matter) than a bait-and-switch. Don’t tell someone you want to learn from them only to send them a hard pitch 48 hours later.

Approach your LinkedIn strategy realistically and truthfully, knowing what you want to get out of your cold reach-out strategy and staying true to that goal.

Finally, know that every single professional and industry is unique. You may work in a field made up of people who hate to be solicited. That happens. If that’s the case, go with a networking strategy for connection requests and use InMail for your sales pitches.

The point is that no two situations are identical and it’s critical to approach your situation as a unique one. Know yourself and your audience and stay true to both. That is the best way to be successful on LinkedIn and to avoid being flagged as a spammer!

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 chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

Are You Leaving Money on the Table By Not Using LinkedIn?

LinkedIn could be a gold mine for you and your business, especially if you are business-to-business and offer premium services. Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn provides the ability to talk to the decision-makers of businesses you are targeting. What’s more, people are on LinkedIn to talk business. You don’t get that with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

How do you know if you’re leaving money on the table? Ask yourself these three questions:

1. Is my LinkedIn profile optimized?

If you have a half-filled-out profile, you are leaving money on the table. Period.

Your LinkedIn profile should serve as a lead page for you and your business. It should follow inbound marketing practices and include specific keywords related to your business. A friend and business associate of mine, Maggie Patterson of Scoop Industries, told me that following my advice to add keywords to her profile resulted in significantly more attention to her profile.

It makes a difference.

Additionally, having a profile that guides curious individuals through your initial sales process will be the difference between them reaching out with an inquiry and clicking away to something else.

2. Does my business offer premium services?

Let me put it to you this way: if you stand to make thousands off of a single conversion, you can’t afford not to invest in LinkedIn for your business. Nowhere else in social media marketing can you achieve what you can with personal, one-to-one reach-outs on LinkedIn – a platform created to talk business.

I am working with one client that needed just two conversions over the course of a year to consider the work put into LinkedIn a success. We achieved that in less than two months. If your business offers a premium service, the pressure to convert immediately goes away, resulting in a much higher likelihood of conversion.

Why is that? People are more likely to buy from those not pressuring them to buy. It’s that simple.

3. Is my sales team struggling with cold calls?

If you have a sales team cold-calling with little success, consider optimizing their profiles and conducting reach-outs on LinkedIn. It is a less intrusive process than cold-calling, allowing the potential lead to consider the conversation and respond on his or her own time.

The key is to reach out with the intention of setting up a discovery call. Don’t reach out and provide a link to buy. Instead, work to spark a respectful conversation with potential leads.

If you don’t want to invest in LinkedIn profile optimization for sales team members that might leave your business, invest in optimizing your own profile and pay for a business summary. That way, your sales team can add the business summary to their profiles and personalize their full profiles to their own liking.

Another option is to have members of your sales team conduct reach-outs with a higher-level executive’s profile. Often times, the weight of an influencer will generate more interest, especially when combined with a solid content strategy.

So … how did you do?

Are you leaving money on the table? That’s actually great news!

For a couple thousand dollars per month, your business could conduct regular, personal reach-outs to your target audience. If you are interested in developing a strategy like this, take a look at my B2B LinkedIn Lead Generation page and reach out for more information.

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 chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.