The single biggest piece of advice I share during my LinkedIn training sessions is this: Get your prospects or potential clients off of LinkedIn as fast as you can!
It might sound counter-intuitive, especially considering I make my living off teaching others how to generate business for themselves using LinkedIn Marketing. But I was reminded again recently why it’s so important to move potential clients and customers away from someone else’s online turf (in this case, LinkedIn) and into your preferred space — be it your website, a webinar, email list, phone call or face-to-face meeting.
LinkedIn Groups + Messages — Big Changes!
Case in point: LinkedIn recently announced some major changes to how its popular professional groups will function moving forward. Hundreds of LinkedIn Group Moderators began howling in protest about the changes. Many Group owners, in fact, had spent years building their Groups a certain way and put in countless hours refining their process, only to have LinkedIn blow the entire thing up without warning.
LinkedIn also recently revamped its entire messaging system, again setting off another series of angry rants on the network from users worldwide.
I have to admit, the righteous indignation of LinkedIn users makes me laugh.
After all, it’s LinkedIn’s sandbox. LinkedIn built itself into the world’s largest social network for professionals — with 400 million members in more than 200 countries — and LinkedIn can do whatever it wants whenever it wants.
The Reality: LinkedIn’s Sandbox, LinkedIn’s Toys
The key thing to remember on any social network is that you’re building your virtual house on someone else’s land. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and all these other social networks can pull the plug or change the rules at any moment. Sure, we might pay to have a Premium LinkedIn Membership, but that’s more like paying rent to a landlord than owning the building.
So what should you do about it? Simple. Keep using LinkedIn, because it remains the single best place on the planet to find and engage your ideal clients and prospects at almost no cost.
But be strategic about moving those potential customers somewhere where you will have more control.
How to Get Prospects Off LinkedIn and onto Your Turf
For example, you might be repurposing and sharing your existing blog posts, videos and other content on LinkedIn using the site’s native publishing platform. It’s a great way to attract a targeted audience of warm, qualified leads, and I suggest you do it as much as possible on LinkedIn.
With that said, make sure you embed a call to action (CTA) or other specific “ask” at the bottom of each post or piece of content you share on LinkedIn. And make sure that CTA or “ask” moves people off of LinkedIn and over to your preferred platform — the phone, your website, your email list, etc.
For example, say your goal is to get people registered for a free training or Linkedin webinar that you host.
Here’s how you can accomplish that using LinkedIn marketing:
- Repurpose an existing piece of content (video, blog post, etc.) that provides value and insight to your ideal audience and publish it on LinkedIn.
- Put a call to action at the bottom of the LinkedIn blog post inviting people to jump off LinkedIn and sign up for your free webinar. Use a clickable, hyperlinked image and/or hyperlinked text that takes people over to your registration page. (If you don’t know how to do this inside of a LinkedIn blog post, go here.)
- Use an add-on like LinMailPro to send hundreds of 1-on-1, personalized messages to your existing LinkedIn contacts that points them to this useful piece of content you just published on the platform. (Note: In this case, you will want to have already pre-tagged and sorted your existing LinkedIn connections by topic, industry or job title so you can send targeted, helpful posts to the right audiences.)
- Monitor the engagement around your LinkedIn blog post and use the site’s powerful analytics to follow up with any new, warm leads you find as a result.
- Send 1-on-1 messages and notes to anyone who engages with your LinkedIn blog post using this type of script: “Thanks (Name) so much for (liking my post / your thoughtful comment) on my post! What was your favorite part? Also, since you enjoyed that piece of content you’d likely love the free webinar we have coming up on (topic of the blog post). You can find out more here: (link to webinar registration page.) Thanks and talk more soon!”
The end result is, you’ll find some great, warm leads and then move those prospects over to your digital turf (your webinar) as opposed to keeping everything on LinkedIn.
Remember: With LinkedIn, You’re on Rented Land!
In addition, you can export all your existing LinkedIn connections anytime you want, and powerful LinkedIn add-ons like Dux-Soup also allow you to export detailed Excel spreadsheets with key prospect info to your computer.
In closing, keep this caveat in mind: LinkedIn Marketing is well worth your time, but don’t build your entire business infrastructure using its land and materials. Make sure any activity you take on the network moves someone closer to your digital home whenever possible!